Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Performs Works by De Falla, Debussy, More 3/31

March 29
8:15 2012
Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Performs Works by De Falla, Debussy, More 3/31

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. (MCCE) presents the third concert in its 2011-12 residency at The Staten Island Museum on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm.  The evening features works by MCCE's 2011-12 composer-in-residence Andrew Rosciszewski, MCCE's Composer Search Finalist 2012 Elizabeth Nonemaker, Claude Debussy, Manuel De Falla, Alan Hovhaness, Henryk Gorecki and Francis Poulenc performed in a cabaret-style setting by MCCE members Tamara Keshecki (flute), Amanda Romano (harp), Elizabeth McCullough (soprano) and Wen-Yi Lo (piano). The performance will be livestreamed from via Justin.TV and MCCE will field questions during via Twitter and Facebook.  

Wine, coffee and desserts will be available for purchase.   

The Staten Island Museum

75 Stuyvesant Place

Staten Island, New York


Tickets:  $15; $12 for Museum members; $5 for students (22 and under with ID)

For further information, call 718-907-3488, email or visit  

On the Program: 

Impromptu by Andrew Rosciszewski, MCCE Composer-in-Residence
Duet for Flute and Piano by Elizabeth Nonemaker, MCCE Composer Search Finalist 2012
Seven Spanish Folk Songs by Manuel De Falla 
Danses by Claude Debussy
The Garden of Adonis by Alan Hovhaness
Good Night by Henryk Gorecki
Chansons d'Orkenise & Voyage a Paris from Banalities; and A sa Guitare by Francis Poulenc

Notes on the Program

Impromptu by Andrew Rosciszewski 

"Impromptu – it's an older piece. One of my first pieces that I completed and it also very clearly demonstrates what I was listening to at the time.  It is very heavily influenced by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.

The big, heavy triplet-y section is my Rachmaninoff phase and the cadenzas are very Liszt.  Not that this piece is anywhere near as good as what they wrote.  The opening idea does return at the end to close the piece and it ends kind of on an unresolved note."  

Duet for Flute and Piano by Elizabeth Nonemaker  

"Duet for Flute and Piano was originally written in 2008 and revised in 2011.  It began as an experiment in pandiatonic harmony, the success of which may be debated – most of the time we seem to be noodling between the worlds of C minor, Db major, and F minor.  The flute writing was meant to highlight these harmonic shifts while still providing a memorable and lyrical line.  But it is never my intention that a piece remain solely in the theoretical realm; I wish also to create a convincing dramatic argument on top of any techniques I explore.  I hope that this dramatic aspect, too, is apparent in Duet, as it meanders from a calm, pensive mood in the beginning into an edgier and more outspoken personality by the end."

Seven Spanish Folk Songs by Manuel De Falla

Manuel De Falla assembled his set of Seven Spanish Folk Songs after returning to Spain after spending seven years in Paris in 1914.  Inspired by the French's fascination with authentic Spanish music, De Falla dedicated this piece to Ida Godebska, who hosted regular Sunday gatherings for Parisian musicians and artists.  De Falla originally arranged for the songs to be published in Paris and to include French translation. However since the songs represented De Falla's journey back to Spain, he chose to debut the piece in Madrid in 1915.  Turning established folk melodies into art music is a delicate task, requiring a balance of faithfulness to the source material and freedom to create something original; De Falla carries out this task with grace as the song has such wide appeal to this day.

The Garden of Adonis by Alan Hovhaness

Alan Hovhaness is an American of Scottish/Armenian descent. As a composer he is astonishingly prolific: for instance, he has written well over 50 symphonies, and The Garden of Adonis, which was written as long ago as 1971, is his Op. 245!  Much of his output is influenced by Indian and far Eastern music, and this is evident in parts of The Garden of Adonis. Western music of the renaissance is also a strong influence.  The title of the piece is taken from The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; The Garden of Adonis is a garden of rebirth where souls appear as flowers.

Good Night by Henryk Gorecki

A Polish composer of contemporary classical music, Henryk Gorecki composed Good Night in 1990 making it one of his later works. Though his earlier work in the late 1950s and 1960s were characterised by a dissonant modernism influenced by Nono, Stockhausen and contemporaries Penderecki and Serocki, he moved in the mid 1970's towards a 'pure' sacred minimalist sound.  The spiritualism of Good Night is evident; the piece has often been used as a requiem, or as a composition for the dead.  

Chansons d'Orkenise & Voyage a Paris from Banalities; and A sa Guitare by Francis Poulenc

During one of the darkest periods of the Second World War, Francis Poulenc turned again to the verses of Guillaume Apollinaire. This poet numbered Picasso and Braque among his friends, and coined the word "cubism." One of the most important poets in France in the early twentieth century, he helped shape the new direction of French literature, moving it away from the preciousness and indirect glances of symbolism toward a more robust, urbanized exploration of life, especially the life of Poulenc's beloved birthplace, Paris. Voyage à Paris is an example of Poulenc at his most carnivalesque, with its bawdy, clownish introduction and its vocal line that can only be called a tune even though it is not without chromatic quirkiness. 


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