Wendy Herbener Mehne | The Conjurer: Chamber Music for Flute by Dana Wilson

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The Conjurer: Chamber Music for Flute by Dana Wilson

by Wendy Herbener Mehne

selected works for mixed ensembles
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Allusions I (Flute and Piano)
Wendy Mehne, Diane Birr
4:24 $0.99
2. Allusions II (Flute and Piano)
Wendy Mehne, Diane Birr
4:35 $0.99
3. The Conjurer (Concerto for Flute and Chamber Ensemble)
Wendy Mehne, Ithaca Chamber Wind Ensemble
16:21 $0.99
4. Breathing the Water I (Flute and Guitar)
Wendy Mehne, Pablo Cohen
3:09 $0.99
5. Breathing the Water II (Flute and Guitar)
Wendy Mehne, Pablo Cohen
3:25 $0.99
6. Sing to Me of the Night (Flute, Cello, Guitar)
Wendy Mehne; Elizabeth Simkin, Cello; Pablo Cohen, Guitar
12:06 $0.99
7. Mirrors I (Refraction) (Woodwind Quintet)
Ithaca Wind Quintet
4:36 $0.99
8. Mirrors II (Reflection) (Woodwind Quintet)
Ithaca Wind Quintet
3:54 $0.99
9. Mirrors III (Symmetry) (Woodwind Quintet)
Ithaca Wind Quintet
3:26 $0.99
10. Luminescence (Alto Flute and Guitar)
Wendy Mehne, Pablo Cohen
4:43 $0.99
11. Dancing with the Devil (Chamber Ensemble)
Wendy Mehne, Flute; Michale Galvan, Clarinet; Susan Waterbury, Violin; Elizabeth Simkin, Cello; Jeffery Meyer, Piano
10:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I have enjoyed a rich collaboration with Dana Wilson, commissioning his chamber works, consulting with him on the interpretation of his music, and recording this collection, which includes his earliest chamber work for flute, Mirrors, and his latest, The Conjurer.  His 13 chamber works for flute span over 20 years (1994-1915), and range from duos to small ensembles to a concerto for flute and chamber winds.  His music is evocative, jazz-infused, and exotic--with percussive effects, extended techniques, and elements of world music.  It pushes the boundaries of the flute and the flutist, and speaks to me personally.  This CD would not have been possible without his creative gifts, artistic vision, and generous support.         
–Wendy Herbener Mehne

Program Notes

Allusions (for flute and piano) An allusion is a figure of speech that makes reference to--or representation of--myths, works of art, people, places, or the like. Each of these movements alludes to something not clearly stated--perhaps sometimes obvious, sometimes arcane. The piece was written for Wendy Herbener Mehne and pianist Diane Birr.

The Conjurer (concerto for flute and chamber wind ensemble) was commissioned by a
consortium of flutists and ensembles, and is inspired by the world’s shamanic traditions. 
The piece is ritualistic, while not trying to replicate any particular culture. A shaman is a
person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits,
especially among some peoples of northern Asia and the Americas. Typically, such people
enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.  

The term “Conjurer" is from the related Middle English terms “con” (“with”) and
“jurare” (“law”), and refers to a person who has the power to solemnly call upon spirits by
invocation or spell. In this piece, the flutist assumes the role of conjurer, who in the first
movement calls forth the spirits.  As they emerge, the spirits begin a ritualistic dance,
hesitantly at first but then ever more intensely, as the flute’s conjuring commands. Finally,
the conjurer departs, having accomplished both exorcism and ablution.

Breathing the Water (for flute and guitar) was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the Keowee Chamber Music Festival in Asheville, North Carolina. The composer took letters from these performers' names (that are also found in music notation) to generate the work's main material. The piece is intended to evoke the simplicity and sound world of much "mountain music," while also illuminating contrasting states of water: a mountain lake and river torrents. "Breathing the Water" is the title of a book of poetry by Denise Levertov, who was associated with the Black Mountain Poetry School near Asheville.

Sing to me of the night (for flute, cello, and guitar). The night has always been a special time--of repose, of mystery, of sensuality. Composers are particularly drawn to it because it has traditionally been a time when one uses one’s ears to relate to the environment, rather than one’s eyes. Ironically, particularly since the harnessing of electricity, the night has also become a time of excitement and revelry. This piece suggests all of these qualities. It was commissioned and premiered by the Vinci-Brown-Alton Trio

Mirrors (for woodwind quintet). The mind is in large part a series of mirrors that allow us to see ourselves, yet always in our own light; to see around blind corners, yet always through our own psyche; to see behind us, but only within the mirror’s frame. Mirrors allow us to see more of reality, yet always within our own context. To grow, we must from time to time alter the light and rhythms of our lives--light to see familiar images more clearly, rhythm to change a mirror’s position. And in the process we must hold close the more elusive meaning of “mirror” as suggested in its Latin root “mirari” which means “to wonder at”. This piece is a meditation on such reflections. It was commissioned by, and is dedicated to the Ithaca Woodwind Quintet, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Luminescence (for alto flute and guitar) was intended as a sort of valentine for friends who had played a good deal of my music.  It therefore is a rather intimate, gentle piece, with perhaps an element of pathos.   It is based on a rather straightforward tune constructed over somewhat traditional jazz chords. It has been performed in several versions: for flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone, double bass, clarinet, or violin—with either guitar or piano.

Dancing with the Devil is a common exhortation that suggests that someone is flirting with sin, corruption, or disaster. It is therefore a common dance that everyone revels in from time to time, but to the composer’s knowledge no music has ever been written to accompany it. Hence this piece. The work was commissioned and premiered by the Society for New Music with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The works of Dana Wilson have been commissioned and performed by such diverse ensembles as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Buffalo Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Washington military bands, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Syracuse Symphony, and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. Solo works have been written for such renowned artists as hornist Gail Williams, clarinetist Larry Combs, trumpeters James Thompson and Rex Richardson, and oboist David Weiss.
Wilson has received grants from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and Meet the Composer. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and East Asia. They have received several prizes, including the Sudler International Composition Prize and the Ostwald Composition Prize, as well as awards from the International Trumpet Guild and the International Horn Society. His compositions are published by Boosey and Hawkes, Alfred Music Publishers, the American Composers Forum, and Ludwig Music Publishers; and can be heard on over twenty recording labels.
Dana Wilson holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently Charles A. Dana Professor of Music in the School of Music at Ithaca College. He is co-author of Contemporary Choral Arranging, published by Prentice Hall/ Simon and Schuster, and has written articles on diverse musical subjects. He has been a Yaddo Fellow (at Yaddo, the artists’ retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York), a Wye Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Charles A. Dana Fellow, and a Fellow at the Society for Humanities, Cornell University.
Wendy Herbener Mehne is professor of flute at Ithaca College where she was a 1995-96 Dana Teaching Fellow and the 2004 London Sabbatical Scholar. She is a member of the Cohen/Mehne Duo, a flute and guitar duo that is one of the School of Music’s faculty ensembles, and principal flutist with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. With Pulitzer prize-winning composer, Steven Stucky, and colleagues from Ithaca College and Cornell University, she was a founding member of the new music group, Ensemble X. Together they made recordings of chamber music by Steven Stucky, Judith Weir, and John David Earnest. Mehne has been a guest artist and given master classes throughout the United States, and has performed with the Chautauqua Symphony and at the Skaneateles Festival. As a member of the Ithaca Wind Quintet, she gave the world premiere of Karel Husa's Cayuga Lake (Memories) at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Dana Wilson's Mirrors at the 1993 National Flute Association convention in Boston. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Constitution Hall, the national ACDA and SEAMUS conferences, the International Guitar Festival in Fort de France, Martinique, numerous National Flute Association conventions, and in broadcasts by affiliates of National Public Radio and Public Television. Mehne is a contributing author for Flutist Quarterly, Flute Talk and the Instrumentalist and has recorded for Koch, Albany, Mark, and Open Loop labels. She has been secretary of the National Flute Association, served on its executive board, and is currently a member of their board of directors.



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