3/5 Ronda Ford

Program

Dr. Ronda Benson Ford is an active National Flute Association flutist, teacher, and entrepreneur. She is currently Lecturer of Music at Western State Colorado University. This summer she will be teaching flute at the Blue Lake Fine Arts camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. Dr. Ford has also been selected to serve as a panel member for a presentation at the National Flute Association 2013 convention in New Orleans on the life and works of flutist Robert Cavally. Dr. Ford’s teachers have included John Bailey, Danilo Mezzadri, Kyril Magg, Alexander Murray, Max Schoenfeld, Bootsie Mayfield, and Carolyn Brown. Please see www.rondaford.com for more information.

"Although most of the flute sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach pose questions of authenticity, the B minor sonata BWV 1030 is undoubtedly his own work. Of his flute sonatas, the B minor is one of two (the other being BWV 1032) in which the harpsichord part is fully composed. This differs from the past style of continuo, which left the keyboard player plenty of room for his/her own ornamentation. Given this, the harpsichordist acts as an equal partner to the solo flute and shares the melodic material. The first movement, marked Andante,is the most distinctive. Its free ritornello (short recurring passages) form make for stimulating interplay between the flute and harpsichord. Another slow movement follows (Largo e dolce) and encompasses two beautifully simple themes, which serve as a release from the complexity of the first movement. The third movement(Presto--Allegro) is in two parts, beginning with a fugal presto that leads straight into a gigue-like section which is most notable for its witty syncopations and technical demands."(Program notes by Amy Dankowski.)

Henri Tomasi was born in Marseilles on 17 August 1901. He studied first at the conservatory in his home city and then at the Paris Conservatory, where he won the Prix de Rome in 1927. The Cyclades are a group of Aegean Islands whose name derives from the fact that they form a circle around the ancient sacred island of Delos. This piece was written for the famous French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. Each of the movements is named for one of the Aegean Islands. In the first movement, "Invocation," Tomasi uses dynamics to differentiate between the two voices heard in this movement. The quiet dynamics heard at the start of the piece represent the timid people crying for help. The second voice contains loud dynamics which represent the powerful Greek gods. The second move mentis titled "Song of love," which is both lyrical and virtuosic. The third movement, "Dance of the Shepherds," contains many meter changes,but the lilt of a dance can be felt throughout the movement. (Program notes fromstarcat.edublogs.org/files/2010/.../writing-an-analytical-commentary)

Elizabeth Brown is a flutist and composer living in Brooklyn,New York. Brown describes her music as intimate, personal, lyrical,and melancholy. She has studied bird calls and uses these as a point of departure for her compositions. In 1999, The National Flute Association commissioned Elizabeth Brown to create a piece for the 2000 High School Soloist Competition. The title references white trillium flowers. Extended techniques employed in the piece include microtones, multiphonics, harmonics, alternate fingerings created by Brown, nonstandard trills, and tremolos. (Program notes by Ronda Benson Ford)

Lowell Liebermann is one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers. Of the Flute Concerto, Liebermann says, "I wrote it for (James) Galway. He started playing my Flute Sonata and asked me if I would orchestrate it for him. And I said, for you I would orchestrate it, but I would actually much rather write a new concerto. And he said, well okay, I’ll commission it then." The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra is in a traditional three-movement classical concerto format, with a Moderato first movement, a Moltoadagio second movement and a closing Presto. In further discussing his compositional processes Liebermann describes how "I like the overall large form of the work to develop out of the smallest idea or seed that you’re working with", a trait exemplified by the opening Moderato movement of the flute concerto. The various qualities of the flute are explored in the variations that follow the main lyrical flute theme;the flute writing becomes increasingly involved and elaborate as the movement develops, interrupted only by calmer chorale sections. At the end of the movement the recapitulation indicates the influence of sonata form. The second movement of the concerto explores the lyrical and delicately translucent characteristics of the flute. Persistent and gentle chordsac company the introduction of a whispered statement of the main theme of the movement, which is presented at various points in a serene and restful manner and at others euphoric, building towards the climax at the close of the movement. The almost relentless and often demanding final movement, Presto, has been described by Liebermann as "a virtuoso workout for the flutist in a rondo-like form which closes with a prestissimo coda". (Program notes by Adam Binks.)

 

Martha Watson Violett is Emeritus Professor of Music and currently teaches piano and class piano. She began her college teaching career at Western State College (now Western State Colorado University) in 1972 and has been active as a performer of solo and chamber music with Western faculty and guest performers. Before retiring in 2010 she was Chair of the Music Department and taught piano, music history, seminar in music research, and music courses in the general education liberal arts program. Martha Violett holds the Permanent Professional Certificate in Piano from the Music Teachers National Association and is a member of the Colorado State Music Teachers Association and the MTNA. Dr. Violett received the B.M.E. in Vocal Education from Illinois Wesleyan University with a performance major in piano and minors in voice and harpsichord. She received theM.A. and M.F.A. degrees in Piano Performance and the D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa where studies of piano and chamber music were with James Avery and John Simms. Additional study included a Fulbright scholarship for piano study with Carl Seemann at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg (West)Germany and musicology and piano at the University of Washington in Seattle.