Trillium Ensemble’s new flutist, Elise DePasquale, makes her much anticipated debut! The program includes trios by Maria Grenfell, Jennifer Higdon and Carnegie Mellon University alum Paul Schoenfeld. The trio premiers Whimsy #1 by group favorite, Matthew Heap, which weaves together many familiar tunes in a self-described “childhood quilt.”
Jackson Pollock’s work Autumn Rhythms inspired Trillium Ensemble to tie art and music together and invite the audience to participate. Audience members will receive a few art supplies to use during the performance while the trio encourages the audience to express the performance visually, connecting to the music in a tangible way.
Elise DePasquale takes center stage to perform Air by Toru Takemitsu, the last published work by the Japanese composer (1995). Takemitsu creates a unique soundscape with his use of several extended techniques and melodic lines that alternate from fast and energetic sixteenth notes to long notes which fade away into nothing. These written silences are Takemitsu’s expression of “Ma” – a Japanese concept defined as open space, a gap, or a pause. DePasquale’s musical mastery is displayed in this hauntingly beautiful solo.
Rachael Stutzman Cohen performs Joan Tower’s Wings, a piece that explores the wide range and flexibility of the bass clarinet. Tower imagines a large bird flying high, gliding at times, looping and diving at other times. Wings opens softly and slowly, gains momentum, surges upwards, and ends with a dramatic, almost heavenly, ascent.
Paul Schoenfeld’s virtuosic Sonatina for Flute, Clarinet and Piano closes the concert. The Carnegie Mellon University alum composed the piece for close friends, Sam and Thelma Hunter’s 50th anniversary. The personalities of the couple are represented with a Charleston and a Jig, accompanied by Schoenfeld’s signature “classical” rag, displaying pianist, Katie Palumbo’s dexterity on the keyboard.