The Department of Music in Arts & Sciences will present on Oct. 24 “Borders and Boundaries in 20th-Century Music,” the first concert of Music at the Gallery of Art, a series of three chamber recitals echoing exhibitions at the University.
The concert is free and open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. in the Gallery of Art.
Sue Taylor, concert coordinator for the music department, noted that the Music at the Gallery of Art series “offers a chance to relax at the end of the school (week) and workweek and to take advantage of the Gallery of Art’s extended Friday-evening hours. Art lovers are treated to an hour or so of challenging, entertaining music, while music lovers can spend time with fine exhibitions.”
The “Borders and Boundaries” program corresponds to Inscriptions of Time/Topo-graphies of History: The Photographs of Alan Cohen, which is on view at the Gallery of Art through Dec. 7. The exhibition examines the overlapping waves of stone, earth, asphalt, brick and concrete — the geologic and manmade ground — that both demark and obscure national borders and other historic (and perceptual) sites.
“Inscriptions of Time presents a wonderful opportunity to construct a concert of 20th-century music focusing on the theme of boundaries,” Taylor said. “While no direct parallels are drawn between the music and particular photographs, both explore the concept of borders, whether physical, psychological or conceptual in nature.”
Paul Garritson and Maryse Carlin, instructors in clarinet and piano, respectively, and Yuko Naito, violinist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, will begin the performance with Contrasts by Béla Bartók (1881-1945). The Hungarian composer immigrated to London in 1938 and spent the final years of his life in rebellion against fascism — he prohibited performances of his music in Italy and Germany.
Bartók composed Contrasts for Benny Goodman and recorded it in New York in 1940 with Goodman and violinist Joseph Szigeti. The piece emphasizes the disparate timbres of violin, clarinet and piano, exploiting their capabilities for new effects while combining traditional musical forms used by Hungarian gypsies with sounds that echo the gongs, drums and struck metal bars of Indonesian gamelan music.
Mezzo soprano Noël Prince, instructor in voice, will sing selections from Banalités, composed by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) in France in 1940. The songs are set to texts reflecting the locale and boundaries of battle and the passions for which men are willing to die.
Alla Voskoboynikova, instructor in piano, will then perform selected Preludes (1951) by Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975).
The dominant Russian composer of the Communist era, Shostakovich was condemned in 1948 for “anti-democratic tendencies alien to the Soviet people.” Historical perceptions blur and controversy still rages over the question of Shostakovich’s compliance or disguised noncompliance with the Soviet regime.
The program will conclude with Gazebo Dances — a title suggesting an ambiguous division between inside and outside spaces — composed in 1973 by American John Corigliano. The piece is a lighthearted work for four-hand piano and will be performed by the husband-and-wife team of Maryse Carlin and Seth Carlin, professor of music.
Subsequent Music at the Gallery of Art concerts are “19th-Century American Popular Music/19th-Century American Art” Nov. 7 and “Music from the 1980s/Art of the ’80s” Feb. 20.
For more information, call 935-4841.