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Music by Members - Oct 6, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Constance Hegarty

A Study in Contrasts: Music by Brahms, Duruflé, Rossini, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more.

The second Musical Club program of the season will take place on October 6, 2016 at 10 a.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Hartford. This program will have the theme “A Study in Contrasts.” Each performance will offer the audience the experience of contrasting styles, moods or energy.

The concert will begin with the Brahms Piano Trio, No. 1, Opus 8, Allegro con Brio, performed by Lisa Kugelman, violin, Karen Benjamin, cello, and Linda MacGougan, piano. The movement evokes both tenderness and stormy intensity. Written in 1854, after a wonderful visit with Robert and Clara Schumann and shortly before Schumann’s first suicide attempt, the Brahms Opus 8 Piano Trio was his first piece of published chamber music. Brahms, ever the perfectionist, revised the work in 1889 and this is the version commonly performed and recorded.

Next, two vocal contributions by tenor, Mark Child, accompanied on organ and piano by Connie Hegarty, from DuruflĂ©’s Requiem (Pie Jesu) and Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Cujus Animam), display distinctly unique expressions of anger, sorrow and peace in their settings of sacred texts.

Third on the program to be performed by Benita Rose, Frederic Chopin’s Fantaisie in F Minor, Op. 49, a challenging work freely moving from triumphant to somber moods. It is commonly thought that Chopin chose this title in order to indicate that his composition was free from convention.

Fourth, duet pianists Maryjane Peluso and Allison Platt, will present two salon pieces differing delightfully in style in Rachmaninoff’s Morceaux, Op. 11. The piece was first published in 1893 when Rachmaninoff was 20 years old and dedicated to Arensky, one of his Conservatory professors. The year before, Tchaikovsky had urged, in a newspaper interview, that younger composers, naming Glazunov, Arensky and Rachmaninoff, should be recognized, and Rachmaninoff is said to have written the last movement of the Morceaux in an enthusiastic response.

Rounding out the experience of ‘A Study in Contrasts” will be Brahms’ Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Eb Major, Op. 120, No. 2 and selections from Four Hebraic Pictures in the Klezmer Tradition, arranged by Simeon Bellison. Carolyn Bernstein, clarinet, and Lynn Woodard, piano, will perform. Originally, “klezmer” was simply a Yiddish word for musician, but, overtime its meaning evolved to represent a style of music used mainly for joyful occasions. Stemming from Eastern European and Russian harmonies and folk traditions Klezmer also incorporates gypsy influences.

This concert is the second in the Musical Club’s 2016-2017 season and takes place on October 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford. Admission is free for members of the Musical Club and $5 for members of the general public who are warmly welcome.

The Musical Club of Hartford’s mission is to develop the musical talent of its members and to encourage the study and appreciation of music through programs, lectures and concerts. In addition, the Club gives financial assistance to promising young artists and aid to musical projects in the community.


Brief biographies of the musicians who are performing in the concert Include:

Lisa Kugelman, violinist, West hartford, studied with Bernard Lurie, Roman Totenberg, and Syoko Aki, and performs regularly with the Hartford Symphony, the Worthington Trio, and the Arensky Trio. Karen Benjamin, cello, has played in Cambridge, Jerusalem, and Hartford for the past 30 years. Linda MacGougan, pianist, lives, performs as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician and teaches in West Hartford and throughout the State. She is a member of and serves as an adjudicator for the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association.

Constance Hegarty began work as Music Director/Organist at age 15; she did her graduate study in organ with Alessandro Esposito in Florence, Italy, on full scholarship. She studied piano with Donald Rankin at University of Rhode Island and, in the last 15 years, has performed numerous duo-piano concerts in Florida and Maine.

Benita Rose, pianist, has performed on three continents. She, with her husband, Tony Gibbs , were 2008 top prize winners in the professional division of the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition. Her performance of Gershwin's Concerto in F as soloist with the U.S. Coast Guard Band was broadcast on NPR's "Performance Today" with Martin Goldsmith. She is a church and concert organist, currently serving Bethany Lutheran Church in West Hartford.

Maryjane Peluso , NCTM, has music degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from the Crane School of Music, SUNY at Potsdam, and the Hartt School, University of Hartford. She performs locally as piano soloist, in chamber music, and as choral accompanist. Allison K. Platt has a Bachelor’s of Music in piano from the Hartt School , where she studied with Luiz deMoura Castro.

Carolyn Woodard received a Bachelor of Music Degree from The Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music Degree from the Hartt School of Music. She studied with William Harms, Edward Steuermann, and Raymond Hanson . She was a founding member of the Camerata Ensemble and has also performed with the Connecticut String Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony and the New World Ensemble.

Carolyn Bernstein has performed with numerous area orchestras since moving to CT in 1981.  From 2013 to 2015 she played in The Senior Orchestra Society of New York, a highlight of her musical career as a teacher and musician.  She attended Boston University and Hofstra University, earning a B.S. in Music Education. and an M.S. in Special Education . She served on the faculties  of the Hartt Community Division and the Camerata School of Music, and also taught music to children with multiple  disabilities.