Colors of Music – Program
Clarinet Quintet Op. 115 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Time Pieces for Clarinet & Piano, Op. 43 by Robert Muczinski (1929-2010)
Concerto for Trumpet, Strings, & Continuo by Richard Mudge (1718-1763)
Suite for Flute and Cello by Yuko Uebayashi (1958 – )
Trio for Flute, Cello, & Piano; Op. 63 by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Trio for Piano, Violin, & Horn, Op. 40 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Clarinet Quintet Op. 115….. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
The Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 is one of the last works that Brahms composed. Brahms had announced his retirement at the age of 57 after finishing his Viola Quintet in G, believing he had exhausted his creative output and planned to spend the rest of his life ordering his affairs, his music, and relaxing. That changed when Brahms traveled to hear the Meiningen Court Orchestra and made the acquaintance of Richard Mühlfeld, whom Brahms referred to as “Fräulein Klarinette” and whom Brahms considered to be one of the best wind players he had ever heard. Inspired by Mühlfeld, Brahms composed the Clarinet Trio, the Clarinet Quintet, and the two Clarinet Sonatas.
Part of the inspiration for composing a quintet with clarinet and string quartet might have come from Brahms’ deep admiration for Joseph Joachim, a highly regarded violinist who had formed his own string quintet of his hand-picked colleagues from the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. Joachim and Robert Haussmann, the cellist in the quartet, had premiered Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra in 1887. This connection, plus his familiarity with Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with the same instrumentation, might have inspired him to write for this ensemble of players.
The work itself is often referred to as autumnal and melancholy but is frequently interspersed with restless gestures, shifting textures, and joyful moments. The outset of the first movement is not clear whether it is in D major or B minor, the initial clarinet D major arpeggio lending a ray of light to the minor music in the strings. It does eventually settle into minor, but, later in the movement, presents an ethereal phrase between clarinet and cello in B major before descending once again into minor prior to the return of the opening material and a darkly tragic finish.
Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43……Robert Muczinski (1929-2010)
Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born in Chicago and took an early interest in his grandmother’s player piano because of the speed that it could play. He ended up studying both piano and composition at DePaul University in 1947, studying piano with Walter Knupfer who was a student of Franz Liszt and composition with Alexandre Tcherepnin.
Muczynski went on to teach and compose at the University of Arizona at a time when avant-garde music was prevalent from 1965 to 1988. Because Muczynski’s methods did not adhere to the main principles of avant-garde aesthetics and techniques, he was considered a traditionalist, but it doesn’t capture the unique color and flavor of Muczynski’s style. Muczynski prized compositional prowess, conviction, passion, and positivity in his music. Ultimately, he avoided pure intellectualism in favor of making aesthetic decisions intuitively in the moment of his creative process. When asked why he didn’t take a more experimental approach with his methods he responded, “I just didn’t want to write with my elbows!”
Mitchell Lurie, who played clarinet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, commissioned Time Pieces Op. 43 in 1983 after Muczynski won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1982 for his Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Music, Opus 41. Muczynski describes the composition as a “suite of four contrasting pieces, each highlighting some specific characteristic of the clarinet in terms of range, technical prowess, color, and expressiveness…” Muczynski presents themes that differ in tempo and time signature throughout the work with widely contrasting styles that vary between lyricism and percussiveness. The form of the third movement is ternary, opening and closing with a graceful, dance-like theme that diverges from the more jagged rhythms of the 6/8 theme in the middle. The first movement provides some lilting moments but mostly does not let up its forceful accents and virtuosity until it relentlessly and aggressively advances to the finish.
Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Continuo… Richard Mudge (1718-1763)
Richard Mudge (1718-1763) was an English clergyman and amateur composer. This piece was written in 1749, when he served as rector in the village of Little Packington. Although it is often referred to as Mudge’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1, it was actually published as the first in a collection of 6 Concertos in Seven Parts. Like Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, it is not a feature for solo trumpet. Instead, the trumpet is meant to be “one of the gang,” playing both solo lines and joining the other instruments in accompanying roles.
The concerto follows a slow-fast-slow pattern rather than the usual fast-slow-fast. The initial “Vivace” marking refers to eighth notes, so the first movement instead comes across as a stately march. The piece moves without pause into the second movement, a joyful and energetic fugue-like jaunt. The last movement revolves around a graceful melody, which the first violin introduces and then embellishes as the piece reaches its relaxing end.
Suite for Flute and Cello….. Yuko Uebayashi (1958 – )
Born in Kyoto, Yuko Uebayashi is a Japanese composer, recognized as one of the leading female composers in the flute world today. Uebayashi’s works have been met with much success in both Japan and France, Suite for Flute and Cello being no exception. Flautist, Jean Ferrandis described Uebayashi’s music as gems that, although they are so different, they yet belong to the same world, a world of vivacity, dreams, tenderness, humor, and one that is subtly contradicted by vehemence, virtuosity, melancholy and sorrow. Suite for Flute and Cello is made up of six movements with a typical performance lasting around 18 minutes, and today just two of the movements will be performed. Suite for Flute and Cello is modern in style, exploiting tonality, rhythm and the ensemble. Uebayashi’s Suite for Flute and Cello is a sublime addition to the advanced repertoire of the instruments.
Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano; Op. 63… Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Carl Maria von Weber is one of the most recognizable Romantic era composers. He is well known for using brilliant and imaginative storytelling in his writing, rather than the previous norm of “form” based compositions such as with Haydn and Mozart. He explored emotion within music, and used tonal colors and musical themes to represent personae or landscapes, and his writing is often characterized as very dramatic. The trio, Op. 63 was actually the last chamber piece he wrote, and it was written while he was on vacation. During this vacation from working at the Dresden opera house, he also completed Der Freischütz, and three romantic piano pieces. The trio was Weber’s best effort to create a “salon” type composition featuring the balance of both classical and romantic styles.
The first movement of the trio starts in the key of G minor, but it quickly moves into the major key with joyful themes passed around the three instruments. There is a somewhat familiar progression in form, from exposition, to development, and back to the recapitulation. But Weber strays from this at the end with a short and sweet coda which brings back the opening melody and closes the movement softly. The second movement is a spirited waltz and again, despite the minor key, is quite jovial! The three instruments will surely impress the listeners with their virtuosity and display of brilliant melodic writing.
Trio for Piano, Violin, and Horn, Op. 40…. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) composed his Trio for Piano, Violin, and Horn (Opus 40) in 1865, the same era that saw his German Requiem and his first symphony. Like the first symphony, the Trio draws heavily upon Brahms’s love of nature. Tonight, we perform its Finale, a joyful romp through forest and glen—redolent of the horn’s origins in the forests of central Europe. Brahms was quite fond of this piece, playing it many times during his performing career. His great friend Clara Schumann also performed this work often, remarking that the final movement “goes off like a pistol.”
Ruslan Birukov, Cello
“…HOT AND INTENSE…” – LA TIMES
Temecula Symphony Principal Cellist and Artist in Residence, RusLan known for his “superb artistry, passion and individuality,” represents a new generation of creative professional musicians whose artistic level is recognized not only by awards, but also by a worldwide audience. He was the only cellist ever invited to perform for 10 consecutive years solo recitals at the LACMA Sundays Live Concert Series, as well as the only Russian solo cellist invited to perform during the inaugural season of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Memorable chamber music performances include appearances with violinist Midori at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, cellist Kirill Rodin at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, and members of the Ysaye Quartet. Mr. Biryukov is graduate of the Baku Music Academy in Azerbaijan, Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, and the USC Thornton School of Music. Starting 2021 Mr. Biryukov resides in Temecula. More info: www.RusLanConservatory.com
Dr. Bruce Clausen, Horn
Bruce Clausen began his studies in high school with James Winter, who was a protégé of Philip Farkas, the principal hornist of the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner. He earned a bachelor’s in horn performance, a master’s in composition, and a Ph.D. in musicology (Beethoven studies) at The University of Southern California. At USC he studied with Wendell Hoss, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Horn Club, and the great James Decker, whose recordings for Igor Stravinsky and Bruno Walter are legendary. Currently, Bruce is the principal hornist with the Temecula Valley Symphony, the Coachella Valley Symphony, and the i.e. Brass Quintet. Bruce has served as president of the USC Thornton School of Music Alumni Association, and received the Brandon Merhle Special Commendation Award from the school and the Widney Alumni House Award from the university.
Dr. Chelsea Howell, Clarinet
Chelsea Howell is a versatile clarinetist and educator in Orange County and Temecula. She is currently principal clarinet of the Temecula Valley Symphony, and has played in the Los Angeles Lyric Opera Orchestra, Golden State Pops Orchestra, and Brentwood Symphony. She is the winner of the MTNA Woodwind Competition and the UCLA Atwater/Kent All-Stars Concerto Competition. Chelsea has a passion for teaching with her own successful studio in Irvine. Her students have participated in All-State Honor Band and Orchestra, and numerous other youth orchestra programs. Chelsea was a teaching artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 11 years where she worked with a diverse student population in a workshop series about Classical composers and their musical works. She received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, her master’s degree at the University of Michigan, and her Doctorate from UCLA.
Pei-Ying Li Vedad Haghi, Piano
Originally from Taiwan, Pei-Ying Li came to the United States to further her education at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. Pei-Ying has a Master of Music and Graduate Diploma from NEC and a Master of Music degree from Tainan National University of the Art in Taiwan. She has also attended several music festivals under scholarship and apprenticeship offerings, such as the Franz Schubert Institute (Austria), Vancouver International Song Institute (Canada), Vancouver Opera Studio (Canada) and Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music (Canada). Pei-Ying has a wide background of experience: teaching classes for the musically gifted in Junior High School and Junior College in Taiwan as well as piano and violin and collaborative piano.
Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann, Viola
Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann – composer, conductor, violist, author, speaker and multi-instrumental performer, appears with many musical ensembles in the Southern California area and across the nation. Currently on the faculty at Chaffey College and St. Teresa Open Catholic Seminary, Dr. Mann has also served at California State University Dominguez Hills and Centenary College. She is the Music Director & Conductor of the Southland Symphony Orchestra and a popular guest conductor throughout Southern California. Dr. Mann is the Pastor & Minister of Music at Bethel Congregational Church, UCC, of Ontario, CA, as well as the Artistic Director of Bethel Arts. A frequent performer with The Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, La Mirada, Coachella Valley and Whittier Regional Symphony Orchestras, a collaborator with the Repertory Opera Company and Desert Baroque, she is the principal violist of the Temecula Valley, Culver City and Marina del Rey Symphony Orchestras. www.sylvialeemann.com
Susan Miyamoto, Piano
Susan Miamoto believes that music is a language that can convey emotions that cannot be expressed by words. Every person (beginning at birth) has music in them and her goal is to help each student set and achieve their goals in making music through the piano. Susan graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and has over 40 years of experience as a private piano teacher. Upon graduation, she was trained and worked in Los Angeles as a Yamaha music teacher for 7 years. She received Kindermusik and Musikgarten training and has been teaching early childhood music classes for 25 years. Her family moved to Temecula in 1989 and she has been dedicated to helping the arts grow in the community. Susan enjoys collaborating with other musicians and has performed regularly in the community and as a collaborative pianist including performances at the Old Town Temecula Theater and Classics at the Merc.
Dr. Steve Morics, Trumpet
Steve Morics is Professor and Chair of Mathematics at the University of Redlands. He plays trumpet in many styles, and in many venues, from playing principal trumpet for the Charlottesville University Symphony Orchestra while pursuing his PhD, to The Messiah in Walt Disney Concert Hall, to the pit for In the Heights and Sister Act at local community colleges. He’s played with the Faculty Brass Quintet and on three students’ Masters recitals at Redlands, and soloed twice with the Redlands Community Orchestra. Just before the pandemic, he was able to blend his musical and mathematical interests by teaching a class on Mathematics and Music in Salzburg, Austria.
Kate Prestia-Schaub, Flute
Kate Prestia-Schaub’s beloved teachers were Maralyn Prestia, Jim Walker, and Tom Robertello. She received her bachelors in flute performance from Indiana University, and her masters at University of Southern California. She is a Powell Flutes artist, founder of the West Coast Wind Quintet, and principal flute in the Temecula Valley Symphony. She’s on faculty at Idyllwild Arts Academy teaching winds performance and chamber music, and she has a thriving flute studio “K8trills”. You can find her acclaimed piccolo recording Timeless, performed with her friend and composer Martin Kennedy, on major streaming services. She is past president of MTAC – Temecula Valley Branch) and San Diego Flute Guild; and she has served on advisory boards for California Chamber Orchestra, Temecula Valley Symphony, and National Flute Association. www.k8trills.com
Dr. Zun-Hin Woo, Violin
Zun-Hin Woo attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman and obtained his B.M. in Violin Performance and earned his M.M. degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Dr. Woo has performed and worked for the Hong Kong Virtuosi, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Concerto da Camera, Sichuan Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, the Open University in Hong King, King’s College, Hong Kong Medical Association Orchestra, La Salle College and Wah Yan College, Danse a Lili Ballet Academy, Songsingers Choir, European Folk-Legacy Dance Troupe, and Hong Kong City Opera. Professor Woo is currently the Associate Conductor of the Symphony Irvine and the Temecula Valley Symphony where he also serves as the concertmaster and conducts the Temecula Valley Youth Symphony. He is also an adjunct professor at Fullerton College, where he conducts the orchestra, teaches violin and music theory courses.
Fumie Motoki, Violin
Fumie Motoki received her Bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan. After receiving her Bachelors she continued her graduate study at Indiana University under the guidance of distinguished professor Franco Gulli. She also attended international music festivals with scholarships such as Aspen Music Festival and Torroella Music Festival, Spain. As an orchestral musician she performed with numerous orchestras and also served as a concertmaster of the opera project orchestra in Japan. Prior to her move to California, she was invited to be a member of Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and lived in Thailand for 4 years. In addition to her chamber and orchestral performance she maintains a growing and successful teaching studio where her student has been awarded the 1st prize in national competition.
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