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Brian Sweigart - Master’s Recital

Sunday, January 20, 2008 2:00 pm                        Bliss Hall, Room 2222


Rain Tree (1981)                                                                                                                                                     Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)

Michael Anderson, Kevin Rabold, percussion

Dean Anshutz, lighting

This piece belongs to the composer’s ‘Waterscape’ series. The aquatic references in this piece are two fold. The ‘rain drops falling’ in improvised sections of repeated notes and random lighting effects is meant to imitate the falling of water from the leaves of the rain tree.  The composer then emphasized the metamorphoses of individual drops running together (as illustrated by sections in which all three percussionists play in unison towards the end of the piece) towards a ‘sea of tonality.’ The piece starts with harmonic and rhythmic ambiguity and journeys towards harmonic and rhythmic stability. 


When Love Prevails (2002)                                                                                                                                               David Burge (b.1930)

Now that I love you, as not before,

Now you can be and say, as not before…”

- Robert Graves

The score to this piece contains these lines from Robert Graves’ poem, To Sleep. The poem illustrates the inner conflict an insomniac lover has before sleep, thinking of his or her own inadequacies and their effects on a new relationship. Only when the lover’s unease with his or herself is resolved can sleep be found. This piece for solo vibraphone in four untitled movements illustrates those conflicts in the first three movements by presenting musical opposition. The first puts slow, soft musical events against fast, loud ones. The second contrasts extremely staccato (short) notes (obtained by preparing the vibraphone with a towel-wrapped metal rod) and long sustained sounds. The third movement contrasts fast agitated lines with slow, soft, uneasy lyrical ones. The fourth movement, however, contains that moment of resolution, when love prevails, and sleep is found.  



Songbook for Eb Alto Saxophone and Marimba (1998)                                                                                       David Maslanka (b.1943)       

   Song for Davy – The Old Year is Past

   Hymn Tune with Four Variations

   Song for Allison

   Evening Song

Sara Kind, alto saxophone

These songs are four of the seven from Maslanka’s Songbook. ‘ Song for Davy’ is written about the composer, and references the melody to the Bach chorale The Old Year is Past. It closes with a wistful statement of the melody accompanied by a sparse, haunting waltz in the marimba. ‘Hymn Tune with Four Variations’ states the chorale melody to Be Strong, My Heart in full, followed by four increasingly fast variations, with the last a frantic canon marked “as fast as possible.” ‘Song for Allison’ is written for the composer’s wife, and mirrors the song he wrote for himself. This song ends with a reference to the haunting waltz of the first song. ‘Evening Song’ contains the most passionate moments of the collection of songs, but ends quiet and introspective. 


******** INTERMISSION *******


Midnight Pieces for Vibraphone Solo(1994)                                                                                                                    Igor Lesnik (b.1956)

            First Toy

            The Look of the Year

Dave Morgan, bass

Cory Doran, drums

These two pieces are part of a collection of jazz tunes written by vibraphonist Igor Lesnik that resemble the solo vibraphone playing of Gary Burton on his album Alone at Last. ‘First Toy’ is a rhapsodic piece for solo vibraphone. ‘The Look of the Year’ shows Latin influences, and will add drums and bass.


Spain (1972)                                                                                                                                                                         Chick Corea (b.1941)         

  Bryan Kennard, flute

Dave Morgan, bass

Cory Doran, drums

Spain was first featured on the album Light as a Feather. The melodic sections reference the Adagio movement of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, which is also referenced on Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain album from 1960.

Stella by Starlight (1944)                                                                                                                                            Victor Young (1900-1954)

                                               Arr. Sweigart

Sara Kind, alto saxophone

Dave Morgan, bass

Cory Doran, drums

  This song was written as the theme for the 1944 movie The Uninvited, with lyrics added after the fact by Ned Washington. This arrangement changes the 4/4 time signature to 3/4.


Late (2006)                                                                                                                                                                          Dave Morgan (b.1957)

                                                                                       Chris Coles, soprano saxophone

Dave Morgan, bass

Cory Doran, drums

From the composer:

Late draws heavily upon my study of the harmonic and formal vocabulary of the Canadian composer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. Wheeler's harmonies and melodies are often derived from the modes of the melodic minor and harmonic minor scales. While each local event in his music is tonal, his pieces as a whole can rarely be heard as being in a single key, but rather inhabit what I like to think of as "chromatic tonal space."  Coherence is created through motivic development rather than tonality. A favorite formal device is to repeat large sections of music at a different pitch level, often so skillfully that the listener is unaware that it has happened.  While "Late" began life as a waltz, a 2007 big band arrangement set the piece in 5/4 time.


                        All notes by Brian Sweigart except for Late.

Brian Sweigart is currently pursuing his Masters Degree from Youngstown State University studying percussion with Dr. Glenn Schaft. He earned his Bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Percussion, and attended Interlochen Arts Academy in High School. He has taught Eurhythmics at many schools in Cleveland including the Cleveland Music School Settlement, the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Montessori School at Holy Rosary, and the Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute. Brian’s teaching has taken him to Maine, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Kentucky where he has taught Eurhythmics to ages three to twenty-two. In addition to teaching, Brian performs as a percussionist in groups such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, and the Percussion Plus Project. Recent projects include performances for Cleveland’s Access to the Arts organization and teaching percussion lessons for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory and Continuing Education Department.

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