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Saint Paul SundayProgram Listings

August 2005

Colin Carr, cello; Lee Luvisi, piano
Guest host
Ara Guzelimian
Senior Director and Artistic Advisor at Carnegie Hall
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  Colin Carr
Colin Carr
  Lee Luivisi
Lee Luvisi
Teutonic Trio
Cellist Colin Carr and pianist Lee Luvisi first met in Mr. Carr's 20s and have in one way or another been making music together ever since. This week, the acclaimed duo brings cello music of three German composers whose lives and art often intertwined. Robert Schumann's moving "Adagio and Allegro" opens the program, followed by a supreme work of the solo cello repertoire, the Sarabande from J.S. Bach's sixth cello suite. As if to tie the whole together, the performers finish with the first cello sonata of Johannes Brahms, a composer whom Schumann mentored and who drew heavily on Bach's "Art of the Fugue" in the sonata's concluding movement.

document Colin Carr performing on Saint Paul Sunday, June 2000
document Colin Carr performing in Music@Menlo

Robert Schumann: Adagio and Allegro, Opus 70
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello suite No. 6 in D major
Johannes Brahms: Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano in e minor, Opus 38

Mixed Company Web log:
"Musical snapshots"
Suzanne Schaffer, August 3, 2005
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When our guest host Ara Guzelimian asked cellist Colin Carr and pianist Lee Luvisi about their first meeting, Colin laughed at the memory. Carr and Luvisi met at a chamber concert organized by the great violinist Oscar Shumsky. Carr recalled that he was a headstrong teenager brave enough (or foolish enough) at the time to tell the revered Shumsky where his performance ideas could be improved! Since then, Carr and Luvisi’s performing careers have crisscrossed several times, and both agree their artistry and relationship have evolved since their first meeting.

The music in this program, though, is like a snapshot of the composers at a particular time in their life. We have an uncharacteristically joyful piece from Schumann and an early work from Brahms that is missing the hint of melancholy that we usually hear in his later work. All of this makes me think of my changing relationship to particular pieces of music. At some points, one particular song will resonate quite strongly and later the connection will disappear a bit, while I suddenly appreciate much more a song I've known (and not thought about) for a long time. Do you have a piece of music that has circulated in and out of your life, or is there one song that has remained a constant?

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For information about Colin Carr and Lee Luvisi recordings visit Public Radio MusicSource

The Romeros
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  Romero Guitar Quartet
Romero Guitar Quartet

Father & Grandfather
The legacy of the great Spanish guitarist Celedonio Romero (1913-1996) continues to flourish today as the Romero Guitar Quartet, a foursome made up of two of Señor Romero's sons and two of his grandsons. This week, we get a spellbinding glimpse into the roots and latest developments of this extraordinary tradition. Join Bill McGlaughlin as he welcomes Pepe, Celin, Lito, and Celino Romero for music of Boccherini, Albeniz, Gimenez, and Celedonio himself. It's an hour of unforgettable music making.

Michael Praetorius: Bransle de la torche
Isaac Albeniz; arr. Pepe Romero: Granada
Celedonio Romero: Zapateado
Luigi Boccherini; arr. Pepe Romero: Introduction and Fandango
Jeronimo Gimenez; arr. Pepe Romero: La Boda de Luis Alonso
Pepe Romero: Fiesta en Cadiz (Homage a Sabicas)
Celedonio Romero: Noche en Malaga

Mixed Company Web log:
"Royal Family"
Vaughn Ormseth, August 10, 2005
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Our programs with the great Pepe Romero (you can hear the most recent one here) are true high points of my time with Saint Paul Sunday. Pepe's not just an absolute master of the guitar and its illustrious Spanish tradition—he's also a delightful human being. There seems to be little separation among his personal and artistic and ancestral selves—they all feel grounded in the same source, and each adds its own magic to the spell cast by his playing.

Pepe is the first to acknowledge his debt to the tradition he's devoted his life to realizing, particularly as it was embodied by his own father, Celedonio Romero. And at one point during his last session with us, he said, "You know, I have this family…"

We did know, of course, and this week's program is how we got to meet three of them: another of Celedonio's sons, Celin, and two of his grandsons, Lito and Celino—all of whom play the guitar masterfully.

Traditions are often referred to as "living," but it was amazing to experience, close up, what that actually means as these four fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, and sons passed Celedonio's "Zapateado" and "Noche en Malaga" back and forth among themselves in the close circle of a quartet.

Please let us know of any family music making of your own...

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For information about Romero String Quartet recordings visit Public Radio MusicSource

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Fun Frolic
Dodecaphunphrolic—a work composed by Stephan Freund for the unusual combination of clarinet, violin, cello, and piano—aptly describes Antares, the ensemble that performs it this week on Saint Paul Sunday. The "dodeca" of the title refers to the twelve-note scale around which the piece is written. Antares makes the "phunphrolic" part obvious. These brilliant young performers also bring us romantic music by Walter Rabl, a movement from Messiaen's ecstatic "Quartet for the End of Time," and a recent commission from John Mackey called "Breakdown Tango."

Document Artist Web site
Document Artist bio

Stephan Freund: Dodecaphunphrolic Walter Rabl: Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, Opus 1
—I. Allegro Moderato
Paul Hindemith: Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano
—III. Ma ß ig Bewegt—Lebhaft-Ruhig Bewegt—Sehr Lebhaft
Olivier Messiaen: Quartet For the End of Time
—VII. Cluster of rainbows, for the Angel who announces the end of Time
John Mackey: Breakdown Tango (2000)

Mixed Company Web log:
"Not quite camera shy "
Suzanne Schaffer, August 19, 2005
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When Antares arrived at the studio for this recording, I thought, 'here's a fun, fairly new quartet.' They seemed laid-back, chatted with the engineers a bit, sipped some coffee and then one of them said—I don’t remember if this was the exact quote, but it's the idea—"Let's get down to business."

Antares: "Eclipse" Antares: "Eclipse"
link Liner notes
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When the quartet sat down to play, their intensity and concentration were amazing. The musicians were keenly perceptive of one another's smallest gestures, an eyebrow raise or slight rubato over one note. It was as though they were the only four in the studio.

That turned out to be the actual case, not just figurative. Saint Paul Sunday had just gotten a new digital camera. While Antares was rehearsing I was going around the studio taking pictures and experimenting with different focuses, flashes and all the other gadgets on the camera. At one point, they had stopped at a dramatic pause and the camera flashed and clicked, completely ruining the moment. I apologized and I believe it was Rebecca who said, "Don’t worry. I didn't notice that you were here taking pictures."

In that way, the contrasts of this group are stunning. They play with fierce concentration, but their repertoire is fresh, engaging and charismatic which makes me believe that they are also great observers of the world around them. What did you enjoy in Antares's performance?

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For information about Antares recordings visit Public Radio MusicSource


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The nine exceptionally gifted young artists of Concertante perform as various ensembles, from familiar combinations of five and six to the rarer mélange of the nonet. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Concertante visits the studio as a sextet to play two seldom-heard jewels of the chamber repertoire: Johannes Brahms's Opus 18 String Sextet, a serene and sunny work that nonetheless reflects hard-won transcendence of loss, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's suggestively beautiful Souvenir de Florence. In whatever form it happens to take, Concertante performs with great insight and dash.

Johannes Brahms: Sextet in B flat Major, Op. 18
—I. Allegro ma non troppo
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Sextet in d minor, Op. 70 (“Souvenir de Florence”)
—I. Allegro con spirito
—II. Adagio cantabile e con moto Moderato
Johannes Brahms: Sextet in B flat Major, Op. 18
—III. Scherzo

Mixed Company Web log:
"Ad Hoc"
Vaughn Ormseth, August 26, 2005
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  Mendelssohn: Octet in Ef; Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence in D Op70; ConcerTante Chamber Players

A long and happy tradition here is to keep the studio door open for artists and ensembles who embody chamber music in its original and perhaps truest sense-who carve themselves out of a larger pool into groups of three, six, nine, or whatever the music at hand calls for. It keeps alive the familial bonhomie small music had before it entered the concert hall, when it was performed on command in homes (albeit aristocratic homes) or as the spirit moved. It's one of my own favorite kinds of performance, sparking the chemistry festivals like Marlboro and Menlo are beloved for.

Concertante radiates that same chemistry, and its approach shines in the performances of the two works it brings this week-especially Johannes Brahms's B-flat Major sextet, a work shot through with anguish outlived and serenity reclaimed. Brahms apparently composed it at a remote castle in the northern Teutoburger forest. Sure enough (nature lover that I am), its opening movement never fails to calm me into something like a mystical state.

Concertante doesn't over-complicate the direct simplicity of its leading melody yet remains responsive at every point to the deep wells of world-wisdom Brahms draws from throughout.

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For information about Concertante recordings visit Public Radio MusicSource

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