RICHARD FAITH: RHAPSODYChamber Music Recital
MISSOURI CHAMBER PLAYERS
Lisa Casey, Horn
Peter Collins, Piano
David Hays, Violin
Jill Heyboer, Flute
Michael Murray, Cello
Grant Peters, Trumpet
Allison Storochuk, Clarinet
World Premiere Recordings
"[Faith's music] is richly expressive - unashamedly tonal, harmonically lush, with a special gift for melody. His music has something of the lushness of Rachmaninov without the Russian-ness, with a touch of Copland's openness - yet not at all derivative. The performances can't be faulted. The Missouri Chamber Players clearly love this music and enjoy playing it."
Keaton, American Record Guide [September/October 2010]
"...an example of the capacity to delight that serious composition might have developed had it managed to ride out the fads of rock 'n' roll on the one hand and avant-gardism on the other."
Arsenio Orteza, World Magazine [July 2010]
"Richard Faith has been a teacher, pianist and composer for many years. Pianists and piano pedagogues have probably been more familiar with Faith than the concert hall clientele. That is a shame. The new MSR Classics CD Rhapsody - Chamber Music of Richard Faith reveals a highly skilled and unabashedly romanticist composer who clearly has a strong sense of melodic line and writes with both the performer and audience in mind... The performances are all first rate and the recording is excellent. The audio is clear and, acoustically contains some nice - but not intrusive - reverb as it was recorded in a chamber hall at Missouri State University. Well recommended to both performers and listeners seeking new, different but accessible modern chamber music!"
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition [July 2010]
SONATA NO. 2 for Trumpet and Piano - I enjoy reworking my earlier works, very often resulting in improvements with the aid of hindsight. The thematic material of this Sonata is derived from three earlier works: The first movement in true sonata form comes from a 1948 violin work, the second from a 1966 organ piece, and a viola and piano work from 1970 provides the form and content of the third movement.
NOCTURNE IN G-SHARP MINOR for Piano - My love and admiration for the Chopin Nocturnes goes back to my childhood. The sinuous, arabesque-like melodies of this nocturne create a dream-like and imaginative quality through flowing rhythms and delicate hues and colors. Of the dozen or so that I have composed, this Nocturne is perhaps my most subtle and intricate in its design and development of thematic material.
RHAPSODY for Flute and Piano - Originally conceived as a piano solo, my inspiration was Venezuela’s Angel Falls, which I imagined as mostly free- falling, but interrupted occasionally by rocks and soil, smaller cascades and waterspouts of mixing spray and mists of variegated color. Compositional details included playful, dance-like rhythms and melodies. I later realized that my piece was more perfectly suited for flute and piano, and putting aside momentarily my preoccupation with the programmatic elements, I set about reworking it to make the Rhapsody a well-constructed piece. It was completed early in 2009.
FANTASY TRIO NO.1 for Violin, Clarinet and Piano - This two-movement work was premiered in Wigmore Hall in London in 1976, and performed and recorded by the Trio de Camera in Washington, D.C. Both movements are in broad three-part song forms. The slow, plaintive seven-measure theme of part A of the first movement is followed by three variations. Part B is in direct contrast with its sprightly allegro, which then returns to the languid A material. The longer second movement reverses the pattern by the use of an energetic vivace in its several melodies of the A section, evolving to more expressive, ethereal B material. A full return to A is introduced quietly and rhythmically by the piano, and a forceful, incisive coda concludes the piece.
MOVEMENTS for Horn and Piano - These movements, with their variations of tempo, texture, and mood, were inspired by the noble Wagnerian and Brahmsian qualities of the horn. Composed in 1963, all the movements were freshly invented except the third. That movement’s material came from a song, the words of which are from a poem by E.A. Robinson, which read in part: “Dark hills at evening in the west, where sunset hovers like the sound of golden horns that sang to rest old bones of warriors under ground.”
Born in 1926 in Indiana, RICHARD FAITH began composing at the age of 12. He has written more than 110 songs, as well as four operas, choral and chamber works, concerti, and numerous piano pieces. Mr. Faith studied composition with Bernard Heiden at Indiana University and Max Wald at Chicago Musical College, where he received both Bachelor and Master degrees. He taught at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and from 1961 until his retirement in 1988 was in residence at the University of Arizona in Tucson as Professor of Piano.
He has won many awards for his piano performances, including at age 22 the Musical Arts Auditions in Chicago, through which he made his solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Faith was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study piano and composition at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Faith is recognized nationally as a composer of classical song literature and pedagogical works for piano. Gregory Berg notes in a NATS Journal review of his songs: “For more than a half century he has composed some of the most appealing art songs of our times. He demonstrates an uncanny understanding of the human voice and how to write for it.”
This feeling for lyricism and singing line carries over into his music for solo instruments and chamber music. Washington Post critic Judy Gruber writes that his music is “full of drama and tension, with beautifully-etched phrases and sweeping lines.” Maurice Hinson, in his book Music for Piano and Orchestra, describes the work of this distinguished composer as “freely tonal and neo-romantic in style. His broad, beautiful melodies naturally unfold into stunning, textured sonorities.” Richard Faith currently resides in Denver, Colorado.
MISSOURI CHAMBER PLAYERS is an ensemble of faculty members from the Music Department of Missouri State University that regularly collaborates in performances of a wide variety of musical styles. The ensemble, coordinated by Peter Collins, has toured Europe several times in performances of American music.
RICHARD FAITH (b.1926)
POEMS for Cello and Piano
I Have Embarked
If I Were
On the Isle of Skye
SONATA NO.2 for Trumpet and Piano
NOCTURNE IN G-SHARP MINOR for Piano
RHAPSODY for Flute and Piano
FANTASY TRIO NO.1 for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
MOVEMENTS for Horn and Piano
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