Ensemble Altemance to perform
BRUNSWICK, Maine: Ensemble Altemance, a Parisian flute, viola and harp group specializing in chamber music classics and music of the 20' century, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Monday, September 17, in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center, on the Bowdoin College campus.
The performance is free and open to the public. For more information call 725-3321.
Sponsored by the Bowdoin Department of Music, the group's appearance is also made possible by a grant from the French Ministry for Culture and Communication. Their Bowdoin appearance is part of a U.S. tour that will take them to New York and Boston.
Ensemble Altemance was formed in 1983 by flutist Jen-Luc Menet. The group boasts a varied membership of cooperating soloists, affirming its founder's desire to explore new musical horizons through the interaction of different cultures and instruments. The quartet performing at Bowdoin includes Menet; Pierre-Henri Xuereb, viola and viola d'amour; Veronique Ghesquiere, harp; and one local guest artist Anatole Wieck, an associate professor of music at the University of Maine at Orono, viola and viola d' amour.
The concert will include performances of Claude Debussy's Sonata No. 2, Toru Takemitsu's "And then I knew `twas wind," Frank Bridge's "Lament," Klaus Huber's "L'Age de notre ombre," and Franz Ignaz Biber's "Partita."
Debussy's Sonata for flute, viola and harp is an immortal landmark. Due to the three instruments' varied ranges and methods of sound production, it was unusual for composers prior to Debussy write for this combination. In the Sonata, considered by some to be Debussy's greatest work, the individuality of each instrument is allowed to emerge amidst a lyrical and sensual blending of the three.
Debussy's Sonata influenced many later composers, including Takemitsu, who went on to explore the possibilities of this trio of instruments in such works as "And then I knew `twas wind" (the work takes its title from an Emily Dickinson poem). The work by the contemporary Swiss composer Huber (b. 1924), scored for alto flute, viola d'amour and harp, is dedicated to Menet and Ensemble Altemance.
The Bridge "Lament" is scored for two violas. Bridge, an English composer who taught Benjamin Britten, was known for his expressive music and strong sense of melody. Biber (1644-1704), one of the most popular composers and violinists of his time, was famous for his avant?garde methods of new bowing techniques, multiple tunings, and high finger positions. His "Partita" is scored for two violas and harp.
Jean-Luc Menet studied with Roger Bourdin, Christian Larde, and Pierre-Yves Artaud. Winner of several international competitions, including that of the Fondation Gaudeamus for contemporary music, he performs and gives master classes all over the world. He worked with composer John Cage to organize a production of the composer's "Sixteen Dances" for ensemble, and also headed the French premiere of Cage's "Ryoanij" in 1985. At the 1995 Banlieues Bleues festival he introduced, with the distinguished jazz composer?improviser Ornette Coleman, the premiere of "The Statue."
Pierre-Henri Xuereb studied at the Paris Conservatory with Serge Collot, and then earned degrees at The Juilliard School and Boston University. Following an audition with distinguished conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, he joined Ensemble Intercontemporain. He performs internationally as a soloist with orchestras and as a part of chamber ensembles. He has taught at the Paris Conservatory and many international music academies. For seven years he organized a series of chamber music concerts at Florence Gould Hall in New York.
Veronique Ghesquiere was the first-prize winner in the Paris Conservatory's 1980 harp competition. She has gone on to win numerous international competitions, and was awarded the Prix Albert Roussel. A passionate champion of music of our time, she is eagerly sought out by many European organizations specializing in contemporary repertoire, including Pierre Boulez's Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Ensemble Recherche of Freiburg. She teaches at the National Music Conservatory in Lyon, France.
Dr. Anatole Wieck teaches violin and viola at the University of Maine
and has conducted the Maine Chamber Orchestra since 1986. Born in Latvia,
he came to the United States to study at The Juilliard School, earning
bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. An accomplished musician, he
has performed all over North America and Europe, and is on the roster
of the Maine Touring Artists Program of the Maine Arts Commission. He
participates regularly in the Arcady Festival, and is assistant concertmaster
of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.