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Wranitzsky, Inventor of the Pitchfork

The new 2014-15 season is upon us.  We’ve started a new rehearsal cycle and we’re pretty excited.

This Fall’s program is a mix of new and old repertory pieces.  We’re bring back Martin Rokeach’s Going Up?, which we recorded this summer for our upcoming CD.  Also back is Albert Roussel Trio, op. 40, the work that first brought us together.  We are very excited to be premiering Peri Mauer’s  Thought’s Torsion  and we will be performing Scott Brickman’s French Suite which got its NY premiere last May at the Queen’s New Music Festival.

Rounding out the program is a lovely trio by Paul Wranitzky.  While we play a great deal of new music, we also have a passion for uncovering works by composers sadly forgotten by many.  Wranitzky was a contemporary of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.  Living in Vienna, he was well known as both a composer and conductor, actually conducting the premiere  of Beethoven’s First Symphony.

As a composer he was quite prolific, and while his style is clearly late Classical, there are interesting moments of innovation.  It’s easy to get lulled into just focusing on his lyric line and charm, but there is a depth this? harmonizes and structure we hope audiences will enjoy.  The a Gavotte of the Trio in G major, which we will perform at the Tenri Cultural Institute in November is a great example.  It begins as a clear gavotte, but a third of the way, Wranitzky abandons the dance, instead developing completely different melodic material.  Near the end of the movement, he reconsiders this strategy and returns to the gavotte.   His innovations in form and especially  in gavottes made him a vastly controversial composer of the early nineteenth century. Gavotte traditionalists protested his innovativeness,  fearing his new style would destroy the purity of the revered Gavotte.  Much like the divide between Tango enthusiasts of the 20th Century  over Astor Piazzolla’s music, these Gavotte traditionalists boycotted his concerts and shunned him.

Fortunately, here in the 21 st century there is room for both traditional Gavottes and those of innovation.

Doing research on composers is interesting and illuminating, but sometimes it’s more fun to just make stuff up.  Wranitzky really was an interesting composer and the part about conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony is true.  Of course, if you want to read a real interview with a real composer, check out Suzanne’s interview with Scott Brickman, our next featured composer.

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