Riverside Winds
Friday, October 02, 2020, 07:30pm

Friday, October 2, 2020 – 7:30 pm

Livestream Concert from

Charles S. Anderson Music Hall, Sateren Auditorium

Trudi Anderson, flute

Merilee Klemp, oboe

Jennifer Gerth, clarinet

Charles Hodgson, French Horn

Laurie Merz, bassoon

 

Heyr, Himna Smi∂ur                                                                                   Thorkell Sigbjörnsson

                                                                                                                        (1938-2013)

                                                                                                                        Arr. Randall Davidson

Quintet (1972-73)                                                                              Joonas Kokkonen

                 Allegro                                                                                             (1921-1996)

Quattro Tempi, Op.55, Divertimento for Woodwind Quintet     Lars-Erik Larsson

                 Sostenuto, attacca                                                                               (1908-1986)

                 Giocoso

 

Quintet                                                                                               Oja Gjeilo

                                                                                                                        (1978 - )

Intermission

 

Quintet, Op. 43                                                                                 Carl Nielsen

                 Allegro ben marcato                                                                           (1865-1931)

                 Menuet

                 Praeludium/Theme and Variations

 


The Program

Heyr, Himna Smi∂ur, a 13th century Icelandic hymn, in a setting by Thorkell Sigbjörnsson and arranged for tonight’s program by Randall Davidson, was originally written in 1208 by the Icelandic chieftain, Kolbeinn Tumason. The hymn set to music by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013), one of Iceland's foremost contemporary composers. Mr. Sigbjörnsson received his B.A. from Hamline University where studied with R.G. Harris. After a Master's from the University of Illinois (electronic music with Hiller and composition with Gaburo) he received an honorary degree from Hamline in 1999. He worked tirelessly on behalf of composers at the Icelandic Academy of Arts, on Icelandic National Radio and as president of the Icelandic Society of Composers. A 2013 video of Heyr, Himna Smi∂ur has become a sensation on YouTube as a result of an impromptu performance caught on a cellphone in a train station in Wuppertal by the pop/folk group, Asti∂ur.

Joonas Kokkonen was a member of the Academy of Finland, President of the Nordic Composers’ Council and Professor of Composition at the Sibelius Academy. Although linked to Sibelius by virtue of national heritage (he even lived outside the town of Jarvenpaa, once the home of Sibelius), Kokkonen made a conscious effort to avoid the influence of the older composer in his own creative work. Recognizing that folk music was a strong influence in Finnish musical composition, he tried, also, to rid himself of all traces of nationalism and folk elements to achieve a distinctive and individual style. Kokkonen has been called a mystic, whose roots are in the classical symphonic style. His symphonies are among Kokkonen’s major works, along with two string quartets, the Sinfonia da Camera, the Woodwind quintet (1972-1973 and the opera, The Last Temptations, which was premiered at the Helsinki Festival in 1975.

Ola Gjeilo was born on May 5, 1978, to Inge and Anne-May Gjeilo, and grew up in Skui, Norway. He began playing piano and composing when he was five years old and learned to read music when he was seven years old.[4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ola_Gjeilo#cite_note-5">[5] He continued his education at Juilliard (2004–06) where he received his master's degree in 2006, also in composition. From 2009–10, Gjeilo was composer-in-residence for Phoenix Chorale. 

Lars-Erik Larsson occupied an important position in Swedish musical life, not least in this work for broadcasting, theatre and cinema. He studied with Ellberg at the Stockholm Conservatory (1925–1929) and with Alban Berg and Fritz Reuter in Vienna and Leipzig (1929–1930), then worked for Swedish Radio and taught at the Stockholm Conservatory (1947–1959) and Uppsala University where he held the position as Music Director (1961–1966).  His style as a composer is eclectic – ranging from the late-Romantic to techniques derived from the 12-tone system outlined by Schoenberg – but original in method. In addition to his symphonies for full orchestra, Larsson wrote a Sinfonietta for string orchestra and a popular Little Serenade for the same medium. He left a useful series of concertinos for solo instruments that include flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano. His Quattro Tempi, Op. 55, Divertimento for Woodwind Quintet was written in 1968 and as the title suggests, is a four-movement set of pieces in contrasting tempi. This work was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Society of Swedish Composers. Only the last two movements, the Sostenuto, attacca and the Giocoso will be performed tonight.

The wind quintet of Carl August Nielsen, composed in 1922, is one of the most frequently performed pieces in the Nielsen catalogue. It was the first of his compositions to be released on a sound recording outside Denmark, via 78-rpm platters made by the ensemble that had introduced it, the Wind Quintet of the Royal Orchestra. When the composer died, he was accorded a state funeral at the Free Church in Copenhagen and among the pieces performed at the service was the hymn Min Jesus, lad mit hjerte faa. At the ensuing burial, the Wind Quintet of the Royal Orchestra, played the chorale and variations on that melody that make up the finale of the wind Quintet. In the score, the final, straightforward rendition of the melody is marked Andante festivo. Haydnesque good spirits and a new-Baroque /neo-Classical feeling pervade this piece. The first movement proceeds in a rather traditional sonata form, altogether in a relaxed mood, its vigor being decidedly pastoral: following the bassoon’s opening solo, the first entrance of the upper wins resembles a bird-call. The charmingly contrapuntal Menuet recalls the Baroque with a studied quaintness that is also to be found in Nielsen’s opera, Maskarade (1906).  The finale is the longest of the movements. Nielsen opens it with a mysterious, two-minute Praeludium in which the oboist darkens the texture by switching to English Horn, the alto member of the oboe family. There follows a them and, with the oboist again playing oboe, a set of 11 wide-ranging variations. The melody is a chorale hymn tune Nielsen had written several years earlier, Min Jesus, lad mit hjerte faa (My Jesus let my heart be thine). This beautiful chorale had become an instant success among Danish churchgoers, but Nielsen makes a point not to treat it as an item invested with sanctity. In a program note he prepared for the premiere, he wrote (using the third person):  “The theme for these variations is the tune of one of Carl Nielsen’s spiritual songs, which is here made the basis of a number of variations, now gay and grotesque, now elegiac and solemn, ending with the theme itself, simply and gently expressed.”

The Performers

Trudi Anderson has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Flute Performance from Augsburg College and Northwestern University, where she studied with Mary Roberts Wilson and Walfrid Kujala, respectively. She teaches flute at Augsburg University and Bethel University and is a published arranger of flute music through ScoreVivo, an online sheet music publisher. Professional orchestral experiences include performing as Principal Flute in La Orquesta Filarmonica de Merida (Venezuela) and subbing with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. She is a founding member of FluteSpiration Quartet and performs regularly as a member of the Riverside Winds, an Augsburg faculty woodwind quintet which was recently chosen as an MPR Class Notes Artist ensemble. Ms. Anderson can also be heard on a highly acclaimed CD of chamber music written by the late local composer Eric Stokes. She has served as President of the Upper Midwest Flute Association’s Executive Board of Directors.

Merilee Klemp, oboe,  received her DMA in Oboe Performance with Richard Killmer from the Eastman School of Music, a Master’s in Musicology with Susan McClary at the U of MN, and a Bachelors in Music Education from Augsburg University. She is a well-known soloist and recitalist in the Twin Cities and has played oboe in the Minnesota Sinfonia since 2005. She appears in a featured role on an impressive list of recordings, as well as backing musician on recordings with Janet Jackson, Elton John, Mariah Carey, and many recordings with pianist Lorie Line. She performs with the Minnesota Opera, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and VocalEssence. She performs regularly as a frequent recitalist and soloist in the Twin Cities. She has also performed in Broadway and theater productions on national tours including Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, Porgy and Bess, Miss Saigon, The Sound of Music, The King and I, and Aida, and Guthrie Theater performances of South Pacific and Sunday in the Park with George. Merilee is a Professor of Music at Augsburg University teaching music history, chamber music and oboe. She maintains a private oboe studio and at Carleton College. She is married to composer Randall Davidson and enjoys traveling and adventures together with their son, Benjamin.

Jennifer Gerth is in her 24th season as principal clarinet of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. A substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1995, she also performs with the Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence, Northrup Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater and Mill City Opera. Jennifer performed and toured with the Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble and co-founded The Prospect Park Players, a chamber music group that enjoyed a 7 year residency at Hamline University. An avid lover of chamber music, this year marks her 20th summer at the Festival of the Lakes Chamber music festival. This fall Ms. Gerth begins her 30th year teaching at the collegiate level. She previously taught at the College of St. Benedict, St. Olaf College, St. Cloud State University, Augsburg College, and Gustavus Adolphus College. She has performed masterclasses and concerts throughout the midwest and has appeared as a repeated guest clinician at Midwest Musical Imports’ Clarinet Day. She was teacher (15 years) and faculty soloist at the Birch Creek Summer Performance Center in Door County, WI. Jennifer currently teaches at the University of St. Thomas (since 2000) and this is her 4th year teaching at the University of Minnesota.

Hornist Charles Hodgson is a versatile performer and music educator, equally adept on the concert stage, Broadway pit, teaching studio, or recording sound set. Chuck was born in Vancouver, WA and raised in the Pacific Northwest and northern Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Music Ed degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, and a Master of Music degree in Horn performance from Northwestern University, studying with Dale Clevenger, David Kamminga, Bruce Houglum and Arnold Jacobs. Chuck has been Hornist with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra since 1987. Chuck has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Fargo Moorhead Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Elgin Symphony and Illinois Philharmonic and wirh numerous Broadway National Touring and regional theatrical productions. Locally, Chuck regularly performs with the Minnesota Siinfonia, Vocalessence, Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, Riverside Wind Quintet and his brass quintet, the North Shore Brass. He Is currently on the Music Faculties of UW Eau Claire and Augsburg University. He has been a band director and Horn instructor at Concordia College - Moorhead and an Instructor of Horn at Bethel and Macalester Colleges in the Twin Cities. Chuck also maintains an active home teaching studio. Outside of his Musical activities, Chuck is an avid Cyclist and competes in distance running and Triathlon. He lives in West St Paul with his wife Michelle Dose and their dogs, Romeo and Goddard!

Laurie Hatcher Merz is in her nineteenth year as bassoonist and contrabassoonist in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. In addition to performing with the Minnesota Sinfonia, Merz freelances with many groups, including the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO, Minnesota Dance Theater, and VocalEssence. After graduating with distinction from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Merz performed with the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele in Germany. She returned to Germany in 2014 as a featured soloist and instructor at the Suzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival. Laurie received her Master's Degree in performance with honors from the University of Minnesota School of Music and has since cultivated a large studio of talented bassoon students of all ages. Merz has previously held the position of Professor of Bassoon at Augsburg University, St. Cloud State University and Century College in Minnesota. When not performing, teaching, presenting & adjudicating, Laurie is in demand as a reed maker, selling her finely crafted bassoon reeds to clients around the nation and teaching classes in reed making.



Location Mindekirken YouTube Video embedded in the LEIFMN.org website