Marine Barracks Washington, DC --
On Sunday, April 22, “The President’s Own” will present a chamber music concert featuring the music of Wayne Lu, Maurice Ravel, Louis (Ludwig) Spohr, and Marc Mellits. The performance will take place at 2 p.m., at John Philip Sousa Band Hall and will be live streamed here.
First on the program is Lu’s Partita for Brass Trio. A composer and music director of the Eldora-New Providence Community School District in Iowa, Lu’s Partita for Brass features trumpet, horn an euphonium and was premièred at the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Conference. The first movement showcases the technique and artistry of the brass trio with challenging technical passages and dramatic flourishes. In the second movement, a lyrical melody with wide intervals highlights the unique tone of this combination of instruments. The third movement starts with a fanfare and new technical material and then recapitulates the first movement, racing to an exciting end.
Ravel composed the Sonata for Violin and Cello during a time of great personal crisis. He had just been discharged from the French Army during World War I and his mother passed away. Despite these personal challenges, the piece became one of the most celebrated and challenging works in the string chamber music repertoire. By using only the violin and cello, he stripped away the extraneous harmonies found in other contemporary pieces and laid bare two predominant motives woven between the strings throughout the four-movement sonata. The work known for its technical difficulty, using many extended string techniques such as false harmonics, percussive pizzicato, and sul tasto (pulling the bow above the fingerboard).
The next piece on the program will feature the concert coordinator, Staff Sgt. Meghan Kawaller on clarinet, mezzo-soprano Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield, and pianist Gunnery Sgt. Russell Wilson, performing Spohr’s Sechs deutsche Lieder, Opus 103. Sechs deutsche Lieder was composed in 1837 at the request of clarinetist Simon Hermstedt on behalf of the Princess of Sonderhausen. Spohr’s influence as a violinist is demonstrated by the clarinet’s beautiful melodies and virtuosic tendencies.
Concluding the concert will be Mellits’ Music for 5 Musicians, which features the violin, cello, bass clarinet, marimba, and piano. He offers the following about the work:
Its textures are based on everyone playing together, all the time. I work as a constructionist, building music the way a chef builds a great dish. It’s the first time in many years that I was able to partially choose my instrumentation. I started with low ideas — bass clarinet, cello — but then the music poured out these harmonies, so I added piano. And I needed another melodic element, so I chose the violin, and the marimba is the glue that ties it all together. The music dictated the instruments.
The concert is free and no tickets are required.