Ensemble Calliopée | “Les Etats Unis, Terre d’accueil” #4

Continuing Ensemble Calliopée’s residency at the FEU, their fourth concert revolves around the theme of “The United States, Land of Welcome” and specifically the topic of youth. The three pieces on the program were composed at the dawn of their authors’ careers. For example, Bartok’s quintet for Piano and Strings was written in Vienna in 1904. At only 22 years old, Béla Bartok composed an original work still marked by the influences of Brahms and Liszt, giving us the opportunity to listen to a completely different facet of the composer, at the beginnings of his art. He had to make the painful choice of exile to the United States in 1940, unable to submit to the authoritarian regime under the Nazis in his country. Gershwin’s Lullaby for string quartet is also a work of youth. Written in 1919 at the age of 19, it is probably his first “serious” work after he discovered the music of Claude Debussy and Arnold Schönberg. As part of the Ensemble Calliopée’s residency, the FEU commissioned a piece by Sergio Herrera, a young American composer, resident at the FEU and a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar. This concert will be an opportunity to discover the world premiere of Vers chez toi. The artistic residency of Ensemble Calliopée at the FEU was made possible thanks to the support of the Mairie de Paris.

Free entry upon reservation:

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The Program

George GERSHWIN, from Saint-Petersbourg to Hollywood
Lullaby for string quartet (1919)

Vers chez-toi
New composition (commission by the Fondation des États-Unis as part of his residency)

Béla BARTÓK, a Hungarian in New York
Quintet for piano and strings (1903-1904)

The Musicians

Karine Lethiec, alto, artistic director and presentations
Maud Lovett
, violin
Christophe Giovaninetti
, violin
Florent Audibert
, cello
Frédéric Lagarde, piano
Andrew Briggs, cello (FEU resident and Harriet Hale Woolley scholar)
Elias Rodriguez, clarinet (FEU resident and Harriet Hale Woolley scholar)
Thomaz Tavares Paes, flute (FEU resident and Harriet Hale Woolley scholar)
Sergio Herrera, guitare and composition (FEU resident and Harriet Hale Woolley scholar)

About the program

Sergio HERRERA,Vers chez-toi This piece is dedicated to my mentor, Narcis Bonet who passed away on January 11, 2019. The little voyages I took to Narcis’s home for lessons remain firmly cemented in my mind as I recall a time when I was still getting accustomed to Parisian life and dealing with personal issues. In a way, these little voyages and the lessons themselves, were a sort of momentary salvation from my “real world” problems. With each step I took, I remember being overwhelmed by a sense of curiosity and wonder. “What new musical secrets will be unveiled to me this time?” “How will he approach this lesson?” I left each lesson with a completely re-conceptualized outlook on music, and with each departure, an impatience for the next time I would step outside onto the streets of Paris, towards his home.  ­ Thus, my goal for this piece was to capture that distinct sense of journey, adventure, and wonder. At the same time, I wanted the piece to have a certain light-heartedness and warmth that Narcis always carried with him. ~ Sergio Herrera

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