Katie L. Rice, flute
Katie L. Rice, flute , in a student recital April 10 | 3:00 PM · Kimball Recital Hall
Katie L. Rice is a second-year masters student in the studio of Dr. John Bailey. Originally from Herndon, Virginia, she has previously studied with Dr. Beth Chandler at James Madison University (BM) and Trevor Wye in his studio in Kent, England. Following the completion of her flute studies, she plans to remain at UNL to further her education in music theory.
For this afternoon’s performance, Katie will be joined by fellow second-year masters student pianist Andrew Paulson. Paulson, originally from Jackson, Minnesota, studies with Dr. Paul Barnes and is a graduate teaching assistant in the keyboard department. Before attending UNL, he studied with Dr. Rick Andrews at Augustana University (BA).
The recital includes pieces by J.S. Bach, Pierre Sancan, Shulamit Ran, and Béla Bartók. This performance will also include the premiere of Autumn Serenade by recent UNL alum, Dr. Daniel Baldwin.
J.S. Bach’s Sonata in b minor is considered one of his greatest pieces for the transverse flute. This sonata, written circa 1736, came at the end of Bach’s tenure as director of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig, a position he held from 1729 to 1737. There are multiple manuscripts of this sonata, including one in g minor written earlier in his time as director of the Collegium. Unfortunately, all that exists of the g minor version is the harpsichord part, leaving us to speculate on his chosen solo instrument. The b minor manuscript for flute was likely transcribed from the earlier g minor original. The Sonata in b minor is one of two for flute and obbligato keyboard. Sonatas written in this manor feature a keyboard part with independent lines written for both hands that are equally as important as the solo instrument’s line. Bach exploits this three-voice texture with a contrapuntal Andante first movement and third movement in two parts: a Presto fugue between the flute and both hands of the keyboard that suddenly becomes a gigue in binary form. The middle movement, also in binary form, contains dotted rhythms reminiscent of a Siciliano; this movement is simpler, more transparent in comparison to the outer movements, and helps to balance the work.
French composer and pianist, Pierre Sancan, is largely a forgotten figure of the mid-twentieth century. Despite writing several large and small works during his life, it is only his Sonatine for Flute and Piano that maintains a consistent spot in the repertoire. The Sonatine was composed as the test piece for the Paris Conservatoire in 1946. This commission precedes Sancan’s tenure as piano professor and is dedicated to his future colleague flute professor Gaston Crunelle. The Sonatine is a more modern take on the typical two-part, slow-fast, test piece genre of the Paris Conservatoire. Written as one continuous movement, it can be divided into three smaller mini-movements in the typical pattern: fast-slow-fast. Sections are separated by cadenzas that transition into the movement that follows. The first and second movements are linked by a short piano cadenza based on the opposition of whole steps and half steps, while the second movement moves into the third through an extended flute cadenza. The flute cadenza finishes with the introduction of the third movement’s motive through slowly accelerating into the final Animé tempo. Keeping in the tradition of this genre, the initial melody reappears before quickly returning to the flourish of notes that ends the piece.
I had the opportunity to meet Katie during my doctoral studies at UNL and was immediately impressed with her playing ability and her warm and supportive personality. After a few passing conversations about the possibility of doing a project together, this past summer (2015) we got together for frozen yogurt and made it happen! When planning this piece, Katie made a point to tell me that her favorite time of year was autumn. I have long used nature and imagery as inspiration for my music, so this certainly appealed to me. I thought about my personal feelings about autumn...there is intense beauty, but it is also marred by gloom and death....spectacular color against a blanket of gray. This thought guided me to write a piece spun out as an instrumental "song" sung to a lover, longing to be close to their loved one, but, despite much effort, they remain separated in this season of beauty and gloom. Autumn Serenade was commissioned by and is gratefully dedicated to my friend Katie Rice.
Shulamit Ran is a contemporary Israeli-American composer who began studying composition at the young age of nine. The recipient of multiple scholarships, she moved to America at the age of fourteen to continue her composition studies at the Mannes College of Music in New York City with Norman Dello Joio. In 1973, at the age of 26, she joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, where she still works in various roles. Ran is the recipient of numerous professional awards and grants, including being the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music; awarded in 1991 for her work: Symphony. East Wind was commissioned in 1987 for the following year’s National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. This piece is highly dramatic and based on the fierce Biblical East Wind that brings the plague of locusts and also parts the Red Sea in Exodus. This piece focuses on the powerful effect created by using the full range of the flute, B3-D#6, rapid dynamic and tempo changes, metrical insertions, and a few extended techniques (flutter tongue, slides, key clicks, and percussive sounds) to create thrilling sense of danger that resolves to the calm after the storm. Regarding this work, the composer hopes to illustrates this picture: “from within its ornamented, inflecting, winding, twisting, at times convoluted lines, a gentle melody gradually emerges.”
Béla Bartók is a Hungarian composer most notably remembered for his role in the development of ethnomusicology, the study of folk music. His monumental collection of Hungarian folk tunes amassed with Zoltán Kodály and accumulated through numerous years of fieldwork greatly influenced his compositional style. The Suite Paysanne Hongroise is an example of how Bartók transcribed and arranged traditional folk songs to be performed in a concert setting. Originally set for solo piano between 1914 and 1918, the Suite was transcribed for flute and piano by Bartók’s student Paul Arma in 1952. With his addition of the flute, Arma maintained the character and order of the tunes, but elected to omit No. 6, Ballade, that appears just before the danses in the piano version. The version for flute contains fourteen short tunes, the first five are the Chants populaires tristes, sad popular songs, while the last nine are the Vieilles danses, old dances. Despite the shortness of each of the tunes, they are full of character and colorful harmonies that present a snapshot of Hungarian traditions.