Island Arts will be sponsoring my chamber music group, Melodeon in a special 4th of July Weekend Concert at the Congregational Church of South Hero VT in a program of classic American Music for Voice, 1864 Melodeon and piano on Saturday evening, July 76th at 7 p.m.
Edinburgh Quadrille by Charles D'Albert on 1864 Melodeon
Songs by Will Marion Cook: Just the Same and Exhortation, a Negro Sermon
The Battle of Manassas by Thomas Bethune, "Blind Tom" piano solo, tin whistle
Songs by Charles Ives: General William Booth Enters Heaven, Charlie Rutlage, The Indians, Thoreau, The Things Our Fathers Loved,
In the Mornin', Memories, Shall We Gather at the River (with 1889 Mason & Hamlin pump organ)
American Operatic Novelties: A Bird in a Gilded Cage, Desecration Rag, Poor Butterfly, When Priscilla Tries To Reach High C
Performers: Artis Wodehouse, antique pump organs and piano, Marti Newland, soprano, George Spitzer, baritone
info and tickets: http://melodian.eventbrite.com/
Repurposing and reviving antique and vintage keyboards: ARTIS WODEHOUSE in concert, 2010-2011
ARTIS WODEHOUSE will launch a series of three concerts during the 2010-2011 season devoted to repurposing and reviving antique and vintage keyboards from her collection on Saturday November 6th, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Ann Goodman Recital Hall, Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th St., New York NY 10023.
Photo by Ron Terner
Wodehouse, (cited by the NY Times as "savior of the old and neglected") has collected and restored a group of largely forgotten and rarely heard keyboard instruments. These include 19th and early 20th century American foot-pump reed organs made by Mason & Hamlin, Estey and Bilhorn, two Yamaha Reed Organs from the 1950s, a 1902 Art Harmonium by Mustel, an English square piano from the 1840s and five American-made toy pianos by Schoenhut and Jaymar from the 1940-60s.
Tickets are $15/10, available at the Kaufman Box Office Tel: 212-501-3330 or through the Kaufman website, email@example.com, and at the door.
For further information contact Artis Wodehouse directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Program I: Saturday, November 6th, 2010, at 8 p.m.
Bela Bartok (1881-1945): Selections from Mikrokosmos Books III, IV, and V on two vintage 1950s Yamaha Reed Pump Organs and three vintage 1960s-70s Schoenhut toy pianos.
Sigfried Karg-Elert (1877-1933): 12 Impressions Op. 102 performed on 1902 Mustel Art Harmonium.
Alfredo Vilella: One for Uuma for Yamaha Reed organ.
In a fresh reading, Wodehouse will spotlight the folk origins of Bartok's Mikrokosmos music by performing selections from books III, IV, and V on her Yamaha reed organs and vintage toy pianos rather than on the modern piano. Her reed organ's sustained, plangent tone and the percussive cimbalom/harpsichord-like sound of the toy piano evoke the bagpipe, cimbalom and vocal performance style Bartok assimilated in his research into ethnic music from his native Hungary and used as the basis for his original compositional idiom.
Wodehouse will also perform Sigfrid Karg-Elert's Twelve Impressions (1914) on her 1902 Mustel Art Harmonium. This will be the first New York performance of Karg-Elert's masterpiece. Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) is considered the greatest composer for the Art Harmonium, a foot-pumped keyboard that sounds through brass reeds, operating on the pressure principle like a trumpet. The French maker, Mustel is considered the preeminent designer and builder of the harmonium, and the tone of Mustel's best instruments has set the standard for all others. Because Karg-Elert's harmonium music relies upon the manipulation of the unique sounds and expressive capabilities characteristic of the Art Harmonium, and because very few Art Harmoniums were imported to the US, Karg-Elert's harmonium music is almost unknown in the US.
Program II: Saturday Feb. 5th, 2011 at 8 p.m.
American Works by Charles Zeuner (1795-1857), Anthony Heinrich (1781-1861), Arthur Clifton (1784-1832) and Stephen Foster (1826-1864) on an 1840s Tomkinson square piano. With singers Ami Brabson, soprano and George Spitzer, baritone.
Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911): 4th Sonata for 1902 Mustel Art Harmonium.
Commissioned work by Steven Best for a 1925 Bilhorn folding reed pump organ.
Wodehouse will explore some of the fine but little-known keyboard and vocal music written by American composers from the pre-1850 period. Much of this music was intended for home performance, with an emphasis on vocal music for amateur singers. Wodehouse's 1840s Tomkinson English square piano was a common keyboard to be found in the United States during that period. It was only during the 1830s that American instrument manufacturers began to compete in the American market. Thus imported instruments, particularly English instruments, were the rule.
The folding Bilhorn from 1825 was a type of pump organ used at the massive religious tent revival meetings that swept the US during the 19th and early 20th century. Steven Best's commissioned work is based upon a hymnal from the 19th Century by Ira Sankey, the leading US revival singer, hymn composer, and reed organist of that time.
The major work of the program, Alexandre Guilmant's 4th Sonata for Art Harmonium is considered one of the masterwork staples of the harmonium repertoire. Guilmant is a member of the group of great French composer/organists to emerge during the latter 19th century; others include Franck, Widor, Tournemiere and Louis Vierne. All wrote primarily for the pipe organ, but also created a sizeable repertoire for the harmonium because that instrument was then in significant use in European churches and homes.
Program III: Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at 8 p.m.
American Works by Arthur Bird (1856-1922) on a 1918 Mason & Hamlin style 86K reed pump organ.
Louis Vierne (1870-1937): Book I Pieces in Free Style on 1902 Mustel Art Harmonium.
Commissioned work by Leonardo Ciampa for the Mustel Art Harmonium.
Arthur Bird was ex-pat student and colleague of Franz Liszt, Son of a line of American born-and-bred church musicians, Bird was sent to Europe for his musical education. Likely due to Bird's connection to Liszt and by inference, another of Liszt's American pupils, William Mason Bird was asked by the Mason & Hamlin company to write a series of compositions for one of their finest model reed organs, the style 86K which has a set of stops that rivals the intricacy and complexity of the European harmonium. Bird's music for the "American Harmonium" is some of the greatest music written by an American from the post-Civil War period. It is little known today since it was written for an instrument that even in its heyday was not plentiful on the ground. Wodehouse is not aware of any other style 86K currently extant worldwide that is in concert condition.
The Vierne Pieces in Free Style is a staple of the pipe organ literature. Yet Vierne provided an alternative version, for the harmonium, and this version is little known, not even represented in its entirety on CD performance to date. Pieces in Free Style is a magnificently varied set of miniatures of the highest quality.
Wodehouse has sought to bring her instruments into the present by commissioning new works for them by living composers. She has asked organist and composer Leonardo Ciampa to write a new work for the Mustel specifically for this concert.