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Cornell Concert Series: The Palisades Ensemble, Music for Chamber Winds

March 28 @ 7:30 pm


The Cornell Concert Series features chamber music for winds. 

This performance includes music for eight, nine, and 10 wind instruments.  The Palisades Chamber Ensemble is under the direction of Joshua Neuenschwander, director of instrumental music at Cornell.  Performers include members of regional symphony orchestras and music faculty members at local colleges, universities, and high schools.

The concert will open with Ruth Gipps’ “Seascape,” Op. 53, for double wind quintet. The 1958 work was composed for the Portia Wind Ensemble, an all-women ensemble founded by Dame Gipps, one of Britain’s most prolific, pioneering, and important 20th century composers. Written in a neo-impressionist style, the evocative piece was inspired by the composer’s trip to the coastal town of Broadstairs in Kent.

Igor Stravinsky’s iconic neo-classic “Octet for Wind Instruments” will be the centerpiece of the concert. The piece was completed in Paris in 1923 and written for an unusual assortment of instruments: flute, clarinet, two bassoons, two trumpets, tenor trombone, and bass trombone. In this work, Stravinsky made a bold shift in compositional style from previous works, creating a piece built on strict formal structures and complex counterpoint. The octet is now regarded as a masterpiece of 20th century wind music.

The concert will finish with a performance of Charles Gounod’s “Little Symphony for Winds,” written in 1883. It was commissioned by Paul Taffanel, professor of flute at the Paris Conservatory. The instrumentation is a wind octet—two each of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns—with an added flute part for Taffanel. Although written in the Romantic era, Gounod chose to set this piece in a more classical style reminiscent of the wind serenades of Mozart. The performance will provide the audience pleasant and memorable tunes to conclude the concert.


March 28
7:30 pm
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Jo Sedlacek-Harman
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