The Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrates American music with a program featuring the works of three American composers, Samuel Barber (Dover Beach featuring vocalist Nathan Gunn and Summer Music), Augusta Read Thomas (A Circle Around the Sun) and Charles Ives (String Quartet No. 1) on Monday, March 25 at 8 PM at Ahmanson Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Ahmanson Hall is located off the 405 Freeway at the Mulholland/Skirball Center Drive exit. The address is 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., in West Los Angeles.
Samuel Barber wrote Dover Beach in 1931 during his student years at Philhadelphia's Curtis Institute. This piece, as well as the numerous others completed during his eight years at the Institute, were not merely the work of a gifted student but rather that of an assured composer. It was these years that saw the initial formation of the Barber style-long lyric lines and the knowing exploitation of color and technique--that remained a staple of his style in his later years.
In discussing his Summer Music for Wind Quintet, Barber wrote it is "supposed to be evocative of summer…meaning languid." The one-movement whimsical piece passes through a variety of moods and energetic interchanges. However, the striking element of Summer Music is the impressionistic mood it conveys, an approach the composer typically avoided in his work.
Ives' String Quartet No. 1 was written in 1896. Ives wrote the piece, his first major work, when he was 21 and a sophomore at Yale University. A generally bright and energetic piece, the quartet hints at a type of homespun Americana in a time when such things were unknown in concert music. At that time, the German stylistic rules represented the only "correct" procedures; the American style would not come into existence for another 40 years.
Written in 2000, Augusta Read Thomas' A Circle Around the Sun for violin, cello and piano receives its Los Angeles premiere at this performance. Thomas is a professor of composition at Northwestern University and taught at the Eastman School of Music. She has been composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony since 1997.
Baritone Nathan Gunn is a graduate of the Met Young Artist Development program. His relationship with the Metropolitan Opera has fostered appearances such as Guglielmo in the international radio broadcast of Cosi fan tutte, as well as Schaunard in La Bohème, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Novice's Friend in Billy Budd. Recent concert engagements include his Carnegie Hall debut in Brahms' German Requiem, appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.
Chamber Music Society Concerts are presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in association with The Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation as a community service.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE
Monday, March 25, 8 PM
Chamber Music Society
Ahmanson Hall, Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
MEMBERS OF THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
NATHAN GUNN, baritone
Barber: Summer Music, for Woodwind Quartet
Barber: Dover Beach, for Voice and String Quartet
Thomas: A Circle Around the Sun
Ives: String Quartet No. 1
Tickets ($25) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, Tu Musica, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213.365.3500. Tickets will also available online at laphil.com or are available at Ahmanson Hall on the day of performance, two hours prior to the concert. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.
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Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; David Barber, 323/850-2023