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Citywinds have begun work on their first CD. Here is a short excerpt from "Quintet" by John Steinmetz. This piece will be featured on the CD along with "Spiral VII" by Chinary Ung. Other works and release date TBA.
Steinmetz "Quintet" sample - (300k aiff file)
Citywinds have a cassette tape out featuring works by Ferenc Farkas, Manly Romero, and Pavel Haas. The entire list of tracks on the cassette is listed below along with the opputunity to listen to some excerpts from the recording.
- Esther Landau, Flute
- Laura Reynolds Chrisp, Oboe
- James Freeman, Clarinet
- Alison McKee, Horn
- Marcuselle Whitfield, Bassoon
Ancient Hungarian Dances (1959)
- Intrada (517K aiff file)
- Lápockas Tánc
- Ugrós (536K aiff file)
The Tale of Chung'Ah (1992)
(691k aiff file)
Wind Quintet, opus 10 (1929)
- Ballo Eccentrico - (777k aiff file)
The Hungarian born Ferenc Farkas (b. 1905), attended the Budapest Academy with an eye toward a performing career on the piano. After a brief effort in that direction, he returned to the Academy to study composition. Later he went to Rome to study with Ottorino Resphigi, whose influence, as well as that of the Renaissance coposer, Gesualdo, can be heard in much of Farkas' Music. His career eventually brought him back to the Budapest Academy, where he taught composition until his retirement.
Ferenc Farkas' Ancient Hungarian Dances are truly neo-Renaissance in their absolute allegiance to the harmonies and general sensibilities of that age. The opening, Intrada, is a majestic processional. The second movement, Lassú, is a slow dance led by the clarinet. The third dance, Lápockas Tánc, roughly translated as the "shoulder bone dance", is heavily flavored with Hungarian folk dance feeling. The fouth dance, Chorea, is a simple chorale. The final movement, Ugrós, is quite literally a jumping dance.
Manly Romero was born in 1966 in San Francisco and earned his Performance Diploma on Bassoon at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1988. He returned to the Conservatory and received his B.M. in composition in 1991; his primary teachers were David Conte and Conrad Susa. In September 1994, Mr. Romero began working toward a graduate degree in compostion at the University of Michigan, where he will be studying with William Bolcom as a fellowship student.
He has received commissions from the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, the Artea Chamber Orchestra, and composed The Legend of Chung'Ah for the San Francisco Symphony "Adventure in Music Program" to be performed in the San Francisco Public Schools in collaboration with Citywinds.
The Legend of Chung'Ah , a programmatic work, is based on the following Chinese legend:Long ago in the land of China, during the reign of the Perfect Emperor, lived Chung'Ah, the most beautiful lady in the world. Her husband, an archer in the Imperial Guard, had been given a great gift: a Pill of Long Life. But he had to leave on a long journey before he could spiritually cleanse himself enough to imbibe the Pill, and had to leave it in Chung'Ah's care. Nearby lived another great warrior, this one greedy and jealous; and he coveted the Pill of Long Life so much that when he saw the archer leave his wife alone, he plotted to steal it. He gathered his men and horses and chased her out of her house and into the forest at night. When she knew she was caught she swallowed the pill herself, which made the warrior so angry that he tried to kill her. But before he could, the Gods took pity on Chung'Ah and gave her the power to fly. And fly she did: from the jaws of death to a place where no one could catch her. She flew to the moon, and lives there even now. That is why the moon is so beautiful, and why one must never point at it--for it is impolite to point at a Lady.
Pavel Haas was born in Czechoslovakia in 1899 and died in Auschwitz in 1944 after a two year stay at Terezin. Terezin, established as a model camp by the Nazis, was a propoganda tool to show the world that Jews were merely being relocated rather than "exterminated". There were no killing facilities in the camp, but daily life was nonetheless extremely bleak, with increasingly regular deportations to Auschwitz as Hitler's luck began to turn in 1943 and 1944.
Haas style resembles both his teachers' (Janacek and Stravinsky) and is informed by a strong and coloful palette of Moravian folk songs and synagogue music along with the more modern European compositional technique of polyrhythms.
The first movement, Preludio, is a lovely soulful melody. The second, Preghiera, is a dark and haunting prayer. The third, Ballo Eccentrico, leads the players through an increasingly frenzied folk dance. The final movement, Epilogo, is a powerful chorale bringing the work to a broad and expansive close.