Monday, June 15, 2015

Contemporary works
for piano solo

Stacey Barelos, piano

Harper Hall
Monday, November 12, 2007, 8:00 pm

|| download program ||


I. Eadem Mutato Resurgo (2003)
  (although changed, I rise again the same)
  Joseph DANGERFIELD (b. 1977)
II. Tryglyph (2007)    
Hommage a W. A.
  (William Albright) (2001)
  David GOMPPER (b. 1954)
Downward Courses (2006)   Luke DAHN (b. 1976)
Free and Unticketed (2007)   Stacey BARELOS (b. 1978)
Quiet Music (2006)   John ALLEMEIER (b. 1970)
Lake Sonata (2007)
      I. Flowing
     II. Floating, lonely
    III. Driving, with intensity
    IV. Violent
  David MAKI (b. 1966)



Stacey Barelos is currently a DMA student in piano and composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds degrees in history and music from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and Luther College (Iowa).

As a pianist, she is the winner of numerous competitions in the U.S. Regarding her performance of Henry Cowell's "Dynamic Motion and the Five Encores to Dynamic Motion" Gunther Schuller said, "It was by far the best performing of Cowell's piano music I've heard in a half a century - or perhaps ever."


Notes & Bios


Eadem Mutato Resurgo (2003)
Tryglyph (2007)

are piano etudes that establish a connection between music and a geometric shape. Eadem... explores how the shape of a pentagon might be represented through musical structure and physical gesture. Elements such as pitch, motive, and register are defined by the numeral five to further represent the pentagon. The title is taken from the epithet of the great mathematician Jacque Bernoulli, who was obsessed with the logarithmic spiral, which, like the pentagon, is structurally defined by the so-called Golden Ratio (.618). As an etude, it focuses on ametric rhythms and rapid lines.

A Tryglyph is a tablet in a Doric frieze with three vertical grooves that alternates with metopes. Tryglyph also refers to a three-layered work of art that depicts three scenes at three different depths. In my work, Tryglyph, I created three levels of rhythms all based on a single intervallic set that the pianist must shift in an out of at times, and at others, perform simultaneously. Each level is also attached to one of three registers in the piano, high, middle, and low. The etude helps to develop muscle memory and rapid leaps.

Joseph Dangerfield's (b. 1977) compositions are heard throughout the United States on conferences of the Society of Composers Inc., the MusicX Festival at the Cincinnati Conservatory, the San Francisco New Music Festival, and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, among others. His works have been performed in such international venues as the Festival of American Music in Moscow, the Frankfurter KuenstlerKlub, the Conservatorio di Giuseppe Tartini, Trieste, Italy, and in Cairo, Egypt. In December, Dangerfield will complete a residency in the Leighton Studios at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.

Dangerfield is the recipient of many awards, which include, The Young and Emerging Composers Award (2002), ASCAP Standard Awards, and the Henry and Parker Pelzer Prize (2005) for excellence in composition. He was twice a top-ranked finalist for the Student Fulbright Competition for study at the Moscow Conservatory. Dangerfields music is available on the Albany Records label and is published by European American Music and PIP Press Music Publications.

He studied composition at Marshall University (BFA 1999) with Michael Golden and John Allemeier, Bowling Green State University (MM 2002) with Marilyn Shrude, and the University of Iowa (PhD 2005) with David Gompper.

He currently resides in Cedar Rapids, IA, where he is Assistant Professor of music composition and theory, as well as the director of orchestral activities at Coe College.


Hommage a W. A. (William Albright)

This piano work was written in homage to my teacher, William Albright, who died prematurely on 17 September 1998. He and William Bolcom were among those who, in the 1960s and 70s, initiated and supported the revival of ragtime music in this country. He was also a first rate organist and pianist, and a dedicated composer.

All of the musical material was generated from the last letters of his name. While the work is in three main sections, the middle contains my dream of the type of rag Albright was fond of composing and performing.

David Gompper has lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, Texas and Iowa. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Jeremy Dale Roberts, Humphrey Searle and Phyllis Sellick. After teaching in Nigeria, he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan, taught at the University of Texas, Arlington, and since 1991 has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In 2002 - 2003 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory.

Gompper's compositions are heard throughout the United States and Europe. In 1999 his Transitus (for wind ensemble) premiered at Carnegie Hall, and a number of his works have premiered in London's Wigmore Hall, including: Hommage a W. A. (William Albright) for piano; and Shades of Love, a song cycle on the poetry of Constantin Cavafy. The Slovac Radio Orchestra will record Gompper's Violin Concerto later this fall.

Subsequent returns to Moscow have included premieres and performances of Crossed (November 2003); Music in the Glen and Six Love Poems (November 2004); Star of the County Down (November 2005, and in May 2006; Albany Records TROY937); and Butterfly Dance (Albany Records TROY882). His Outside Cage for piano and electronics was premiered at the Institute of Music and Acoustics in Karlsruhe, Germany this past June. Gompper's An Elm We Lost and Kuta Muela appear on the CD Monsterology (Albany Records TROY900), as well as Musica segreta (Albany Records, TROY956).


Downward Courses

was written during the summer of 2006. Its title comes from a poem by the Kentuckian writer and poet Wendell Berry. Musically, descending melodic fragments, or "downward melodic courses," are pulled from a five-chord progression that serves as a basis for much of the work's harmonic content. These fragments occur most apparently in the work's slow middle section. The chord that begins the progression consists of all four triad types in interlocking fashion: minor, augmented, major, and diminished. Downward Courses was written for pianist Ryan Fogg and was premiered at the University of Iowa on October 15, 2006.

Luke Dahn earned a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa (2006). He is currently assistant professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, after serving as visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa in 2006-2007. Dahn holds additional in music theory and composition from Western Michigan University and Houston Baptist University and his principal teachers have included David Gompper, C. Curtis-Smith and Ann K. Gebuhr.


Free and Unticketed

I'm aware of certain elements in this piece that "sound like" the music of other composers. Although there are no quotes, I felt I was still getting something for "free." I suppose this happens in any composition, but on a less conscious level. Typically, I resist these sorts of similarities, but I decided not too fight here and explore the influences on a more conscious level. "Free and unticketed" also speaks to my advice for audience members unfamiliar with modern music. There should be no prerequisites for having an opinion about music, no matter how complex. I'm frustrated when someone says, "I don't know, should I like it?" To say, "I liked the fast part" is just as valid as "The quartal harmony sounds similar to Schoenberg's Op. 9." Lastly, I'm hoping the phrase is not copyrighted by the UW-Madison or any other concert giving institution so that the piece is truly "free and unticketed."

Stacey Barelos is currently a DMA student in piano and composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds degrees in history and music from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and Luther College (Iowa).

Stacey's compositions have been performed around the country and in Russia, England and Italy. Her pieces "Phobia" for solo piano and "An Albatross in Waiting" for clarinet, violin, cello and piano were recently performed in Korcula, Croatia as part of the "Upbeat" music program. She is the 2006 winner of the UW-Madison concerto competition for composition for her piece, "30% from Pumpkins."

Since, 2006, Stacey Barelos has been a UW-Madison Knapp House fellow, a prestigious honor awarded to only 9 graduate students across the campus per year.


Quiet Music

Quiet Music was composed in the spring of 2006. While it was conceived specifically for the piano, it is void of typical piano gestures. I wanted to focus on the resonance, or the lack of resonance, of the different registers of the instrument.

The first section consists of a single melodic line dispersed throughout the various registers of the piano. The sustain pedal is held down throughout the first section so that the melody of one phrase becomes the harmony for the next. The second part of the first section consists of a canon based on the opening melodic material, and it is presented over a low E pedal. Eventually, the pedal ends as the melody continues to climb into the highest register of the piano.

The second section is a circular melody built over a bass ostinato. The homogeneous construction of the first section is contrasted in the second section by delineating the differences between the melody and accompaniment. The harmony consists of a repeated ostinato of stacked 4ths. The melody is chromatic and constantly evolving. At the beginning of this section, the performer silently presses the keys for six pitches of the ostinato (E, A, D, G, C, and F) and uses the sostenuto pedal to allow only those pitches to sustain. This creates a contrast in the resonance between the melody and harmony.

Quiet Music is dedicated to my son, who was sleeping while I composed this piece.

John Allemeier received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Iowa, his Master of Music in Composition from Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Augustana College. He has studied in Europe at the 41st and 42nd Internationalen Ferienkurse fuer Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany and the 6th International Composition Course in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.

His music has been programmed on new music festivals such as 5th Annual Festival of New Music - San Francisco, 3er Festival Internacional de Percusiones - Monterrey, Mexico, Russia-America: Music of the XXI Century - Moscow Conservatory, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival and the 7th Brazilian Symposium on Computer Music, on national conferences of the Society of Composers and the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States, and at regional conferences of the College Music Society and the Society of Composers.

John Allemeier's music is published by Carl Fischer Music Publishers, C. Alan Publications, M. Baker Publications and European American Music. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany, Capstone and Vox Novus labels. He currently teaches composition and music theory at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Lake Sonata

Lake Sonata isn't about a lake, and it isn't really a sonata; but the music does have some qualities that remind me of water (including the tempo markings), and the form shares some dimensions of sonata. The first movement presents the main melodic idea, which is first heard underneath a flowing, high ostinato figure, and consists largely of descending thirds and ascending seconds. The calm, quiet second movement presents a separate thought, while the third movement is a fast, twisting scale with a few interruptions of previous material and leads directly to the violent fourth movement. All of the thematic ideas from the previous three movements are revisited in the fourth movement before a crashing coda closes the work.

David Maki (b. 1966) is Assistant Professor of music theory and composition at Northern Illinois University. His music has been performed widely throughout the U.S. at national and regional venues by ensembles such as the University of Iowa Center For New Music, Mosaic, Prime Directive, Contemporary Directions, and the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. Maki is also active as a performer of new music, and with pianist Ashlee Mack is planning a concert tour featuring new works for two pianos. He holds degrees in composition from Northern Illinois University (B.M.), the University of Iowa (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (D.M.A.).