Theresa Treuenfels Performs Jenni Brandon’s Compostela

Compostela, by Jenni Brandon, is performed by Theresa Treuenfels on February 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm at the Zipper Hall, Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Ms. Treuenfels performs Compostela as one of her five recital selections. This concert features works for bassoon written by living Los Angeles composers.

Ms. Treuenfels, as a chamber musician, is a founding member of Calico Winds. The quintet has toured throughout the United States and has participated in the Arts Presenters Alliance YPCA Seminar culminating in a concert in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She is currently second bassoon in the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Desert Symphony and acting second in the Riverside Philharmonic. Additionally, she has performed at the Cabrillo Music Festival, Oregon Coast Music Festival, and Sunriver Music Festival. Ms. Treuenfels is currently adjunct faculty at Azusa Pacific University’s School of Music, was previously on faculty at La Sierra University, and has been on faculty at the Colburn School’s Community School of Performing Arts since 2005

Compostela for solo bassoon work tells the story of the pilgrimage along The Camino Francés It is the most popular of the pilgrimage routes through Spain that lead to Santiago de Compostela, or the church where the bones of St. James the Apostle are said to be buried.  The title of this work has two meanings.  “Compostela” is translated by some to mean “field of a star”.  This comes from the legend of the discovery of St. James the apostle – his body was said to be revealed by a star to Theodomir, Bishop of Ira Flavia in 813.  The Compostela is also the certificate that is given to pilgrims at the completion of their journey, or when they reach the grand church in Santiago de Compostela which holds the remains of St. James. To Jenni, the title touches on both the ethereal and the physical of this pilgrimage.  It is not so much about the destination, but the personal journey the pilgrim takes with each step along the Camino de Santiago.  As we travel along this path, the bassoon narrates what we may see and hear, how we may feel, and what we discover about ourselves as we take this personal journey.

This work was commissioned by Eric Van der Veer Varner, who introduced Jenni to the Camino de Santiago when we talked about a new work for him during IDRS 2017 at Lawrence University. His enthusiasm and knowledge about the trail inspired me to dig deeper into this pilgrimage Jenni knew nothing about, but now join many people around the world in being fascinated by the history and meaning of the Camino. Jenni said “It was an honor to write this piece for him to premiere and record.”