Classical Guitar Concert
November 17, 2013
Serving the Lord for over 183 years
______________________________________________________________________________________________KIRK REDMAN, CLASSICAL GUITAR
Sonatina Meridional………………………………..…Manual Ponce (1882-1948)
La Catedral…………………………………..………Agustín Barrios (1885-1944)
Prelude, Fugue, & Allegro………………………………..Johann Sebastian Bach
La Source Du Lyson………………………..………Napoleon Coste (1805-1883)
Manuel Ponce (1882-1948) is one of the great Mexican composers of the 20th Century and has written for nearly all major genres and forms. His style continually developed during his life but his music, like his personality, is almost always marked by an introspective quality. His collaborations with the Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia are both numerous and well documented, including several sonatas, theme and variations, preludes, and a concerto. At the age of forty-three, Ponce returned to Europe to study contemporary French musical trends with Paul Dukas in 1926. There he was greatly influenced by Dukas’ thematic development and orchestral colors. In 1927, he composed Sonata III with a new personal language filled with the stylistic traits of French Impressionism. Sonatina Meridional, written in Paris during 1932, is the last guitar solo Ponce wrote for Segovia and is an good example of the cross-fertilization of musical styles--folkloric, neoclassical, neo-romantic and impressionistic--which characterize Ponce's works of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The predominance of Spanish folkloric elements and the status of sonatina in this work are both due to Segovia's prodding Ponce for another solo work. The Spanish elements are also evident in the titles of the three movements of this sonatina: "Campo" (country), "Copla" (a popular Spanish song) and "Fiesta" (festival or party). The "Campo," marked Allegretto and in D major and 3/8 meter, is in sonata form. The first theme is evocative of a traditional Andalusian flamenco. A lyrical second theme is announced in the dominant over an A pedal immediately after a transitional passage of étouffé, or partially muted, bass notes. The second theme is a slow and beautiful movement with an improvisatory feel. In line with improvisatory nature of the movement, the structure and phrasing are somewhat irregular and unpredictable. This is most notable in the instances of sudden changes of mode and meter. The most common of these is the use of hemiola, which is a switching between two groups of 3 and three groups of two. A similar use of hemiola also appears throughout the final movement frequently mixed in with syncopated rhythms, always keeping the listener on their toes. This movement is suggestive of a larger form. Ponce creates a great deal of space with drastic switches in register within sections. The movement also explores a great many moods and styles which one may not expect in a basic representation of a 'fiesta'. However, the composer weaves many threads throughout this Fiesta with skill. Including jokes told over the loud chatter and a short fight breaking out between a couple of rowdy guests.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) is perhaps the best known Baroque composer today. A prolific composer by modern standards, Bach’s catalogue totals over one thousand compositions. The great majority of these works were composed for church services, but he also wrote a number of “secular” works, which although not written for a liturgical service, bore the marks of a deeply spiritual individual. He marked each composition with the initials S.D.G (Soli Deo Gloria) translating ‘to God alone the glory’. Bach held three major positions throughout his life. After a few short lived jobs as an organist, Bach secured a job in Weimar as both church organist and the court musician for Duke Wilhelm Ernst. After almost a decade of working in Weimar, the Kapellmeister passed away, leaving the post vacant. When Bach was unable to obtain the newly vacant post, he became frustrated and sought work elsewhere. He found that work as Kapellmeister for Prince Leopold of Cöthen. The Prince had a great interest in music beyond the church service, which allowed Bach to compose much more than liturgical music. It was during this time that Bach composed many of his unaccompanied solo works and the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier, among other “secular” works. Following some marital dissension between Leopold and his new wife, who was not interested in music and the arts, and severely curtailed such activities, Bach kept his eyes open for new employment possibilities. He found them as Kapellmeister of the famous Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where he remained for the rest of his life. Despite a great deal of responsibility, he found time for composition of many secular as well as sacred works, among them the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998, which was titled "pour luth o cembalo" (for lute or keyboard). It is unclear which instrument exactly the piece was composed for. The manuscript edition is labeled as being for either lute or harpsichord; however, there are issues of both range and technique that would make both the second and third movements impossible on a lute. Though, this is not an unusual feature of Bach on any instrument, as he frequently had musical ideas beyond what the instrument was capable of. Curiously, the last few bars of the “Allegro” were written out in organ tablature, further blurring the motive of the composer, though it is more likely than not, that this was simply a means of saving space. Considering all of these vague implications of instrumentation, it is likely that Bach used an instrument of his own invention to compose the piece. It was essentially a harpsichord with gut strings, designed to mimic the sound of a lute while requiring the technique of a keyboard player. The work as a whole has a great deal of theological symbolism ranging from the choice of key and time signature, to the source for much of the melodic material. In both the Fugue and the Allegro movements, a clear influence of the hymn “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich herr” composed by Martin Luther. It is possible that Bach carefully wove into this work references to each of the members of the trinity, with each of the three movements relating to a single Trinitarian member.
Virtuoso, guitar composer, and poet Agustín Barrios-Mangoré (1885-1944) was born in Southern Paraguay and received early formal instruction from guitarist Gustavo Sosa Escalada. He performed throughout South America and spent a short time in Europe. While a wonderful composer and player, and even one of the earliest guitarists to record his works, he was also strongly opinionated and considered by many, eccentric. He was directly descended from an indigenous tribe from which he gets his second surname Mangoré, taken later in life. During his performing career he passionately highlighted his ancestry by performing otherwise formal concerts in full tribal dress, make-up, and headwear. This was off putting to many and could be part of the reason for the little recognition he received in his lifetime. Barrios was undoubtedly one of the greatest guitar virtuosos of the 20th Century, but sadly, during his life he never received his due appreciation outside of South America. Barrios’ music has been championed by various performers and has since become part of the standard repertoire. La Catedral is one of Barrios's best known pieces and is a wonderful example of his sophisticated european style in conjunction with his folk routes and nationalistic mindset. The piece began as a two movement work inspired by an experience at the Cathedral of San José, in Montevideo. The now second movement of the piece depicts the composer in a state of awe upon hearing the music of Bach played on the organ in the cathedral hall. The final movement was inspired by the still worshipful composer leaving the cathedral into the busy streets of the city; a deep internal peace surrounded by the bustle of the crowds going about their days. The later added first movement is a song like melody with a stately and ethereal accompaniment written for his wife.
Napoleon Coste (1805 – 1883) was a guitarist and composer during the Romantic period, at what was unfortunately a period of declining interest in the guitar due to the expansion and increase in volume of piano and orchestral music. Despite this, he worked to publish his own compositions, as well as making the first “modern” transcriptions of Baroque guitar pieces from composers such as Robert DeVisée. He also continued performing and playing in competitions throughout Europe. He appeared numerous times in duo with his colleague and teacher Fernando Sor. Sor’s Classical Period influence can be readily seen in the compositions of Coste, though Coste’s style is much more Romantic in nature. This can be seen in both the richer, fuller harmonic material and in the formal structure, as well as in his more frequent use of programmatic ideas and titles. One such example of this is the Source du Lyson. It is a depiction of more than just the river Lyson, in France, but contains allusions to the surrounding environment and the rural culture of the region. It begins with a sudden bubbling passage, perhaps signifying the beginning of the river suddenly bursting forth from an underground cavern. The piece then moves into a more calm reflective section, perhaps suggesting to the listener a wider, slower moving section of the river. The piece then makes a sudden shift into a very folk like dance section. It is unclear whether Coste has recorded an otherwise undocumented folk melody, or if he is simply imitating such a style. We can gather from the original title, Fête Villageoise (Village Celebration) that this final section, which occupies the majority of the piece, is depicting a variety of festive events, including various dances and cheerful revelries.
Kirk Redman is an established teacher and performing guitarist. He has been studying classical guitar since the age of eight, and has been teaching classical and finger-style guitar for the past decade and was recently voted Best Music Instruction in the East by Cinci Magazine. A recent graduate of the prestigious College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, he is a regional performer regularly presenting engaging and varied Concert Programs. He enjoys bringing rarely heard music to a wide audience, performing in both formal Concert Halls and casual Diners and Cafes. Kirk has recently performed in some of the Country’s elite Guitar Competitions, including the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America International Artist Competition. He has studied with such influential musicians as Pavel Steidl, Zoran Dukic, Oscar Ghiglia, and Jason Vieaux.
On behalf of the Session and the members of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church we thank you for your presence and hope you enjoyed this wonderful concert. Please know that you are welcome at any time.
Serving the Lord for over 183 years
1004 North "A" Street
Richmond, IN 47374-3153
Church Office: 765-966-7618.
Pastor: The Rev. Joseph T. Fields,Jr., M.Div.
Office Administrator/Secretary: Linda Morris