Monday, March 19 , 2018, 3:48 am | Fair 41º


Gerald Carpenter: Westmont Faculty to Perform Fall Recital

Admission is free to Friday's concert in Deane Chapel

The music faculty at Westmont College will offer their fall recital at 8 p.m. Friday in the Deane Chapel on the Westmont campus. Admission is free.

The following program should be considered a work in progress, but as far as I know at this time, we shall hear Kazimierz Serocki’s Sonatina for Trombone and Piano (played by Eric Heidner on trombone and Seungah Seo on piano); Sergei Rachmaninov’s Romance and Danse Hongroise (Claude-Lise Lafranque on viola and Seo on piano); Bernard Herrmann’s “I Have Dreamt” aria from his opera Wuthering Heights and Giacomo Puccini’s aria “In Quelle trine Morbide” from Manon Lescaut (Celeste Tavera, soprano); Antonín Dvořák’s “Song to the Moon” from the opera Rusalka (Tavera, soprano, and Seo on piano); Georg Phillip Telemann’s Sonatina in A-Minor for Bassoon and Basso Continuo (Paul Mori on bassoon and Nona Pyron on cello, with harpsichord to be announced); Ludwig van Beethoven’s Improvisation on Adagio Cantabile from Sonata No. 8 (John Douglas on piano); and Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Melodie” from Orfeo ed Euridice (Valerie Malvinni on viola and Seo on piano).

Polish composer Serocki (1922-81) studied composition and piano in Łódź, then went on to Paris and Nadia Boulanger. From 1946 to 1951, he concertized heavily as a pianist, but then gave it up to concentrate exclusively on composing. He was a co-founder of both the Warsaw Autumn international festival of contemporary music and the composers’ association “Group 49.” The Sonatina for Trombone and Piano was written in 1954.

Herrmann (1911-75) is justly remembered for his many imposing film scores, but there were many other sides to his musical genius. Born and bred in New York City, he won a prize for a composition when he was 13, and had founded his own chamber orchestra by the time he was 20. In 1934, he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System as a staff conductor, and rose to become chief conductor to the CBS Symphony Orchestra. He was, according to one source, “responsible for introducing more new works to U.S. audience than any other conductor.”

While in radio, he got involved with Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre — he conducted the music for Welles’ notorious Martian invasion hoax broadcast on Oct. 30, 1938 — and when Welles went to Hollywood and the movies, Herrmann went with him.

His first film score was for Citizen Kane. His second, for The Devil and Daniel Webster, won an Oscar. His third was for Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons. Later on, he would score eight Alfred Hitchcock films, including Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Birds and Psycho.

He died just after finishing the score for Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver. He wrote his opera Wuthering Heights from 1943 to 1951, to a libretto by the first of his three wives, Lucille Fletcher. Herrmann conducted a concert version n 1966, but the opera was not staged until 1982, seven years after his death.

French critic Renaud Machart attended the premiere and likened the music to the “English pastoral school (Delius, Bax, Vaughan Williams)” and pronounced it “of high quality.”

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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