A Little Mozart, Anyone?
Bands, Music, University Center for the Arts | August 24, 2012
The University Center for the Arts begins its fall 2012 music concerts on Monday, August 27 with the Virtuoso Series Concert of chamber music from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in the Organ Recital Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.
This special concert draws from the doctoral thesis of CSU music professor, Dr. Richard Frey. The concert is a result of study surrounding the musical heritage of chamber music and ensembles in Central Europe during the eighteenth century.
Many of Mozart’s works, especially his operas, were transcribed for smaller ensembles—a common practice in the eighteenth century courts. Many of these transcriptions were by Johann Went, who, like Mozart, was a court musician. Court patronage encouraged chamber arrangements of larger works in that era.
During this time Mozart’s operas were found to be quite controversial in their outright mockery of the aristocracy – the very system that patronized the composer’s work. While Mozart spent his career toeing this line, Went was not as bold in his transcriptions of the works. His transcription of Le nozze di Figaro, for example, omits the rollicking “peasant dance” part of the aria “Se vuol bollare” – where Figaro sings of his plan to thwart Count Almaviva’s designs on Figaro’s betrothed.
Dr. Frey’s concert focuses on a wind transcription of the overture and 14 arias from the opera; arranged for two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons. His edition of Went’s wind transcription returns to Mozart’s original composition—restoring the omissions made by Went with Frey’s own original transcriptions.
“This is some of the greatest music ever written,” notes Frey. “It has such historical significance on how musical ensembles have developed, so I think it is important to look back and remain true to what Mozart originally wrote into the score.”
The concert features CSU faculty Copper Ferreira, clarinet; Wesley Ferreira, clarinet; Gary Moody, bassoon; Skyler Smith, bassoon; Tenly William, oboe; John McGuire, horn; and special guests Selena Adams, horn; and Shane Werts, oboe.
About Dr. Richard Frey
Richard Frey is the Associate Director of Bands and Special Assistant Professor of Music at Colorado State University where he conducts the Symphonic Band, directs the Marching Band, and teaches courses in music education. He was previously the interim Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Director of Bands at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Dr. Frey received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University. In 2008 he received a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. From 2002-2006 he taught instrumental music in the public schools of Salem, Oregon. Dr. Frey received a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Puget Sound in 2002, where he studied percussion with Amy Putnam and conducting with Robert Musser.
Dr. Frey has performed as a freelance percussionist with the Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater, Tacoma Symphony, and Bellevue Philharmonic. He also performs regularly as a collaborative pianist and accompanist.
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