Portlanders are about to be treated to a concert of contemporary classical music by two fourth-generation Oregonian brothers, including the West Coast premiere of Walter Winslow’s “Concertati Veneziani” by the DTQ Ensemble. I call it….
From Oregon to Venice, With Love
Concert venue: The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Avenue, Portland OR, 97201
Date and time: Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Admission: $10 suggested donation; $5 for students
Back in the ’60’s a musical family of Winslows grew up in the hills west of Salem, Oregon. The oldest son, Walter, became a composer complete with PhD. The youngest, Jeff, became an electronics engineer while avidly pursuing compositional studies.
Among other honors, in 1990 Walter won a Rome Prize, entitling him to live and work in Rome for a year. While there, he met the love of his life, fellow Rome Prize winner Patricia Fortini-Brown, art historian and Renaissance Venice expert. Inspired by her loves and his, he wrote “Concertati Veneziani” to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 1797 extinction of the Venetian Republic. Sadly, his life was cut short by cancer in 1998, and this was his last completed work.
Jeff’s compositional career hasn’t been so dramatic. But his works have had dozens of performances around Oregon in recent years, and he helped start Cascadia Composers in 2008. One of his most significant works is “Ghosts and Machines” for piano solo, partly inspired by his beloved brother’s passing, but also by the sheer madcap strangeness of the title phenomena.
The first half of “From Oregon to Venice with Love” will feature Jeff’s music, with “Ghosts and Machines” as the centerpiece, plus short works evocative of the Oregon landscape. After this warm-up will come the West Coast premiere of native son Walter Winslow’s final masterpiece, “Concertati Veneziani”, for four violins, viola and cello, accompanied by projected scenes of selected artworks both exalted and vernacular from Venice’s golden age, including some which are on display at the current Portland Art Museum exhibition “Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music”. The half-hour, four-movement sextet takes us on a journey of emotions and styles, starting with a nod to minimalism before taking off with high-spirited runs in every direction. A pensive and mysterious Intermezzo leads through a wicked, expressionistic Scherzo (including a wild Danza Macabra) to the kaliedoscopic Finale, culminating in the heavenly resignation of the final Adagio Molto “with profound expression”. It is a love letter not only to a city and a woman, but to music and to life itself.
Complete program (past – click on links to open windows to MP3s)
Works by Jeff Winslow:
Alone on the Prairie (lyrics by Hermann Allmers), performed by Catherine Olson, soprano, and Jeff Winslow, piano
Link to performance of “Alone on the Prairie”
Ghosts and Machines, performed by pianists as follows:
I. Hijinks (Mitchell Falconer)
II. Dirge – Wake – Vortex (Mitchell Falconer)
III. Scherzo (Jeff Winslow)
IV. Dirge – Vigil – Totentanz (Dianne Davies)
Link to performance of “Ghosts and Machines”
Link to performance of Scherzo only
Cat Tale (lyrics by Nancy Wood), performed by Nancy Wood, soprano, and Jeff Winslow, piano
Link to performance of Cat Tale
Concertati Veneziani for string sextet by Walter Winslow (West Coast premiere), performed by the DTQ Ensemble: Tatiana Kolchanova, Joy Fabos, Nelly Kovalev, Sarah Roth, violins; Angelika Furtwangler, viola; Erin Winemiller, cello
III. Scherzo – Danza Macabra – Scherzo
IV. Finale: Tranquillo – Adagio molto con profondo espressione
YouTube upload of 1999 CRI release: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDqSP1v85zM
(Complete liner notes: http://www.dramonline.org/albums/music-of-walter-winslow/notes )
Other works by Jeff Winslow:
Link to performance of “Little Elegy”
Links to performance of “nocturne: Eola Hills”:
Beginning – m. 35 – m. 100
Link to performance of “Lied ohne Worte (lieber mit Ligeti)”
Link to performance of “The Sun Never Says”
Link to performance of “When You Are Old”