Beethoven Club of Memphis, founded 1888


Elmwood Cemetery drive

Beethoven Club Concert for the 168th Anniversary of Elmwood Cemetery
The Beethoven Club has a long connection to Elmwood Cemetery. Its founder Martha Trudeau and other original members are buried there. In 2019 the club presented two concerts in the Lord's Chapel, one dedicated to the work of John Philip Sousa and the other to the Swedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind. This concert, presented on August 28, 2020, celebrates the 168th anniversary of the founding of Elmwood. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic it is online but we look forward to performing there in person in the future.
[Checking on the Arts Concert Interview WKNO-FM 91.1 August 24, 2020]
J.S. Bach, Violin Sonata in E Major, BWV 1006
Prelude, Loure, Minuet 1, Minuet 2
Priscilla Tsai, violin

Between 1718 and 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach was employed as Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Leopold at Anhalt-C÷then. Leopold was a talented musician, proficient on the violin, the viola da gamba and the harpsichord, and a gifted singer as well. During this five-year period at C÷then, Bach composed some of his best music for strings. He had already written some of his finest works for organ, as well as many of the great cantatas, but in this Calvinist court there was little demand for religious music, so Bach was now free to concentrate on instrumental compositions. The orchestral suites, the Brandenburg concertos and all of Bach's sonatas were composed at C÷then. These years also produced two masterpieces for unaccompanied strings: the six Cello Suites BWV 1007-2 and the six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1001-6.
–James Cannon
G. P. Telemann
Fantasy No. 6 in d minor
Kelly Herrmann, flute

Telemann is one of the most prolific composers in history and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. His music incorporates French, Italian, and German national styles, and he was at times even influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies, and his music stands as an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. Telemann published twelve fantasias around 1727/8; he may well have prepared the plates himself and this would have been one of his first ventures in the field of engraving. Though none are labelled as such, many movements are composed in various forms of the dance suite, so popular at the time, and so easily recognisable to the eighteenth century public.
–wikipedia.org; Rachel Brown
J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 1 arr. for violin
Prelude, Allemande, Courante
Daniel Gilbert, violin

The six Cello Suites, BWV 1007-1012, are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. Bach most likely composed them during the period 1717–23, when he served as Kapellmeister in Köthen. As usual in a Baroque musical suite, after the prelude which begins each suite, all the other movements are based around baroque dance types; the cello suites are structured in six movements each: prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, two minuets or two bourrées or two gavottes, and a final gigue. The Bach cello suites are considered to be among the most profound of all classical music works. Wilfrid Mellers described them in 1980 as "Monophonic music wherein a man has created a dance of God." Due to the works' technical demands, étude-like nature, and difficulty in interpretation because of the non-annotated nature of the surviving copies, the cello suites were little known and rarely publicly performed until they were revived and recorded by Pablo Casals in the early 20th century. They have since been performed and recorded by many renowned cellists and have been transcribed for numerous other instruments; they are considered some of Bach's greatest musical achievements.–wikipedia.org
Aaron Copland, "Simple Gifts"
Sabrina Laney Warren, soprano
Paula Amrod, piano

The song was largely unknown outside Shaker communities until Aaron Copland used its melody for the score of Martha Graham's ballet Appalachian Spring, first performed in 1944. (Shakers once worshipped on Holy Mount, in the Massachusetts portion of the Appalachians). Copland used "Simple Gifts" a second time in 1950 in his first set of Old American Songs for voice and piano, which was later orchestrated.
’Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
’Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
’Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right
Aaron Copland, "The Little Horses"
Sabrina Laney Warren, soprano
Paula Amrod, piano

“The Little Horses” is the first song in Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs, Set 2.
Hush you bye, Don’t you cry, Go to sleepy little baby. When you wake, You shall have, All the pretty little horses. Blacks and bays, Dappls and grays, Coach and six-a little horses. Blacks and bays, Dapples and grays, Coach and six-a little horses. Hush you bye, Don’t you cry, Go to sleepy little baby. When you wake, You’ll have sweet cake and All the pretty little horses. A brown and gray and a black and a bay and a Coach and six-a little horses. A black and a bay and a brown and a gray and a Coach and six-a little horses. Hush you bye, Don’t you cry, Oh you pretty little baby. Go to sleepy little baby. Oh you pretty little baby.
Ivor Gurney, "Sleep"
Esther Gray Lemus, soprano
Brian Ray, piano

Ivor Gurney (1890 – 1937) saw himself as a composer first and a poet second but he clearly was equally gifted in both disciplines. The son of tailors, he grew up in a modest household that afforded him the opportunity to learn piano and would later attend the Royal College of Music. His teacher Charles Villiers Stanford considered him to hold the greatest promise of all his students (which included Arthur Bliss, Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Ireland). It was a mark of his genius that depression plagued him before he enlisted as a private in the First World War in 1915, but war left a permanent mark on the composer poet. His dual artistry as a poet and composer exists in synergy in ‘Sleep’; the long vocal line soars over the gentle rocking of the accompaniment and it is not until after the true climax of the song (‘let my joys have some abiding’) do we feel that the insomniac of the poem has finally achieved sleep. The unexpected harmonic shift makes the final cadence on D-flat even more compelling and restful.–Steven Berryman
George Butterworth. Think no more, lad
Text: A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad
Paul Christopher Murray, bass
Brian Ray, piano

The composer George Butterworth studied at Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford. At Oxford he came into contact with Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams, with whom he made several trips into the countryside to collect folk songs. A nascent career as a composer, music critic and teacher was interrupted at the outbreak of the First World War when he joined the British army. He then destroyed many of his compositions, not knowing whether he would be able to revise them after the war had ended. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme in the night of 4–5 August 1916.–www.bl.uk
George Butterworth: When I was one-and-twenty
Text: A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad
Paul Christopher Murray, bass
Brian Ray, piano

Butterworth’s settings for voice and piano of eleven poems from A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad are among his best known works. The first six songs in the set are grouped together as a cycle with the title A Shropshire Lad, while the remaining five songs have the title Bredon Hill and other songs from A Shropshire Lad–www.bl.uk

Jindich Feld: Four Pieces for Solo Flute
Kelly Herrmann, flute, Meditation, Caprice, Interlude

Born in Prague, Feld (1925-2007) studied violin and viola with his parents before studying at the Conservatory and Academy of Music of his native city. His compositions, predominantly instrumental, soon became popular, being performed all over the world. As reflected in his Quatre Pièces for solo flute, Feld's style is deeply rooted in the Czech musical tradition, but he also integrated the main styles of 20th century Western music. Each piece of the Quatre Pièces present different challenges, from fast, semiquaver flourishes to the sultry lower register of the flute.–www.musicroom.com

Darius Milhaud, Duo for Two Violins, Op. 258, Romance
Daniel Gilbert, violin
Priscilla Tsai, violin

Composed in 1945 and dedicated to violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Roman Totenberg, this work uses markings that indicate the character of each of the three movements. The first movement is entitled "Gai" and is written in a lilting, imitative style. The second movement, "Romance ", uses the violins with mutes and is slow, soft, and sustained. "Gigue ", the final movement, is in characteristic 21 8 meter with a "Musette" section in the middle which is to be played a little slower. The work is tonal and light in nature.–Eric Jeffrey Fried
Thanks to Mark Woodring for video recording and photography.

 


Mission - The object of this organization shall be to develop, sustain, and promote classical musicians

Beethoven Club • 263 S. McLean Blvd. • Memphis, TN 38104 • 901-274-2504 or 901-493-0958
E-mail: beethovenclubmemphis@gmail.com