First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church
1959 Sandy Lane
Fort Worth, TX 76112
Freewill Donations Gratefully Accepted (Suggested donation amounts—$15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors)
We begin our 34th season with the world premiere of Flights of Fancy, a dramatic one-movement string quartet dedicated to Spectrum by composer and TCU professor Till MacIvor Meyn. Split up into five sections (or “flights”), this piece features extended solos from each of the four instruments, and represents musical styles ranging from Jazz to folk music.
There will be a pre-concert conversation with the composer at 7:00pm. Please join us to learn more about his quartet before you hear it for the first time.
C. SCHUMANN, arr. BLESSINGER | Nocturne from Soirées Musicales, Op. 6 (1836)
R. SCHUMANN | Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (1849)
Dan Sigale, viola
Shields-Collins Bray, piano
MEYN | Flights of Fancy (2019)
Michael Shih, violin
Molly Baer, violin
Dan Sigale, viola
Keira Fullerton, cello
MOZART | String Quartet No. 23 in F Major, K. 590
Shu Lee, violin
Ke Mai, violin
John Geisel, viola
Una Gong, cello
WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT:
– This year marks the 200th anniversary of Clara Schumann’s birth. Composer and TCU faculty member Martin Blessinger recently arranged the Nocturne movement from Schumann’s Soirées Musicales, assigning the beautiful melody to the viola. The arrangement has its world premiere in September, which also happens to be Clara’s birth month.
—Horn players and fans will recognize the “Adagio and Allegro” as being a well-known piece in the horn repertoire. Robert Schumann, like many other composers, knew he could give this piece a wider audience if he transcribed the horn part for other instruments, which was certainly a very easy process. In this case, he wrote transcriptions for both violin and cello (cue the sad trombone for the viola), but it wasn’t a stretch for someone else to create a version for viola later on.
– The viola flight of Flights of Fancy utilizes a Jewish folk song titled “Az Ich Bin Zingen” (Yiddish for “And When I Sing”). In the moments after the flight ends, the strings imitate the sound of sirens, which composer Till Meyn says represents “a warning of WWII alarms that alert us to the dangers of being too complacent.” Find out much more about the piece in our interview with the composer, coming soon to a Director’s Notes blog near you. [Update: The interview is here.]
—The Quartet No. 23 was Mozart’s last string quartet, and it was composed at a time of extreme financial hardship. It was written for and dedicated to the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II, who was an amateur cellist (which explains the exciting cello part), in hopes of receiving a commission. He did not get the commission, however, and reluctantly sold the score to a publisher for bargain-basement prices. A pity, considering what an incredible piece it is.