Festival Series: Works by Bartók, Schumann and more…
Jan
20
7:00 PM19:00

Festival Series: Works by Bartók, Schumann and more…

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Completing the 2019 Winter Fest experience is the Festival Series performance at the Gesa Power House Theatre. Schumann’s masterpiece of melody and invention, the Piano Quartet in E flat, Op. 47, anchors the program. Also on tap is music for two violins by Hungarian master and WWCMF 2019 Poster Composer, Béla Bartók.

Though darkness envelops the Walla Walla Valley by late afternoon in January, but the music of Bartók, Schumann and more will flood the theater with warmth and light. This concert is not to be missed!


Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

String Trio in G minor (1894), unfinished

I. Lento

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Selections from 44 Duos for 2 Violins, Sz. 98 (1931)

1. Teasing Song

2. Maypole Dance

5. Slovakian Song No. 1

6. Hungarian Song No. 1

7. Walachian Song

12. Hay Song

13. Wedding Song

14. Pillow Dance

15. Soldier’s Song

19. A Fairy Tale

20. A Rhythm Song

21. New Year’s Song No. 1

22. Dance of the Fly

24. Comic Song

26. Teasing Song

27. Limping Dance

28. Sadness

29. New Year’s Song No. 2

30. New Year’s Song No. 3

32. Dancing Song

33. Song of the Harvest

35. Ruthenian Dance

36. The Bag Pipe, and Variation

37. Prelude and Canon

40. Walachian Dance

42. Arabian Dance

44. Ardeliana

38. Rumanian “Whirling” Dance

Intermission

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Piano Quartet in E flat, Op. 47

I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo

II. Scherzo: Molto vivace - Trio I - Trio II

III. Andante cantabile

IV. Finale: Vivace

Artists: Timothy Christie, viola/violin; Conor Hanick, piano; Norbert Lewandowski, cello; and Maria Sampen, violin.

Doors open at 6 PM.

GENERAL ADMISSION $20.

The $45 Family Ticket admits two adults and up to four children. The $8 Youth Ticket admits students under 22 with valid student ID.

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Tasting Music: Grand Tour
Jan
19
6:00 PM18:00

Tasting Music: Grand Tour

  • Rôtie Cellars Production Facility (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

High Romanticism, Well Within Reach

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The Grand Tour used to mean an extended visit to Venice, Florence, and Rome (among other prominent European sites) to soak up Roman, early Christian and High Renaissance culture. Today we have a seemingly infinite number of grand tours, some in conjunction with a more recent construct, the Bucket List.

You can visit all 30 MLB ballparks. You can follow the Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland, or thumb through the Michelin Guide in France. Surfers have the Banzai Pipeline, Jaws and Mavericks. Elvis fans have Graceland, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs. Golfers… no, I won’t go there. Let’s just say I was recently embarrassed to witness golfers engaging in quasi-religious buffoonery on the first tee at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. The golfers were not Scottish. I digress…

Chamber music has its own Grand Tour, and it includes a stop at the Piano Quartet in E flat, Op. 47 of Robert Schumann. A Romantic masterpiece, the quartet is possessed of some of the most astounding melodic and contrapuntal invention in all of music. Composed in 1842 in Leipzig, the work pays respect to that other musical titan and Leipzig resident, J.S. Bach. Happily, this stop on tour includes wine by Rôtie Cellars in the very space in which it is made and aged.


Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Piano Quartet in E flat, Op. 47

I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo

II. Scherzo: Molto vivace - Trio I - Trio II

III. Andante cantabile

IV. Finale: Vivace


Artists: Timothy Christie, viola; Conor Hanick, piano; Norbert Lewandowski, cello; Maria Sampen, violin


Doors open at 5 PM.

GENERAL ADMISSION $20

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Special Event: John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes (1948)
Jan
18
6:00 PM18:00

Special Event: John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes (1948)

Are you prepared?

John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes (1948)

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Hot/Cold, East/West, Sound/[…] Seemingly, these pairs represent opposites. Upon reflection, however, it might be better stated that each represents a Whole. There is no east without west. There is no hot without cold (I suppose cold is a description of the absence of heat, but we won’t split hairs. Presence and absence form a perfectly reasonable Whole). When it comes to sound and silence, however, Wholeness becomes an entirely confounding and confusing proposition.

John Cage is perhaps most famous in popular culture for his work, 4’33”. The title refers to the duration of the first performance of the work, which consists solely of pianistic silence for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. The performer sits down at the piano and proceeds to play not a sound. There are three distinct movements to the work, but a casual listener might not discern the precise breaks between sections. At the world premiere, the keyboard lid was lowered and raised in correspondence with each movement. Lowered meant the performance was “on.” Raised meant a break between movements. The music, of course, was the complex soundworld of chance and ambience. True silence proved elusive. And as for the agency of performance? Well, let’s just say that we are all capable of performing this difficult work unencumbered by any investment in private lessons.

So, what gives? Is it all poppycock?

Valid questions, both. Such is the world we enter when considering the music of John Cage. Cage conceived of 4’33” while composing his masterpiece for solo piano Sonatas, and Interludes. Yes, silence, or the perception of silence plays a role. But there are notes, harmonies, and rhythms, too. And much more.

Sonatas and Interludes is a work for prepared piano. Preparation, in this case, means the placement of foreign objects among the strings and mechanisms of the piano itself. A metal screw here, a rubber wedge there, maybe a wooden spoon for good measure. Cage gives very specific instructions for the placement of each object. The results are akin to sonic phase changes between gasses, liquids, and solids. The elements remain the same, but the sounds are melted, frozen or sublimated to form a new atmosphere in which our expectations and perceptions are inherently altered.

The resulting music is at once tender, profound and entirely unique. Over the course of 20 brief movements, described variously by the composer as sonatas (16) or interludes (4), a Whole emerges. Are you prepared? Piano virtuoso Conor Hanick is, and so is the piano! Conor makes his WWCMF debut with this extraordinary work in the extraordinary space of Charles Smith Wines’ downtown tasting room.

NOTE: This program has changed. Please direct any questions to info@wwcmf.org, or give us a call at (509) 525-4412.

Artist: Conor Hanick, piano

Doors open at 5 PM.

GENERAL ADMISSION $30

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Free: Open Rehearsal
Jan
18
10:00 AM10:00

Free: Open Rehearsal

Reality television has nothing on classical music. Rehearsing in a chamber music ensemble is one of the true joys of a life in music. The spirit of collaboration and creativity abounds.

The wealth of ideas, skills, and ambitions that each musician brings to a musical work comes together to form a unique interpretation, an artistic whole reflecting the various characteristics of the musicians themselves. Rehearsal can also be a furnace of tension, confrontation, bruised egos, and complete vulnerability on the part of the musicians. Behind the starched shirts and polished presentations of the concert stage exists the real world of chamber music.

Open Rehearsals at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival are a window into this complex and exciting process. Set in local art galleries and downtown spaces, Open Rehearsals are free, informal, and informative ways to hear classical music in a new way.

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Portrait of an Artist: Norbert’s PLAYLIST
Jan
17
6:00 PM18:00

Portrait of an Artist: Norbert’s PLAYLIST

Works by Philip Glass, Andy Akiho, and David Lang

Norbert Lewandowski, cello

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Life has a soundtrack. There’s no denying it. Starting with your heartbeat, life itself is music. Absent this essential music, we cannot be. But in the modern age, life has progressed. Our soundtrack is infinitely customizable. Feeling blue? How 'bout some Blues… Feeling Green? While “not easy,” there’s a track for that. Thanks, Kermit.

What about everything else? The “everything” of modern life? Well, there are tracks for that, too. We call it a PLAYLIST. Cellist and WWCMF Lifer, Norbert Lewandowski, makes his first visit to the Winter Festival and he is bringing a playlist we can all appreciate… more Norbert. You’ll hear up to nine Norberts in this evocative performance of minimalist and futurist music for cello and recording engineer.

Curious? Let’s just say that Norbert spent some serious time in the recording studio laying tracks for music by three great composers of our century. The thing about this playlist is that while some of the music was recorded in advance, you’ve got Norbert onstage bringing his trademark intensity to live sound. Prepare to lose yourself in the soundtrack of modern life.


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This event, like all WWCMF events, is BYOH: Bring Your Own Heartbeat! If you bring it and we stop it, we promise, we’ll get it pumping again!

All selections will be announced from the stage.

Artist: Norbert Lewandowski, cello


Doors open at 5 PM.

GENERAL ADMISSION $20

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