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Topic: Jeffery Wood

APSU Pianist Presents Music Composed in the Shadow of Great Wars

 

Austin Peay State University LogoAbout 37 million people, both soldiers and civilians, died during the First World War. More than 60 million lost their lives two decades later during World War II. These two cataclysmic events, which defined and shaped the 20th century, erased families that had existed for centuries and nearly caused two generations of young men to all but disappear.

The two wars cast a long shadow over those who survived. It changed who they were and how they saw the world. For two composers, the Hungarian Bela Bartok and the Russian Dmitri Shostakovich, the horrific times also forever transformed the music they created.

“They were very affected by what’s going on, and it was coming out in their music,” Dr. Jeffrey Wood, Austin Peay State University professor of music, said. “They’re violent pieces. They’re aggressive to the point of almost being primitive, barbaric. I sense the war very close to the surface.” «Read the rest of this article»

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Bravo and Brava for Paris Between the Wars 1918-1939 at APSU

 

Austin Peay State University LogoWhen you think about Paris, you can’t help but to think of the arts. In addition to the wonderful paintings from that period, Paris was also the center of what amounts to a perfect storm in music. The rise of Jazz in America had reached Paris with the influx of Americans musicians, after the end of the first World War. That was what was showcased during the Dimension’s New Music Series a free concert hosted by the Austin Peay Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. The evenings program delved into the wonderful music that came out of the city of Paris Between the Wars: 1918-1939.

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Patricia Halbeck playing the Noble and Sentimental Waltzes by Maurice Ravel

The first set featured Maurice Ravel’s Noble and Sentimental Waltzes, which were a look back at a France that could no longer exist after that city passed through the maelstrom of the first world war.

Patricia Halbeck takes her seat and The piano starts to play a series of almost harsh and somewhat discordant notes with an upbeat refrain hinting at that innocence that was lost never to be found again.

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Stanley Yates playing the Twelve Études for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos

She was followed by Stanley Yates who played a selection from Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, his Twelve Études for Guitar which was written in 1928. In his playing You could hear the intertwining of European and Latin sounds and rhythms.

“To some degree, his guitar works also pay homage to Chopin, whose piano etudes were clearly the model for Villa-Lobos’s Estudos for Guitar. These are true concert Études for the guitar and, like the Chopin works, are meant for the stage; they are not limited to the status of mere pedagogical tools. Villa-Lobos’s Estudos also represent an attempt, consciously or subconsciously, to legitimatize the guitar as a concert instrument and raise it to the level of the piano…”

Choro: a social history by Tamara Elena Livingston-Isenhour and Thomas George Caracas Garcia

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Dimension Concert Series returns with music from Paris between the wars

 

Austin Peay State University LogoFor artists living in the years between World War I and World War II, only one city mattered – Paris. Ernest Hemingway scribbled down short stories in its cafes. Pablo Picasso hurried down theChamps-Élysées with paint-stained fingers to make a dinner party.

The great figures of all artistic genres came and worked in the city. But what inspired them? Maybe it was the music, created by other artists seeking the inspiration provided by Paris.

That eclectic blend of music will be the focus of the next Dimensions New Music Series Concert, “Paris Between the Wars: 1919 – 1939.” The free concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 in the APSU Concert Hall, will feature works by a wide range of musicians swept up by the city’s creativity.

The APSU Concert Hall

The APSU Concert Hall

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