Two Rivers Brass ensemble performs at Centenary March 21

 

March 21, 2017

SHREVEPORT, LA — Two Rivers Brass will perform a free concert in Anderson Auditorium at the Hurley School of Music on the Centenary College campus on Tuesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The program includes Two Chorale Preludes by Johannes Brahms, Sonata by Frances Poulenc, Brass Trio by Allan Blank, Brass Trio by Fisher Tull, Duncan Trio by David Sampson, and Shapes of Klee by Walter Ross. Except for the Brahms, originally for organ and arranged by trio member Tom Hundemer, all the works on the program are 20th and 21st century works.

The brass trio as an ensemble has a small repertoire of works, probably the first and most well-known is the Sonata by 20th century French composer Frances Poulenc, a member of a group known as “Les Six” who were influenced by ideas of Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, among others. Poulenc’s style is known as Neoclassicism, and Poulenc’s Sonata reflects the classicism of Mozart—clear textures and phrasing--but with a 20th century acerbity and wit.

Allan Blank’s Trio in Two Movements dates from the 1980s, when trends were changing in concert music, and displays driving tempos, lyric phrases on top of rhythmic accompaniments, and - like Poulenc - a bit of witticism. Trio by Texas native Fisher Tull, long time professor at Sam Houston State, is the most challenging work on the program for both performers and listeners. It is a seldom performed but fascinating study in brass colors and textures. David Sampson’s Duncan Trio from 2002 has 3 short movements, “Reflection,” “Solemn Hymn,” and “Crooked Dance.”

Walter Ross’s Shapes of Klee (1995) takes as inspiration five paintings by the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee, who was an especially gifted colorist and one of the 20th century’s most influential abstract artists. Reproductions of the paintings will be displayed during the music. The movements (and paintings) are “Assyrian Game,” “Blooming,” “Revolution of the Viaduct,” “Blue Dancer,” and “Rhythmically.” The art is by turns sparkly, witty, vaguely sinister, evocative, and dance-like.

Two Rivers Brass was founded earlier this year and includes Centenary faculty members Michael Scarlato (trumpet and fluegelhorn) and Thomas Hundemer (French horn) along with J. Mark Thompson (trombone and bass trombone), a faculty member at Northwestern State University. All are members of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the I-49 Brass Quintet and perform extensively in the area as well as in the summers in Iowa, Ohio, and California.

The trio will perform this program several times in March and April, finishing in Alexandria as part of the Nachtmusik von BrainSurge series.