There are Things to be Said (2009) takes its title and inspiration from a poem by American poet Cid Corman (1924-2004). I was struck by the simplicity and openness of the words. It is often in such elemental simplicity that we find true and powerful meaning; something I also strive for in my music. There are Things to be Said was commissioned and premiered by Allégresse. (Ingrid Stölzel)
Ingrid Stölzel (b.1971) is a composer whose music is being performed across the United States, Canada and Europe. She has written for ensembles such as newEar contemporary chamber ensemble, NOISE/ San Diego New Music, California E.A.R. Unit, Adaskin String Trio, Erato Chamber Orchestra, Allegrésse and Synchronia, among others. She is the winner of the 2010 NewMusic@ECU Festival Orchestra Composition Competition, the 2009 Cheryl A. Spector Prize, the 2007 UMKC Chamber Music Composition Competition and the 2006 PatsyLu Prize awarded by the International Alliance of Women in Music.
Stölzel is a frequent guest composer and her music has been heard at numerous music festivals and conferences including the IC[CM] 2010 International Conference on Contemporary Music in Spain, NACUSA 2010 National Conference, soundOn 2008 Festival of Modern Music, 30th Sacramento State Festival of New American Music, Oregon Bach Festivals, Ernest Bloch Festivals, 2007 Women in New Music Festival, Chamber Music Conference of the East, Otterbein Contemporary Music Festival, and Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival, among others.
Stölzel received her doctorate in composition at the University of Missouri, Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, where she studied with James Mobberley, Chen Yi and Zhou Long. She holds a Master of Music in Composition from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. She is a native of Germany and has resided in the United States since 1991.
Miniatures seemed the obvious addition to a program of American chamber music masterpieces for flute, oboe and piano. Each of the work’s five movements pays homage to folk music of the Americas. I Ride An Old Paint is a cowboy song from the U.S. and tells of a cowboy’s love for his horse. Adolorido, a well-known tune from Mexico, depicts the tale of betrayal and sadness. A spiritual from the U.S., Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land highlights the bluesy piano. Yaravi is a poignant lament from Peru and A Frog Went A-Courtin’ is a 400-year old favorite from the U.S.
The music of William Grant Still (1895-1978) represents a captivating blend of African-American, Latin American and European music. The composer’s eclectic training included studies with W.C. Handy, Edgar Varese and George Chadwick. At the age of 14, he taught himself to play the oboe among other instruments. He went on to play oboe professionally including stints with the National Guard Band and in a New York pit band. Still’s long and productive career included several significant firsts, including being the first African-American composer to have his works performed by major symphony orchestras. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Harvard, Oberlin and Bates College and a Guggenheim fellowship.
Halo. Most of what makes it into the news these days with regard to religion is the narrow-mindedness, the conflict, the territorial “marking” and unfounded claims of supremacy. For me what gets lost is the inherent beauty of the spiritual impulse and the profound teaching that each of the major traditions offer. Radiance is a concept that is found in all religions in one form or another. The image of the Halo is used in religious iconography to denote a kind of personal radiance that the possessor shows when they have achieved an abiding spiritual balance. It is described as an inner light that is nonetheless “visible” to others but is really more about feeling than vision. In this work there is not a literal link between the composition and haloes or specific religious imagery. Instead the connection is more intuitive — for me the musical elements of melody, harmony, and color that pervade the work seem to invite light into the mind and bring the attention to a subtle yet profound potential inherent in being human. (Kip Haaheim)
Kip Haaheim, b. 1955. After spending many years as a freelance bassist, composer/arranger, and producer in the San Francisco Bay Area Kip Haaheim began to study music composition eventually receiving his doctorate from the University of Arizona. In addition to concert music and interactive installations he has scored and produced the music for critically acclaimed films and presented his work nationally and internationally in a variety of venues. He is currently an Associate Professor of Composition on the faculty at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
Canto y Danza is a one-movement work in ABA form. The expressionistic Canto, with its quick, mercurial mood changes, serves as the A material. Natives of Perú or Bolivia would likely pick up on traits from their culture, though Westerners might not do so immediately.
Formally, the Canto is a series of three calls before entering a coda that is like the call that has become frayed. The first call is heard immediately at the outset of the piece, starting with the low B in the piano. The first utterance of the Canto in the flute and oboe is lifted directly out of quena flute bamboo music heard in Perú and from the zampoña panpipe practice.
The Danza begins with a short intro, after which begins the karnavalito rhythm and spirit in the piano. It’s something of an oompah figure with rhythmic variations. The two-note oscillating gesture is quite typical of many folkloric styles. These karnavalito motifs appear throughout this movement in each part.
Gabriela Lena Frank (b. 1972). Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has travelled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin-American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. She writes challenging idiomatic parts for solo instrumentalists, vocalists, chamber ensembles, and orchestras.
Recent premieres include New Andean Songs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella new music series; Inca Dances for guitarist Manuel Barrueco and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano; Peregrinos for the Indianapolis Symphony, Quijotadas for the Brentano Quartet, and Inkarrí for the Kronos Quartet. Upcoming works include those for guitarist Sharon Isbin, the Chiara Quartet, the King’s Singers, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and the Cleveland Symphony. Since 2007, Frank has served as composer-in-residence with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In 2009, Frank was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment. Her piece Inca Dances won the 2009 Latin Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.