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Faculty Chamber Winds: Salon Music

Matthew Westgate
Matthew Westgate

Thursday, November 2 @ 7:30PM, Bezanson Recital Hall, FREE

Matthew Westgate, coordinator & conductor

Music by William Walton: Facade: An Entertainment & Kurt Weill: Little Threepenny Music

Members of the UMass wind, brass, and percussion applied faculty come together with special guests to perform two great chamber works. Jamie-Rose Guarrine and William Hite will recite Edith Sitwell's whimsical poetry in Façade.

Façade: An Entertainment - Walton

Façade: An Entertainment is a series of poems by Edith Sitwell recited over an instrumental accompaniment by William Walton. Sitwell began to publish some of the Façade poems in 1918, in the literary magazine Wheels. In 1922 many of them were given an orchestral accompaniment by Walton, Sitwell's protégé. The "entertainment" was first performed in public in 1923, and achieved both fame and notoriety for its unconventional form.

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik "Little Threepenny Music" - Weill

One of Kurt Weill’s most beloved pieces is Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera). He wrote the music in 1928 to words by Bertolt Brecht, based on The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay.  It tells the story of Macheath (Mack the Knife), a murderer in Victorian London.  In the spirit of the Weimar Republic, it also lampooned German society and capitalism.  Just four months after its premiere, conductor Otto Klemperer commissioned Weill to create a concert suite from the opera in the tradition of opera suites for winds from Mozart’s day.  Titled Little Threepenny Music (Kleine Dreigroschenmusik), Weill’s suite retains all of the unique character of the opera, with instrumentation that includes saxophones, a rudimentary drum set, and combination of guitar, banjo, and bandoneon among the more traditional wind instruments.