CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 27, 2000
(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Coelho is pronounced QUAIL-yo. Tadeu is pronounced
University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will feature faculty in 'Appalachian
Spring' Nov. 12
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will feature
four faculty players in a performance of Aaron Coplands popular "Appalachian
Spring" Suite, one of two works on a short concert under the direction
of William LaRue Jones, beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
The concert, which will also feature Johannes Brahms Variations of
a theme of Joseph Haydn, op. 56a, will be free and open to the public. Featured
faculty players in the Copland will be Tadeu Coelho, flute; Maurita Murphy
Mead, clarinet; Benjamin Coelho, bassoon; and Shari Rhoads, piano.
Copland is one of the most popular and recognizably American composers of
the 20th century. He is especially known for works written with distinct and
deliberate American traits, including both jazz and folk-music elements. In
the late 1930s and 1940s he wrote a series of ballets with American folk themes,
including "Billy the Kid" and "Rodeo." The most popular
of these was "Appalachian Spring," written for the Martha Graham
Dance Company in 1944 and premiered that year in Washington, D.C.
Although most of Coplands musical Americana is freshly composed in
a style that only sounds like folk music, "Appalachian Spring" incorporates
one familiar melody, the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts." The score was
a hit from the beginning, and the suite from the ballet remains one of the
most popular orchestral pieces of the 20th century.
Brahms, who always had an interest in musical history, was acquainted with
one of the first biographers of Joseph Haydn, Carl Ferdinand Pohl. In 1870
Pohl showed Brahms a set of six unpublished divertimentos attributed to Haydn,
and in one of the movements, labeled "Chorale St. Antoni," Brahms
found a theme that was ideal for variation treatment. This soon became the
basis of his first major orchestral work, the "Variations on a theme
of Joseph Haydn," composed in 1873.
Brahms put the theme through a sequence of eight brilliant episodes, showcasing
nearly every section of the orchestra, and capped by a finale that is majestic
in expression and concise in its proportions.
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