Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Premiere: Raymond Burkhart, Fanfare St. Antoni

My new composition, Fanfare St. Antoni, will be premiered on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Timothy Smith, conductor. [websiteFacebook]

Tim Smith commissioned Fanfare St. Antoni for large brass and percussion ensemble to celebrate his tenth season conducting the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. The duration is about 4 minutes. The instrumentation is: 3 trumpets, 4 horns, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, triangle, tenor drum, bass drum, cymbals, and tam-tam.

One of Smith's favorite works is the well known Variations on a Theme by Haydn by Johannes Brahms. It was one of the first works Smith conducted with the CCCO, and he selected it again for the first program of his tenth anniversary season, along with my new fanfare and works by Mozart, Milhaud, Cindy McTee, and the premiere of a concerto by Paul Hanson for electronic bassoon.

Smith's vision for my new work was to incorporate ideas from Brahms' Variations in a fanfare, with a contemporary, fresh sound, in keeping with the "Now and Then" theme for this concert. My solution was to create a vibrant, strongly thematic work using rhythmic elements and melodic motifs from Brahms' work and from the Chorale St. Antoni which inspired it. Scholarship has determined that Chorale St. Antoni was not actually composed by Josef Haydn, but Brahms didn't know this, but a rose is a rose, and all that.

My new music is in no way an arrangement, but new music. Listeners unfamiliar with Chorale St. Antoni and Brahms' Variations will hear new themes, while astute listeners familiar with the old works may hear many references, both to Brahms' Variations and to the original chorale. I could not resist one brief, composite "quote" from the original chorale, but this comes very late in the music, in a cameo role.

I'll be at the Sunday concert. Here are the details.
  • 2pm, Saturday, September 24, 2016. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd Street, Antioch, CA. Ticket prices: adult, $15; seniors, $12; youth, $7, by phone or at the door. (925) 757-9500, www.elcampaniltheatre.com.
El Campanil Theatre, Antioch, California

  • 2pm, Sunday, September 25, 2016. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA. Ticket prices: adult, $30; seniors, $20; youth, $10, by phone or at the door. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.org.
Lesher Arts Center, Walnut Creek, California

I hope to see you there!

Dr. Ray

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