PROGRAM NOTES - "C" Composers


PROGRAM NOTES: C

| CIMAROSA | CARRAPATOSO | CASSADO | CASTILLO | CHEN | CHOPIN | CIMAROSA | A.CLARKE | R.CLARKE |
| CLEMENTI | CONTI | COOMAN | COPLAND | E.CORDERO | CORIGLIANO | CROCKER | CROZIER |


[A] | [BA-BI] | [BL-BU] | [ ⇑ ] | [D-E] | [F-G] | [H] | [I-J-K-L] | [M] | [N-O-P] | [Q-R] | [S] | [T] | [V-W-Y]

Copyright 2006-2020 by Edward Lein;
please notify & credit if reprinting.


Milonga on Youtube Jorge Cardoso
Argentine composer and musicologist Jorge Cardoso (b. 1949) is internationally renowned as a guitarist and lecturer, and in his spare time he's also a medical doctor! Most of his 350+ solo, chamber and orchestral works naturally feature his own instrument, and, in addition to receiving frequent worldwide performances, many have been recorded by over 100 different guitarists. Considered a leading authority on the music of Latin America, his original compositions are infused with characteristics derived from South America's musical heritage.


Eurico Carrapatoso
Folksongs from Timor: Loik & Lilo eh!
Award-winning Portuguese composer and professor of music Eurico Carrapatoso (b.1962) began composing in 1987, and among his numerous international performances since was the U.S. premiere of his Magnificat in 2007, sung by the UNF Chorale. His Folksongs from Timor are based on songs from the former Portuguese colony in the Malay Archipelago which became the independent Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (a.k.a. East Timor) in 2002.

--Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, February 10, 2008 (UNF Chorale & UNF Chamber Singers)


Gaspar Cassadó
By virtue of a scholarship from his hometown of Barcelona, a nine-year-old Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) was able to accept an invitation to study in Paris with the legendary Catalan cellist Pablo Casals, where, in addition to his cello lessons, Cassadó studied composition with both Manuel de Falla and Maurice Ravel. After World War I, Cassadó began a successful international career as both cellist and composer, including several concerts with Casals. During the 1920s Cassadó settled permanently in Florence, Italy, and after World War II his reputation and career, not to mention his personal morale, suffered tremendously when his mentor unjustly accused him of sympathizing with Mussolini’s fascist regime, despite Cassadó’s continuing friendship and collaboration with perhaps the most vocal of Italy’s anti-fascist composers, Luigi Dallapicolla. The rift between teacher and protégé was finally reconciled during the mid 1950s through the efforts of a mutual friend, the British violinist Yehudi Menuhin, but Cassadó’s career never fully recovered.

The 1926 Suite for Solo Cello remains one of Cassadó’s best known works. Its modal inflections and folk-dance rhythms attest to the composer’s Catalan heritage, and the rhapsodic first movement acknowledges other influences, with direct references to Zoltán Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8, and Ravel’s ballet, Daphnis et Chloe.


Audio on YouTube Patrick Castillo: Cirque
Composer, vocalist, and arts administrator Patrick Castillo (b. 1979) enjoys the esteem of both musicians and audiences, and his talents as a composer have been recognized in numerous commissions and awards. Among other accomplishments, he co-founded the Pharos Music Project, a collective of composers and performers, and he wrote and produced AudioNotes for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, for whom he also has given pre-concert lectures. More at https://www.patrickcastillo.com/

--Music @ Main, February 5, 2008 (Piotr Szewczyk: Violin Futura)


Chen Yi
Diu Diu Deng (Taiwan)
In 1986, Chen Yi (b. 1953), now on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, became the first woman to receive an advanced degree in music composition in China. The recipient of numerous international composition prizes and fellowships, Dr. Chen has published several Chinese folk-song settings, including the charming Diu Diu Deng, from Taiwan.

Going up to the mountain tunnel, the water in the cave is dripping down.
Going up to the tea mountain, enjoy looking at the tea-picking girls.

--Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, February 10, 2008 (UNF Chorale & UNF Chamber Singers)


Frédéric Chopin

The Polish-born pianist Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was the first composer to make full use of the expressive qualities and coloristic potential of the piano when it was a still-developing keyboard instrument, and he rightly has been called the "Poet of the Piano." Much of all piano music by subsequent composers shows his influence, and his revolutionary use of chromatic harmonies and unusual key relationships profoundly influenced composers of symphonic music and operas as well, such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner--thus Chopin's importance in the development of the "Romantic" style in general can not be overestimated.


The vast majority of Chopin’s music is for piano solo, and his few other works all feature the piano. Chopin’s four chamber music pieces likewise include parts for the solo cello, and the earliest of these is the Introduction and Polonaise brilliante, Op. 3, dating from 1829. Patterned after a stately Polish dance that has become closely identified with Chopin, the Polonaise brillante was originally written as a diversion for a piano-playing princess and her cello-playing father. It demonstrates that the 19-year-old composer had already found a compositional voice which was not merely an imitation of other composers—in this regard Chopin’s precociousness surpassed even Mozart’s. Chopin added the Introduction the following year for his own public performances of the showpiece.


It comes as no surprise that Chopin held the keyboard works of J.S. Bach in very high regard, and Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, perhaps best can be viewed as a tribute to the Baroque master. In each his two books called The Well-tempered Clavier, Bach uses a prelude-fugue pairing to explore all 24 major and minor keys. Chopin dispenses with the fugue, but his Preludes likewise traverse all 24 keys, although he organizes them by the "Circle of 5ths" rather than by ascending half-steps as Bach had done. The melancholy Prelude No. 6 was performed at Chopin's funeral, and is often nicknamed "Tolling Bells," but it also is sometimes called "Homesickness." Score from imslp.org of Preludes, Op. 28 YouTube Performance of Op. 28, No. 6


Among his many other achievements, Chopin was the first to "liberate" the scherzo form from its previously subsidiary role as an interior movement in symphonies and and other multi-movement works. With Chopin the scherzo becomes an independent piece that retains the lively tempo and 3/4 time of its precedents, but which often dispenses with the jocularity implied by the title ("scherzo" is the Italian word for "joke"), and which rather expansively elaborates on the traditional "ABA" formal design. Following the stormy turbulence of the opening "A" section of Scherzo No. 1, Op. 20, first published in 1835, the "B" middle section provides a tranquil respite with a setting of the Polish Christmas carol, Lulajze Jezuniu (Sleep Little Jesus). In Chopin's Scherzo No. 2, Op. 31, published two years later, the beginning and concluding "A" sections share characteristics of sonata-allegro design, but with an interruption by the episodic central "B" section thrown in.


For proof of Chopin's "Wagnerian-like" modulations, one need look no further than the Prelude in C# minor, Op. 45, composed in 1841--when Wagner was just starting to discover his voice with the premiere of The Flying Dutchman, and almost two decades before Tristan und Isolde would emerge. Judging by a letter from Chopin to his music copyist, composer Julian Fontana (1810-1869), Chopin impressed even himself with his seamlessly shifting tonal centers. Composed two years after his 24 Preludes, Op. 28 (1839), Op. 45 is often called "Prelude No. 25," and it was the last piece with that title Chopin wrote.


Chopin is credited with establishing the Ballade as an extended instrumental form, and all four of his solo piano works bearing this title are considered among the crowning achievements of the Romantic period. British pianist and composer John Ogdon (1937-1989) called the Ballade No. 4, Op.52, completed in 1842, ”the most exalted, intense and sublimely powerful of all Chopin’s compositions ... it contains the experience of a lifetime.”


Among the five Polish national dances, the polonaise (stately 3/4 time) and mazurka (lively 3/4 time) are the best known, thanks to Chopin having written so many of them both. (The three lesser-known dances are Kujawiak, krakowiak and oberek -- the polka was widespread throughout Central Europe and not exclusively Polish, in case you're wondering.) Chopin's earliest known compositions were two polonaises written when he was seven years old, probably before he could even reach the pedals, and his last work in the genre, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, was written three years before he died. Among Chopin's 18 (or so) polonaises, the "Military" Polonaise, Op. 40, no. 1 (1838), and the "Heroic" Polonaise, Op. 53 (1842, sometimes nicknamed "Drum"), are the most-recognizable by the general public. The "oh, that one" main tune of the "Heroic" is preceded by a flurry of rumblings and chromatic scales. The polonaise in general has been described as being like a march in triple meter, and that is certainly the case in this piece. Although it holds true to its 3/4 time signature throughout, the middle "B" section, with its descending 4-note ostinato, is especially martial. The music suddenly becomes rather delicate, almost waltz-like, before an ocatve run leads into the triumphal return of the principal tune from the beginning. Score from imslp.org of Military Polonaise YouTube Performance of Military Polonaise


Chopin’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65, composed in 1846 and dedicated to the celebrated French cellist and composer Auguste Franchomme (1808-1884), was the last of Chopin's works published before he died. Chopin, already gravely weakened with tuberculosis, gave his final public concert in Paris on February 16th, 1848, and for it he was joined by Franchomme for a performance of the Sonata.


The last three of Chopin's 21 Nocturnes were published posthumously, but the piece now known as Nocturne No. 20 was not actually named that by the composer. Written for his sister Ludwika in 1830 as a study to prepare for playing his 2nd Piano Concerto, it was first published in 1856 under its tempo indication, Lento con gran espressione ("Very slowly with much emotion"). But an 1870 editon called it "Nocturne" and the title stuck, although it sometimes also is called "Reminiscence." This Nocturne was featured in the World War II bio-pic, The Pianist (2002), and it played a major part in another real-life drama from the same dark period. In 1943, the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp discovered that Polish pianist Natalia Weissman (1911-2007) was among his prisoners, and he ordered her to play for his birthday. She chose the Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, and so impressed her captors that they spared not only her life, but also the life of her sister. After the war she resumed her concert career, performing into her 90s as Natalia Karp, and she was known especially for her interpretation of the piece that had saved her life. Score from imslp.org of Nocture No. 20 YouTube Performance of Nocturne No. 20

WALTZES

  • No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 18 (1831-32)
  • No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 34, No. 1 (1835)
  • No. 3 in A minor, Op. 34, No. 2 (1834)
  • No. 4 in F major, Op. 34, No. 3 (1838)
  • No. 5 in A flat major, Op. 42 (1840)
  • No. 6 in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 (1847)
  • No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2 (1847)
  • No. 8 in A flat major, Op 64, No. 3 (1847)
  • No. 9 in A flat major, Op. 69, No. 1 (1835)
  • No. 10 in B minor, Op. 69, No. 2 (1829)
  • No. 11. in G flat major, Op 70, No. 1 (1832)
  • No. 12 in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2 (1842)
  • No. 13 in D flat major, Op. 70, No. 3 (1829) No. 14 in E minor, Op. Posth. (1829)
Before Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) settled in Paris in 1831, his permanent exile from his Polish homeland had begun unexpectedly in Vienna the year before. A twenty-year-old Chopin had returned to the Austrian capital in November of 1830 with the hope of recapturing the success as virtuoso pianist and composer he had briefly enjoyed there the summer of the previous year. But very soon after his second arrival in Vienna, back in Warsaw a group of cadets conspired to liberate Poland from the Russian Empire. Chopin wished to hurry home and join the nationalists' fight against tyranny, but his friends wisely convinced the frail youth that he would better serve his homeland through his music. When the November Uprising failed, Chopin, a known sympathizer with the rebels, found it too risky to ever return to Poland. So it was that Chopin spent his first of every remaining Christmas away from his familial home, all alone, and with the chilly weather heralding the proverbial cold shoulders he got from the generally pro-Russian populace and music publishers in the center of the Austrian Empire.

The waltz was by that time all the craze, and the rivalry between Joseph Renner (1801-1843) and Johann Strauss I (1804-1849) to establish preeminence as composer and conductor of the popular entertainment was already underway. At this point one might like to imagine, "... and so in Vienna began Chopin's lifelong love affair with the waltz," only that decidedly was not the case: Chopin complained that he couldn't believe waltz music was discussed as an art form, and suggested that he (ever the snob) would never be able to master the vulgarity demanded to perform such music properly. One suspects that Chopin might have protested a little too much, especially since he had already written piano waltzes in Poland and continued to write them throughout his brief life. Still, the Viennese waltz had not yet attained its pinnacle reached by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899), and Chopin perhaps was parroting the sentiments offered by denizens of propriety, e.g., the influential British musicologist Charles Burney (1726-1814), who pointedly observed (ca. 1805): "The verb walzen, whence this word is derived, implies to roll, wallow, welter, tumble down, or roll in the dirt or mire."

Chopin's own contributions to the genre are about as far removed from the waltz's roots in the provincial Ländler--and apparently grimy lederhosen--as one can get, so much so that Robert Schumann (1810-1856) famously quipped that the Pole's aristocratic diversions should be danced only by countesses. Tiaras or no, Chopin never intended his waltzes as ballroom fare, but they were very much intended for the fashionable salons haunted by said countesses, who not only employed him as their piano master, but warmly welcomed the refined and well-educated commoner through the front door of Parisian High Society. Despite their native habitat, it would be a great mistake to characterize Chopin's richly varied waltzes merely as "salon pieces," or to apply Chopin's own disparaging remarks about the artistic shortcomings of the dance. Ranging from bravura showpieces and extroverted frivolity to the most intimate expressions of melancholy longing, it is a marvel that one composer could distill such breadth and depth from the common oom-pa-pa.

Rightly called the "Poet of the Piano," Chopin's influence is seen in much of all piano music by subsequent composers, and his revolutionary use of chromatic harmonies and unusual key relationships profoundly influenced composers of symphonic music and operas as well (e.g., Liszt and Wagner)--thus Chopin's importance in the development of the "Romantic" style in general cannot be overestimated. Many of his Waltzes remain among the most frequently performed piano pieces, and although as a group they are intentionally less daring both structurally and harmonically than many of Chopin's other works, they lend themselves to (and can withstand) a wealth of differing interpretations. In the recorded repertoire this has lead to surprisingly passionate debates about the virtues of one interpretation over another (usually boiling down to Russian vs. Romanian), which demonstrates the depth of feeling Chopin's Waltzes inspire, the common denominator of all great art.

At the top of the recorded heap is a performance by legendary Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950). Following the advice of incomparable record producer Walter Legge (1906-1979), Lipatti presented the Waltzes not by opus number or date of composition, but in an order suggested by the key relationships among the separate pieces. Scott Watkins likewise follows Legge's advice, and notes: I'm playing them in the order Dinu Lipatti played them at his last recital, during which he was too weak from leukemia to play the final waltz. So, in my performance, in honor of Mr. Lipatti who was my teacher's (Bela Siki) teacher, I'll take a brief pause before playing the final waltz.

--Music @ Main 5/04/2010: Scott Watkins, piano
(With notes written for his 2010 Carnegie Hall recital)


SHORTER VERSION OF WALTZES NOTES

Before Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) settled in Paris in 1831, his permanent exile from his Polish homeland had begun unexpectedly in Vienna the year before. Since the waltz was by that time all the craze, one might like to imagine, "... and so in Vienna began Chopin's lifelong love affair with the waltz." Only that decidedly was not the case: Chopin complained that he couldn't believe waltz music was discussed as an art form, and suggested that he (ever the snob) would never be able to master the vulgarity demanded to perform such music properly. One suspects that Chopin might have protested a little too much, especially since he had already written piano waltzes in Poland and continued to write them throughout his brief life. Still, the Viennese waltz had not yet attained its pinnacle reached by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899), and Chopin perhaps was parroting the sentiments offered by denizens of propriety, e.g., the influential British musicologist Charles Burney (1726-1814), who pointedly observed (ca. 1805): "The verb walzen, whence this word is derived, implies to roll, wallow, welter, tumble down, or roll in the dirt or mire."

Chopin's own contributions to the genre are about as far removed from the waltz's roots in the provincial Ländler--and apparently grimy Lederhosen--as one can get, so much so that Robert Schumann (1810-1856) famously quipped that the Pole's aristocratic diversions should be danced only by countesses. Tiaras or no, Chopin never intended his waltzes as ballroom fare, but they were very much intended for the fashionable salons haunted by said countesses, who not only employed him as their piano master, but warmly welcomed the refined and well-educated commoner through the front door of Parisian High Society. Despite their native habitat, it would be a great mistake to characterize Chopin's richly varied waltzes merely as "salon pieces," or to apply Chopin's own disparaging remarks about the artistic shortcomings of the dance. Ranging from bravura showpieces and extroverted frivolity to the most intimate expressions of melancholy longing, it is a marvel that one composer could distill such breadth and depth from the common oom-pa-pa.

Many of his Waltzes remain among the most frequently performed piano pieces, and although as a group they are intentionally less daring both structurally and harmonically than many of Chopin's other works, they lend themselves to (and can withstand) a wealth of differing interpretations. In the recorded repertoire this has lead to surprisingly passionate debates about the virtues of one interpretation over another, which demonstrates the depth of feeling Chopin's Waltzes inspire, the common denominator of all great art.

At the top of the recorded heap is a performance by legendary Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950). Following the advice of incomparable record producer Walter Legge (1906-1979), Lipatti presented the Waltzes not by opus number or date of composition, but in an order suggested by the key relationships among the separate pieces. Scott Watkins likewise follows Legge's advice, and notes: I'm playing them in the order Dinu Lipatti played them at his last recital, during which he was too weak from leukemia to play the final waltz. So, in my performance, in honor of Mr. Lipatti who was my teacher's (Bela Siki) teacher, I'll take a brief pause before playing the final waltz.


Domenico Cimarosa
The Neapolitan Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) gained international fame for his 60-plus operas, and for a time was ranked with Haydn and Mozart as the leading composers of the second half of the 18th century. His various appointments included maestro at the conservatory in Venice (ca. 1782), second organist at the royal chapel in Naples ( (1785), maestro di cappella at the Russian court in St. Petersburg (1787-91), and Kapellmeister at the court in Vienna (1791-93), where he composed his most famous comic opera, Il matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage). He then returned to the imperial court in Naples, enjoying huge successes with his stage productions while also continuing to compose instrumental music and sacred pieces. That all changed in 1799 after the army of the newly-formed French Republic tried to liberate Naples from its Bourbon master. Cimarosa became a vocal champion of their effort, so when the republicans were driven out he and his fellow liberals were imprisoned with a death sentence imposed. Cimarosa's international supporters interceded and his sentence was changed to banishment from Naples, but he died (among rumors of poisoning) before he could return to the Russian court. His Concerto for Two Flutes in G Major was among the first works he composed in 1793 after returning to Naples. The first movement Allegro is full of the boisterous good cheer one might expect from a master of the comic opera; the gentle duet of the second-movement Largo leads without pause into the Rondo finale.


Andrew Clarke
New Songs of Celebration Render
Andrew Clarke, a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is* organist and choirmaster of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, and is active as a choral director, organ recitalist, piano accompanist, composer and teacher. He is a graduate of Yale University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and pursued advanced organ study in The Netherlands. He has taught organ improvisation at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University and organ at Williams College, has been on the faculties of Jacksonville University and Florida Community College, and has presented master classes in improvisation for many chapters and conventions of the American Guild of Organists and at leading universities.

As a recitalist Mr. Clarke has played throughout the United States and Canada, including performances at Tanglewood and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, North Carolina. Among Andrew Clarke’s recordings is The Casavant Pipe Organ, a CD that showcases the organ in Jacoby Hall in Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, and which is available for check-out from the Library. His organ and choral compositions are published by Gemini Press.

New Songs of Celebration Render, a setting of Psalm 98 as paraphrased by Erik Routley, was written for the installation of Dr. W. Stephen Goyer, the 9th Senior Pastor of Riverside Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, Florida, on October 16, 2005.

--Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, November 19, 2006 (The Orange Park Chorale: Music of Local Composers)

*Clarke became organist at Hendricks Avenue Baptist in 2013, having retired from Riverside Presbyterian after his more than three decades there.


Rebecca Clarke
Midsummer Moon
Although her music has suffered unjust neglect, Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) is cited as one of the most important British-born composers active between the World Wars, and she is the only female composer who enjoyed the patronage of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the American heiress who funded the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress and also started the annual Berkshire Music Festival in Massachusetts. Clarke started out as a professional violist, and she is highly regarded for her chamber music featuring strings, especially her 1924 Viola Sonata. Less than half of Clarke's works were published during her lifetime, but her estate, with the encouragement of the Rebecca Clarke Society founded in 2000, is working to make more of her compositions available and better known.

Also composed in 1924, her luminous impressionistic tone poem Midsummer Moon is dedicated to the Hungarian violinist Adila Fachiri (née d'Aranyi) who premiered the work in London, and who is also the dedicatee of both of Béla Bartók's sonatas for violin and piano. In her youth Clarke performed with the famous Fachiri in various concerts in England, and she composed much of her chamber music for their all-female ensemble.

--Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, June 1, 2008
(Huls Clark Duo: The Intermezzo Series Finale)


Muzio Clementi
At the end of the 18th Century, only Haydn was held in higher regard as a composer than was Muzio Clementi (1752-1832). Clementi was born in Italy, but when he was a teenager he moved to England where he continued his musical education while working as a musician on the estate of the Lord Mayor of London. At age 21 Clementi began touring as one of the most-celebrated concert pianists in Europe, and he also became successful as a music publisher and piano manufacturer. Beethoven credited Clementi with providing the foundation upon which he built his own piano technique, and also touted Clementi as the best composer for the still-developing keyboard instrument. Written in 1797, Clementi's six Sonatinas, Op. 36, are nicknamed "Progressive Sonatinas," indicating that the playing becomes more challenging as the pianist moves through the cycle.


Francesco Conti
Il mio bel foco
Although Il mio bel foco has long been attributed to Venetian composer and statesman Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739), recent scholarship now identifies the Florentine Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681?-1732) as the likely composer of this lovely song. The confusion arose with the mis-attribution first given in the 1890 publication, Arie antiche, compiled and arranged by Alessandro Parisotti (1853-1913), and reedited and published in this country by G. Schirmer as 24 Italian Songs and Arias—virtually every classically-trained singer has performed at least a couple of selections from this famous set. Parisotti took the old Italian melodies, but wrote new accompaniments according to Victorian fashion, and in some cases he deliberately identified his own compositions as “newly-discovered” works of baroque masters. In fact, there is still debate as to whether the recitative that begins Il mio bel foco is by Conti, Parisotti, or even by another 19th Century musician, Carl Banck! Regardless, the controversy surrounding Il mio bel foco does not diminish the emotional impact of the oft-sung song.

--Music @ Main, February 10, 2009 (Mu Phi Epsilon Student Recital)


The Doors in the Sky @ CarsonCooman.com Carson Cooman
-- The Doors in the Sky
Estampie @ CarsonCooman.com -- Virelai (World Premiere)(solo)
-- Estampie (World Premiere)(duo)
Touted by Music & Vision Magazine as "one of the most versatile and active musicians of our time," composer Carson Cooman (b.1982) has written over 700 works ranging from instrumental solos to opera, and recordings of his compositions have been issued on a number of different labels. An active performer, Cooman specializes in presenting new music for organ, and over 120 works have been written for him by composers from around the world. More at https://www.carsoncooman.com.

--Music @ Main, February 5, 2008 (Piotr Szewczyk: Violin Futura)
--Music @ Main, April 10, 2008 (Violin Futura: Trio Duo Solo)


Aaron Copland
Violin Sonata (1943)
      1. Andante semplice -- 2. Lento -- 3. Allegretto giusto Aaron Copland (1900-1990) is often called the “Dean of American Music,” and his most characteristic style, which blossomed during the 1930s and 40s, typically combines folk-like tunes with irregular, often jazzy rhythms and spacious harmonies creating a distinctly American sound. Along with Gershwin, Barber and Bernstein, the 1949 Oscar®-winning composer (for The Heiress) remains among the most-frequently performed and recorded American composers—his Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) is recognized even by those who don’t know the composer’s name, and his ever-popular ballet Appalachian Spring (1944) won him the Pulitzer Prize.

Composed between these two concert staples, his wartime Violin Sonata (1943), written in memory of a friend who died in the South Pacific, displays both the jauntiness and pensive melancholy of Copland’s best-known works while it also demonstrates elements of his less populist, more intellectual style in its sophisticated harmonic language and unpredictable formal elements.

--Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, June 1, 2008
(Huls Clark Duo: The Intermezzo Series Finale


Ernesto Cordero
Entre guitarra y voz
Although composer and guitarist Ernesto Cordero (b. 1946) was born in New York, he grew up in Puerto Rico and joined the guitar and composition faculty at the University of Puerto Rico in 1971. His works often draw inspiration from the folk music of the Caribbean, and particularly from the Afro-Hispanic music of Puerto Rico. Like many guitarists he favors his own instrument when composing, and his catalog includes six concertos (three for guitar, one for violin/mandolin, one for flute-piccolo and one for the Puerto Rican cuatro), a variety of chamber works with guitar, as well as solos pieces. The recipient of several important composition awards, his music is performed and recorded wold-wide, and he is in demand as a participant in international competitions and festivals for the guitar.

Entre guitarra y voz ("Between Guitar and Voice") is from Two Sentimental Songs (1996), and, as one might guess, was originally for voice and guitar.

--Music @ Main, February ,17 2009 (Noteworthy Duo)


John Corigliano
American composer John Corigliano (b.1938) more or less grew up with the New York Philharmonic providing the soundtrack for his formative years--his father, John, Sr., was the longtime Concertmaster, and John, Jr. worked on the production crew for Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts. At age 26, Corigliano achieved his first big success as a composer with his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963), and he gained wide-spread recognition with the release of the 1980 film, Altered States, for which he composed the musical score. In addition to winning the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his Symphony No. 2, and a 2009 Grammy Award for Mr. Tambourine Man, Corigliano won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Red Violin. Corigliano's Fancy on a Bach Air was composed in 1996, and at first was planned to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Robert and Judy Goldberg, friends of the composer. Aptly, the theme from Bach's Goldberg Variations provided the inspiration for a group of composers who collaborated on a set of variations for cello and piano for the occasion. Sadly, the piece became instead a memorial to Robert Goldberg, who died from cancer before the collaborative variations were first performed in August 1997, by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax. Of his contribution Corigliano writes:

My “Goldberg Variation,” Fancy on a Bach Air, is for unaccompanied cello. It transforms the gentle arches of Bach’s theme into slowly soaring arpeggi of almost unending phase-lengths. Its dual inspiration was the love of two extraordinary people and the solo cello suites of a great composer – both of them strong, long-lined, passionate, eternal, and for me, definitive of all that is beautiful in life.


Emily Crocker
Before becoming Vice President of Choral Publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee in 1989, Texas native Emily Crocker taught for 15 years in her home state. Continuing her award-winning work with youngsters, she founded the Milwaukee Children's Choir in 1994, and as an internationally performed composer she began winning ASCAP awards in 1986. The Drunken Sailor, Crocker's arrangement of the popular sea chantey (or "shanty") for treble voices with optional piano, dates back to 1980, and offers advice in addressing the age-old problem of inebriated mariners, by dawn's early light. --Music @ Main October 5, 2009 (Jacksonville Masterworks Chorale)


Daniel Crozier
Daniel Crozier (b. 1965), who received his DMA from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida, and previously served on the faculties of the Peabody Preparatory and Radford University (Virginia). Dr. Crozier has a special connection with the First Coast: he was the winner of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Fresh Ink composition contest for Florida composers in 2004. The win included a commission from the Symphony, manifested in Ballade, a 10-minute orchestral piece first performed in the Times-Union Center in 2006. Among other honors, Crozier won first prize in the 1995 National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition for his second opera, With Blood, With Ink (1993), and received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs, as well as numerous awards from ASCAP. In 2002 saxophonist Branford Marsalis and the Walden Chamber Players presented the premiere performance of Dr. Crozier's Toccata for Soprano Saxophone and String Trio, and the Seattle Symphony has recorded several of his works. Closer to home, Crozier’s Winter Aubade (2009), for solo piano, was written for FSU's Heidi Louise Williams, who included it in her CD of American piano music, Drive American, and who gave the European and Asian premieres of the piece this past summer. For today's concert, Dr. Crozier has kindly provided a note about his Nocturne for cello and piano:

The Nocturne was completed in 1997 and premiered at the Aspen Music Festival that summer by cellist Jason Duckles and pianist Blair McMillen. The piece evolves through an exploration of the relationship between four dependent but contrasting musical ideas. When it appears, the third of these essentially takes over the musical discourse and eventually, at its last appearance, generates the piece’s climax. When the principal idea returns at the end it appears in a new, warmer light, tempered by the intervening dialogue. Though the formal plan just described does not closely match most of the exquisite Nocturnes for solo piano that he left us, the piece does homage to Chopin, whose favorite instrument after the piano was the cello.

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