Week 2, Act 1

Monday, February 9th: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) was a German composer, conductor and pianist of the early Romantic period and the most recognized musical prodigy since Mozart. As a conductor, Mendelssohn revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and was one of the first conductors to educate his audience about the composers and their works. If you have ever attended a classical performance, you will find that this tradition is still alive and well today. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, as well as chamber works. His best-known compositions include incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Italian Symphony and the Scottish Symphony.

Mendelssohn composed Trio in D Minor, Op. 49 in 1839 and published the piece the following year. The trio was originally scored for violin instead of flute and has since been transcribed. Along with the Octet, Op. 20, this trio is one of Mendelssohn’s most popular chamber works. After receiving advise from a fellow composer, Ferdinand Hiller, Mendelssohn revised the piano part to sound more romantic in a “Schumannesque” style, as well as giving the piano part a more important role in the work. Robert Schumann later reviewed the revised score and declared Mendelssohn was, “…the Mozart of the nineteenth century, the most illuminating of musicians.” The first movement is written in sonata form but doesn’t begin with an introduction. The piano introduces the second movement with a new theme that is later heard in the flute with cello counterpoint. The third movement is a short, light scherzo also written in sonata form, leads to the finale movement featuring the pianist and the revisions previously discussed. The trio finishes with a shift to D major right before the conclusion of the work. You can expect to hear this piece on an upcoming performance! 😉

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Tuesday, February 10th: Born in Rouen, Normandy, Michel Corrette (1707-1795) was a French composer and organist of the Baroque period who was also the author of many musical method books. He served as organist at a college in Paris and was later appointed to the Duke of Angouleme. Corrette’s compositions include ballets, staged works, concerti, sonatas, vocal works and instrumental chamber works. Corrette wrote Sonate II for flute or violin, harpsichord and basso continuo in 1735 in Paris. The movements include Allemanda, Aria and Minuetto I & II. Other than that, the piece remains a total mystery to me. I searched IMSLP and the piece isn’t included in Corrette’s 6 Flute Sonatas, Op. 19 or 6 Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin, Op. 25. I look forward to hearing the other parts and hope to learn more about the composer and the piece.

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Wednesday, February 11th: British flutist and composer, Ian Clarke (b. 1964) is professor of flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and maintains an international presence with numerous workshops at flute events, summer institutes and university residencies. Clarke released his deput CD, Within in 2005 and released his second album, Deep Blue in 2013.

Clarke’s title composition, Deep Blue for flute & piano was composed in 2012. The score reads, “Deep Blue is partly inspired by the ocean and whale song. The composer gave first performances of the work at flute courses in the summer of 2012 with its US premiere at the Las Vegas 2012 NFA convention along with a performance at the BFS 2012 convention in Manchester, UK.” Michael and I absolutely love playing Ian’s pieces for church services at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna and would like to include these works on a future recital and with permission from the composer, a possible recording project.

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