Festival Series
Jan
17
7:00 pm19:00

Festival Series

  • Gesa Power House Theatre

The 2016 Winter Festival concludes with a duel. You have heard of “Dueling Banjos?” Well tonight we have dueling quartets. Festival artists, Brittany Boulding (violin), Alistair MacRae (cello), Maria Sampen (violin) and Timothy Christie (viola) are joined by special guest artists, PRISM Quartet for a wild exploration of music for string and saxophone quartets respectively.

The two quartets will also join forces for a performance of Seattle-born composer, Paul Chihara’s, Forever Escher. The title takes inspiration from the graphic artist, M.C. Escher, whose prints adorn the dorm room of many an undergraduate. We are all familiar with the images of stairs leading to impossible dimensions or the pair of hands simultaneously drawing themselves in 2- and 3-D. The Escher of this work, however, explores the concept of metamorphosis, specifically in his 1940 work, Metamorphosis II. The work can be viewed here. We will explore this concept sonically through music of Mendelssohn, Chihara and beyond.

PRISM Quartet

PRISM Quartet will take the stage alone to bring the 2016 Winter Festival to a stunning conclusion. Happy New Year, indeed!


Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13

I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
II. Adagio non lento
III. Intermezzo. Allegretto con moto - Allegro di molto
IV. Presto


Intermission


Paul Chihara (b. 1938)

Forever Escher, for Saxophone Quartet and String Quartet (1995)

I. Molto Moderato
II. Allegro vivace: Ben ritmico
III. Calmo
IV. Andante cantabile: "Quarendo invenientes”


PRISM Quartet

Selections to be announced from the stage.


Artists: Brittany Boulding, violin; Timothy Christie, viola; Matthew Levy, tenor saxophone; Alistair MacRae, cello; Timothy McAllister, soprano saxophone; Maria Sampen, violin; Zach Shemon, alto saxophone; and Taimur Sullivan, baritone saxophone.

Doors open at 6:00pm

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Tasting Music — Mendelssohn
Jan
16
6:00 pm18:00

Tasting Music — Mendelssohn

  • Foundry Vineyards

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13

I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
II. Adagio non lento
III. Intermezzo. Allegretto con moto - Allegro di molto
IV. Presto

Felix Mendelssohn

1827 was an important year in music. It is the year in which Beethoven died, leaving a legacy that would both intimidate and inspire composers such as Schumann and Brahms for the remainder of the 19th Century. Beethoven spent his final productive days working almost exclusively in the medium of the string quartet. The so-called “Late Quartets” remain the pinnacle of the quartet repertoire to this day. Deeply personal statements, the Late Quartets give us a window into the agonies, reconciliations and revelations of Beethoven at the end of his life. His peers thought the works  to be no more than the incoherent ravings of a deaf and swiftly deteriorating artist. However, one composer devoured these works and studied them with zealous devotion. That composer was none other than the 18 year-old, Felix Mendelssohn.

Mere months after the death of Beethoven, Mendelssohn completed his String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13 and proved himself to be an apt student. Notably, Mendelssohn emulates Beethoven in his use of the operatic convention of recitative, a free form solo line punctuated by striking harmonic changes. Beethoven invokes recitative both in his monumental Ninth Symphony (it is through instrumental recitative that Beethoven navigates his way toward the “Ode to Joy,” and unleashes the surprise of vocal soloists and choir in its ultimate triumph) and more intimately in his Op. 132 String Quartet. Mendelssohn uses a dramatic recitative to set up a device that provides thematic unity to his work, a song of his own titled,”Frage,” or “Question.”

Fans of the annual WWCMF Collage concert in June will note that Mendelssohn’s self-quotation of Frage in this quartet provided the thematic framework for the 2013 edition of Collage. Finally, you will have closure as we explore the whole quartet in all its glory!

Foundry Vineyards provides the perfect setting in which to discover delicious wines and to consider Mendelssohn’s early masterpiece.


Question
Is it true? Is it true
that you always wait for me there
in the leafy path by the grape arbor
and ask the moonlight and the little stars about me?
Is it true? Speak!

What I feel can only be understood
by someone who feels it with me,
and who will stay forever true to me.
     — from 12 Songs, Op. 9, No. 1, Frage [Question], Felix Mendelssohn

Artists: Brittany Boulding, violin; Timothy Christie, viola; Alistair MacRae, cello; and Maria Sampen, violin.

Doors open at 5:00pm

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Open Rehearsal: Walla Walla Presbyterian Church
Jan
16
10:00 am10:00

Open Rehearsal: Walla Walla Presbyterian Church

  • Walla Walla Presbyterian Church

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.

An Open Rehearsal at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival are a window into this complex and exciting process. The event is a free, informal, and informative way to hear classical music in a new way.

Free

Special Event — PRISM Quartet
Jan
15
6:00 pm18:00

Special Event — PRISM Quartet

  • Charles Smith Wines

Could there possibly be a more perfect chamber ensemble than the String Quartet? Elegant, light-weight and portable, capable of ascending monumental heights and plumbing the most profoundly expressive depths in music, the string quartet is unmatched… At least, it used to be.

There is a new sheriff in town. This is the dirty little secret that string players the world over do not want you to know about. The most perfectly matched ensemble, hands down, is actually… wait for it… the Saxophone Quartet. Tonight, WWCMF comes clean and presents one of the world’s greatest examples, PRISM Quartet.

PRISM Quartet

Many of us think of jazz as the natural habitat of the saxophone, or perhaps the office, backlit by flickering neon, of a washed up private investigator just as a mysterious and beautiful woman enters. Well, that’s just part of the story. The saxophone enjoys a rich classical tradition, and its place in the medium of chamber music is undeniable.

Tonight you are in for a treat. PRISM Quartet has performed all over the world to universal acclaim. Its members are leading performers and teachers who can be heard soloing with the world’s great symphony orchestras, and on countless recordings. The hip Tasting Room at Charles Smith Wines provides the perfect setting to get to know this incredible ensemble. As for the string players, we’ll be there, too… taking notes.

Artists: Matthew Levy, tenor saxophone; Timothy McAllister, soprano saxophone; Zach Shemon, alto saxophone; and Taimur Sullivan, baritone saxophone.

Doors open at 5:00pm

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Unleash Your Inner Composer with PRISM Quartet
Jan
15
2:00 pm14:00

Unleash Your Inner Composer with PRISM Quartet

  • WWCC — Performing Arts Auditorium

Presented by Walla Walla Community College Arts and Sciences and the Walla Walla Community College Foundation.

Do you know how to compose music? Yes, you do! You just might not know it yet.

Here’s a perfect opportunity to channel your inner Beethoven, and you needn’t go deaf in the process. PRISM Quartet will lead an exploration of sound, and in particular, the medium of saxophone quartet. You will have an opportunity to create new music using notation and in some cases, to have your magnum opus premiered by PRISM Quartet. All it takes is an open mind and a little curiosity. This event will run approximately 90 minutes.

Free

Open Rehearsal: Morrison Lane Vineyard Estate Winery
Jan
15
10:00 am10:00

Open Rehearsal: Morrison Lane Vineyard Estate Winery

  • Morrison Lane Vineyard Estate Winery

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.

An Open Rehearsal at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival are a window into this complex and exciting process. The event is a free, informal, and informative way to hear classical music in a new way.

Free

Portrait of an Artist — Alistair MacRae, cello
Jan
14
6:00 pm18:00

Portrait of an Artist — Alistair MacRae, cello

  • Main Street Studios

Alistair MacRae

The 2016 Winter Festival kicks off with a Portrait of an Artist event featuring the dynamic cellist, Alistair MacRae.

Alistair has diverse musical interests, equally at home in the world’s great venues such as Carnegie Hall or onstage with heavy metal heroes, Scorpions.

Main Street Studios provides the stage on this night. While this evening’s program will skew towards solo cello music by Bach and Cassadó, Alistair will surely “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” Here he is!

All selections will be announced from the stage.

Artist: Alistair MacRae, cello

Doors open at 5:00pm

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Sounds Like Fun! Concert for Kids
Jan
14
3:30 pm15:30

Sounds Like Fun! Concert for Kids

  • Walla Walla Public Library

Presented by Columbia REA

Festival Artists Maria Sampen, Brittany Boulding, Alistair MacRae, Timothy Christie and world-renowned PRISM Quartet combine to present a fun performance of music for strings and saxophones. Saxophones are kind of hard to classify. They're called part of the woodwind family, but they are made out of brass. There is one important piece of wood, though: the reed. We’ll explore sound, rhythm and how classical music’s hardest working musicians get so good at playing. The performance and presentation will run approximately 45 minutes.

Free