Our Lunchtime Classics series returns in September. Until then, we’re featuring some artists who have performed on past episodes.
Founded in 1982, Kentucky Center Chamber Players first performed in the Moritz Bomhard Hall at the Kentucky Center. Today, with the support of the University of Louisville and Indiana University Southeast, the ensemble performs in venues across the Kentuckiana area.
According to the group’s website, the mission of Kentucky Center Chamber Players is “to perform repertoire reflecting a breadth of styles, genres and instrumental combinations, including standard chamber music literature, as well as less familiar works by composers from the Classical Period to the 21st Century.” The core members of KCCP are Joanna Goldstein (piano), Peter McHugh (violin), Megumi Ohkubo (cello), and Dallas Tidwell (clarinet). The group often collaborates with a variety of musicians from the Louisville area in works ranging for as few as two string players to as many as 13 winds.
KCCP performs several times during the Fall – Spring arts season. When concert information becomes available, it will be listed at reverbnation.com.
Relive Kentucky Center Chamber Players’ most recent visit to WUOL:
On this week’s An English Pastorale we’ll feature music by early English composers. Join us Sunday morning at 9.
Orlando Gibbons belongs to the generation of English composers which followed that of William Byrd, 40 years his senior, who died in 1623. He was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his elder brother was Master of the Choristers, and later became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, which he served as an organist and to which he later added the position of organist at Westminster Abbey. He wrote music for the Church of England, madrigals, consort music and keyboard works.
William Boyce’s instrumental music includes a set of Eight Symphonies in eight parts, published in 1760, compositions that reflect the changing tastes of the time. His set of Twelve Trio Sonatas followed a fashion that had started with Corelli in the previous century and was now coming to an end.
In 1762, Johann Christian Bach traveled to London to première three operas at the King’s Theatre. That established his reputation in England, and he became music master to Queen Charlotte. By the late 1770s, his music was no longer popular and his fortunes declined. His steward had embezzled almost all his wealth and Bach died in considerable debt in London on New Year’s Day, 1782.
Carl Frederick Abel (picture) went to London in 1759, where he was appointed chamber musician to Queen Charlotte in 1764. When J.C. Bach arrived in London in 1762, they became friends and in 1765 established the “Bach and Abel” concerts that included the first public performances in England of Joseph Haydn’s symphonies. Abel and Bach also befriended the young Mozart when he visited London. One of Abel’s symphony was mistaken for an early Mozart work for many years.
Orlando Gibbons – Fantasia a 4 No. 1
Anonymous – Concerto Grosso in F minor
William Boyce – Concerto Grosso in B-flat Major
Johann Christian Bach – Piano Concerto in D Major, KOp. 1 No. 6
Carl Frederick Abel – Symphony No. 6 in E-flat Major
The visual arts have always inspired composers to create music. Remember Nat King Cole singing “Mona Lisa”? The classical music world is full of works inspired by paintings and drawings. Perhaps the most famous classical piece of this nature is “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky.
German composer Paul Hindemith wrote an opera inspired by a religious altarpiece painted by Matthias Grünewald. Called the “Isenheim Altarpiece,” the Grünewald piece is a series of folding panels that reveal many different scenes. Hindemith took three of the scenes and created a symphony for orchestra from the opera. The title, “Mathis der Maler,” translates as Matthias the Painter.
The first movement is called “Angelic Concert.” The music depicts a concert of angels singing the news of the Christ child’s birth at the nativity. The second movement, “Entombment” is a musical depiction of the bottom panel which remains always visible at the base of the altarpiece below the wings.The third and final movement, “The Temptation of St. Anthony,” shows strange creatures reminiscent of the work of Hieronymus Bosch.