Depraved GOAT – Tales


On Sunday, March 24, 2024 the Pasadena Conservatory of Music introduced the second on this season’s Depraved GOAT live performance collection of Up to date Music for Younger Folks. The live performance is free to the Conservatory group and each seat in Barrett Corridor was stuffed with keen faces and proud mother and father. The theme for this event was Tales and a stellar group of Los Angeles-based performers had been available to deliver 4 new music compositions to life, together with a world premiere. Sopranos Hila Plitmann and Elissa Johnston introduced their extraordinary voices to the stage, and this was the primary Depraved GOAT live performance to incorporate vocalists. Alyssa Park and Timothy Lavatory of the Lyris Quartet accompanied, together with Brian Walsh of Brightwork New Music and Conservatory piano college members Nic Gerpe and Katelyn Vahala. Jane Kaczmarek contributed her wonderful narration for the ultimate piece. Three of the composers had been in attendance and gave introductory remarks in particular person and the fourth, Paul Moravec, addressed the viewers by way of video.

First on this system was a world premiere, The Poetry of Nature (2020), by Gernot Wolfgang. Wolfgang famous that he composed this through the lengthy months of Covid isolation and that for him, nature is a non secular expertise that begins three miles from the path head. The piece is a cycle of 4 songs about nature with texts taken from well-known poets and sung by famous soprano Hila Plitmann, accompanied by pianist Nic Gerpe. Daylight and Moonlight, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was first, and this started with robust piano chords and gentle vocals. Hila Plitmann’s pure tone and clear diction completely match the direct language and considerate pictures of the Longfellow poem. The textual content was displayed on a big display screen whereas Ms. Plitmann’s supple voice allowed the phrases to comfortably fill the efficiency area in any respect dynamic ranges. The haunting and stylish feeling of this music made for an efficient portrayal of moonlight and daylight.

The following music was primarily based on Blue Butterfly Day, by Robert Frost. This opened with a collection of speedy, fluttering figures on the piano and strong vocals, all in a very good steadiness. Ms. Plitmann’s voice was efficient over an prolonged vary and demonstrated a fastidiously managed depth in any respect pitches. Extra spectacular, maybe, was the truth that she sang your complete music cycle from reminiscence. Rumors from an Aeolian Harp, by Henry David Thoreau, adopted. This was quiet, cautious music at first, reserved and introspective. A robust soprano passage reached as much as the again row of the corridor, confirming Plitmann’s extraordinary vocal talent and management. Because the piece proceeded, it alternated between gentle and forceful, all the time with simply the correct amount of energy from the vocalist.

The ultimate music of the work was primarily based on Afternoon Upon a Hill, by Edna St. Vincent Millay. This was upbeat and filled with movement with many adjustments to dynamics and tempo within the piano line. The brightly expressive really feel was properly captured by the high quality coordination between Gerpe and Plitmann. A quietly efficient ending introduced this piece to an in depth. The Poetry of Nature is a solidly modern piece, but accessible to all audiences.

The second work on the live performance program was Three People Songs (2016) by Gabrielle Rosse and this was carried out by soprano Elissa Johnston accompanied by Katelyn Vahala of the Conservatory piano college. The texts had been drawn from conventional people songs, the primary being Black is the Colour adopted by Fairly Little Horses. Black is the Colour opened with gradual, darkish piano chords that created a dramatic setting. The soprano vocals had been very expressive, aided by the wealthy fullness of Ms. Johnston’s voice. The phrases floated out to the viewers with a lush warmness that supplied a powerful basis for the easygoing melody. When referred to as for, Ms. Johnston may summon a robust sound with good dynamic vary, however the heat in her voice all the time got here by within the music. Because the piece proceeded, there have been typically adjustments from quiet to robust however these had been skillfully navigated and all the time underneath management.

The second piece, Fairly Little Horses, was quiet and nearly like a lullaby. The haunting really feel of this piece was delivered with cautious consideration to nuance and element. Rosa de Sal (2020), by Reena Esmail, adopted, and this was additionally carried out by Johnston and Vahala. The textual content was by the poet Pablo Neruda and sung in Spanish. The piece opened with a quiet piano determine because the soprano entered in a low voice. The piano moved to a easily energetic line, including a way of drama. The vocals adopted the accompaniment with stunning singing and a hovering passage that stuffed the area with a strong sound. Because the piece proceeded, the dynamics typically modified between loud and gentle with Ms. Johnston in full management. All the vocal music on this live performance struck a high quality steadiness between modern abstraction and accessibility for the listening viewers.

The ultimate work in this system was the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy (2003), by Paul Moravec. This was an instrumental piece scored for piano, violin, cello, and clarinets with Nic Gerpe returning to the piano. There have been 5 actions in all, a meditation on the characters of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare. Earlier than the assorted actions had been introduced, Jane Kaczmarek’s temporary narrations had been invaluable for establishing an Elizabethan ambiance. The phrases had been delivered and not using a microphone, however her rendering of the Shakespearean texts was clearly understood, even within the far higher reaches of the viewers.

Of all of the items on this system, Tempest Fantasy was simply probably the most intense. “Ariel”, the primary motion, set the tempo with a quick tempo, damaged rhythms and an brisk really feel. Solely masterful coordination among the many gamers saved this piece on monitor, and a pleasant groove quickly developed. “Prospero”, motion II, was in sharp distinction with lengthy, sustained tones and languid harmonies. An expressive violin solo rising above the feel, inviting a questioning really feel. A gradual tutti part in the direction of the end proved darkly dramatic. The sense of thriller deepened in “Caliban”, motion III, with Brian Walsh’s bass clarinet including a brilliantly sinister contact. Violin and cello mixed in a halting melody that featured wonderful coordination between the gamers. Because the tempo and complexity elevated, all of the gamers joined in a purposeful tutti part on the end.

Motion IV, “Candy Airs”, was simply that with quiet piano chords beneath a beautiful violin solo by Alyssa Park. The opposite devices joined in to create a fullness that was introspective and nearly nostalgic. The dynamics rose and the rhythms turned extra energetic, solely to fall again to a gradual and sleek end. “Fantasia”, motion V, was the rousing climax to the work and this opened with speedy piano passages. The cello and clarinet quickly joined in, including to the thrill, and a easy, declarative violin line arced over the energetic texture beneath. Because the piece progressed, the rhythms appeared to deconstruct into separate, damaged strains that additional elevated the choppiness. At one level, Timothy Lavatory could possibly be seen nearly leaping out of his chair in an try and hold his cello within the combine. The depth elevated earlier than falling again, after which elevated once more simply earlier than the end. The “Fantasia” motion was fairly a trip and put an exclamation mark on Tempest Fantasy.

Afterwards, a gaggle of Conservatory college students skillfully carried out covers of well-liked music through the post-concert reception held within the meeting corridor. The Depraved GOAT live performance collection is turning into a high quality custom for the Pasadena group and continues to facilitate the appreciation of recent music to a rising viewers. Altogether it was a great way to spend a wet afternoon.


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