Bret Pimentel, woodwinds
Kumiko Shimizu, piano
Delta State University Department of Music
Recital Hall, Bologna Performing Arts Center
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Divertissement for multiple woodwinds and piano
Sy Brandon (b. 1945)
Caprice en forme de valse for alto saxophone
Paul Bonneau (1918 – 1995)
Sonata for oboe and piano
Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963)
Sonata for clarinet and piano
- Allegro tristamente
- Allegro con fuoco
Ode to a Toad
Ray Pizzi (b. 1943)
Sy Brandon’s Divertissement for multiple woodwinds and piano (an adaptation of a prior work for oboe, percussion, and piano) was written in fulfillment of a Co-op Press Commission Assistance grant award, and is presented tonight in its world premiere performance. It is one of few existing works that features a woodwind musician playing multiple instruments. The composer says about this piece:
The Intrada [for flute] is energetic and playful with a lot of interplay between instruments. The Nocturne [for saxophone], being a night piece, is both lyrical and mysterious. The Waltz [for bassoon] is in a flowing waltz tempo with occasional shifts away from three beats in the measure. The Marche [for clarinet] is not a piece that would be used in a parade. It is a march that exists in the mind of a child who is playing with toy soldiers; therefore there is playfulness and humor that would not occur in a functional march. Lyrical lines and expressiveness are the predominating features of the Romanza [for oboe]. The piece comes to a rousing close with the Galop [for multiple woodwind instruments], which is a “perpetual motion” type of movement with a lot of rhythmic variety.
Paul Bonneau wrote the Caprice en forme de valse for seminal French-school saxophone soloist Marcel Mule in 1950, and it remains a favorite of saxophonists and audiences today.
Among composer Francis Poulenc’s final works is an incomplete set of sonatas for woodwind instruments with piano. The sonatas for oboe and for clarinet, presented tonight, are frequently performed, as is the flute sonata; a planned bassoon sonata was never begun. The oboe and clarinet sonatas were written within a few weeks of each other, and dedicated to the memories of two of Poulenc’s departed friends and musical colleagues, the oboe sonata to Serge Prokofiev and the clarinet sonata to Arthur Honneger.
Ray Pizzi is best known as a virtuoso jazz artist and studio musician on several instruments, and one of few to distinguish himself as a bassoonist in jazz and commercial music (some of his unique bassoon sounds can be heard in movie soundtracks like Return of the Jedi and Predator 2, as well as television shows like Family Guy). He describes Ode to a Toad as a “whimsical swamp blues.”