Musiqa, two-time winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, presents “The White Album”, the second major concert of its 15th anniversary season. The program includes a series of works by eminent American composers working in a wide variety of musical styles: the world premiere of Mark Kilstofte’s “The White Album”; Laura Schwendinger’s “Wet Ink”; David Rakowski’s “Natura Morta”; and Musiqa composer Pierre Jalbert’s “Piano Trio No. 2”. As part of its focus on collaboration with artists in related fields, Musiqa and Inprint have invited acclaimed poet Erika Funkhouser, who will round out the program with readings of poetry.
The evening’s eponymous work by Mark Kilstofte is a song cycle for soprano and chamber ensemble, and will feature Musiqa artist-in-residence Karol Bennett, whom Musiqa audiences will remember from her performances of the premiere of Anthony Brandt’s opera “Ulysses, Home”, as well as John Corigliano’s “Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan”. While “The White Album” certainly calls to mind a certain 1968 album by the Beatles, the composer chose the title to reflect the theme of the poetry, whose “unifying element is the color white.” Poets whose work he set include James Merrill, Mark Strand, Linda Pastan, and Erica Funkhouser. “The White Album” is a commission of the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.
Three more works are included on the concert. The first is Laura Schwendinger’s “Wet Ink”, a lyrical piece scored for clarinet, violin, viola, and cello. Also on the program is “Natura Morta”, a piano quartet by David Rakowski, a composer who in March 2016 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Rakowski, whose works frequently display his sense of humor, intended the piece to be “less serious” than the “heavy heart-on-sleeve” piano quartets in the traditional classical canon. Much like Charles Ives’ second string quartet, the work includes a character, portrayed here by the violist, which wants to “drag the other string players along for a while in the serious music,” but in the end, the lighthearted piano wins out.
Finally, the program concludes with Musiqa composer Pierre Jalbert’s “Piano Trio No. 2”. Written for the German ensemble, The Morgenstern Trio, the trio contrasts an empty desert landscape with a bustling Houston highway.
|Pierre Jalbert||Piano Trio No.2|
|Mark Kilstofte||The White Album|
|David Rakowski||Natura Morta|
|Laura Schwendinger||Wet Ink|
Senior, student and military discounts available
Karol Bennett, soprano; Jackson Guillen, violin; Ling-Ling Huang, violin; Jebat Kee, viola; Max Geissler, cello; Courtenay Vandiver Pereira, cello; Leone Buyse, flute; Michael Webster, clarinet; Yvonne Chen, piano; Wesley Ducote, piano; Blake Wilkins, percussion; and David Cho, conductor.