Thursday, February 4, 2016

Music From the Woods

The Concord Band’s 57th Season Continues
on Saturday, March 5th

Join the Concord Band as it celebrates its 57th year of music-making, continuing a season-long exploration of some of the great works for symphonic concert band. The Band’s Winter Concert, Music from the Woods, will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, MA, on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at 8:00 PM. Admission is free; contributions will be appreciated.

The concert presents a wide and diverse offering of musical works and styles, from English and Korean folk songs to waltz and burlesque dance and Broadway. Soloist Dr. Wei-Chen Lin will perform on the five-octave rosewood marimba.

The Redwoods, by Rossano Galante, is inspired by the majesty of the redwood and is a sweeping and lush depiction of the awesome beauty of these huge trees.

The waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, by Johann Strauss, Jr., pays tribute to the folk music and dance of those living in the forested highlands known as the Vienna Woods, and features the zither, a musical instrument of Austria and local regions.

Australian born composer Percy Aldridge Grainger wrote Lincolnshire Posy based on folk tunes gathered in Lincolnshire, England. Grainger referred to the composition as “a bunch of musical wildflowers”. In 1987 this monumental setting of six folk songs was edited and assembled by world-renowned maestro Frederick Fennell with detailed and precise markings and musical annotations. Unique to Grainger’s musical language was not only his fascinating orchestration and harmonization, but also specific and direct instruction in his own vernacular. Each movement contains directives such as “clingingly” (tenuto), “lilt” (con spirito), “louden” (crescendo), and “quicken” (accelerando).

Selections from Into the Woods features four of the most well-known songs penned by Stephen Sondheim from the Tony Award-winning musical based on fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. The 2014 film adaptation of the musical, featuring Meryl Streep (and others), received multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.

The music of John Barnes Chance is a long-standing staple of original music for symphonic concert band, and his award-winning Variations on a Korean Folk Song is a favorite of both audience and performers. Based on the Korean folk song “Arirang,” the beautifully stated pentatonic (five notes per octave) theme is first introduced by clarinets (woodwind family) and scored in the resonant lower register. The work quickly progresses through six contrasting and exciting variations punctuated with prominent and driving percussion instruments and rhythms.

Guest Artist Dr Wei-Chen Lin
marimba
The music of Yiu-Kwong Chung, probably Taiwan's best known and most often performed composer, is distinguished by its profound Chinese philosophical background and expressive range. Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble is a wonderful example of Chung’s musical language and prowess, presenting the solo marimba in three contrasting movements. The Concerto traverses the entire range of the instrument and requires Dr. Lin’s virtuosic, agile, and at times athletic four-mallet technique.

The program closes with Norman Leyden’s Serenade for a Picket Fence for xylophone and concert band, the solo being played by Wei-Chen Lin on marimba.

—JRO

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