American Flute Music: Leaving the Twentieth Centur[CD]
~ Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough
American Flute Music: Leaving the Twentieth Century Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough, flute Polly Brecht, piano CD length: 55:40 This CD includes liner notes with biographical information on the composers and information on each work. As the twentieth century came to a close it was evident that American composers made outstanding contributions to the literature for flute. This recording features some of the best of this work. The compositions represent a variety of compositional approaches, from the neo-romantic style of Robert Baksa, Keith Gates and Lowell Liebermann to the avant-garde by Robert Morris. This recording is the result of a research project conducted by the artist to select and record outstanding contemporary works for flute and piano or solo flute. The criteria for selection included works that had won composition competitions and works that had not been frequently recorded. Most works chosen were winners of the National Flute Association's Newly Published Music Competition. The Artists: Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough's career as a flutist and teacher spans over fifteen years in regions of the American Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast. She currently resides in New York State, where she serves as principal flutist of the Glens Falls Symphony and full-time lecturer at the College of Saint Rose. In addition, she is flutist and director of the Saint Rose Camerata, a chamber music series in residence at the College of Saint Rose. Previous faculty positions include instructor of flute at New Mexico State University and Associate Professor of music at Middle Tennessee State University. While in Tennessee, Hansbrough founded the Middle Tennessee Flute Society and organized several flute festivals. She hosted many notable flutists including the late Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, Michele Debost, Susan Milan, Ervin Monroe and Viviana Guzman. Dr. Hansbrough has presented workshops and master classes at the Flute Festival MidSouth, Virginia Commonwealth University, Skidmore College, and the Tennessee Music Educators Conference to name a few. She has also taught at the Skidmore Flute Insitute and the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts. She has performed with many orchestras including the Nashville Symphony, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, Shaker Mountain Opera, Hudson Chamber Opera and the Huntsville Symphony (AL). As a soloist and chamber musician she has performed at many venues across the U. S. including Piccolo Spoleto Chamber Music Festival, several National Flute Association Conventions, Troy Music Hall, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Memphis, North Point Cultural Arts Center, Saratoga Arts Center, and the Pleshakov Performing Arts Center. She has been heard on NPR Performance Today with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, WPLN Studio C Live and WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium Live. Dr. Hansbrough holds a special interest in baroque performance practice. She has performed on baroque flute at the Baroque Festival in Greenfield Center, NY for several years and recently performed with the newly formed Empire Baroque. She has studied baroque flute with Stephen Preston, Christopher Krueger and most recently Janet See. Having a passion for contemporary works, Dr. Hansbrough has presented several world premieres. Most recent premieres include the Sonata for flute and harp and the Sonata for flute and guitar by prolific American composer Robert Baksa. She released her solo CD "American Flute Music: Leaving the Twentieth Century" in 1997. The CD includes works by composers Robert Baksa, Robert Muczynski, Lowell Liebermann, John Anthony Lennon, Keith Gates, Robert Morris and Joseph Schwantner. Many of these works were winners and finalists in the NFA Newly Published Music Competition. Dr. Hansbrough holds music degrees from New Mexico State University (BME), The University of Arizona (MM) and the Florida State University (DMA). She was the recipient of a University Fellowship and was a graduate teaching assistant while earning her doctorate at Florida State University. Her teachers include Susan West, Jean-Louis Kashy and Charles Delaney. Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough currently lives in Albany, NY with her husband Bob, 8 year old son Esteban. Recent Reviews: ...Cantata No. 78 'Jesu, der du meine Seele (Jesus, though who didn't take my soul).' Here the emotional content came mostly from the Empire Orchestra, an early music group organized by cellist Andre Laurent O'Neil. During an aria by Harrison, Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough had a haunting and memorable solo on the wooden flute. (Times Union, Albany NY, June 2006) Baksa's grand "Sonata No 1 for Flute and Piano (1976)....Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough made her flute sing like our finest singers .....After intermission Baksa's recent (2004) "Sonata for Flute and Guitar" was all gossamer lightness and poetry.....Hansbrough repeating her success with the flute. (Register-Star, Jan. 27, 2005 by John Paul Keeler) Flutist Hansbrough, in the Keith Gates opener, showed a very nice, smooth, un-vibrato sound....... (Vox in Camera, Albany, NY 2001) Polly Brecht holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano and Organ Performance, the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and the Prestigious Performer's Certificate in Harpsichord from Indiana University .She additionally holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the Florida State University . Dr. Brecht currently serves as University Organist at Vanderbilt University and is Organist/Associate Director of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Past performances by Dr. Brecht include recitals at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and Westminster Abbey in the United Kingdom. Examples of CD Liner notes: Robert Baksa, born in NY city in 1938 of Hungarian descent, grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where he attended the University of Arizona.. Baksa has composed over 500 works including songs, choral pieces, piano and harpsichord works, orchestral, chamber, film scores, and two short operas. A current project, now nearing completion, is a series of sonatas for various instruments with piano. These works will be published over the next several years along with the larger chamber works. Baksa's contribution to flute literature include Octet for Woodwinds, Quintet for Flute and Strings, Septet (Etudes and Chorale), several solo pieces, flute ensemble music, Sonata for Piccolo and Piano, and the Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano. Though it was composed in 1976, Baksa's Flute Sonata No.1 went unperformed for more than a decade. The work had it's premiere in New York City by Eugenia Zukerman. Shortly after publication the work was named a winner of the 1994 National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition and was well on it's way to becoming a popular piece. For this recording of the Sonata, Baksa offers the following commentary: "The Sonata is cast in three movements, each of which follows the general outlines of a sonata-allegro form. The cadenzas that separate the three movements is the unique feature of the work. Utilizing motives from the previous movement, the cadenzas provide a smooth transition to the subsequent portions of the music. The texture of the solo part reveals in the flute's capacity for technical display as well as it's natural affinity for long-breathed singing lines. The mood of the piece is optimistic throughout". Lowell Liebermann, born in NY City in 1961, studied composition at the Juilliard School with David Diamond and Vincent Persichetti and piano with Jacob Lateinier. He is the youngest composer to have received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has written works for piano, chorus, and sonatas for various instruments. His contribution to flute literature has been quite substantial including the Sonata for Flute and Piano, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (written for James Galway), Soliloquy for Solo Flute, and most recently a Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra, and Sonata for Flute and Harp. Soliloquy was a result of a commission by flutist Katherine Kemler; Kemler secured enough funds from grants to have Liebermann compose a five-minute work. Soliloquy was named a winner of the NFA Newly Published Music Competition in 1995. Although there is a presence of many lively, virtuosic passages, the meditative outlook of the opening theme returns to bring Soliloquy to a quiet close.
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