Musique on the Bluff: The French Seasons Arrives
In September, the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University will present the first performances of Musique on the Bluff: The French Seasons, a new two-year performance series. These eight concerts of enchanting French masterpieces will be performed by David Allen Wehr, holder of the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair and artistic director for the series, along with faculty colleagues and world-renowned guest artists.
Performances take place in PNC Recital Hall in the School of Music; $10 suggested donation. Each performance will be preceded by a 45 minute, informative talk. Visit www.music.duq.edu for more information.
Sunday, Sept. 14
Carnival of the Animals
An all-star cast, featuring international concert pianist Cynthia Raim, performs Saint-Saens' beloved "Grand Zoological Fantasy" in its original version for two pianos and chamber orchestra. The Rev. Sean P. Kealy, C.S.Sp., director of Duquesne University Spiritan Campus Ministry and chaplain, provides narration, and cellist Anne Martindale Williams performs her famous interpretation of The Swan. The program also includes Franck's melodious Sonata for Violin and Piano and Ravel's intricate Le tombeau de Couperin for piano.
Franck: Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano
Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin for Piano
Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals
Performed by special guest artists: Cynthia Raim, piano; Timothy Adams, percussion, principal, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), the Rev. Sean P. Kealy, C.S.Sp., narrator
And members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty: David Allen Wehr, piano, Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair; Charles Stegeman, violin, chair of strings; Rachel Stegeman, violin; Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola, PSO; Anne Martindale Williams, cello, principal cello, PSO; Micah Howard, double bass, PSO; Jennifer Conner, flute, PSO; Ron Samuels, clarinet, PSO; and Jeffrey Turner, conductor, principal double bass, PSO.
Sunday, Sept. 21
Super-virtuosa Barbara Nissman tackles Ravel's fiendishly difficult Gaspard de la nuit and delightful Sonatine, and Guenko Guechev sings four songs from the 1930s French movie version of Don Quixote, leading to the controversial, white-hot passion of Franck's Piano Quintet.
Ibert: from the movie Don Quichotte
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit for Piano
Sonatina for Piano
Franck: Piano Quintet in F Minor
Performed by special guest artist Barbara Nissman, piano, and members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty: Wehr, piano; Charles Stegeman, violin, chair of strings; Rachel Stegeman, violin; Gingras-Roy, viola, PSO; Adam Liu, cello, assistant principal, PSO; Guenko Guechev, bass-baritone, chair of voice.
Monday, Dec. 1
The End of Time
A co-presentation with the Department of Organ and Sacred Music's Celebration Messiaen, an Olivier Messiaen centennial festival (visit www.music.duq.edu/celebration for details). This program features the monumental Quartet for the End of Time written while the composer was held in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. Saturated with Catholic mysticism and visions of the Apocalypse, it reveals Messiaen's fascination with birdcalls, complex rhythms and the idea of music as color. It is truly one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century. The program also includes Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir (the Blackbird) for Flute and Piano and Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano.
Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Le Merle Noir for Flute and Piano
Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano
Performed by members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty: Wehr, piano; Rachel Stegeman, violin; Kenneth Burky, piano; David Premo, cello, associate principal, PSO; Ron Samuels, clarinet, PSO with Louise Burky, flute.
Sunday, Feb. 8
Claude Bolling's Toot Suit, written for French trumpet great Maurice Andre, is performed by jazz legends Sean Jones and Joe Utterback, backed up by members of Catch-22, Duquesne University's guitar ensemble in residence. David Allen Wehr brings to life the 12 character vignettes of Debussy's Preludes for Piano, Book One, including The Maid with the Flaxen Hair and The Sunken Cathedral.
Bolling: Toot Suite for Trumpet and Jazz Piano
Debussy: Preludes, Book One
Performed by special guest artist: Joe Utterback, jazz piano, and members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty: Wehr, piano; Sean Jones, trumpet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; Bill Purse, bass guitar, Catch-22, chair of music technology and guitar, with Billy Kuhn, drums, Catch-22.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.