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Schenectady County Community College

Capital

February 8, 1998

7:00PM

Scotia-Glenville High School

Scotia, NY

Program

El Relicario..........................................Jose Padilla, arr. Robert Longfied

Trittico..................................................Vaclav Nelhybel

Concertante... Eb Alto Saxophone Solo ....................Clare Grundman

                                              Linden Gregory, Soloist

Semiramide Overture ..........................G. Rossini, arr. by V.F. Safrank

Porgy and Bess Selection...................George Gershwin, arr. by R.R. Bennett

ENCORE
Circus Days..................................Karl L. King, arr. by Loras Schissel

PROGRAM NOTES

El Relicario Jose Padilla (arr. Robert Longfield)

Jose Padilla was born in 1889 in Almeria, Spain. His principal involvement with music was a composer of songs, both as solo pieces and parts of zarzuelas, one of the most popular of which is "El Relicario."

He attended the Madrid Conservatory, and soon became involved in the production of zarzuelas, principally as a conductor. The Spanish zarzuela is a form roughly comparable to the comic opera or Broadway musical, and is perhaps best identified as a happy marriage of these two popular musical genres. Another of Padilla's most popular songs "Valencia," was, in fact, adapted from a chorus in one of these zarzuelas, "La Bien Amada."

Following his early success in Spain, Padilla traveled to France, where he gained further fame in Paris as a songwriter, composing songs for such internationally renowned artists as Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.

The years immediately preceding the Spanish Civil War were spent by Padilla in Italy, but he returned to Spain shortly after the Civil War broke out, and remained there until the end of World War 11, at which time he returned to Paris, where he premiered a major orchestral work, his "Portuguese" Symphony.

Padilla wrote several hundred songs and produced some sixty stage works as well. Padilla eventually returned to Spain, where he died at age 71 in the Fall of 1960. His many songs remain perennial favorites with Spanish speaking people everywhere, and not just in his native land.

"El Relicario" is in the paso doble form, a Spanish dance very popular in the 1920's (and since), which is a kind of onestep . . . even though "paso doble" actually means "twostep" . . . usually set in 6/8 meter, but also sometimes, as here, in triple measure.

Trittico Vaclav Nelhybel

Trittico was composed for William D. Revelli who conducted the University of Michigan Band in the first performance of the work in the Spring of 1964. Trittico is defined as a triptych or painting on three panels such as is common on alters the two side panels closing over the central, panel. The title is most descriptive, as indicated in the following remarks found on the composer's score: "The first and third movements are, in several ways, related to one another: their character is brilliantly forward moving and energetic; the main theme of the first movement reappears in the culmination point of the third movement, and the instrumentation of the movements is identical, with the individual instruments themselves being used quite similarly. The second movement is a strongly contrasting dramatic scene with turbulent recitatives and expressive woodwind solos, punctuated by low brass and percussion. The emphasis is on woodwinds and low brass: cornets and trumpets enter only at the very end with an extremely intense phrase to conclude the movement. The dramatic character is underlined by the strong use of percussion which is extended by a second timpani player, piano and celeste."

Concertante for Alto Saxophone Clare Grundman

Clare Grundman grew up in Ohio and attended Ohio State University. He later taught at the same institution from 1937 to 1941. He credits his studies with Paul Hindemith as providing the practical techniques for his compositions. Besides being a highly successful composer for bands he also was successful as an arranger for radio, television, motion pictures, ballet, and the Broadway stage. This Concertante is one of his few compositions he wrote in the soloistic medium and features Linden Gregory as this evening's soloist.

Semiramide Overture Rossini (arr. V.F. Safranek)

Rossini, who has endured as one of the finest composers of opera, was composing well before the age of fifteen when he entered the Liceo Comunale of Bologna in 1807. He wrote his first opera in 1810, and the score to one of his most famous operas, Le Barbier di Seville, was written in a mere thirteen days in 1816. The premiere of Semiramide in Venice in 1823 (in which his wife sang), was met with a cool reception and shortly thereafter he moved to London to be employed by the King' Theater. He ended his life in France where his villa in Passy became the magnet of the artistic world in Paris. This transcription of the Semiramide: Overture is from 1939, a time when the majority of "serious" band literature was made up of transcriptions of the classical orchestral repertoire.

Selections from "Porgy and Bess" George Gershwin (arr. Robert Russell Bennett)

Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess climaxed his brief but spectacular career as both a popular and serious American composer (apparently you could not be both).He had read DuBose Heyward's Porgy in 1926 and was immediately interested in transforming the novel into an opera, however it was almost eight years before arrangements were completed for Gershwin to begin writing the music. It was first performed by the Theater Guild in Boston and New York in 1935 by an all black cast with Todd Duncan as Porgy and Anne Brown as Bess. The opera had a run of only 124 performances in New York, a flop by Broadway standards. It was revived in 1942, almost five years after Gershwin's death, and the show had the longest run of any revival in Broadway musical history. In 1959 it was made into a lavish movie starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr. During all of the presentations for its first forty years of existence the show was never given in its entirety. Finally, in 1975, it was presented completely in a concert format in Cleveland, and the following year was given its first complete stage presentation by the Houston Grand Opera Company.

Program notes by Gerald Zaffuts