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Concert 5 - August 7, 2021, 3:30 p.m. Program Notes
Festival Booklet
with complete notes (pdf)
Alice Hong: l'oiseau qui entnd l'appel du vide
2020 Beethoven Club Composition contest, 1st Prize
Marisa Polesky, violin; Maeve Brophy, piano

A caged bird dreams of freedom.
Quiet submission turns into hope; hope turns into power:
It bursts through the door and sings its song of freedom
Drowning the sound of brass against brass as
The empty cage swings,
And then, the bird is gone.                                                                                                                                                     

The cage was empty -
At least, it appeared so.
The stillness seemed too still.
Something there
on the floor of the locked cage:
The bird.

Jake Heggie: Soliloquy (2012)
Kelly Herrmann, flute
Brian Ray, piano

This short piece is based on the song “Beyond” from Pieces of 9/11 by Jake Heggie, and was composed to remember Suzanne Makuch, the beloved sister of the composer’s dear friend Luci Janssen. The first performance was May 10, 2012 in Los Angeles with flutist Adrian Spence and pianist Warren Jones.     

Maria Thompson Corley: Lucid Dreaming, Blissful Ignorance, Willful Ignorance
Maeve Brophy, piano
Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, Dr. Maria Thompson Corley began training as a pianist at a young age, making her first public performance at the age of 8. Her pursuit of her Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees brought her to New York City to study with renowned pianist and pedagogue Gyorgy Sandor at Julliard. She leads an active performance career as a solo and collaborative artist, having given concerts in Budapest at the Liszt Academy, and in Carnegie Recital Hall, Aaron Davis Hall and Alice Tully Hall, all in New York City; she has collaborated with esteemed artists from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra, As a Black musician, she has placed an emphasis in Black music in her composition and performance, arranging many spirituals, and programming works by Black composers like Margaret Bonds, H. Leslie Adams, and Joseph Bologne.

David Crumb: Nocturne (2015)
Tomasz Robak, piano
My composition is inspired by Frederic Chopin's Nocturnes. I have always loved these works, and have been especially moved by Chopin's beautiful melodies and poignant harmonic language. Since I do not intend the piece to be a "homage," I avoid citing any particular Nocturne as a point of departure. In composing this new piece, I have strived to capture some qualities of mood, texture, and harmony that suggest the idea of Chopin and "night music." –David Crumb

Jean Francaix: Divertissement (1947)
Michelle Vigneau, oboe; Nobuko Igarashi, clarinet; Susanna Whitney, bassoon
I.  Prelude
II.  Allegretto assai
III.  Elegie
IV. Scherzo

Jean Françaix was a French neoclassical composer, pianist and orchestrator, known for his prolific output and vibrant style. Françaix’s style of writing is marked by lightness and wit, as well as a conversational style of interplay between the musical lines. A student of Nadia Boulanger (who had been a pupil of Fauré and a teacher to Ravel, Copland and Bernstein), Françaix once said his aim in writing music was to ‘give pleasure’. This work manages to embody almost all the great virtues of Françaix’s work in its short length, engaging wit, melodic grace and classical clarity. In 1947, “I composed a ‘Reed Trio’ (a divertissement for oboe, clarinet and bassoon) which was quite an undertaking: the smaller the ‘Aeolian consort,’ the greater the danger of squeezing all the breath out of ones long-suffering performers by expecting them to play impossibly long musical phrases. Dear listeners, I know you may begin to doze off if a piece goes on too long, but my wish is that you should follow the example of the wise virgins and keep awake during my Trio. I hope you will also spare a kind thought or two for the efforts of my humble servants, the performers: their talents are easily underestimated, because their sensitive and intelligent artistry appears so perfectly easy and natural ...”–Celia Skrine

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Belvedere Chamber Festival • 1794 Carr Avenue • Memphis, TN 38104
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produced by Luna Nova Music (www.lunanova.org)

The mission of the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival is to perform masterpieces of 20th and 21st century music as well as new works by emerging composers. In addition to performances, the festival also offers educational opportunities for young composers and performers through lectures, masterclasses, and private instruction.