The morning concert will feature oboist Ted Rust and pianist Viva Knight performing Robert Schumann’s Three Romances for Oboe and Piano, Opus 94 from 1849 and the Italian Dance for Oboe and Piano (1960) by British composer Madeleine Dring (1923-77).
Soprano Ann Dwelley, accompanied by pianist Anne Weger, will sing songs by American Arthur Farwell (1872-1952). The program will conclude with the Westmont Chamber Singers performing choral music from the Renaissance period to the present.
Dring was an actress and a composer. She studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and married oboist John Lord, for whom she wrote several of her most popular pieces, including the Italian Dance. She admired and was influenced by French composer François Poulenc, whose light and unpretentious spirit often finds reflection in her works.
Like F. Scott Fitzgerald (and yours truly), Farwell was born in Saint Paul, Minn. He was educated as an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before turning to music. He studied in Boston, and in Europe with Engelbert Humperdinck. Retuning to the United States, he developed a passion for the music of Native Americans and a very personal spiritual code. He wrote a lot of music, getting better as he grew older. Some of his songs are very fine.
The matinée concert on April 24 will include performances by the Channel Island String Quartet of La Oración del Torero (“The Bullfighter’s Prayer”) by Spanish composer Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) and the brief, lyrical String Quartet No.4, Opus 46 (1918) by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974); and soprano Takako Wakita, with pianist John Sonquist, singing popular songs by Leonard Bernstein.
The program will close with two works for piano four hands by Antonin Dvorak, Legends (1881) and Slavonic Dances (1878 and 1886), played by Betty Oberacker and Steven Schneider.
It is to be hoped that, after hearing the Turina piece, you will be moved to seek out and listen to other works by this very fine and inexplicably neglected composer.
— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at email@example.com.