Aileen Razey Performs Selections From “Chansons de la Nature pour la Clarinette” by Jenni Brandon

Dr. Aileen Razey, a Kutztown University (KU) faculty member, performed the selections “Les Oiseaux (The Birds)” and “Le Papillon (The Butterfly).” from “Chansons de la Nature pour la Clarinette,” by Jenni Brandon, on Monday Sept. 28, 2020 at KU. The Music Department and KU’s Audio Engineering class produced this live performance, in Schaeffer Auditorium. It was KU’s first official “Music Monday.”

The rest of the concert featured:

“Spring” from Beethoven’s “Sonata in F Major, op. 24”— KU Students Maria Asteriadou, piano and Kurt Nikkanen, violin & the KU faculty

“Variations on Japanese Children’s Songs” by Keiko Abe — KU student, Douglas McCaskey marimba

“Sonata in E-Flat Major BWV1031” by Bach — KU Students Jean Pierre Kikilikian, piano with Kaiti Hershey, flute.

“Allegro Moderato” from Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s “Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 20” – Dr. Daniel Immel

The night ended with KU faculty member with Dr. Daniel Immel leaving listeners amazed and impressed with a resonating finale. All the students put on an impressive show, playing with meaning and grace, bringing the energy up even more.

The performance aired over and is available on YouTube. This continuing effort, Music Monday, is a result of COVID-19 restrictions and the negative effects it has had on the music industry.,

Chansons de la Nature pour la Clarinette by Jenni Brandon tells a story about nature as told by the clarinet’s agile voice. The French titles and basis of the pieces were inspired by the lyrical and pastoral quality of the French language and the images it invokes. The piece is also inspired by the images presented in Aesop’s fables (and Jean de la Fontain’s retelling of them); in particular, the movement “Le Lièvre et la Tortue” tells of the slow tortoise beating the fast hare with his patience and determination. Both creatures are represented in this movement, from the plodding of the tortoise to the quick movements of the hare.

The other movements also represent a variety of characters and situations from these famous fables. “Le Poisson” darts, “Le Papillon” flutters and floats, “L’étoile” shimmers in the night sky, nature ‘dances’, and “Le Serpent” is slippery and quick. Each movement is short, but just long enough to evoke a story and create a ‘song of nature’ for the clarinet.

  1. Les Oiseaux
  2. Le Poisson
  3. Le Papillon
  4. Le Lièvre et La Tortue
  5. L’Etoile
  6. Dansez!
  7. Le Serpent

This work appears on Jenni’s CD Songs Of California: Music For Winds And Piano