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Member Program - January 30, 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
John Church

This program begins with music from the 16th century – Three Two-Part Canzonets – performed by Deborah Robin, recorder and Laura Mazza-Dixon, viola da gamba. Morley's madrigals and other compositions were enormously popular during his lifetime, and he continues to be considered one of the most inventive and important composers of Elizabethan England. These canzonets – or "Little Short Songs" – are instrumental examples of his affinity for Italian musical style and sensibility.

Next we’ll hear La pavane and La marche royale by Philidor, and Sonate en trio Op. 7, No. 4 in D minor by Boismortier, performed by Deborah Robin, recorder, David Schonfeld, baroque oboe, and Leo Snow, baroque flute. Woodwind trios in the Baroque era were often composed flexibly to accommodate different instrumental combinations. Boismortier composed Trio #4, for example, for 3 flutes, but the three lines fit the range of recorder, flute and oboe (in that order) quite nicely. While all three of these instruments were frequently heard in performance at the time, the oboe and flute were very much in vogue (and evolving toward their modern versions), while interest in the recorder, which had been a musical mainstay since the Middle Ages, was – alas – beginning to wane.

Léo Delibes and Julius Benedict were popular composers of the Romantic era, in France and England respectively. The next two art songs let the soprano strut her coloratura stuff to avian accompaniment. Tema Silk, soprano, Mark Silk; flute, and Stacy Cahoon, piano will perform Le rossignol by Delibes and Gypsy and the Bird by Benedict.

Edward MacDowell was one of America's most celebrated composers of the 19th century. He was one of the first Americans to be honored by membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1904). Selections from his 12 Virtuoso Etudes, Op. 46, will be played by Maryjane Peluso, piano.

While thought of Stephen Foster conjures sentimental or rousing songs, the first three selections showcase his whimsical glimpse into the everyday.  Fittingly, Foster’s sentiment caps off today’s program with the lark and nightingale of Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene. These songs will be presented by John Church, baritone, Tema Silk, soprano, and Maryjane Peluso, piano.