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1 A GRADUATE CONDUCTING RECITAL By SAMEED AFGHANI A PERFORMANCE IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFIILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERISTY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 Summary of Performance in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music A GRADUATE CONDUCTING RECITAL By Sameed Afghani May, 2013 Chair: David Waybright Major: Master of Music On December 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM I presented my graduate student recital to fulfill the requirements of my Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting degree. The recital featured the University of Florida Wind Symphony, and included three weeks of biweekly r ehearsals prior to the performance recital. I led each rehearsal and conducted the recital under the guidance of Dr. David Waybright. Three iconic works in the Wind Band repertory were performed: Richard Trauersinfonie Ill yrian Dances Spiel fr Blasorchester (1926). Each piece differs greatly in regards to the date of composition as well as the forms and styles. Trauersinfonie and Illyrian Dances are written for full band while
3 Spiel fr Blasorchest er features a reduced Wind Ensemble, with only one instrumentalist on each part. The recital took place in the University Auditorium on the University of Florida campus, and was recorded to DVD.
4 A Graduate Conducting Recital Sameed Afghani, Conductor Kim Eberly, Conductor Program Smetana Fanfare Karel Husa (b. 1921) Trauersinfonie Richard Wagner / Revis ed Erik Leidzn (1813 1883) Paris Sketches Martin Ellerby (b. 1957) Spiel fr Blasorchester Ernst Toch (1887 1964) A Hymn for the Lost and Liv ing Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) Illyrian Dances Guy Woolfenden (b. 1937) I. Rondeau II. Aubade III. Gigue *Denotes pieces conducted by Sameed Afghani
5 Trauersinfonie As one of the most influential composer s of the 19 th Century, Richard Wagner, transformed t he German opera and created an aesthetic ideal to represent his monumental works. Although primarily known for his grandiose operas, Trauersinfonie remains an important historical work as the only piece by the composer originally scored for the wind band. Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in 1813 and began his music career at a young age. His musical education started with rudimentary piano lessons and by the time he was nine years old the young Wagner had aspirations to become a playwright. In these early years Wagner was heavily influenced by the literary works of Shakespear e and G oethe and he was exposed to the music of Beethoven, Mozart, and Carl Mari a von Weber. The literary and musical works of these prominent figures made a lasting impression on Richard Wagner, and in 1831 he enrolled at the University of Leipzig to continue his studies on piano composition, and choir. While Ri chard Wagner went on to become one of the most celebr ated composers of German Operas the influence of Carl Maria von We ber on his early musical development was strong. His early compositions imitated the style of Weber, and therefore it is no sur prise that on December 14, 1844 when the remains of Carl Maria von Weber were moved from English soil to the Catholic Cemetery in Friedrichstadt, Germany Wagner composed Trauersinfonie for torch light procession. The subtitle of Trauersinfonie s of Carl Maria von all sections of Trauersinfonie are based on harmonies and melodies from particular sections of Euryanthe Although Trauersinfonie is an original composition for wind band by Rich ard Wagner, some argue that it is in fact a band transcription heavy borrowing of material.
6 The first section of Trauersinfonie (mm.1 16) is an arrangement of the overture to Euryanthe In fact, the only immediate differences between this section of Trauersinfonie and Euryanthe is that Wagner transposes the music down one half step to Bb minor, and adds a dominant seventh chord to the closing of the musical statement Aside from these differences, and a slight change of tempo markings, the two melodies look identical in their (4 /4) meter signatures: Euryanthe (mm.129 143) Trauersinfonie (mm. 1 17)
7 The second section of Trauersinfonie which is also the main body of the work (mm. 17 71) is based off the aria Hier dicht am Quell for soprano fro m Act III, S cene 1 of Euryanthe Wagner arranges the solo melody for multiple instruments and transposes the music from G major to Bb major. Wagner also adds a re peat at the end of this section and doubles the original note values This allowed the work to last the two and one half mile funeral procession for Carl Maria von Weber. The original text from Hier dicht am Quell heavily reference s death, and the melancholy melodic theme supports this idea of loss. It is therefore not surprising that Wagner chose this particular aria from Euryanthe The Coda of Trauersinfonie is taken from Act II, Scene VII where Count Adolar falls on his knees before Euryanthe, then rises in euphoria at their reunion Agai n Wagner transposes this section from C major to Bb major and arranges it for the wind ensemble Similar to the previou s section s the note values are al l doubled, again in an effort to extend the length of the composition. Also, the final trumpet call in the last six measures of Trauersinfonie has been rhythmically altered from the original melo dy sung by Adolar in the opera. Spiel fr Blasorchester Ernst Toch was born in Leopoldstadt, Vien na in 1887 and began teaching himself piano at an early age He went on to study piano and composition at the Hoch Conservatory from 1909
8 to 1913. Before reaching acclaim as a c omposer Toch was recognized as an exemplary pianist and as such, most of his compositions are intended for piano. Although his compositional output was wide, including symphonies, concertos, orchestral works, choral works, and film music, Spiel fr Blasorchester is one of only five works for wind ensemble comp leted by Toch. mimicked the style of Mozart, and he was awarded the Frankfurt/Main Mozart prize in 1909 for his Chamber Symphony in F With this early success, and expanding his repertoire. Toch continued composing while in exile, first in Paris and then London, but at this time he was exploring an entirely new medium of composition by writing film music By 1933, he was invited to travel to America, and he moved to California to continue his career in film scoring. Between 1933 and 1945 he composed a total of fifteen film scores, yet he never received the same acclaim with his film scores that he did in his earlier years of composition. In his later years as a composer, Toch returned to his early styles of writing music and composed seven symphonies In 1957 he received a Pulitzer Prize for his third symphony and in 1958 he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Ernst Toch died in 1964 in Santa Monica, California. Spiel f r Blasorchester was written in 1926 for the Donaueschi ngen Music Festival. The festival was founded by a committee of distinguished composers in 1921 in order to promote composers of contemporary music. Spie l f r Blasorchester was premiered by the Music Corps Konzertmusik f r Blasorchester Drei lustige Mrsche under the conductorship of Hermann Scherchen These three works shared a similar goal at the time, to expand the repertoire for small wind ensembles th rough contemporary
9 composition. Of all the pieces p remiered at the festival, Spiel received the most immediate critical acclaim by both listeners and reviewers. The work is comprised of three movements titled: Overture, Idyll, and Buffo. The Overture is a standard three section form (A B A) where the A section is characterized by poignant articulations and mixed meters, while the B section contrasts with flowing lyrical melodies. Idyll, also in ternary form, features a prominent obo e solo throughout. It is the most romantic sound ing of the three m ovements, resembling music of the prior decade. The finale, Buffo, is a fast and boisterous movement written in sonata form that has a sense of humor, akin to a circus band. The work was ded icated to the Hermann Scherchen who was a champion of modern music. Illyrian Dances Guy Woolfenden was born in 1937 in Ipswich, England and has established himself as a con ductor and composer through various musical avenues. His early music education includes s College in Cambridge. As a conductor, Woolfenden has given concerts throughout Canada, France, and Germany ; conducting major symphony orchestras as well as cha mber ensembles. His opera performances Saul og David Maid of Orleans Don Sanche Guy Woolfenden has been active in composing for various wind groups His compositions for wind s include works for symphonic wind orchestras, small wind ensembles, small wind ensemble and choir, and concertos. In addition, from 1963 to 1998 he was Head of Music of the Royal Shakespeare Company. During his time as Head of Mus ic he composed over
10 150 scores for theatre productions that h ave been performed throughout the world In addition Woolfenden has composed music for major European theatre companies including Comdie Franaise, Paris, the Burgtheater, Vienna, the Teatro Sta bile, Genoa and the Norwegian National Theatre In 1977 he was awarded the Olivier Award for Best New Musical for his musical adaptation The Comedy of Errors and in 2007 he was awarded the Order of British Empire for his services to music. Illyrian Dances was written in 1937 for full band and is an original composition that was play, Twelfth Night The play was a comedy meant to be performed at th e close of the Christmas Season, and is set in the land of Illyria. It is bel ieved that Illyria was a region of Eastern Europe that included parts of modern day Albania, Croatia, and Monte negro, yet there is no do cumentation as to the exact geographical location. The play revolves around a love triangle and mistaken identities betw een a woman shipwrecked on the shore of Illyria named Viola, the Duke of Illyria, and a female resident of Illyria named Olivia. In Act 1, Scene II the following dialogue occurs between Viola and the Captain of the ship after being shipwrecked on the shor es of Illyria: Illyrian Dances is based off of this scene and exchange between characters a s Viola first gazes upon the land of Illyria. The music is meant to depict dances that would take place in Illyria a faraway world of r omance and imagination. The composition is a suite of three dances titled Rondeau, Aubade, and Gigue. The Rondeau features a seven bar refrain with an abrupt meter change. This melody is transformed throughou t the movement, and can be heard passing between different sectio ns of the band. The Aubade is a dance in ternary form. It is softer in both tempo as well as density and features several solo lines between the woodwinds, first horn, and
11 first trumpet. The final movement, Gigue, is a jubilant rondo in six eight time. The initial melodic motive is varied and broken up to form many smaller themes that can be heard throughout the movement. Illyrian Dances was commissioned by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles. Funds for the commission were provided by West Midlands Arts, and the premiere took place on September 26, 1986 at Warwick University during the 5 th Annual British Associat ion of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles conference.
12 REFERENCES Ariel Music Company. http://www.arielmusic.co.uk/composers.html (accessed April 9, 2013). Banks, Simon "Wagner, Richard." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T090359 (accessed April 9, 2013). Henken, John. 1987. Celebrating E rnst T och. Los Angeles Times (Pre 1997 Fulltext), Nov 08. http://search.proquest.com/docview/292632006?accountid=10920 Shakespeare, William, and Nick De Somogyi. Twelfth Night: Twelfe Night, or, What You Will London: Nick Hern Books, 2001.
13 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sameed degree of science in finance from the University of Florida in May 2011 Cum Laude While attending University of Florida he was a member of the National Society of Collegiate S cholars, the University of Florida Orchestra, the University of Florida Wind Symphony, and the University of Florida Concert Band He also served as a Finance Research Assistant under the direction of Dr. Cem Demiroglu where he researched the debt position s of hundreds of U.S. corporations. Sameed Afghani is currently the Executive Director of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra ncial position. He also serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Florida branch of the Smith Walbridge Band Clinics.