Jenni Brandon’s Sequoia Trio performed by Luna Nova Music at the 15th Annual Belvedere Chamber Music Festival on August 5, 2021, 7:30 PM. The concert is at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1720 Peabody Ave, Memphis, TN 38104, (901) 272-7425. Luna Nova concerts are free and open to the public.
Luna Nova Music, an ensemble formed in 2003, produces the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival. Over 250 audio recordings and 75 videos from past concerts are available online at www.lunanova.org and www.belvederefestival.org. The Belvedere Chamber Music Festival is unique in Memphis in that it is the only private chamber series devoted entirely to music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The program for August 5, 2021 is:
Trio for Flute, Violin, and Piano, Op. 56. (1897) Cesar Cui
John McMurtery, flute • Gregory Maytan, violin • Maeve Brophy, piano
- Sequoiadendron giganteum: The Big Tree
Tree Interlude One
- “A crowd of hopeful young trees and saplins. . .”
III. The Three Graces
Tree Interlude Two
- The Noble Trees
Nobuko Igarashi, clarinet • Michelle Vigneau, oboe • Susanna Whitney, bassoon
In the Mists (1912) Leoš Janáček
Brian Ray, piano
Songs (1945) Florence Price
Sabrina Laney Warren, soprano • Adam Bowles, piano
Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano Dmitri Shostakovich
Marisa Polesky, violin • Gregory Maytan, violin • Maeve Brophy, piano
Each movement of The Sequoia Trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon sheet music) takes a quote about Sequoia trees from John Muir’s book The Yosemite and uses it to inspire the music. The opening waving pattern creates the gentle breeze as the growth of the tree starts in the bassoon, moving through the clarinet and is carried all the way to the top of the tree through the oboe. Movement two is sassy and jazzy, describing the kind of resilient attitude that young trees must maintain in order to survive. “The Three Graces” plays on the idea of the three instruments in the ensemble and Muir’s own reference to Greek mythology. Finally in “The Noble Trees” the instruments play a hymn-like tribute to the largest living things on earth. The two “Tree Interludes” represent the individual voice of a tree and its story.
This piece was written during Jenni’s composer residency with the Vientos Trio during 2008-2009.
This work appears on two CDs:
Songs Of California: Music For Winds And Piano, released by Jenni Brandon
From Earth & Sky: Music Of Jenni Brandon on the Blue Griffin Recording label
Sequoia Trio (2009) is available for purchase on Jenni’s website at: The Sequoia Trio – oboe, clarinet, bassoon sheet music (jennibrandon.com)