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Bach’s Lunch: Echoes of Struggle and Triumph
February 1 @ 12:10 pm - 12:50 pm
Travel back in time with flutist Erin Dubois, clarinetist Stephanie Ratté Jenkins, and bassoonist Maria Isaak to the World Wars through the sounds and experiences of four different composers. The program includes music from Rosy Wertheim, a Dutch Jewish composer who lived and hid in Amsterdam during World War II; Walter Piston, an American Composer born in Maine who became a Navy musician during World War I; Jacques Ibert, a French Composer whose musical studies were interrupted during World War I and his music later banned during World War II; and Joachim Kötschau, a German composer and organist who was 26 when World War II began.
Amongst the struggle and desolation of this specific time in history, each piece has notes of playfulness and delight that are mixed with moments of thick, expansive, and rich harmonies filled with longing. Written in 1942 while she was in hiding, Wertheim’s Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon explores the colors and timbres of the three woodwind instruments through her unique style of blending dissonance and harmony. Piston’s Three Pieces for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon is a set of character pieces: the first a sprightly march, the second a polyphonically engaged couple in the upper woodwinds against the more rhetorical bassoon, and the third a vigorous conversation interrupted in the middle by a bird-song like cadenza in the flute. Ibert’s Cinq Pieces for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon was originally written for oboe, clarinet and bassoon. Written in 1935, the five pieces make up the charm and wit that can be found in many of Ibert’s works. The miniatures contrast each other with alternating fast and slow tempi and each has an inviting tune that utilises all of the three instruments’ ranges. Kötschau’s Divertimento in Bb for Woodwind Trio is a lesser known work and not often performed. Full of vigor and cheerfulness, it calls for virtuosic playing on the part of the musicians.