This was my first recital at Stony Brook University on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 in the Staller Recital Hall.
I had wanted to play Devienne's Quartet in C major for bassoon and strings ever since hearing it on Richard Ranti's CD during my first years of studying the bassoon, so working on it felt like realizing a dream I had for many years. For the Hummel, I fell in love with the opening phrase was intrigued with all the arpeggios and lively sixteenth notes and wanted to challenge my technical ability and flexibility. Vivaldi's E minor concerto is another classic I had been salivating over and was the start of pursing baroque performance practice. The final piece, Poulenc's Sextet, was a piece I was invited to be a part of and excited to learn that there were cadenzas.
The passion I brought with me to Stony Brook University has only grown, and I hope you enjoy my early Stony Brook career performance.
F. Devienne- Quartet in C major No. 1
N. Hummel- Grand Concerto in F major
A. Vivaldi- Concerto in E minor for Bassoon
F. Poulenc- Sextet for Piano and Winds
Rachel Koeth, Bassoon
Monday, May 2nd, 2011 3:00 PM Staller Recital Hall
Quartet in C Major for bassoon and strings François Devienne
Op. 73 No. 1 (c.1800) (1759-1803)
Rondo: Allegro moderato
Natalie Kress, Violin
Carolyn Dunn, Viola
Agnes Kallay, Cello
Grand Concerto in F Major WoO 23 (c.1805) Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Romanza: Andantino e cantabile
Michael Smith, Piano
Concerto in E minor RV 484 (1717) Antonio Vivaldi
Michael Smith, Piano
Sextet for Winds and Piano Op. 100 (1932-9) Francis Poulenc
Ray Furuta, Flute
Kendra Hawley, Oboe
Xiaoting Ma, Clarinet
Amanda Tabor, Horn
Yan Yu, Piano
This is an optional recital. Rachel Koeth is a first year Masters of Music student studying with Mr. Frank Morelli.
Born in Joinville, France, François Devienne was a composer, flautist, bassoonist and teacher. He was an active musician, premiering his own bassoon and flute concertos and sitting principal chair in the orchestra Théâtre de Monsieur. Devienne’s Flute Method was and still is a source of technical exercises and guidelines on performance practice of the time. His Quartet in C Major is one of three quartets for bassoon and strings, all of which were dedicated to bassoonist Garnier de Lyon. This quartet features the style Devienne most often wrote in with one melodic line and accompaniment. The first movement is in sonata form. The melodic second movement is in “ABA” form, and the concluding movement is a spirited and joking rondo (“ABACA”). This light-hearted quartet is a charming example of the mid-classical French language.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian pianist, composer, teacher and conductor. He was a child prodigy of the piano and a student of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, living with him for two years from 1785-87. Hummel also took organ lessons with Joseph Haydn, who recommended Hummel for jobs. With Ludwig van Beethoven, Hummel had a more complicated relationship that fluctuated between friendship and rivalry. Hummel’s works are some of the last of the Classical era. In the Grand Concerto in F, virtuosic sequences alternate with singing melodies. The first movement is a display of rapid leaps, octaves, and melodies that float in the tenor register. During the second movement there are sections of call and response between the accompaniment and solo voice. The third movement is cheerful and dance-like, with variations interspersed between the main theme.
The Concerto in E minor is one of Antonio Vivaldi's thirty-nine virtuosic bassoon concertos. It was Vivaldi who popularized the ritornello form as well as the structure of fast-slow-fast for the three movements of concertos. Throughout his life he had connections to Pio Ospedale della Pietà, which was one of four Catholic mercy hospitals located in Vienna that cared for abandoned, illegitimate or distressed girls. Vivaldi was paid to musically train and provide concerts to showcase these girls, and these concertos were likely written for that purpose. While Vivaldi was born in Venice and had a successful career as a composer and violinist, he died penniless in Vienna.
Francis Poulenc's Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano is one of his most popular works. It contains beautiful melodies, a variety of instrumental colors, and contrasting characters. The opening movement is energetic and quirky until interrupted by the melancholy solo bassoon line. From there, the movement becomes more nostalgic and sensitive before returning to the original character. The second movement begins lyrically and changes character with a humorous ascending line in the bassoon and then returns to the previous lyrical material. In the final movement, there is a surprising introduction and a variety of characters to follow, ending on a bitter sweet chord. Poulenc was a member of the Paris group “Les Six,” composers who were good friends and often put on similar programs. Poulenc was highly creative and manic-depressive, and was known to destroy works by throwing them into the sewer. He is quoted to say, “I know perfectly well that I'm not one of those composers who have made harmonic innovations like Igor [Stravinsky], Ravel or Debussy, but I think there's room for new music which doesn't mind using other people's chords. Wasn't that the case with Mozart–Schubert?”