Piano x 2 x 4

Piano x 2 x 4

EMPAC Concert Hall

November 18, 2009 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Concert Program

J.S. Bach Concerto for 4 keyboards in A minor, BWV 1065
Allegro Assai
Angelina Lou, Gina Liang, Greg Pitner, Garrett Smelcer
Strings of the Rensselaer Orchestra
Conducted by David Gibson

Colin McPhee - Balinese Ceremonial Music
1. Pemoengkah
2. Gambangan
3. Taboeh teloe
Joseph Gibney, Michael Century

W. A. Mozart - Sonata for 2 Pianos, D major K. 448
Allegro con spirito: Lucia Chang, Andre Watson
Andante: Angelina Lou, Greg Pitner
Molto Allegro: Catherine Chou, Gina Liang

Bela Bartok - Six Pieces from Mikrokosmos
1, 2, 3, 4: Angelina Lou, Joseph Gibney
5, 7: Max Canaday, Andre Watson

Meredith Monk
Ellis Island: Lucia Chang, Greg Pitner
Shadow Dance: Catherine Chou, Gina Liang
Phantom Waltz: Max Canaday, Joseph Gibney

Igor Stravinsky - Two Movements from Petrouchka
Russian Dance
Shrovetide Fair
Michael Century, Garrett Smelcer

Julius Eastman - Gay Guerilla
Max Canaday, Michael Century, Catherine Chou, Andre Watson

Max Canaday, '12 Physics
Lucia Chang, '13 Aerospace Engineering
Catherine Chou, '10 Business and Management
Joseph Gibney, '11 Mathematics and physics
Gina Liang, '13. Management
Angelina Lou, '13 Industrial and Management Engineering
Greg Pitner, '12 Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics
Garrett Smelcer, '11 Biochemistry and Biophysics
Andre Watson, '13 Physics
Michael Century, faculty advisor
Strings of the Rensselaer Orchestra, David Gibson, conductor

Program notes
Colin McPhee was one of first Western experts on Balinese music, having immersed himself in the culture while living there during the 1930s. These works were dedicated to McPhee's friend, the anthropologist Margaret Mead, and first recorded by McPhee and Benjamin Britten.

The Sonata in D major for 2 Pianos is a work of Mozart's full maturity, composed at age 25 in 1781 for performance by himself with his student Josephine von Aurnhammer. Biographer Alfred Einstein called this work "one of the most profound and mature of all Mozart's compositions".

Bela Bartok composed the Mikrokosmos as a series of pedagogical works for the student pianist, of which he arranged seven for two pianos. They are derived from folk music sources, collected by Bartok himself in the Balkan region during the early 20th century.

Meredith Monk, the seminal NYC theatre artist and singer, composed this group of 2 piano pieces for her own performance and for the noted contemporary piano duo, Double Edge.

Stravinsky's Petrouchka was premiered by Diaghilev's Ballet Russes in Paris in 1911. The music depicts scenes from traditional Russian village life. The duet arrangement played here on two pianos was made by Stravinsky himself.

J. S. Bach's Concerto for 4 Keyboards, composed around 1730, is a transcription of a work from Vivaldi's famous set of twelve concerto grossi, the Estro Armonico, published some 20 years earlier.

Julius Eastman, an African-American composer, singer and pianist who died in 1990 at age 50, wrote Gay Guerilla in 1979. For Eastman, the "guerilla" of the title serves as a mark of political and personal courage – the willingness to sacrifice one's life for a point of view: "I use Gay Guerilla in the hopes that I may be one if called upon to be one". About two thirds of the way through the piece, Eastman quotes the Lutheran hymn Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God), re-interpreting that affirmation of faith as a sonic manifesto, then concludes with the majestic rising modal scale that helps make this work an anthem to liberation unique in contemporary classical music.

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