Louisville Music News recently visited U of L School of Music Dean Koerselman to learn more about the School of Music's schedule for 1999-2000. The Dean was his usual courteous and enthusiastic self. He was especially elated about adding five new full-time faculty members.
"Never in all my years in higher education have I been able to hire faculty with the credentials and experience that these individuals possess," the Dean said. "We have a growing reputation as a place where exciting things are happening; our future is optimistic.
"Though most of our events continue to be available without charge, we take pleasure in announcing a subscription series which we call The Signature Series. The charge is modest for this select series of concerts and recitals. Though it has already begun, the majority of its programs have yet to take place. variety is the word for its schedule. Its performers include our university symphony orchestra, the collegiate chorus, our symphonic band and the jazz ensemble. Though most concerts will take place on campus, please call 852 0516 to receive more information."
The Dean also revealed that the Grawemeyer Award Winner has also been selected but no announcement will be made until December.
This year's programs will also include the following: the number of concerts remaining is listed in parentheses:
Faculty Recitals (6); Faculty Chamber Concerts (3); Faculty Jazz Concerts; The University Symphony Orchestra (5); The Keyboard series (6); New Music Festival November 4, 5, and 6; New Music Initiatives at U of L (5); Student Composers Concerts (3); Early Music Ensemble (2); Full Scale Opera March 24-25; and Ceruti Chamber Players (3).
Dean Koerselman added this word of caution: "Schedules and conditions change during the year. We will also offer other opportunities to enhance musical enjoyment, which will be scheduled after our brochures are published. So I strongly suggest that you call our Concert Line Number, 852 0524 frequently. Also, leave early for events, for our parking facilities are limited. And thank you for your continuing interest and support."
Louisville's Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra presented their summer concert and it was well received,
St. Martin de Porres Church was chosen for its quality acoustics. Melvin Dickinson's well-chosen program included Giovanni Gabriele's "Motet In Sixteen Voice Parts." It demands a venue with excellent sound quality, as it was originally composed for the huge St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Its space allows four chairs, each with four parts.
The Bach Society's performance of this masterpiece was a triumph. The audience's response clearly indicated that.
The Gabriele piece was not the only achievement of inspiring beautiful music. The opening number, Mozart's "Missa Brevis," was in class by itself. Written when Mozart was 18, it is the shortest work of its kind in the repertoire of sacred music.
Retired U of L School of Music Professor Robert Weaver and his wife Norma have been discovering forgotten manuscripts in various European cities. In Florence, they found two lovely settings for Psalm 117 and an ancient Good Friday hymn. They brought beauty and inspiration to the local audience and one of them was enhanced by talented interpretation of soloist Mary Wilson Redden.
The audience also experienced delight and surprise in Bach's "Cantata #97." The surprise came in learning that the melody came from a popular source, "Innsbruck," by Heinrich Isaak. Its name came from the place where Isaak received his inspiration.
Mozart was not the only youthful Kapellmeister whose work was heard. Josef Rheinberger of Lichtenstein had been hired to such a position when only seven years of age. He had to have pieces of wood securely attached to his shoes so his feet could contact the organ's pedals. This composition vividly and beautifully describes Mary's grief watching Jesus die.
The program also included four other Bach Cantatas - each with its own beauty and tribute to Bach's genius. The texts for each number were clearly translated - a thoughtful touch.
The Society's 36th Season will have this schedule: concerts on October 10; December 5-6: February 20-21 and April 16. The third concert will have something extra: Michael Neely's talented Youth Choir will join the Society for a musical feast of multi-choir music. It will feature the Louisville premiere of Cherubini's "Requiem."