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Op. 29e - city vignettes

for Alto Saxophone and Guitar [or Piano]


I. Dawn
II. Dusk
III. Rain at Night

Program Notes: The City Vignettes began as a work for the mezzo-soprano and guitar group, the Malkin-Trybek Duo. The arrangement for piano was born out of necessity and practicality, and the cycle was subsequently arranged on request for Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Alto Saxophone. American lyric poet, Sara Teasdale, first published her set of three miniature poems City Vignettes in 1911 in the collection Helen of Troy and Other Poems. Though Teasdale regularly had bouts of depression throughout her life, which ended in suicide, she was the first person, man or woman, to receive the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1918. The first poem, Dawn, opens with the atmospheric line “The greenish sky glows up in misty reds,” set in the key of a minor, grows to despair and ends in loneliness. A very free and expressive solo begins the second number, Dusk, and continues into a dismal description of the austere city landscape. There is hope, seemingly, as Teasdale writes “A thousand yellow lights begin to gleam and over all the pale untroubled skies,” set to a rhythmic and bouncy accompaniment based on the introductory material. A distinctly metered pedal point is employed at the onset of the third stanza, Rain at Night, depicting the steady precipitation. A plaintive tune is sung or played over the raindrops and reaches a climax, through a shift in the pedal tone and its rhythmic intensity, at the line “and the rain is heard now loud and blurred,” before subduing itself back to a light drizzle and concluding the cycle.

Performance History:

-November 4th, 2018; Piano; Musikschule Muri-Gumligen; Barocksaal der Villa Mettlen; Bern, Switzerland – 5PM

-December 13th, 2018; Piano; Herliche Einladung Zu Einem Hauskonzert; Zurich, Switzerland – 7PM

-June 21st, 2019; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; Tenri Cultural Institute; New York, New York – 7:30PM

-December 3rd, 2019; Piano; Uproar Duo; University of California at Fullerton; Recital Hall; Fullerton, California – 2:30PM

-December 4th, 2019; Piano; Uproar Duo; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-December 6th, 2019; Piano; Uproar Duo; Cerritos College; Burnight Center Theatre; Norwalk, California – 11AM

-December 8th, 2019; Piano; Uproar Duo; Silicon Beach Monthly Series; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church; Santa Monica, CA – 4PM

-March 2nd, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; Piedmont High School; Oakland, CA – 8AM-3:30PM

-March 3rd, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo; Davidson Music Center, Room 218; San Luis Obispo, CA – 7:30PM

-March 4th, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; Cal State University at Long Beach; Bob Cole Conservatory of Music - Daniel Recital Hall; Long Beach, CA – 8PM

-March 5th, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; University of Southern California; Thornton School of Music - Schoenfeld Hall; Los Angeles, CA – 6PM

-March 7th, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; Sound and Fury @ ArtShare LA; Los Angeles, CA – 2PM

-March 10th, 2020; Guitar; Duo Montagnard; University of California at San Diego; Conrad Prebys Recital Hall; San Diego, CA- 5PM

-December 9th, 2020; Piano; Festival SAX in the CITY; Theatre Stok; Zurich, Switzerland – 10:30AM

George N. Gianopoulos


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