Variations Pastorales sur un vieux noel
MUSIC CLUB OF BATON ROUGE
December 8, 2020
From First United Methodist Church,
Baton Rouge, LA
The Saint Cecilia Duo
Rebecca Todaro, harp Richard Webb, organ
Variations Pastorales sur un vieux noel.................................................. Marcel Samuel-Rousseau
Clair de Noel (A Christmas Fantasy)....................... Claude Debussy/Austrian Carol/ Franz Gruber
arranged for harp by David Ice in 2005
The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came....................................................................... John S. Dixon
Aria in Classic Style, op. 19.................................................................................. Marcel Grandjany
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.................................................................................. Roland Diggle
A professional harpist living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rebecca Todaro began her harp studies at the age of 9 with Elizabeth Roth in Charlotte, N.C. She studied harp at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Louisiana State University. Rebecca Todaro has taught on the music faculty at Louisiana State University, University of Western Florida, the Runnels School, after school harp at St. Luke’s Episcopal School, and currently at Grace Notes School of Music. One of three competitors from the USA, she was a participant in the 1995 USA International Harp Competition and won third prize in the Young Professional division of the American Harp Society (AHS) Competition in 1996. She has served as president of the local AHS chapter, as well as on the Executive Committee as national treasurer and a Director at large. In addition to performing with Dr. Richard Webb as the St. Cecilia Duo, Rebecca Todaro performs with harpist Catherine Anderson as Quintessential Harp
Richard Webb, keyboardist of the St. Cecilia Duo with Rebecca Todaro, was lauded by the Bristol Herald-Courier as “a musician foremost”: concert organist, recitalist, lecturer, church musician, clinician/adjudicator and administrator. He has performed solo concerts and appeared as guest artist with orchestras and ensembles throughout the United States, England and Spain. His informative and entertaining workshops and practical master classes in various performance practices have been particularly well received as a complement to his concert appearances. Highly regarded as a facile, sensitive and uniquely synchronous accompanist on all keyboard instruments, he is in significant demand as a collaborative partner for singers and instrumentalists. He has presented thematic recitals and workshops on the organ music of America, Asia, Russia, and Spain, the works of Siegfried Reda and Max Reger, the Church Music Renewal Movement and his passion, the life and works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert. Introduced recently at one of his all Karg-Elert recitals in New York as “an Evangelist for the music of Karg-Elert,” he is a Life Member of the former Karg-Elert Archive in the United Kingdom and was a contributor to its publications. Dr. Webb is Professor and Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Humanities at Southern University, having served previously as Dean of the College and Chief Academic Officer at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as Professor and Chair of the Departments of Music at San Francisco State University and East Tennessee State University. He is a past Dean of the San Francisco, Franklin and Baton Rouge Chapters of the American Guild of Organists, a designee of the Louisiana Artist Roster and a recipient of the coveted Louisiana Artist Fellowship for excellence in the arts, Organist/Music Associate at First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge and Organ/Harpsichord Principal of the Baton Rouge Symphony. He is a member of the Louisiana Touring Directory, is engaged as a collaborative artist and chamber musician by Bach's Five Productions and is represented as a concert organist by Concert Artist Cooperative. He is a featured artist on both Organiste.net and The Diapason Artist Spotlights. Please visit his website at www.richardwebb.org.
Program Notes for St. Cecilia Duo
Variations Pastorales sur un vieux noel, composed in 1917 by Marcel Samuel-Rousseau (1882- 1955) to serve as the examination piece for that year’s harp class at the Paris Conservatory. Published in 1919, this piece has been performed as a solo by harpists for years. Marcel Tournier, professor of harp at the Paris Conservatory 1912-1948, arranged string quartet accompaniment parts sometime after publication. The organ part performed by Dr. Webb is a transcription of the string quartet accompaniment, realized by John Fenstermaker, organist and choirmaster at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Clair de Noel (A Christmas Fantasy) Claude Debussy/Austrian Carol/ Franz Gruber, arranged for harp by David Ice in 2005. This lovely harp solo piece sets fragments of Still, Still, Still and Silent Night within the peaceful framework of Clair de lune.
The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came, an organ solo from a newly published collection of Six Christmas Carol Settings by John S. Dixon (1957-), employs the Celesta stop of the new Casavant organ at First United Methodist Church, which also contains a Harp, a Cymbelstern (literally, Bell Star) and Chimes. The Chimes may be played in the pedals as well as on the manuals, as may be heard in the last soft pedal note of the piece. John S. Dixon was born in England and moved to America in1988. He currently is Organist and Composer-in-Residence at Providence Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, Virginia and Executive Director of the Academy of Music, a non-profit community music school.
Aria in Classic Style, op. 19, by Marcel Grandjany (1891-1975), published 1944, for harp and organ, reflects the musical genius of the composer. Grandjany became head of the harp department at the Juilliard School in 1938, where he taught until his death. Having first studied organ with his aunt before beginning harp with Henriette Renie at the age of 8, Grandjany knew both instruments and their blending ability well. He served as an organist at the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris during World War 1. Grandjany and organist E. Power Biggs premiered this work at the Auditorium of the Library of Congress as part of the inaugural concert for a new pipe organ given by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, which commissioned the work—it also is dedicated to her. Mrs. Coolidge established the foundation at the library in 1925 and it remains both a major collection of materials and an ongoing source of commission and performance funding for new chamber music.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, also known as “Carol Prelude on an old English Christmas Song” is a solo work (1935) by the English-born, American organist and composer Roland Diggle (1885-1954), designed to begin moderately and gradually increase in timbre and volume to full organ. The carol theme is presented, one phrase at a time, in augmentation (longer note values) on the pedals, while the contrapuntal energy that moves the piece forward is achieved by playing short motives from the theme in f
The Bayou Brass Quintet play selections for the November Music Club of Baton Rouge virtual recital series.
George M Cohan Medley (arr. Holcombe)
St. Louis Blues—WC Handy (arr. Holcomb) Satin Doll—Ellington/Strayhorn(arr. Gale)
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans -Alter/DeLange arr. Z Smith
Maria/Tonight (West Side Story) Bernstein, arr. Gale
What a Wonderful World—Weiss/Thiele, arr. Slechta
Guest speaker Michael Borowitz, Associate Professor and Director of LSU Opera and Music Director and Artistic Director of Opera Louisiane, discusses Kálmán and the Silver Age of Viennese Operetta.
The Song of the Month for October is Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Written in 1908, this has become an iconic part of North American baseball. This timely selection coincides with the playing of the World Series, with Game 6 being played tonight. The words are below:
Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and CrackerJacks
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame
'Cause it's one, two, three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game!
Mary Bresowar has performed with the Music Club of Baton Rouge as an collaborative pianist and occasionally as a soloist. She received her Bachelors degree in Piano Performance in 1981, and a Masters in Music (Collaborative Piano) in 2007.
The Caladium Trio: Line He, violin; Dan Cassin, cello; Constance Carroll, piano.
The Caladium Trio: Line He, violin; Dan Cassin, cello; Constance Carroll, piano.
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