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Duke University Arts

Aug 29, 2012

Duke Graduate Student Finds a Missing Sonata

On Friday, September 7 at 4pm in the East Duke Building Parlors, the Department of Music will present Fanny Hensel Rediscovered, a mini-symposium to mark the discovery by Duke graduate student Angela Mace of the manuscript of Hensel's Easter Sonata. Susan Youens of Notre Dame will give a talk comparing settings of Heinrich Heine's poetry by Fanny Hensel and Clara Schumann. Mace and her advisor, R. Larry Todd, will give short presentations about the Easter Sonata. A discussion will follow.

At 8pm in the Nelson Music Room, following the symposium, pianist Andrea Lam will perform the Easter Sonata in the Nelson Music Room as part of a concert by the Claremont Trio, presented by Duke Performances. Tickets to the concert are $22, or $10 for Duke students, and can be purchased from the Duke box office. The symposium is free and open to the public.

The four-movement sonata is a remarkable find, and it comes with a great story.

When the Easter Sonata slipped into Angela Mace's life, there was no sense that it would define her graduate career. This was during her second semester in Duke's graduate musicology program. Her advisor, Arts & Sciences Professor of Music R. Larry Todd, had recently published an authoritative biography of Felix Mendelssohn and was doing the research for a companion volume about Felix's sister, Fanny Hensel. Mace had already decided to make the Mendelssohn siblings her scholarly focus, as well.

During one of their regular tutorials, Todd told her about one of the last big mysteries he had to contend with—a piano sonata that was mentioned in Hensel's diary and correspondence but had never surfaced in manuscript form. "I catalogued it in my mind, thought it was cool," Mace says, "but didn't do much more with it because there was nothing to do, really." But as it turns out, there was something to do—a piece of detective work that required more tact and more luck than most acts of scholarship—and Mace was the perfect person to do it.

In the fall of 2008 she was taking Todd's seminar, Nineteenth-Century Women Composers, and he had more information to share. There was still no manuscript, but somehow there was a recording.

Read the whole thing on the Music Department blog.

Fanny Hensel Rediscovered is presented with support from the Women's Studies Program and the Vice Provost for the Arts.

Aug 25, 2012

Ciompi Quartet Presents Packs the House

The third and final concert of the inaugural season of the Ciompi Quartet Presents summer chamber music series featured Ciompi Quartet cellist Fred Raimi and UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members Richard Luby, violin, and Clara Yang, piano. On the program were two duos—Beethoven's Sonata in D Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 12, No. 1 and Prokofiev's Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano, Opus 119—followed by Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2.

William Thomas Walker from CVNC.org (Classical Voice of North Carolina) was on hand to review the performance and had this to say of the Beethoven Sonata: "Richard Luby's articulation and intonation were excellent. Clara Yang's 'chops' were simply breathtaking throughout the concert. The fireworks between the two during the finale were spectacular." Walker went on to praise the Prokofiev Sonata, writing that "Raimi played with a beautiful tone ranging from a deep, rich baritone to a tightly focused tenor. His intonation was immaculate while his numerous and varied pizzicati were delightful. Yang's pianism was astounding."

When all three musicians got together for the Shostakovich, they "conjured a performance of great intensity and deep commitment," according to Walker. "The eerie opening was aptly haunting," while the "second movement was a wild hoe-down, a brash foot stomper," and in the third, "[t]he musicians brought out the full horror the composer meant his nightmarish Largo to convey, and this quality was present in spades [in the] violent musical imagery of the finale."

The Ciompi's three-concert series was "a welcome addition to the cultural desert of summer," according to Walker, and especially enjoyable for being held in "the acoustical and visual jewel of Kirby Horton Hall." If you came to Duke Gardens this summer to hear one or more of the distinctive programs that the quartet members put together, we hope you agree. We'll see you next summer, when they branch out again.

In the mean time, it's back to being a quartet for the Ciompi. This fall they'll be playing two of Beethoven's "Rasumovsky" quartets as well as quartets by Haydn, Frank Bridge, and Gyorgi Kurtag. Eliot Fisk will join them on Saturday, September 29 for Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Guitar Quintet, and on Sunday, October 28, they'll be playing Brahms' Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B Minor with Allan Ware. Both concerts are presented by Duke Performances in the Nelson Music Room. The "Rasumovsky" quartets will be featured on the Ciompi's free Tuesday lunchtime concerts in the Gothic Reading Room at Perkins Library, September 25 and December 4.

Aug 25, 2012

Arts Information Session

The arts at Duke are for everybody, whether or not you intend to major in the arts.  At the Arts Information Session you will learn about opportunities to participate in Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Theater, Creative Writing, and Film-making in Duke arts departments and student organizations.

You will also hear about the Duke Arts Festival, a celebration of student artists, exhibitions at the Nasher Museum, presentations by Duke Performances, and meet faculty and students engaged in the arts.

Presentations will be given at three different times:  2pm; 3pm & 4pm, all held in 209 East Duke Building on East Campus.

 

Presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, arts.duke.edu.

Jul 6, 2012

Ciompi Quartet Presents, Part 2

For the second concert of the inaugural season of the Ciompi Quartet Presents summer chamber music series, on Tuesday, July 10, quartet member Jonathan Bagg presents “Dancing in the Wind,” a program for flute, viola, harp and soprano. John Tavener’s gorgeous To a Child Dancing in the Wind features soprano Ilana Davidson; Toru Takemitsu’s And Then I Knew T’was Wind and James Patterson’s Embracing the Wind feature Laura Gilbert, flute, and Stacey Shames, harp.

There was a sold-out crowd for the first concert of the series, on June 5. The second and third concerts well be on July 10 and August 14. All concerts will take place on a Tuesday evening at 7:30pm in Kirby Horton Hall, Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Tickets for each performance are $20 and are selling quickly. They are available from the Duke University Box Office either by calling 919-684-4444 or visiting their Ciompi Quartet Presents web page.

May 21, 2012

A Dancer Bids Goodbye

Monica Hogan, a new Duke graduate, is an accomplished dancer and choreographer. In a column on Duke's admissions website, she talks about her love of Duke, the whirlwind nature of her last few weeks as a college student, and her hopes for her life ahead.

Have a read here.

May 14, 2012

Ciompi Quartet Presents

The Duke Department of Music, Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, and Sarah P. Duke Gardens are pleased to announce the inauguration of Ciompi Quartet Presents, a three-part summer chamber music series curated and presented by members of the Ciompi Quartet.

In these concerts, Ciompi members will expand the Quartet’s normal dialogue with its listeners and create a space to experience a different member’s point of view. Each concert will be an occasion for thoughtful commentary that gets at the heart of the music in performances by some of the most compelling artists you will hear all year.

All concerts will take place on a Tuesday evening at 7:30pm in Kirby Horton Hall, Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The dates are June 5, July 10, and August 14. Packages to all three concerts are available for $50. Single tickets $20; Student $5. Secure your seats today by calling the Box Office at 919-684-4444 or visiting their Ciompi Quartet Presents web page.

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