And Here is to a New Season. Season 8. - Report of Sept 19, 2021 with guest pianist James Rosenblum
New Energy for a New Season.
We closed our last season with beautiful encouraging words from Sylvia Furash, and started our new season with a young student of Sylvia’s. Tony Santos started our 8th season with a beautiful rendition of J. S. Bach - Italian Concerto 1st movement, and Alberto Ginastera - Rondo on Argentine folk Tunes op 19 an elegant combination of two different eras, a combination we are accustomed to from Sylvia’s students.
Tony Santos has been studying piano for about ten years, from the age of 5, but as he divulged to us he has become more serious about it a couple of years ago.
We are happy to have had him today, and looking forward to his adventure as a performer. Maybe a future featured performer at OMC?
Our next great surprise was viola player Barbara Lambdin with an Adagio from
J. C. Bach's Concerto in C-minor reconstituted for viola by Henri Casadesus. Barbara considers herself more of a chamber music player, but her inspiration to practice a solistic piece came as she wanted to encourage her granddaughter to practice more. They are now practice buddies, and both are benefitting from the experience. How inspiring is that?
Our guest performer James Rosenblum enticed us with two composers who wrote in the same era, and although they were both influenced by African rhythms, their writing is quite different: the French Maurice Ravel and the American Scott Joplin.
Scott Joplin (1868 – 1917) an African-American composer and pianist became the "King of Ragtime", and his first hit "Maple Leaf Rag" became archetype of the classic rag.
This new art form, the classic rag, combined Afro-American folk music syncopation
and 19th-century European romanticism, with its harmonic schemes and its march-like tempos. Joplin wrote his rags as "classical" music in miniature form in order to raise ragtime above its "cheap bordello" origins and produced works that opera historian Elise Kirk described as "more tuneful, contrapuntal, infectious, and harmonically colorful than any others of his era."
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor "with whom elusive harmonies woven in rapid figuration are the usual medium of expression". The influence of jazz on his later music is heard within conventional classical structures in the Piano Concerto and the Violin Sonata.
Written in the same year as Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", in Maurice Ravel's "Pavane for a dead princess" we hear "archaic harmonies, subdued expression, and a somewhat remote beauty of melody" according to critic Samuel Langfor.
James inspired us to dance while playing Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", and had us cry in the same concert with Ravel’s "Pavane pour une infante défunte", a hauntingly beautiful melody.
James will be playing a longer program of these two composers at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod on October 3rd where he promised we can tap our feet to his playing.
"This program is supported in part by a grant from the Harwich Cultural Council, Brewster Cultural Council, Orleans Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency"