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Schubert on the Bluff: Year One

Guest Composer: David Stock

Duquesne University presents "Schubert on the Bluff", a three-year concert series featuring works of Franz Schubert, the great Viennese composer of some of the most purely beautiful music ever written. Initially famous in his brief lifetime for his over 600 songs, Schubert made enormously valuable contributions to the chamber music literature, masterpieces full of passionate melodies and rich harmonies. Each season will include many of these beloved chamber works, such as the "Trout" Quintet, "The Shepherd on the Rock", the Octet, the String Quintet and the two piano trios, along with piano solos and duets. In addition, each season will fearture a guest composer, whose music will be part of each program. Pre-concert conversations will bring personal insights from the artists to help prepare the audience for that afternoon's performance. For the first time, reserved seating will be available, so book your tickets early!

Season One of "Schubert on the Bluff" will consist of four concerts mixing the music of Schubert with that of David Stock, one of Pittsburgh's musical treasures, whose compositions have been played all over the world. Professor Emeritus at Duquesne's Mary Pappert School of Music, Stock's Symphony no. 6 was recently premiered by the Pittsburgh Symphony. Six of Stock's works will be heard, including a world premiere, all written for members of Pittsburgh's professional music community. Concerts will be on Sunday afternoons at 3p in the intimate setting of PNC Recital Hall on Duquesne University's uptown campus.

Concert I
Sunday, August 30, 2015
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.
Pre-concert conversation at 2:30p between David Stock and David Allen Wehr

Schubert's "Trout" Quintet is one of the most endearing works in classical music, and provides the centerpiece of the season opener. A friend of the composer's requested a piece for the unusual combination of piano, violin, viola, cello and contrabass, to include a set of variations on Schubert's already popular song "Die Forelle" (The Trout). This concert will include the original song performed by international opera star Sari Gruber and pianist Benjamin Binder, an expert in vocal literature; the two will be joined by PSO clarinetist Ron Samuels for another Schubert favorite, "The Shepherd on the Rock." The wife-and-husband violin duo of Rachel and Charles Stegeman will kick off our mini-David Stock festival with the delightful "Two for the Road," which they commissioned.

Schubert: The Shepherd on the Rock
Sari Gruber, soprano
Ron Samuels, clarinet
Benjamin Binder, piano

Stock: Two for the Road for Two Violins
Charles Stegeman, violin
Rachel Stegeman, violin


Schubert: Die Forelle (The Trout)
Sari Gruber, soprano
Benjamin Binder, piano

Schubert: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 (Trout)
David Allen Wehr, piano
Rachel Stegeman, violin
Marylène Gingras-Roy, viola
David Premo, cello
Jeffrey Turner, contrabass

Concert II
Sunday, October 25, 2015
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.
Pre-concert conversation at 2:30p between Gretchen Van Hoesen and David Allen Wehr

Two of Schubert's piano masterpieces bookend this program: the six charming vignettes called Moments musicaux (Musical moments), which range from tender to fiery, and the heart-breakingly beautiful final Sonata, completed just weeks before the composer's premature death at age 31. In between will come David Stock's quirky "Sea of Reeds," played by the Pittsburgh Reed Trio, for whom it was written, and "A Vanished World" for the intriguing and colorful combination of harp, flute and viola.

Schubert: Moments musicaux, D. 780
David Allen Wehr, piano

Stock: Sea of Reeds
Pittsburgh Reed Trio:
Scott Bell, oboe
Ron Samuels, clarinet
James Rodgers, bassoon

Stock: A Vanished World
Rhian Kenny, flute
Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola
Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp

Schubert: Sonata in B-Flat Major, D. 960
David Allen Wehr, piano

Concert III
Sunday, January 10, 2016
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.
Pre-concert conversation at 2:30p between David Allen Wehr and Edward Stephan

David Stock's Second Chamber Concerto receives its first performance on this concert. Commissioned by Schubert on the Bluff, it boasts an intriguing combination of trumpet, percussion and two pianos with an all-star cast. Stock's Mistral is another wife-husband commission, this one for Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp, and James Gorton, oboe. Schubert is represented by the Piano Trio #1, one of the monuments of the literature, and the bittersweet Three Piano Pieces written in the final weeks of his life, played by Schubert specialist Cynthia Raim.

Schubert: Drei Klavierstucke (Three Piano Pieces), D. 946
Cynthia Raim, piano

Stock: Second Chamber Concerto (world premiere, commissioned by Schubert on the Bluff)
Charles Lirette, trumpet
Edward Stephan, percussion
Andrew Reamer, percussion
Cynthia Raim, piano
David Allen Wehr, piano

Stock: Mistral
James Gorton, oboe
Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp

Schubert: Piano Trio no. 1 in B-Flat Major, D. 898
Duquesne Piano Trio:
David Allen Wehr, piano
Charles Stegeman, violin
Adam Liu, cello

Concert IV
Sunday, January 24, 2016
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.
Pre-concert conversation at 2:30p with Barbara Nissman and David Allen Wehr

The arpeggione was a six-stringed instrument that had an extraordinarily short lifespan of about a decade from its invention in 1823. Schubert's sonata for arpeggione and piano, however, has melodies of such wide appeal that it is regularly transcribed for other instruments. Each season of Schubert on the Bluff will include the sonata on a different instrument, this season with the cello. David Stock's "Eitz Chayim" showcases the rich, dark voice of the viola. The concert concludes with super-virtuosa Barbara Nissman playing Schubert's immensely difficult Wanderer Fantasy for piano, along with the song that inspired it, and two of his most popular Impromptus.

Schubert: Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano
Adam Liu, cello
David Allen Wehr, piano

Stock: Eitz Chayim (Tree of Life)
Meng Wang, viola
David Allen Wehr, piano

Schubert: Der Wanderer
Xiu-ru Liu, mezzo-soprano
Barbara Nissman, piano

Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy/Two Impromptus, op. 90, nos. 3, 4
Barbara Nissman, piano