Flute professor Roger Martin and pianist Joy Rachor will kick off Tennessee Tech University’s concert season with their recital, “Italian Bookends,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, in TTU’s Wattenbarger Auditorium. The concert, which opens and closes with Italian compositions, is free and open to the public.
The program opens with “Concerto in D Major” by Antonio Vivaldi. Nicknamed “Il Gardellino,” or “The Goldfinch,” the three-movement concerto bubbles with cheer in the outer movements while assuming thoughtful repose in the second.
Charles Marie Widor (1884-1937) was a virtuoso organist. He taught at The Paris Conservatory and was church organist at St. Sulpice for more than six decades. His four-movement “Suite for Flute and Piano” is intimately tuneful. Each movement casts the voice of the flute in a different character accompanied by a piano that often cascades through lush progressions of Romantic harmony.
Rob Cronin’s “Portraits for Piccolo and Piano” was written for two of the composer’s friends, Shannon Finney and Regina Helcher. Each of the two movements paints a musical portrait. The first is thoughtfully lyrical, the second dances with abandon through a series of irregular, jazzy rhythms. Cronin is associate principal flutist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Returning to music of an Italian composer, “Sicilienne et Burlesque” was written by Alfredo Casella in 1913. A sicilienne is based on the type of music played by 16th century Sicilian shepherds. Colored by Impressionist harmonies, Casella’s piece evokes the sun rising from a brooding night into midday. The shepherd whistles a catchy tune to open the burlesque, which expands into a playful riot in a movement that dances from the first notes to the rousing conclusion.
Wattenbarger Auditorium is in the Bryan Fine Arts Building, 1150 N. Dixie Ave., on the TTU campus.