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Graduate recitals Bowker, Sarah Alana 2003

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GRADUATE RECITALS by SARAH ALANA BOWKER B.Mus., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 2000 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER THE FACULTY OF (School PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF MUSIC i n GRADUATE STUDIES of Music) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 2003 ® Sarah Alana Bowker 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. PepartmeBt of M/jSJCs The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date dttoJ^tS. 30O3 DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT The thesis for the Master of Music degree i n Piano Performance consists of one solo r e c i t a l and one f u l l - l e n g t h ensemble r e c i t a l . I performed the ensemble r e c i t a l on February 16, 2001 and the solo r e c i t a l on February 16, 2003. Friday, February 16, 2001, 8:00 pm U B C School of Music Recital Hall Sarah Bowker, piano Andrea Ciona, clarinet Dory Hayley, soprano Brooke Day, violin Gillian Mott, violin Diederik van Dijk, cello Beth Schaufele, viola Grand Duo Concertant for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 48 Carl Maria von Weber Allegro con fuoco (1786-1826) Andante con moto Allegro Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse Claude Debussy Pantomime (1862-1918) Clair de lune Pierrot Apparition "The Dinner Party" for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano (1973) Ronald Hannah Fish (1945-) Game Drawing Room Coffee Talk Eleven O'Clock - INTERMISSION -Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 84 Edward Elgar Moderato (1857-1934) Adagio Andante - Allegro T E X T S ANT) PROGRAMME NOTES Weber: Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 48 This virtuosic showpiece for both the clarinet and the piano is one of Weber's many works showcasing the clarinet—others include the two concertos and the Concertino, Op. 26. Weber intended to create and use a more strictly German style in his operas and in his other music—he was most successful in his opera Der Freischutz. Even in this comparatively lighter chamber work, we can see Weber's combination of the traditional style of the Viennese classicists with a very personal style involving some increased chromaticism and some very flamboyant, operatic expression. Debussy: Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse Pantomime (Paul Verlaine) Pierrot, qui n'a rien d*un Clitandre Vide un flacon sans plus attendre Et, pratique, entame un pate\ Pantomime Pierrot, who is no Clitandre Empties a bottle without further ado And, practical, starts on a pie. Cassandra, at the end of the avenue, Sheds a misunderstood tear For her disinherited nephew. Cassandre, au fond de l'avenue, Verse une larme meconnue Sur son neveu desherite". Ce faquin d'Arlequin combine L'enlevement de Columbine Et pirouette quatre fois. Columbine reve, surprise De sentir un coeur dans la brise Et d'entendre dans son coeur des voix. Clair de lune (Paul Verlaine) Voire ame est un paysage choisi Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi Tristes sous leurs dSguisements fantasques. Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune, lis n'ont pas Pair de croire a leur bonheur, Et leur chanson se mele au clair de lune. That rascal Harlequin plans The abduction of Columbine And pirouettes four times. Columbine dreams, surprised To sense a heart in the breeze And to hear voices in her heart. Moonlight Your soul is a chosen landscape Where spell-binding masqueraders and dancers Play the lute and dance, almost Sad under their fantastic disguises. Even as they sing, in the minor mode Of love, the conqueror, and opportune life, They do not seem to believe in their happiness, And their song mingles with the moonlight. Au calme clair de lune triste et beau, Qui fait rever les oiseaux dans les arbres, Et sangloter d'cxtase les jets d'eau Les grands jets d'eaux sveltes parmi les marbres. Pierrot (T. de Banville) Le bon Pierrot, que la foule contemple Ayant fini les noces d'Arlequin, Suit en songeant le boulevard du temple, Une fillette au souple casaquin En vain I'agace de son oeil coquin; Et cependant mysterieuse et Hsse Faisant de lui sa plus chere delice, La blanch lune aux cornes de taureau Jctte un regard de son oeil en coulisse A son ami Jean Gaspard Debureau. Apparition (Stephane Mallarme) La lune s'attristait. Des seraphins en pleurs Revant, l'archet aux doigts, dans le calme des fleurs Vapoureuses, tiraient de mourantes violes De blancs sanglots glissant sur l'azur des corolles. —C'etait le jour bSni de ton premier baiser. Ma songerie aimant a me martyriser S'enivrait savamment du parfum de tristesse Que meme sans regret et sans dfeboire laisse La cueillaison d'un reve au coeur qui l'a cueilli. J'errais done, l'oeil rive' sur le pave vieilli. Quand avec du soleil aux cheveux, dans la rue Et dans le soir, tu m'es en riant apparue In the calm moonlight, sad and beautiful, That makes the birds dream in the trees, And the fountain weep with ecstasy, The talL slim streams amid the statues. Pierrot The good Pierrot, whom the crowd watches Being through with Harlequin's wedding, Follows dreamily the boulevard of the temple A girl in a flowing blouse Vainly entices him with her naughty eyes; And mysterious and sleek Makes him her dearest delight, The white moon with her bull's horns Throws a sidelong glance On her friend Jean Gaspard Debureau. Apparition The moon became sad. Tearful Seraphims Dreaming, bow in hand, in the calm of Hazy flowers, pulled from dying viols White sobs, gliding on the azure of the corollas. —It was the blessed day of your first kiss. My musings, loving to make me a martyr Knowingly became drunk with the perfume of sadness Which even without regret and without aftertaste leaves The harvest of a dream in the heart that plucked it. I wandered off, my eye riveted to the aged pavement. When, with the sun in your hair, in the street And in the evening, you appeared to me, laughing, Et j'ai cru voir la fee au chapeau de clarte Qui jadis sur mes beaux sommeils d'enfant gate" Passait, laissant toujours de ses mains mal ferme's, Neiger de blancs bouquets, D'etoiles parfume'es. And I believed I saw the fairy with her cap of light Who, long ago, passed through my sweet slumbers of a spoilt child Always, from her half-closed hands, Allowing white bouquets of perfumed Stars to fall like snow. Ronald Hannah: The Dinner Party Written for soprano or tenor, clarinet and piano, this song cycle is on poetry of Amy Lowell (1874-1925). Lowell was rich and socially well-connected, but unfortunately extremely obese due to a glandular condition. This caused her to be extremely cynical and to write scathing poetry about the spoiled and selfish people around her, replete with extremely strong and visual images. Ronald Hannah's music is written in a modern style, which is to say that tonal and metrical dissonance are used to good effect, but a pleasing, singable melody is also of great importance. In this work, the clarinet and the voice parts exchange the melodic material and interact with each other, sometimes at very difficult intervals, creating a complex and challenging work for all parts. Fish "So," they said, with their wine glasses delicately poised, mocking at the thing they cannot understand "So," they said again, amused and insolent. The silver on the table glittered, And the red wine in the glasses Seemed the blood I had wasted In a foolish cause. Game The gentleman with the grey and black whiskers, sneered languidly over his quail. Then my heart flew up and laboured, and I burst from my own holding and hurled myself forward.-With straight blows I beat upon him Furiously, with red hot anger I thrust against him. But my weapon slithered over his polished surface And 1 recoiled upon myself, panting. Drawing Room In a dress all softness and half tones, indolent and half reclined, she lay upon a couch, with the firelight reflected in her jewels. But her eyes had no reflection, they swam in a grey smoke, the smoke of smoldering ashes, the smoke of her cindered heart. Coffee They sat in a circle with their coffee cups, one dropped in a lump of sugar, one stirred with a spoon. I saw them as a circle of ghosts sipping blackness out of beautiful china, and mildly protesting my coarseness in being alive. Talk They took dead men's souls and pinned them on their breasts for ornament: their cufflinks and tiaras were gems dug from a grave; They were ghouls battening on exhumed thoughts; and I took a green liqueur from a servant so that he might come near me and give me the comfort of a living thing. Eleven O'CIock The front door was hard and heavy, It shut behind me on the house of ghosts. I flattened my feet on the pavement to feel it solid under me; I ran my hand along the railings and shook them, and pressed their pointed bars into my palms. The hurt of it reassured me, and I did it again and again, until they were bruised. When I woke in the night, I laughed to find them aching, for only living flesh can suffer. Elgar: Piano Quintet, Op. 84 Elgar's Quintet, one of his three chamber works (the others being the Violin Sonata, Op. 82, and the String Quartet, Op. 83), was written during the period of Elgar's convalescence from war-related fatigue and depression at the Sussex cottage "Brinkwells," where he resided during 1917 and 1918. Although he experienced some brief revival of spirits at Brinkwells, he wrote in the fall of 1917 that "everything good and nice and clean and fresh and sweet is far away—never to return." This autumnal depression with current circumstances and nostalgic longing for a bygone time is especially evident in the first movement of the Quintet, where a theme reminiscent of a Victorian parlour tune is evident. Al l three movements express some degree of nostalgia and desire for something "good and nice," and the third movement comes close to this with its folky, peasant-style dance-like theme. There is also a partly programmatic element pervading the work, related to a "reminiscence of sinister trees" related to the "ghostly music" in the first and third movements. The "sinister trees" on a hill above Brinkwells had been struck by lightning and a local story had arisen around them that they represented the dead forms of a settlement of Spanish monks who had been blasted for their impiety. The introduction to the first movement contains an almost plainsong-like melody, and both the second subject (first heard in the violins) as well as the emphasis on the minor second of the Phrygian mode throughout suggest a Moorish influence, related to Spanish monks. The second movement contains a beautiful viola solo, whose melody is later shared by the other instruments—this movement occupied a special place in Elgar's estimation. The cyclical nature of the work is made evident through the return of the occult, "ghostly music" from the first movement in the third movement, where it is banished by the sunnier A major conclusion. S A R A H B O W K E R Piano Musica Ricercata (1951 -1953) G. Ligeti (1923-) Sostenuto - Misurato Mesto, rigido e ceremoniale Allegro con spirito Tempo di valse (poco vivace—"a l'orgue de Barbarie") Rubato. Lamentoso Allegro molto capriccioso Cantabile, molto legato Vivace. Energico Adagio. Mesto (Bela Bartok in memoriam) Vivace. Capriccioso Andante misurato e tranquillo (Omaggio a Girolamo Frescobaldi) Sonata #1 in F minor, Op. 6 A. Scriabin (1872-1915) Allegro con fuoco (Largo) Presto Funebre INTERMISSION English Suite in A major, BWV 806 Prelude Allemande Courante I Courante II with 2 Doubles Sarabande Bourree I Bourree II Gigue J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 L. van Beethoven (1770-1827) Allegro assai Andante con mo to Allegro ma non troppo—Presto Please join us for a reception after the recital P R O G R A M M E N O T E S Hungarian composer Gydrgy Ligeti was born in 1923 and attended various conservatories in Hungary, including the Ferenc Liszt Academy. His education was interrupted in 1943 when he was sent to a concentration camp. After the war, he returned to the Academy first as a student and then as a teacher, taking a year off to do Meld research into Romanian and Hungarian folk music; he remained there until he fled Hungary in the revolution of 1956. His music prior to 1956 was often affected by government censorship which discouraged experimentation and limited most of his music to folk-like renditions. Musica Ricercata, written between 1951 and 1953, contains many of these folk-like elements and limits use of extended techniques to extended tonality and harmonics. However, it is also a highly organized work. The piece consists of eleven short pieces: the first uses only two pitches, the second three, the third four, and so on until the eleventh piece, which uses all twelve tones stated as a tone row and used as a fugue subject in a work in the polyphonic style of early Baroque composer Frescobaldi. The limits placed on the early pieces because of the small pool of available notes places the musical interest solely on die rhythmic patterns, which are quite intricate. The title refers to the ricercare, an instrumental composition of the 16th and 17lh centuries which was usually designed to introduce another piece by "seeking out" the mode or key of the ensuing piece. In many cases the term also referred to "searching out" permutations and combinations of thematic materials. In this case, it seems that Ligeti adopts the latter procedure by combining and recombining rhythmic motives in each piece. Alexander Scriabin is an enigmatic figure who is sometimes considered the first of the modern composers. However, his early works are romantic in style and in scope and he was heavily infludenced by Chopin in the style of his early works and in the form of all his works. His oeuvre for piano includes sonatas, etudes, preludes and mazurkas much in the style of Chopin's keyboard writing. In Scriabin's first sonata, Chopin's strong influence is evident in the romantic sweep and structure of the whole and in the funeral march of the last movement. This work was written when Scriabin was only 20 years old and had just suffered an injury to his hand which the doctors told him was insuperable. He was devastated at what he feared was the end of his pianistic career. In severe depression, he spent much time praying in churches, hoping that the diagnosis was incorrect. This was his first real period of introspection and deliberation and the sonata combines the impact of his devastation with the effects of his soul-searching and his attempts to discover himself and explore his own psyche. One can hear the passionate sweep of his romantic side and his devotion to Chopin and other Romantic Russian virtuosic composers, as well as his inner pain and introspection including some sections reminiscent of hymns and church music. J.S. Bach's six English Suites for keyboard were so known because they were "made for an Englishman of rank." They are fuller, broader and more temperamental, and they possess a greater virtuoso flow, than the French Suites. Because the original autographs are lost, we do not know the exact date of conception of these pieces, but they are characteristic of the musical language of the young Bach and are thought to have been composed before 1722. Consisting of standard dance movements, these pieces are meant to be performed "quickly and gracefully," as composed by a man described as giving "rhythm in all his members." The first suite contains a surprisingly short but energetic prelude, a calm and elegant allemande, two contrasting courantes (the second having two doubles or simple variations), a stately sarabande, two contrasting bourrees (played in da capo style with the second being sandwiched between iterations of the first), and a rolling, folk-like gigue. Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas are known as the pianist's "New Testament" (the Old Testament being the 48 preludes and fugues of J.S. Bach). Each one presents a wide variety of technical and artistic joys and challenges within the classical sonata's framework. Like Shakespeare's sonnets, these sonatas are governed by rules of form that dictate their structure but in no way inhibit the incredible artistic expression within. Written in 1804, Beethoven's twenty-third sonata was dubbed the "Appassionata" by its publisher without Beethoven's knowledge or consent. However, it is an apt title in the sense that there is tremendous drama in the nervous figurations and sudden changes of mood that surprise us at every turn in the outer movements. The middle movement is a set of variations on a calm, chorale-like theme—a serene nymph placed between two clashing titans. When Schindler asked Beethoven for the meaning of the "Appassionata," Beethoven said: "read Shakespeare's Tempest.'" 


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