September Music at UB

The UB Department of Music jumpstarts the fall classical season

by Jan Jezioro

Jeffrey Stadelman, Professor of Composition and Chairman of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Music, will wrap up his distinguished career by presenting an outstanding line-up of concerts in the fall semester, highlighted by a surprisingly packed September concert schedule in Slee Hall, on the UB Amherst Campus, where all concerts will begin at 7:30pm.

Friday, September 9

Buffalo area classical music audiences got to know pianist Stephen Manes very well during his 39 year tenure as a professor of piano in the University at Buffalo department of music before his retirement in 2007.  Among the many concerts that he gave during his long tenure, Manes, who also served for 11 years as the department chairman, gave three remarkable transversals of the entire Beethoven solo cycle, performing all 32 sonatas from memory during a single academic year, a singular feat that no other pianist has accomplished locally even once, in living memory.

Even though Manes moved to Los Angeles after his retirement, he has continued to return on a yearly basis each fall, performing an “emeritus” recital at Slee Hall on the UB Amherst Campus, and he will continue that tradition when he appears there this Friday to perform a program of works for solo piano focusing on compositions by well-known composers written in the form of variations for piano.

Manes is titling his recital ‘Mixing It Up’ and he will be performing, what he describes as “a program of old favorites from my repertoire”, which will feature four Mozart pieces, Aaron Copland’s Sonata, and the ‘Apparition Scene’ (Act III, Scene 1) from the Opera Pique Dame by Tchaikovsky, as arranged by the late UB professor of piano Yvar Mikhashoff, as well as Schubert’s monumental Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960.

Tuesday September 20

The Robert & Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music presents a concert by the Slee Sinfonietta, with Case Scaglione as conductor, featuring the gifted soprano Tiffany DuMouchelle, who joined the faculty last spring, as soloist in Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

Tiffany DuMouchelle, who earned her PhD at the University of California at San Diego, wrote her dissertation on performing Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, and she says “Pierrot Lunaire is unlike any other chamber music piece I have ever experienced”. “One of the most intriguing aspects about the piece is its use of Sprechstimme in the vocal part. Sprechstimme, a vocal technique that lies somewhere between singing and speaking, is an extremely variable technique. This encourages each performer to explore an expressive range with their voice far beyond what most compositions might allow, and also ensures that each performance will always be unique, even when performed by the same reciter. This experience is shared by the ensemble in choices of articulation and timbre. Although the score is quite specific, each ensemble’s interpretation brings out new colors. It reminds me of those times when looking upon a familiar scene, the light shifts suddenly, exposing something that was always there but had either been unnoticed or forgotten, ever evolving with our own perception”. Schoenberg’s ecstatically radiant “Verklärte Nacht” and “Derive I” by Pierre Boulez are also on the program, which will be preceded at 7pm by a pre-concert talk by Ms DuMouchelle.

Monday September 26

Tom Poulson and Urban Agnas, trumpets, Annamia Larsson, horn, Jonas Bylund, trombone, and Sami Al Fakir, tuba make up the internationally renowned Stockholm Chamber Brass. For their Buffalo area debut they will perform music ranging from the Renaissance, to the 21st century. Their program includes selections from Tielman Susato’s Dansereye, Russian composer Viktor Evald’s Quintet No. 3, the Tango-Waltz-Ragtime from Stravinsky’s “A Soldiers Tale”, English composer Malcolm Arnold’s Brass Quintet, David Felder’s Canzone XXXI and contemporary Swedish composer Anders Hillborg’s Brass Quintet.

Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30

The Dover Quartet will perform the first two installments in this academic year’s Slee/Beethoven String Quartet Cycle. The New Yorker recently dubbed the Dover Quartet “the young American string quartet of the moment,” and The Strad raved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.”

The complete performance of all of Beethoven’s string quartets on an annual basis happens in one place on the planet, right here, in Buffalo, and is made possible by the generosity of the late Frederick and Alice Slee. The performance order of the quartets, as always, follows the wishes of the donors. Thursday’s program consists of the Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127, the Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 and the Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. On Friday, the members of the Dover Quartet, violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw, will perform the Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74 (The Harp), the Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2 and the Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131.

Tickets: $15/10 seniors, students; free for UB students. Informatio