History - Performers - Videos - Composition Contest
Concert 3 - August 6, 2021, 3:30 p.m. Program Notes
Festival Booklet
with complete notes (pdf)
Aaron Copland: Four Piano Blues (1948)
Adam Bowles, piano

Composed at various times between 1926 and 1948, these short pieces can be performed individually or together as Copland finally grouped them. The order does not follow the order of composition, nor are these "blues" in any strict sense. The first performance of Four Blues was by Leo Smit in a League of Composers concert in New York in 1950. Each Blues is dedicated to a pianist with a close connection to Copland's piano music: Leo Smit; Andor Foldes; William Kapell; and John Kirkpatrick. www.aaroncopland.com/works/four-piano-blues/

Wallace McClain Cheatham: Three Piano Preludes: Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, Poor Mourner's Got a Home, Didn't It Rain
Perry Mears, piano

Wallace McClain Cheatham is an internationally recognized composer, performing artist, and scholar. His compositions, covering a variety of genres and published by prominent houses, have been programmed at festivals, symposiums, conventions, concerts, and recitals.  He has continued to grow as a musician, researcher, and teacher. From the podium, he has introduced major works of African-American composers to audiences in Wisconsin and Illinois. His compositions, which span a variety of genres, have been performed in national and international settings. Some of his scores have been published by Shawnee, Alfred, Master-Player Library, Oxford University Press, Southern Illinois University Press, and Jomar Press. –composers.com/wallace-cheatham

Katherine Hoover: Canyon Echoes (1991)
Dance, Serenade, She Mourns, He Returns
Mark Volker, guitar; John McMurtery, flute

Canyon Echoes (1991) was inspired by a book called The Flute Player, a simple and beautifully illustrated retelling of an Apache folktale by Michael Lacapa. It is the story of two young Apaches from different areas of a large canyon, where the streams ripple and the wind sings in the cottonwoods. They meet at a Hoop Dance, and dance only with each other. The next day, as the girl works in her father's field up on the side of the canyon, the boy sits below by a stream and plays his flute for her (flute-playing was a common manner of courtship). She puts a leaf in the stream which flows down to him, so he knows she hears. This continues for a time, until the boy is awakened one morning and told he is of age to join the hunt leaving momentarily ­ a journey of some weeks. The girl still listens each day for the flute until, feeling abandoned, she falls ill and dies. When the boy returns, he runs to play for her ­ but there is no leaf. When he learns of her death, he disappears into the hills, and his flute still echoes when the breezes blow through the cottonwoods and the streams ripple in the canyon. – Katherine Hoover

Daniel Cho: Anticipation (2019)
2020 Beethoven Club Composition Contest, 2nd Prize
Kelly Herrman, flute; Marisa Polesky, violin; Hannah Schmidt, cello; Maeve Brophy, piano; Robert Patterson, conductor

As the title suggests, I first began composing this piece with a particular emotion in mind--namely, that of anticipation. I felt this to be especially important because anticipation contains and is the starting point for an enormous variety of other emotions and feelings. To this end, I made sure to emphasize both of anticipation's primary sides: excitement (encapsulated in lighter, more joyful music) and worry (embodied through darker, brooding, and almost tragic music). Similarly, I chose to score the entire piece in a tempo that continuously moves forward to underline anticipation's fleeting nature: it manifests itself only to be rapidly ousted and replaced upon the arrival of reality. In an underhanded gesture to this idea of anticipation, I furthermore made quite a few implicit references (including one direct "word-for-word" reference) to several other pieces of music in the classical music repertoire of the past, and then proceeded to leave these references unfinished and "hanging." Overall, my ultimate goal in composing Anticipation was to explore the many nuanced emotional narratives that can all develop out of just one core feeling central to our human identity.–Daniel Cho

Joaquin Turina: Circulo, Op. 91 (1936)
I. Amanecer (Dawn) II. Melodia III. Crepusculo (Twilight)
Marisa Polesky, violin; Hannah Schmidt, cello: Thomasz Robak, piano

Joacquín Turina was born in Seville in 1882 where he began his musical studies. He was a child prodigy on the piano and moved to Madrid at the age of 20 to continue his musical studies. Only three years later in 1905, Turina moved to Paris with some of his classmates and enrolled in the Schola Cantorum where he became a student of Cesar Franck. It was here in Paris that Turina met fellow Spanish composers, Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz, inspiring and influencing Turina to incorporate the sounds and rhythms of his native land back into his music. Though written in 1936, Círculo, Op. 91 wasn’t premiered until 1942 because of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Círculo means Circle and here depicts the circular cycle of a day. The first movement, Amanecer or Dawn, begins softly, depicting a quiet first dawn before progressing to a full daybreak, followed by pizzicato strings starting off the second movement Mediodía or Noon. The finale Crepúscolo or Twilight, then ends the same way the Amanecer started, softly and serenely. –imfchicago.org/12-02-lincoln-trio/    

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