WMU News

Wind Quintet performance features American music

Feb. 19, 2004

KALAMAZOO--The Western Wind Quintet gives a recital of American music at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

The quintet's November 2003 performance at Carnegie Hall received critical acclaim from the New York Times, which praised the quintet for its innovative programming and commitment to the music. Past concerts by the ensemble have included musical tours of Latin America, with a program titled "Tropical Winds," and of France, with "An American (Quintet) in Paris." For the Feb. 24 recital, the Western Wind Quintet has decided to stay closer to home, with a program of American music titled "There's No Place Like Home."

Tickets for the recital are $10. Admission for students and senior citizens is $5. Tickets may be purchased at the door or through the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300 or toll-free (800) 228-9858.

The music for the Feb. 24 performance includes the "Partita for Wind Quintet" by Irving Fine, a composer Copland described as being part of the American "Stravinsky school." Modeled after the 17th century partita, the 1948 work has long been a standard in the quintet repertoire. Jan Bach's "Skizzen" (1983) is a suite for quintet inspired by the line drawings by Heinrich Kley, a German cartoonist of the early 1900s. The composer says that Kley drew in a "bizarre personal style laden with elements of bitter satire, social irony, and earthy humor. Animals and people intermingle in his drawings in strangely comic and poignant ways."

In 1998, Mark Schultz wrote the virtuosic and witty quintet "But that's not important now." He explains that the piece "takes its title and musical character from a now familiar comedic routine that involves lightning fast verbal repartee, misdirection, and a basic misunderstanding between at least two individuals. The joke is created when audience members, who have been lulled into believing that they know where a conversation between the players is leading, realize that they have instead been lead down the garden path by a sudden and unexpected misunderstanding in the conversation."

Also on the program is Alvin Etler's "Suite for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet" (1960), a piece that was included on the Carnegie Hall recital.

Members of the quintet are Margaret Hamilton, horn; Michael Miller, oboe; Wendy Rose, bassoon; Christine Smith, flute; and Bradley Wong, clarinet.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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