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Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond

Classical Internet silliness

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 30, 2011

Here's some recent fun and silliness shared by friends. Happy Friday:)


Shostakovich Harry Potter



One of the most useful sites on the Internet: Sad Trombone.


Sad Trombone



Mozart opera + comic book heroes=Don Supermani!

 

Lady Gaga + Bassoons = The Breaking Winds (more from NPR)


And please pardon me, all you wonderful maestri out there:


Ignore the Conductor

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Spruce Knob Symphony

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 29, 2011

Spruce Knob
Wikipedia
Spruce Knob. Highest point in West Virginia. I’ve never climbed up to it, even though I was in its shadow this summer (I stuck to swimming in the nearby Senaca Rocks swimming hole).

A Google Image search does turn up plenty of incentives to brave the climb. (Of course, if you have better photos, do send them my way).

Composer John Beall organized his Symphony No. 2 (“Spruce Knob”) around the idea of climbing up Spruce Mountain to Spruce Knob. You can hear some of the music mixed in with our interview that was on the radio this morning.

As often happens, we couldn’t fit the whole discussion into the radio piece. If you want to hear more from John Beall about this symphony and preparing for the performance by the WVU Symphony Orchestra, listen here:
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John Beall discusses his Symphony No. 2 "Spruce Knob"


On tonight’s concert, the WVU Symphony Orchestra will also be playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (in my book, the best Beethoven). If you have seen The King's Speech, you’ve encountered the second movement of this symphony in a dramatic context (If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t just watch this video here. Go watch the whole movie!)

Carnival in Wheeling!

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 23, 2011

The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is playing the first concert of its season tonight at the Capitol Theater. You may have heard a little bit about it on the radio.  

Here’s just a few minutes more from Wheeling Symphony Orchestra music director Maestro Andre Raphel about tonight’s concert: 

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Interview with Maestro Andre Raphel about the Carnival at the Capitol Concert

Dvorak - Carnival Overture

Timothy Dewitt, Alderson-Broaddus (interview)

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 22, 2011
Timothy Dewitt trumpet


Alderson-Broaddus music professor Timothy Dewitt was featured this morning on West Virginia Morning. You can hear (and read) the radio story here.

(I prefer listening – that way you get to hear the music, both from Dewitt’s recording and a recording by the AB College Brass Choir). 

 

Timothy Dewitt conducting 2
Timothy Dewitt conducting

The radio story includes excerpts from an interview that we did over two days. During our conversation, Dewitt had many more things to say about teaching, his musical experiences, and musical life at Alderson-Broaddus that are worth hearing. 



Here’s the full interview, in four parts:

 

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Learning and teaching

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Music community at AB
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Eastman, recording album

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Bike accident, book writing, conducting

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AB College Brass Choir
Alderson-Broaddus College Brass Choir, conducted by Timothy Dewitt

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Wheeling Symphony Jr Usher Program

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 15, 2011

I just got this note from the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. What a cool program!

Paging anyone who needs service hours, wants something good on their college application, or wants a chance to hear the Wheeling Symphony for free
.


The Wheeling Symphony Auxiliary is accepting high school students for its Volunteer Junior Usher Program.

Volunteering for the Symphony is a great way to help our community, gain good experience, meet new people and enjoy wonderful music.

Volunteering for the Symphony will involve, but is not limited to, ushering a minimum of two concerts during the school year. Ushering a concert means that you will be helping concert patrons before the concert actually begins by opening and holding doors, helping patrons find their seats and assisting the Wheeling Symphony Office staff with whatever they may need.

Ushers are dismissed once the concert begins but are welcome to stay and enjoy the concert at no expense. Other duties may include, assisting at the Patron Party and Viennese Winter Ball in January & February and  helping at the 4th of July concert and Symphony Office.

If you know someone who is in grades 9–12 and you think they would like to participate in our program, please send their name and postal mailing address to us at jennifercroft@comcast.net no later than September 23, 2011.

Personal invitations to our mandatory training will be sent out the week of September 26th. The invitation will contain specific instructions for the students (not an adult) to follow in order to reserve their spot at training.

Students who are interested in volunteering are required to attend the training session on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 6:00pm. Due to current fire code regulations and restrictions mandated by the Greater Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority, all volunteers must attend training that also provides fire safety procedures. Any student not attending this year’s training will not be permitted to participate in the 2011-2012 concert season.

During the training session students will be asked to sign up for their required two concerts. They may visit the Wheeling Symphony’s website to view the concert schedule for the season prior to the training session to determine the concerts when the student will be available.

Interested students (not adults) must call and speak with Jennifer Croft (304-242-6017), Sandra Chapman (304-233-4503) or Angela Thompson (740-695-4115) by Saturday, October 15 to reserve their spot at the training session, or they can call us for more details or with any questions.

Listening

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 9, 2011

It was difficult to listen to the radio this morning, despite the beauty of the music. It was important to listen to the radio this morning, despite the sadness and pain in the music.  

I hadn’t wanted to think about it. The music forced me to feel more than I had planned.

Performance Today’s memorial “Ten Years Later” program, including Steve Reich’s “WTC 9/11” and excerpts from Robert Moran’s Trinity Requiem can be heard online for the next week. Listen, if you can bear it.

This Sunday at 6pm, the WVU Symphony Orchestra will perform John Beall’s September Morning: Elegy for 2001, written five years ago.

And as I write this little unplanned post, I am listening to “Sarabanda in Memoriam” by Aaron Jay Kernis. I can’t imagine this recording on MySpace is legal, but it is there. You can also download an mp3 or purchase a CD from Amazon.

Classically Cool at Carnegie

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 7, 2011


Having just settled down from our fabulous state fair (highlights of which included freshly fried doughnuts, ALICE COOPER, and some terrifying carnival rides), America's Coolest Small Town is rocking some cool classical music events this fall.

Carnegie Hall Lewisburg's film series includes operas and classical concerts broadcast in HD from Germany, Austria, and Philadelphia


Sept. 26, 7pm: An Evening with Renee Fleming from the Waldbuhne Berlin (?? This date doesn't seem right. Confirming date with Carnegie Hall Lewisburg)

Sept. 26, 7pm: Verdi's La Traviata from the Roman Quarry at St. Margarethen

Oct. 24, 7pm: Starry Night of Romeo & Juliet from the Philadelphia Orchestra Concert Series

Nov. 28, 7pm: Bizet's Carmen from the the Roman Quarry at St. Margarethen


Pianist Fran Belin has also announced the fall line-up for her Tuesdays with Fran series of free lunchtime concerts, which start next week.

This fall, she is exploring "the golden age of the piano sonata," starting with music by Franz Joseph Haydn on September 13th. The series continues the second Tuesday of October, November, and December with music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert.

That's in addition to the Liszt recital by pianist Barbara Nissman, on November 5, also at Carnegie Hall Lewisburg.

Lewisburg is sounding pretty cool this fall.


For a guide to classical concerts throughout
West Virginia, check out our WV Classical Calendar each month. Here's this September's calendar

WV Classical Calendar -- September

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 1, 2011

September 2011

Fall is on its way, with plenty of concerts all around the state. Let me know if we've missed any concerts!


Sept. 4: Wheeling Symphony Under the Stars (Wheeling)

Sept. 4: WV Symphony Labor Day Concert at Haddad Riverfront Park

Sept. 5: Wheeling Symphony Under the Stars (Morgantown)

Sept. 9: Windy Tunes: Kingsbury Woodwind Quintet (MUsic Alive Series)

Sept. 11: Remembering through the Arts (WVU)

Sept. 11: John Weigand, clarinet; James Miltenberger, piano (WVU Faculty Recital)

Sept. 13: Tuesdays with Fran (Haydn)

Sept. 13: Jan Berry, saxophone; Stuart Gerber, percussion (WVU Guest Artist Recital)

Sept. 15: George Palton, tuba (Marshall University Faculty Recital)

Sept. 16-17: West Virginia Symphony; Domenico Codispoti, piano

Sept. 18: Christine Kefferstan, piano (WVU Faculty Recital)

Sept. 19: Andrew Kohn, double bass (WVU Faculty Recital)

Sept. 20: William Skidmore, cello; Carol Beall, piano; Dorothy Skidmore, flute (WVU Faculty Recital)

Sept. 21: Concord University Faculty Recital (Fine Arts Building)

Sept. 21: Ikarus Celtic Quartet (Kanawha Forum)

Sept. 23: Wheeling Symphony; Caitlin Tully, violin “Carnival at the Capitol”

Sept. 24: Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra

Sept. 24: Maryland Symphony “Wicked Divas”

Sept. 25: Alvaro Henrique, classical guitar (Marshall University Guest Artist Recital)

Sept. 25: Janis Rozena-Peri, soprano (WVU Community Music Faculty Recital) (interview)

Sept. 25: River Cities Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Doane, cello CANCELED

Sept. 26: Verdi's La Traviata from the Roman Quarry at St. Margarethen (Carnegie Hall Film Series)

Sept. 28: Wendell Dobbs, flute (Marshall University Faculty Recital) (interview)

Sept. 28: Lindsey Goodman, flute; Robert Turriziani, clarinet; Vicki Berneking-Cavendish, piano (Kanawha Forum)

Sept. 29: West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra

Sept. 29: Solen Dikener, cello; Henning Vauth, piano (Marshall University Faculty Recital)

Sept. 29: West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (Matewan)

Sept. 30: Freya String Quartet (MUsic Alive)

Insane Mozart Posse (& other bawdy classics)

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · September 1, 2011

I never thought I’d get to write these words of this blog: the following is NSFW (not safe for work) -- unless you’ve got a lenient workplace and a decent set of headphones.

That’s part of why I’m a day late in posting this recording; I waited until I got home to check it out then spent the whole evening debating whether I could post it here! Titillated enough yet? Here we go.

“Leck mich im Arsch,” K. 232 was a naughty little novelty when Mozart wrote it ca. 1782.

The English translation is not a huge leap from the German title, but if you want to confirm the words, you can find the history of the text in this decently well-sourced Wikipedia article (The Grove Dictionary of Music let me down on details about this one…)

It’s an even naughtier little novelty now that the band Insane Clown Posse has added their take, in a new recording produced by Jack White. You can hear the song and read about it here: Jack White Collaborates with Insane Clown Posse to Cover Mozart. For Real.” [pitchfork.com]

That’s the part you where you needed the headphones at work.

If you’d like a recording of the Mozart sans ICP, I’d recommend Mozart Unexpurgated (it does also appear in the Complete Mozart box set issued by Brilliant Records).

My favorite album of naughty classical fun is The Art of the Bawdy Song by the Baltimore Consort (many thanks to Dr. Paul Borg, who introduced a group of  wide-eyed undergraduates at Illinois State University to this album, along with Florence Foster Jenkins, Anna Russell, the 1812 Overture at West Point, and other great classics…)

As for ICP and White, classical connections do not play out in the rest of this release. According to Pitchfork:

The B-side will be "Mountain Girl" (which concerns itself with "tall tales about a shotgun wedding, meth problems and moonshine").

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