Michele Fiala | The Light Wraps You: New Music for Oboe

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The Light Wraps You: New Music for Oboe

by Michele Fiala

"At times humorous, at others poignant." The premiere recording of five works in crossover classical styles. Hear Andrea Clearfield's sultry Neruda songs, Phillip Bimstein's pots, pans and meows, Bill Douglas's cool jazz, and Rodney Rogers's open skies.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lessons of the Sky for Oboe and Piano
8:47 $0.99
2. Sonata for Oboe and Piano: I. Cantabile
4:11 $0.99
3. Sonata for Oboe and Piano: II. Expansive
3:24 $0.99
4. Sonata for Oboe and Piano: III. Singing, playful
3:18 $0.99
5. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano: I. Bebop canta
4:19 $0.99
6. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano: II. Lament
5:43 $0.99
7. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano: III. Rondo con
4:09 $0.99
8. Three Songs for Oboe and Double Bass (after
2:41 $0.99
9. Three Songs for oboe and double bass (after
1:32 $0.99
10. Three Songs for oboe and double bass (after
2:30 $0.99
11. Cats in the Kitchen for Flute and Oboe plus t
5:04 $0.99
12. Cats in the Kitchen for Flute and Oboe plus t
2:58 $0.99
13. Cats in the Kitchen for Flute and Oboe plus t
5:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Michele Fiala has performed throughout the United States, Italy, England, France and Canada. Her CD of contemporary oboe music entitled The Light Wraps You (MSR Classics) has received international critical acclaim. Carla Rees in MusicWeb International spoke of “Fiala’s expressive oboe playing,” and wrote that “The oboe sound is rich and warm…the playing is excellent, and the musical ideas are communicated well.” Jeanne Belfy, in The Double Reed, called the CD “a classy affair from start to finish” and said, “…the interpretations are elegant…Fiala’s tone is light, mellow and flexible.” Michele also appears on Centaur Records. She has performed in the Banff Summer Music Festival, Louisville Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Orchestra Nashville, and with Lee Ann Rimes, Roberta Flack, Trey Anastasio, and Barry Williams. She has given guest recitals at the Conservatories of Novara and Udine, Italy, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Memphis, Arizona State University, Miami University, University of South Florida and Utah State University. Fiala is Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Theory at Ohio University and previously held a similar position at Western Kentucky University. She holds DMA and MM degrees from Arizona State University, where she studied with Martin Schuring. Please visit her website at http://michele.fiala.com

This disc contains the first commercial recordings for oboe of these seven pieces.

Lessons of the Sky
The title Lessons of the Sky comes from the essay The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (found in a collection of essays under the same title). For me, the sky represents that which is open and infinite. The title also refers to knowledge gained through observing the world around us—the endlessly varied designs that nature provides as building blocks for life.
The music is structured around a number of short motives that are continually varied and juxtaposed in an energetic manner. In contrast to this moto perpetuo, there are sudden shifts into a stable and undulating style based on isolated repeating figures. The surface rhythm remains fast during these stable sections, but the changes in harmony are much slower. The interplay of the oboe and piano—as they toss motives back and forth—adds another dimension to the basic alternation of quick rhythmic motives and slowly evolving repetitions. Occasionally the pianist stops a string with the left hand while playing the keyboard with the right hand to elicit an unexpected color from the piano. Toward the middle of the piece, a quiet section interrupts the momentum with static and introspective lines in both the oboe and piano. A single prepared piano note, functioning as a percussive punctuation in the fast sections, takes on a gong-like character in the slow portion of the work. The piece closes with a return of the fast music, beginning with the stable undulating figuration and then moving into the short motives. This loosely designed reverse order results in an arch-like shape for the whole composition.
-Rodney Rogers

Sonata for Oboe and Piano
This piece was written in 2004 for my good friend, the oboist Allan Vogel. The first and third movements follow the basic jazz form as described previously in the notes on the Trio. The second movement was influenced by British Isles folk music.
-Bill Douglas

Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
This piece was commissioned by the International Double Reed Society in July 2006 and was completed in November. The first and third movements follow the basic jazz form: a unison theme followed by an improvisation on the chord progression, then a return to the theme with variations. In this case, the improvisation sections are written out. Although these movements have been influenced by jazz (and the third movement was also influenced by African music), the players are instructed to “sing” expressively throughout, as though they were playing Mozart or Bach. The second movement is based on a scale commonly used in Spanish, North African, and Middle Eastern music. There is a middle, somewhat atonal section that retains the feeling of that scale.
-Bill Douglas

Three Songs for Oboe and Double Bass (after poems by Pablo Neruda)
Inspired by three sensual love poems of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, this set of musical tableaux was composed for Philadelphia Orchestra bassist, Robert Kesselman and his wife, oboist Jennifer Kuhns in 1996. Two years later, the work was arranged for violin and bass duo for bassist Edgar Meyer. In 2002, Manfred Fischbeck, artistic director of Group Motion Dance Company, choreographed the work for the Fringe Festival in Philadelphia.
-Andrea Clearfield

Cats in the Kitchen
I love cats and I'm fascinated by the sounds of the kitchen, so it was great fun to combine them both in this piece. “Cats in the Kitchen” is scored for flute, oboe, meows, purrs, cracked eggs, sliced onions, buttered toast, sizzling skillets, spoons, knives, pepper grinder, toaster oven, pots, pans, and draining dishwater – everything including the "kitchen sync!" The sound score also features feline duets and trios, cat food crunches, waterdrums, and my partner Charlotte speaking to her beloved cat, Fiona McGee, who sadly passed on shortly after this piece was completed. The flute and oboe playfully dance and weave with the sounds and each other, sometimes in imitation or dialogue with the cats, and at other times cooking up their own fanciful filigree. “Cats in the Kitchen” was commissioned for Michele Fiala and Heidi Pintner by Western Kentucky University,
through its Provost’s Initiatives for Excellence Fund, Potter College of Arts and Letters, and Faculty Scholarship Council.
-Phillip Bimstein

Bill Douglas is a bassoonist-pianist-composer who has toured and recorded for thirty years with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. As a bassoonist, he has played with the Toronto and New Haven Symphonies, and recorded three RCA albums with Peter Serkin and Tashi. As a jazz pianist, he has toured and recorded with vibraphonist Gary Burton and bassist Eddie Gomez. In 1994, SOCAN, the Canadian equivalent of ASCAP and BMI, presented him with their classical composer of the year award. His compositions have been performed by major orchestras and chamber groups around the world. He has taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado for thirty years. Thirteen CDs of his music are available (see www.billdouglas.cc).

Frank Morelli, bassoon soloist, chamber musician and teacher, studied with Stephen Maxym at the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music and was the first bassoonist awarded a doctorate by the Juilliard School. A member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the woodwind quintet, Windscape, he has made nine appearances as a soloist in Carnegie Hall. He serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music and SUNY Stony Brook.

Karl Olsen studied bass with David Dunn at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point before earning a Master of Music degree from Indiana University, where he worked with Professor Bruce Bransby. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Louisville Orchestra. Mr. Olsen is on the faculties of the University of Kentucky and Indiana University Southeast. He was previously a member of the New World Symphony Orchestra (performing under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas) and was Assistant Principal Bass in the Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras.

Heidi Pintner is Assistant Professor of Flute and Music Theory at Western Kentucky University, plays in the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra, and is treasurer of the Flute Society of Kentucky. Previously, she taught at California State University, Chico and performed with the North State Symphony, Chico Early Music Ensemble and Sacramento Early Music Consort. Dr. Pintner is an active soloist, chamber player, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and Mexico. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M.) and Florida State University (M.M. and D.M.), where she studied with Michel Debost, Kathleen Chastain, and Charles DeLaney. She has recorded a CD of flute chamber music for Centaur Records.

Donald Speer, Professor of Piano at Western Kentucky University, teaches class piano, pedagogy, and accompanying. Dr. Speer performs frequently as a collaborative artist and chamber musician, and has premiered numerous works by contemporary composers, including Michael Kallstrom and Lewis Neilson. He was the recipient of the 2004 Award for Teaching in Western's Potter College of Arts and Letters. He holds the BM (Performance) from Louisiana College, the MM (Performance/Accompanying) from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the Ph.D. (Music Education) from Louisiana State University. His former teachers include Mary Ann Crump, Ruth Slenczynska, Linda Perry, and Jack Guerry.



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