CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 28, 2014 –Robert Conger will perform in a solo trombone recital and present works by J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Ropartz and Stark, with Matt Yount accompanying on piano Sept. 11 in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus.
The program begins at 7:30 p.m. Conger, Southeast professor of music, will play works adapted for the trombone in the first half of the program and works intended for the trombone in the second half.
Bach wrote his suites for solo cello in 1720, and each is built on the popular dances of the time. Although this music was most certainly not intended as actual dance music, the forms and rhythms reflect the spirit of each of the dances. Bach understood the term “suite” to mean a collection of dance movements in the basic sequence of allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue with the addition of a prelude to each. Because they were originally written for the cello, trombone performance presents various challenges which must be met — especially in the area of breathing and phrasing. Conger will perform “Suite No. 1 in G Major”into which the performer must breathe musical life–manipulation of tempo, contrasts of dynamics within phrases in each dance movement.
Another of the world’s greatest composers, Beethoven wrote his “Sonata for Horn”in 1800 for a great virtuosic player of the era, Giovanni Punto, who was perhaps more well known outside of Vienna than Beethoven at that time. The piano functions as an equal partner in this work rather than simply an accompaniment. Beethoven also specified that the piece could be performed by cello as well as horn. The composition is in classical style, and does not stray far from that idiom unlike his other works during that period (namely the “Fifth Symphony,” composed in 1804). It is in three movements – Allegro moderato, Poco Adagio and Rondo: Allegro Molto.
The “Piece in Eb Minor”of J. Guy Ropartz was composed in 1908 in the French style influenced by Claude Debussy and Cesar Franck. After a slow introduction with mournful melodic ideas, the faster Allegro section expounds and develops the motifs of the opening section. Drifting almost aimlessly through a couple of distantly related key centers, the work shifts back to Eb minor and finally a triumphant finish in Eb major.
“Gospel Song Fantasy”was composed by Bruce Stark in 2004 for the principal trombonist of the Milwaukee Symphony, Megumi Kanda. This work contains many different well-known tunes with a variety of treatments. From the meditative treatment of the famous gospel tune, “Amen,” to the robust jazziness of “Michael Row The Boat Ashore,” this work takes the listener on a musical journey through his imaginative handling of many gospel songs.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.