The Cameron University Civic Symphony will take the stage for a concert on Tuesday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall.
Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for senior adults, military, and middle/high school students. The concert is free to CU students, faculty and staff with CU-ID. For more information, contact the CU Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts at 581-2346.
Conducted by Dr. Kirsten Underwood, the Cameron University Civic Symphony is made up of Cameron students Kavauzie Banks, Malcolm Gehlbach, Xavier McClure, Kylee Sohl, Cheyenne Vajgrt and Jason Villarreal. They are joined by faculty, talented community members and advanced strings students from the LPS and Lawton home-school community.
The program will open with Antonio Vivaldi’s Sinfonia “Al Santo Sepolcro,” which Underwood describes as “a deeply moving, soulful work representing Vivaldi at his most intense and dramatic.” It is thought to have been composed for the opening of a replica “Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” part of a “new Jerusalem” formed at Sacro Monte, Italy.
Vivaldi’s Concerto for Strings in D major, RV 121, a work in three movements highlighting the joyful sounds of the string ensemble, will follow.
”Opening boldly in unison scoring, the subsequent full chords sound like the sun coming out from behind a bank of clouds,” Underwood says. “The Adagio is somber like a chorale, and the work concludes with a rousing Allegro.”
Senior music performance major Jason Villarreal will be featured as soloist in for Henry Purcell’s “Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D major, Z. 850.” Purcell composed the solo for the piccolo trumpet in A, which Villarreal calls “a more nimble instrument that can be more challenging” than the orchestral trumpet.
“The piccolo trumpet requires a technical virtuosity that Jason demonstrates with great success,” Underwood says. “This piece was composed for the most renowned trumpet players of England at the time. Elegant and full of zest, the Allegro opens with a bouncy, three-measure theme that is echoed in the strings and continues by propelling the music forward with motives from the theme. The Adagio is brief and provides a circle of fifths progression from B minor through E major and on to D. The final Allegro is formally interesting and imaginative, using imitative entrances which recur after moments of fragmentation, in the manner of a fugue.”
Underwood asserts that this could well be one of the most enjoyable works on the program.
Next the ensemble will perform Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow’s Partita in D minor on “Jesu, meine Freude.” Zachow wrote numerous church cantatas and organ pieces and was the master teacher of composer George Frideric Handel, who always spoke of his old master with the deepest respect. “Jesu, mein Freude” translates as “Jesus, my joy” and was a chorale melody composed by Johann Crüger. A partita is a Baroque term for a set of variations on a melody or bass line. Of this work, Underwood says, “Zachow’s compositional creativity is abundantly apparent in this wonderful piece for strings.”
The audience will next hear the “Siciliana” movement from Respighi’s Ancient Dances and Airs, Suite No. 3, composed in 1932.
“This is a delightful excerpt from the full set of movements, featuring a beautiful melody and brilliant writing for the string ensemble,” says Underwood. “Respighi was a notable musicologist, in addition to being a renowned composer and conductor, and his studies, and thus understanding, of Italian music of the 16th-18th centuries is apparent in this work.”
Three Argentinian tangos arranged for strings by Hans-Jörg Brugger will conclude the performance. “El beso,” “Por una Cabeza,” and “Adios Muchachos” are songs about love, friendship and reminiscence.
“The rousing rhythms of the tango, along with melodies that capture one’s imagination, should send the audience home on a high note!” Underwood says.
February 25, 2020