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Release: Aug. 25, 2000

The unusual combination of voice, double bass and piano will be featured in UI faculty recital

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa School of Music faculty recital will feature the unusual combination of voice, double bass and piano -- in the persons of mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle, bassist Diana Gannett and pianist/composer David Gompper -- at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 in Clapp Recital Hall. Their recital will be free and open to the public.

Although there is little original repertoire for voice and double bass, Eberle and Gannett were invited to perform together for the V Einco, a double bass convention held in Brazil at the end of August.

"When we got the invitation, we began researching appropriate repertoire," Eberle explained.

What they found were pieces that were suitable to be adapted to voice and bass. Inspired by a famous violin showpiece, the "Carmen" Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate, Gannett arranged four excerpts from Bizet’s "Carmen."

"These excerpts were particularly well suited to the duo," Eberle said, "since Carmen is one of the major roles in every mezzo-soprano’s repertoire." Gannett arranged the selections with the "Carmen" Fantasy in mind, to show off the virtuoso possibilities for extensive ornamentation in the double bass.

In addition to the "Carmen" excerpts," two songs by Johannes Brahms that were originally written for voice and viola were found that transposed nicely to the double bass. And four songs by Tchaikovsky also fit the combination well.

In addition Gompper, who is director of the UI Center for New Music, wrote two songs for Eberle and Gannett. Gompper chose texts from "Poems from a Midsummer’s Night" by Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell, a professor in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Gompper set "Like Words, Like Music" for voice, double bass and piano, and he composed "How the Lovers Found True Love after all" for Eberle and Gannett alone. Gompper’s Two Songs were premiered by Eberle and Gannett in Brazil Aug. 24, and the UI concert will be their U.S. premiere.

For the UI recital, Gompper arranged two Gershwin songs to close the program: "The Man I Love" for double bass and piano, and "Mine" for all three performers.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Eberle has performed internationally in opera, concert and solo recitals. The Atlanta Constitution wrote, "Katherine Eberle was a standout. More than any other performer, she showed what it takes for a solo performer to command the stage."

Her solo compact disc of songs of women composers, "From a Woman’s Perspective," has been issued by Albany Records on the Vienna Modern Masters Label. She was also soloist on a CD of the Mozart "Requiem" released by the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Eberle made her New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1993. In 1994 and ‘95 she toured as a musical ambassador for the United States Information Agency, performing in South America and Korea.

A graduate of the UI School of Music, Gannett returned to the UI to teach double bass in the fall of 1992. She also is the principal double bass of the Quad City Symphony. As president of the International Society of Bassists, she hosted the 1999 ISB convention at the UI School of Music.

She has been principal double bass of the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Black Hills Festival Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival and the Bronx Symphony, and been a member of the New Haven and New Jersey symphonies. As a chamber musician she has performed with members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford string quartets and the Borodin Trio. Her frequent solo appearances have included many premieres and solo improvisations as well as traditional repertoire. She has recorded a solo CD, "Ladybass."

Gompper joined the music theory and composition faculty of the UI School of Music in 1991. He has received numerous awards for his academic and musical achievements, including the Charles E. Ives Prize for composition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His "Lament for Bosnia" was premiered in 1998 by the UI Symphony and Choruses as part of "Global Focus: Human Rights '98," the UI’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of his other compositions, "Transitus" was premiered at Carnegie Hall and "Flip" was premiered by the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra.

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