I have several performances coming up in February, March, and April, making for a busy but very exciting semester.
On March 27th, I’ll be performing with Black Bayou Brass for our annual faculty recital at ULM. Our program will include two substantial multi-movement works, Jean-François Michel’s Suite for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone, and Anthony Plog’s Trio for Brass. Michel is a professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Fribourg, and is a prolific composer and arranger for brass. Michel’s composition puts a new twist on a traditional form, with plenty of great writing for all three instruments. If you’re familiar with Tony Plog’s brass quintet compositions, you’ll hear some of the same elements in his trio. At roughly 20 minutes in length – including cadenzas for each player – this is a big piece. For a great recording of this work, check out this album from the University of Maryland Brass Trio. We’ll be joined by trumpet graduate student Alex Heikkila for Jan Koetsier’s Quartettino, Op. 33, No. 2. Like many of Koetsier’s compositions, the Quartettino is both witty and virtuosic. In addition to these works we’ll be premiering Coloring with Water, a new brass trio composition by Mel Mobley, head of the theory and composition program at ULM. The piece incorporates a number of metric modulations, making for some very interesting and complex rhythms. Although it’s a bit challenging to line up all of these rhythmic devices, Coloring with Water has several sections which really groove.
After that I’ll be shifting gears to the music of Portuguese composer Eurico Carrapatoso. On April 9th I’ll be performing his Sweet Rustica for horn and piano and Sete Melodias em Forma de Bruma, Op. 16, with my colleagues Claire Vangelisti (soprano) and Richard Seiler (piano). Both pieces are very well written; idiomatic, but challenging in some places. Here’s some information on the Sweet Rustica, quoted from the publisher’s website (Editions BIM).
Sweet Rustica is an informal piece that recreates, through a constant game of words, the old baroque form. It begins with Prelúdico, an allegory to the wonderful prelude in C minor in the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach. While in the Allemande, by which I mean Almôndega do 2° Modo, there is a sonorous universe of total contemplation. In Giga à Mirandesa (adaptation of the famous Mirandum, Mirandum, from Trás-os-Montes) the bells from my village are present. In Aria da Capo Espichel, just like in Cabo Espichel, a convent that crosses the paths lies there in ruins. It is a forlorn scene, with the sea behind the building representing or symbolizing pure escapism. Then follow the old Victian La Folia in Sarabanda e Sóniabanessa and Ensopado de Bourrée, a real concentration of energy. The piece ends with Postlúdico, the devolution of the musical work, with its hypnotic ostinati and with the peacefulness of “all the Alentejos of this world”. The music thus melts away in pure sound. Eurico Carrapatoso
Make sure you check out the audio samples as well, excerpted from this excellent recording by J. Bernardo Silva. The first movement especially grabs your attention! To my knowledge the Sete Melodias have not been published, but we were able to get a copy of this beautiful work directly from the composer. Check out this YouTube video to listen to a recording of the first movement. Because of the fairly high tessitura and overall lightness of sound required in several of the movements, I’m seriously considering playing this work on a descant horn. Later this year we’ll perform the piece again at at the 45th International Horn Symposium.
In addition to these two chamber music concerts, I’ll be conducting the Northeast Louisiana Horn Ensemble on their spring concert on April 8th, and performing in concerts with the Monroe, Rapides, and Shreveport Symphony Orchestras. I’m looking forward to working with great colleagues and students on all of these performances!