Canadians, Australians, Hungarians, Americans…Ohhhh My!

International Music NoteThe Oscars are this weekend. As I absolutely love going to the movies and am a student of how music and sounds are used in film, I would really like to write a post on music and film. But given the nationalistic controversies fueled by the current administration; the White House Budget Office’s released hit list of programs that could result in the complete elimination of our vital National Endowment of the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and National Endowment of the Humanities; and English singer, bassist, and composer Roger Waters’ announcement this week that he is considering performing Pink Floyd’s The Wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; I’ll have to point you to an article via Gramophone in which Philip Glass and John Corigliano discuss whether–or when–film music counts as “classical.” (click the image below to view the article).

Tweet-Glass-CoriglianoI would then like to point to a few performances taking place this Sunday in our little corner of the world. And while I realize, dear reader, that it is “preaching to the choir,” I do feel we need to be reminded that such events—especially in the age of our increasingly socially insulating digital devices—are not a luxury, but a necessity in furthering a healthy and vibrant society.

At The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 3:00 PM, the acclaimed Canadian Brass combines with the voices of Albany Pro Musica (APM) for a delightful and unique performance. Dominick Argento’s work for voices and percussion I Hate and I Love sets the tone for a program that exalts the ideals of love, and the grand finale features the breathtaking Canite Tuba by APM’s Composer-in-Residence Donald McCullough.

If brass and choral works on not your style, there is the Union College Concert presenting the venerable Austrian string quartet, the Hagen Quartet. The unprecedented three-decade career of the Hagen Quartet began in 1981 with four siblings. Its early years, marked by a series of prizes in chamber music competitions and an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon produced nearly 50 CDs over the following twenty years, and enabled the group to work its way through the virtually unlimited quartet repertoire from which the distinctive profile of the Hagens has emerged. You can take in a program of Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók, and Antonín Dvořák as the Hagan’s perform on the four famous Stradivarius instruments played previously by the Paganini Quartet, the Cleveland String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet, respectively. This concert takes place at 3:00 pm in the Union College Memorial Chapel.

And then if the wind ensemble is something you haven’t explored yet and you like choral music, you’ll most certainly want to check out The Saint Rose Music Department presents an international collaboration entitled a music extravaganza featuring The Saint Rose Wind Ensemble, guest composer, conductors and performers from Szeged University in Hungary, and the acclaimed Saint Rose Masterworks Chorale. This concert marks the fourth exchange of music faculty between The College of Saint Rose and Hungary’s Szeged University since spring 2015 and features Magnificat, a work for chorus and wind ensemble by acclaimed composer Peter Tóth who is the Dean of the School of Music at Szeged University.

The full program is to include:

  • Fryges HidasViolino; Péter Masopust, violin and Dan Foster, piano
  • Péter TóthMagnificat; The Masterworks Chorale and Dr. Jozsef Csikota, conductor
  • John C. HeedIn Storm and Sunshine; conducted by Robert Hansbrough
  • Fryges Hidas — Concerto No. 2 for flute and wind ensemble; Laura Varga, flute and Jozsef  Csikota, conductor
  • David GillinghamCouncil Oak; conducted by Robert Hansbrough

A great mix of Hungarian and decidedly American music. Despite the fact you’ll miss the Oscar’s red carpet extravaganza, this concert at the Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose begins at 7:30 pm. Don’t worry … you’ll be home in time to find out what film receives the Oscar for “Best Picture.”  And, I’ll be sure to tweet out what film score captures this year’s Oscar. Happy musicking this weekend!

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