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Music by Members - Apr 27, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Anne Mayo

The Musical Club of Hartford Concert on April 27 will feature Baroque Music for Recorder and Bassoon, as well as a Twentieth-Century piece for Clarinet Violin and Piano, songs for Mezzo-soprano by Richard Strauss, and the Bach Goldberg Variations.

The final concert of the Musical Club’s season will take place on April 27, 2017 at 10:00 am at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, in West Hartford, and will feature a Sonata by Telemann for recorder, Violin, Viola da gamba and Harpsichord, as well as a Vivaldi Concerto for Bassoon with String Orchestra, songs by Richard Strauss, a Milhaud Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano and the Aria and five of the Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach.

The first selection on this program will be Telemann’s Trio Sonata in G minor TWV 42:G9, performed by Deborah Robin, recorder, Monika Kinstler, violin, Laura Mazza-Dixon, viola da gamba, and Nancy Curran, harpsichord. This piece presents interesting dissonances and rollicking tempi, with an especially haunting bird-like call in the third movement.

Next, Antonio Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major, RV485 will be performed by Fred Fenn, bassoon, Monika Kinstler, violin, Carolyn Jean Webb, violin, Robert Lindauer, viola, Laura Mazza-Dixon, viola da gamba, and Mattie Banzhaf, harpsichord.

Fred Fenn, bassoon


Fred Fenn is a retired special education teacher who has studied bassoon since his freshman year in high school. Fenn continued his music studies while at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont where he earned a BA in Behavioral Sciences. He has played with several orchestras, including the Vermont Philharmonic, the Torrington Symphony, and the Litchfield Chamber Orchestra and is presently performing with the Laudate Orchestra. He is also a member of the Nutmeg Woodwind Quintet and the Simsbury Band. His lives with his wife Anne in Barkhamsted.

VIVALDI PROGRAM NOTE [From composer and trombonist Aaron Rabushka] This concerto's opening Allegro non molto begins with a stately tutti section. The bassoon maintains this atmosphere in a discourse of greater prolixity, occasionally sliding into a more playful tone. Stateliness is in the air again for the tutti at the beginning of the ensuing Andante, and the bassoon explores some light shades of sadness. The concluding Allegro molto starts with a tutti that expresses some concerns at first, then shades into a more joyous mood. The bassoon holds forth with some high-spirited solo work that takes some unpredictable turns. Tutti passages alternate between concern and joy throughout.

Carolyn Bernstein, Lisa Kugelman, and Linda MacGougan will play Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 57b, by Milhaud, whose compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make extensive use of polytonality.

Milhaud program note: Darius Milhaud was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. He was a member of Les Six - also known as The Group of Six - and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make extensive use of polytonality. Milhaud is considered one of the key modernist composers. (Wikipedia)

Following the clarinet trio, Betty Knorr, mezzo-soprano, with Nancy Robbins, piano, will sing four songs by Richard Strauss: Nacht, Op. 10, No. 3; Allerseelen, Op. 10, No. 8; All’mein Gedanken, Op. 21, No. 1; and Zueignung, Op. 10, No. 1. The Opus 10 pieces were composed by Strauss when he was only 20 years old and are based on poems by Hermann von Gilm. The source of the Op. 21 song, composed a few years later, is a work by Felix Dahn.


Betty Knorr, mezzo-soprano, majored in Music Education at the University of Texas at El Paso, and is a violinist as well as a singer. She is a founding member of CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists). She has been a soloist and section leader in several churches in the Hartford area. Betty has been a soloist with the Hartford, Manchester, and New Britain Chorales. She has sung in concerts in England, Israel, and Paris. Currently she sings with CONCORA and the Hartford Chorale and plays violin in the Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra. She lives in Berlin, CT.

Lastly, Anchie Donn, piano, will perform “Variations 25-30” and “Aria” from Bach’s Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. In the Goldberg Variations, the 32-bar bass-line of the opening Aria forms the basis of the thirty variations that ensue. The Aria is repeated note for note at the end. The movements comprise various Baroque dance genres, virtuosic etudes, and canons at increasing intervals. Anchie Donn is one of the recipients of the Evelyn Bonar Storrs scholarship.

Anchie Donn, piano


Storrs Scholar Anchie Donn holds a Master of Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Music with highest honors from University of Michigan. Currently, she studies with Paul Rutman at The Hartt School, where she is a teaching fellow and doctoral candidate in piano performance.

PROGRAM NOTE J.S. Bach’s Aria mit verschiedenen Veraenderungen (Aria with Diverse Variations), published in 1741, is undoubtedly one of the most monumental works ever written for keyboard. The variations received their famous nickname from Johann Forkel, Bach’s first biographer, who wrote in 1802: "The count [Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk] once remarked to Bach that he would like to have a few keyboard pieces for his musician Goldberg, pieces so gentle and somewhat merry that the count could be a bit cheered up by them during his sleepless nights ... He could not get enough of them, and for a long time, whenever sleepless nights came, he would say, 'Dear Goldberg, do play me one of my variations.'"

Many Bach scholars have since proved Forkel’s whimsical account unlikely, but the popular moniker remains. The 32-bar bass-line of the opening Aria forms the basis of the thirty variations that ensue. The movements comprise various Baroque dance genres, virtuosic etudes, and canons at increasing intervals. The Variations culminate in a profound and exhilarating ending with the final six variations, performed today.


Note: Pearl Rourke, harp, originally scheduled on this program, had to withdraw because of a class schedule conflict. A senior in high school, Pearl has been accepted early admission at Trinity College (alma mater for both her parents). She intends to follow a double major in music and political science, and has promised to come back and play for us next year. Congratulations to Pearl from us all.