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William H. Reynolds Memorial Carillon Recital

Saturday, March 10, 2012, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Melissa Weidner, guest carillonneur


Prelude from the Classical Period
1. Preludio Coucou
Mathias van den Gheyn
(1721-1785)
2. Fantasie in d, KV 397
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
Arr. Leen 't Hart
Music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
3. "Arioso" from
Ich steh mit einem Fuss
im Grabe
, BWV 156
Arr. Carlo van Ulft
4. "Sheep May Safely Graze" from
Was mir behagt, ist nur die
muntre Jagd
, BWV 208
Arr. Theophil Rusterholz
Compositions in the Romantic Style
5. Prélude Romantique
Frank Steijns
(b. 1970)
6. Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11
Gabriel Fauré
(1845-1924)
Arr. Roy Kroezen
7. The Second Waltz
Dmitri Shostakovich
(1906-1975)
Arr. Frank Steijns
Impressionistic Music
8. "Le Cygne" from
Le carnaval des animaux
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)
Arr. Wendell Westcott
9. "Clair de Lune" from
Suite bergamasque
Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)
Arr. Jef Rottiers
10. Impressions
  I. Prologue
  II. Song
  III. Fantasy
Margo Halsted (1990)
Carillon Compositions of John Courter (1941-2010)
11. "Phrygian" and "Locrian" from
Seven Modal Pieces

12. "Toccata Festevole" from
Suite No. 1 for Carillon


Program Notes

Prelude from the Classical Period
Mathias van den Gheyn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were Classical period contemporaries. Van den Gheyn was a Flemish carillonneur and organist of the late Baroque and early Classical periods. Mozart was about three decades younger than van den Gheyn, and was born in Salzburg after the conclusion of the Baroque period. Van den Gheyn's preludes, composed for carillon, stand out as the best collection of original works for carillon that survive from his time period. His "Preludio Coucou" is among the most popular of these preludes. Its name derives from its recurring major third motif, which sounds like a cuckoo clock. Mozart's "Fantasie" was originally composed for piano. The composition was unfinished at the time of Mozart's death, and the ending is believed to have been composed by August Eberhard Müller.

Music of J. S. Bach
Bach's "Arioso" comes from his sacred cantata, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe ("I stand with one foot in the grave"), and is also the middle movement of his Harpsichord Concerto, BWV 1056. "Sheep May Safely Graze" comes from Bach's secular cantata, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd ("The lively hunt is all my heart's desire"). Both compositions are among Bach's most popular works today.

Compositions in the Romantic Style Frank Steijns, a contemporary composer and carillonneur, composed “Prélude Romantique" for his final composition examinations at the Royal Mechelen Carillon School. It is written in a late Romantic style, and is based on a single melodic theme. This beautiful, haunting melody heard at the beginning recurs throughout the composition in varying forms.
"Cantique de Jean Racine" was originally composed for chorus and piano or organ in 1864, when Fauré was only nineteen. This brilliant masterpiece won Fauré the first prize in composition when he graduated from the École Niedermeyer Conservatory in Paris. The choral text is a French paraphrase by Jean Racine (1639-1699) on the Latin hymn "Consors paterni luminis," a hymn of praise and petition, which asks for God's mercy and protection.
“The Second Waltz” comes from Shostakovich's Jazz Suite No. 2, which was composed in 1938 for Victor Knuschewitzky's Russian State Jazz Orchestra. Oddly, the suite is not based on standard jazz idioms, as its name suggests, but is composed in the popular light orchestra style of the 1930s. At its first publication, "The Second Waltz" was immediately popular, and it has remained one of Shostakovich's most beloved short compositions.

Impressionistic Music
Saint-Saëns and Debussy are two of the most prominent composers of the Impressionist movement (c. 1875-1925), which is characterized by blurred harmonies and ambiguous tonalities that "paint" a musical image. Halsted is a contemporary carillonneur and composer, and her piece, "Impressions," also shares these musical characteristics.
"Le Cygne" ("The Swan") is from Saint-Saëns' Le carnaval des animaux, a fourteen-movement orchestral suite. Each movement of the suite is a musical characterization of a different animal or animals. "Le Cygne" is the thirteenth movement, and was composed for solo cello, accompanied by two pianos. Debussy's well-known "Clair de Lune," which is translated "Moonlight," is from his Suite bergamasque for piano.

Music of John Courter
John Courter was an American composer and carillonneur, whose original compositions for carillon are among the most frequently performed of contemporary carillon literature. His carillon music shows a great sensitivity to the natural musical characteristics of the carillon, particularly the minor third overtones of the bells.


Bio

Melissa Weidner enjoys regularly playing the UCR carillon as a student of University Carillonneur, David Christensen. When not playing carillon, she is active as a church organist and music instructor.
Weidner holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory degree from the University of Oregon, and a Master of Music in Sacred Music degree from The Catholic University of America. She began her carillon study in 2004 at The Catholic University of America with Robert Grogan. Carillon study later continued at the University of Denver with Todd Fair and Carol Jickling Lens.
In 2009, Weidner passed the carillonneur advancement examination at the Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, held at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Since that time, she has given carillon recitals every summer in several different states. When not traveling for recitals, she enjoys international travel for leisure, and visits to local beaches.