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WFU musicians to perform ‘Unheard Beethoven’

By Pam Barrett
336.758.5237
March 15, 2004

The Wake Forest University Department of Music will present “The Unheard Beethoven,” a concert featuring performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s rarely performed music, March 28 at 3 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center’s Brendle Recital Hall.

Admission to the concert is free.

David Levy, Wake Forest professor of music and department chair, said this performance is designed to “to show Beethoven in a different way—like old wine in a new bottle.”

The first half of the concert will highlight Beethoven’s Scottish, Welsh and Irish folk song arrangements for voice, violin, cello and piano. “If you ask people what type of piece did Beethoven write more of than any other, most people would not say folk songs,” said Levy. “But, this is true. He actually set more than 150 folk songs.”

Beethoven arranged his folk song settings of British origin for Scottish publisher George Thomson from 1809 to 1816. Thomson would send Beethoven the tunes without words, and Beethoven would then set them as chamber pieces for piano, violin, cello or one or more voices.

The folk song selections performed during the “Unheard Beethoven” concert will include the Scottish songs “The Sweetest Lad was Jamie” and the duet “Behold My Love, How Green the Groves,” the Welsh songs “The Cottage Maid” and “Three Hundred Pounds” and the Irish piece “Save Me from the Grave and Wise.”

The concert will also feature the “Horn Sonata,” an early Beethoven work that is not well known. “People just don’t frequently go to a performance where a hornist is the soloist unless they play a brass instrument,” Levy said.

The second half of the concert will be dedicated to Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. This familiar work, usually presented with a whole orchestra, will be presented in an unfamiliar setting using only four musicians, a flutist, violinist, cellist and pianist.

Ten Wake Forest faculty members will participate in the concert. Kathryn Levy, lecturer in music, will play flute. Robert Campbell, adjunct professor of music, will perform on the horn. David Levy and Assistant Professor of Music Jacqui Carrasco will both play violin. Selina Carter, adjunct professor of music, will perform on cello.

Voice performances will be presented by soprano Teresa Radomski, professor of music, and mezzo-soprano Lorraine di Simone, visiting professor of music. Pianist Marlene Hoirup, adjunct professor of music, will perform. Peter Kairoff, professor of music, will perform on both piano and fortepiano.

David Levy, also a musicologist and noted Beethoven scholar, will speak briefly about the repertoire.

A reception will be held in the lobby following the concert.

For information, call 336-758-5364.


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