Jan. 26th 8pm
Satchel Henneman performs a concert of solo classical guitar works and a series of stories. Works by JS Bach, Franz Schubert, Luciano Berio and Marguerite Brown, paired with personal recounts, Henneman presents a night of variety, expression, and virtuosity.
JS Bach’s Second Lute Suite BWV 997
The Partita is laid out in four movements, only the last two of which — the Sarabande and the Gigue — are of the dance variety usually found in a Baroque instrumental suite. Instead of following the opening Preludio of the Partita with an allemande and a courante, Bach provides a fugue of extraordinary density and very unusual form.
The Preludio is of the through-composed, entirely non-improvisational variety. It is written in two voices throughout, the higher one florid and of great flexibility, the lower moving mostly in steady quarter notes. This magnificent movement is of a peculiarly resigned tone, powerfully expressive but never indulgent. One hardly gets a sense of virtuosity as the sixteenth notes unfold, and yet the movement is of great difficulty.
The Fuga is an extraordinary example of its breed. Rather than a continuously developmental kind of contrapuntal piece that climaxes at the end, this fugue is written in true da capo form, with the opening forty-eight bars of music reprised after a contrasting central section. The subject of the fugue is absolutely stunning, featuring a dramatic leap of a major seventh and some tense, rising chromaticism.
The Sarabande is laid out in two equal halves, each of which begins ponderously — and with a little imitation between the treble and bass — but soon moves on to roving sixteenth notes.
Bach chooses to provide a Double at the end of the graceful Gigue proper, filling in all the rhythmic gaps of the original version of the dance with smaller ornamental notes while retaining the basic harmonic and melodic shapes. A final arpeggio plunge draws a resonant conclusion.
A Set of Songs by Franz Schubert: Lob Der Thranen, Standchen
Lob der Tränen (In Praise of Tears, (D. 711), from 1818, was once one of Schubert’s most popular songs: it was included in the first volume of Peters edition of the songs and was apparently frequently sung in recital and at home. It is easy to understand why: the melody is intimately melancholy but with a lift at the end of each of the four strophes that brings comfort and consolation. August von Schlegel’s poem “Lob der Tränen” is itself is much more melancholy and even agonizing with its images of tears and sorrows, but Schubert’s setting seems deliberately to ignore these qualities and to dwell less on pain and suffering than on comfort and consolation. The warm triplets of the piano accompaniment, the quiet rapture of the vocal melody, and the Schubertian balance between major and minor make Schubert’s Lob der Tränen one of his most soothing songs.
Sequenza XI by Luciano Berio
A Set of Solos by Marguerite Brown: Altostratus Undulatus, Crown Shyness
Marguerite Brown is a Northwest born Seattle composer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist. Her work is focused on exploring the concept of cross-culturalization of different musical traditions and modern concepts.