Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 4:27 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: Suzanne Duffy and Friends Make a ‘Flute Flourish’

Trinity Episcopal Church hosts Sunday concert as kickoff for community series

“Music at Trinity” — that is Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St. — opens its 2011-2012 Community Concert Series with an enticing event called “Flute Flourish — Suzanne Duffy & Friends, in Concert” at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the great American patroness of chamber music, by the great American portraitist, John Singer Sargent.
Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the great American patroness of chamber music, by the great American portraitist, John Singer Sargent.

Our town is particularly rich in fine flautists, and there is none more gifted nor more dedicated to the promotion of her instrument than Duffy. For this concert, she has gathered a number of her friends and longtime collaborators and devised a dreamy program of highly listenable works — most, but not all, featuring the flute — and seeks to create an afternoon of tranquility and beauty for anyone caring to take a pew. Duffy will be sharing the platform with guitarist Anthony Ybarra, violist Rachel Galvin, violinist Claude Lise LaFranque, cellist Ervin Klinkon and pianist Seungah Seo.

The concert opens with Duffy and Ybarra performing four duets for flute and guitar: Astor Piazzolla’s “Café 1930,” from “L’Histoire du Tango” (1985), Ybarra’s “Que Bonitos Ojos Tienes,” Maurice Ravel’s “Pièce en forme d’Habenera” (1907) and Jacques Ibert’s “Entr’acte” (1935).

Then, we will hear the “Prelude,” “Sarabande” and “Gigue” from the “Suite No 3 in C-Major for Solo Cello, BWV 1009,” by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed on the viola by Galvin, followed by Wolfgang Mozart’s Quartet in “A-Major for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello, K. 298,” played by Duffy, LaFranque, Galvin and Klinkon.

Duffy will then play Gary Schocker’s “Flit and Flutter for Solo Flute,” from 2010, after which LaFranque and Seo will give us Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Dance Hongroise for Violin and Piano,” from “Two Pieces from the Salon, Opus 6.”

To conclude — all too soon! — Duffy and Seo will perform what seems to be something of a signature piece for them, François Poulenc’s elegant “Sonata for Flute and Piano” from 1957.

In his autobiography, the cosmic French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal wrote of a phone call he received in early 1957 from Poulenc: “’Jean-Pierre,’ said Poulenc: ‘you know you’ve always wanted me to write a sonata for flute and piano? Well, I’m going to,’ he said. ‘And the best thing is that the Americans will pay for it! I’ve been commissioned by the Coolidge Foundation to write a chamber piece in memory of Elizabeth Coolidge. I never knew her, so I think the piece is yours.’” (Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 1864-1953, to whom Poulenc’s Sonata is dedicated, was an American pianist and patroness of music, especially chamber music. She commissioned works from virtually every notable composer of the 20th century, including, Barber, Bartók, Britten, Copland, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Webern, Bliss and Respighi.)

The Sonata is the first of three sonatas for solo wind and piano that Poulenc wrote toward the end of his life — the other two, for clarinet and piano and oboe and piano, dedicated to Arthur Honnegger and Sergei Prokofiev, respectively, were composed in 1962, and contain some of the last notes he ever committed to paper. Since their composition, these three sonatas have become among Poulenc’s most-performed works; a great boon to chamber wind players — and their audiences.

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

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