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Child's Play For Adults

Charles Haupt and LehrerDance.

Enjoy a Slice of Amblongus Pie: Music, Dance, Verse, and Song

The independent, cutting-edge musical group known as A Musical Feast launches its 2012-2013 season on Friday, November 9 at 8pm, in its home in the Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium of the Burchfield Penny Art Center. With this program, which features a decidedly high whimsical content, A Musical Feast may well surpass its well earned reputation for presenting uniquely eclectic combinations of music from a very wide range of eras, along with poetry and dance. Special guests for the concert include the Chicago-based mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley and her collaborative pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, along with the members of the LehrerDance Company, the finest interpreters of modern dance in Western New York, just prior to their Russian tour this December.

This event is focused on celebrating the undying spirit of childhood, both in children and adults, and also honors the bicentennial of the birth of the English author, illustrator, and poet Edward Lear (1812-1888), best remembered for well loved examples of nonsense poetry and prose. SUNY Distinguished Professor Ann C. Colley is the literary advisor for this event, which will include Julia Bentley offering her own interpretation of examples from Lear’s Nonsense Cookery, including recipes from his 1870 Nonsense Gazette, such as: “Take 4 pounds (say 4 1/2 pounds) of fresh Amblongusses, and put them in a small pipkin.”

This year also marks the centennial of the birth of composer John Cage (1912-1992), a genuine American maverick, who, it is safe to say, never lost the spirit of childhood during his long and influential career. Cage’s 1942 work, Four Dances, was originally composed for wordless tenor voice, prepared piano, handclap, and percussion. This rare performance of the work by mezzo-soprano Bentley and Huang will feature an original choreographic interpretation by the LehrerDance Company.

Bentley and Huang will also perform three other sets of songs, including Cage’s Songs for Contralto and Piano, an early work from 1938 based on the poetry of the iconoclastic American poet e.e. cummings, as well as French composer André Caplet’s 1919 work Trois Fables de Jean de la Fontaine, a setting of texts by the French Renaissance fabulist. Rounding out the vocal portion of the program will be an area premiere performance of Czech-born Canadian composer Oskar Morawetz’s 1984 work, Souvenirs of Childhood, based on poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved collection, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Also on the program, appropriately enough, Buffalo-based composer John Bacon will perform his 2007 work for percussion and electronics, The Electronic Playground.

Brahms at UB

On Tuesday, November 11at 7:30pm, a UB faculty recital at Slee Hall will feature violist Virginia Barron, cellist Jonathan Golove, pianist Eric Huebner, clarinetist Jean Kopperud, and violinist Yuki Numata in an evening of chamber music by Johannes Brahms.

Brahms composed the Sonata No.1 for Cello and Piano in E Minor, Op. 38 in homage to J. S. Bach, using a pair of themes from Bach’s Art of the Fugue, with the composer specifying in the score that the piano “should be a partner—often a leading, often a watchful and considerate partner—but it should under no circumstances assume a purely accompanying role.” Inspired by the playing of clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, Brahms composed four chamber works late in his life featuring the clarinet, all of which quickly became repertoire standards, including the much-loved Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano in A Minor, Op. 114. While he was still a young man, Brahms composed his Piano Quartet No.1 in G Minor, Op. 25 for Clara Schumann, who premiered the work in Hamburg in 1861, ensuring its quick acceptance into the standard repertoire.

Buffalo Chamber Players at Buffalo State

The brand new, 194-seat Louis P. Ciminelli Recital Hall in Rockwell Hall on the Buffalo State Elmwood Avenue Campus opened just this past Sunday with a ribbon-cutting concert that featured BPO music director JoAnn Falletta playing guitar, along with her husband, clarinetist Robert Alemany, and the members of the Clara String Quartet.

On Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30pm, the Buffalo Chamber Players under artistic director BPO violist Janz Castelo leave their usual home in the Buffalo Seminary to perform in the new hall. Their wide-ranging program features a pair of early Baroque-era rarities by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, his Serenada for Strings, Voice, and Continuo and his Sonata VII from Fidicinium Sacro Profanum, along with Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds in E Flat, K. 452 and Prokofiev’s Quintet in G Minor, Op. 39, scored for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, and double bass, a work based on music originally composed for a 1924 Parisian ballet.

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