Darius Milhaud: La Création du monde, op. 81a (1923)
"Out of all this has come one real masterpiece, one full-length, fully developed jazz work that had such character and originality that even today it sounds as fresh as it did when it was written in 1923. It is a ballet called The Creation of the World, by the brilliant French composer Darius Milhaud. I take the liberty of calling this work a masterpiece because it has the one real requisite of a masterpiece—durability. Among all those experiments with jazz that Europe flirted with in this period, only The Creation of the World emerges complete, not as a flirtation but as a real love affair with jazz." ~Leonard Bernstein
"Milhaud's Création du Monde was the first and remains the best jazz piece from a classical European composer." ~Dave Brubeck
By the time Milhaud wrote his music for the ballet La création du monde 1923, he was writing for a well-established popular taste. The ballet references African creation myths taken from Blaise Cendrar’s Anthologie negre. Leonard Bernstein summarized: “The Creation of the World emerges not as a flirtation but as a real love affair with jazz.” Milhaud explained, “This is a work making wholesale use of the jazz style to convey a purely classical feeling.”
The ballet has five parts …
1. Chaos before Creation: slow and mysterious, gradually growing in intensity. Listen for elements of polytonality and the soft closure.
2. Lifting darkness and creation of trees, plants, insects, birds and beasts: jazzy solos for flute, oboe, and horn. Life and the making of it is an exhilarating and delicate process.
3. Man and woman are created: increase of movement and excitement, exuberant.
4. The desire of man and woman: beautiful seduction music from clarinet.
5. The kiss: a beautiful conclusion, introduced quietly by oboe in the original, a bit of excitement, followed by softly fluttering flutes with a tender goodbye from the saxophone.
© Marianne Williams Tobias, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, 2015
Danny Seidenberg's arrangement of this work for string octet was done for a collaboration of the Ying String Quartet and the Turtle Island Quartet. The album, 4 + Four, won a Grammy in 2006 in the Best Classical Crossover Album category. Danny rearranged the piece for 8-part string orchestra this past year - this is the arrangement you are hearing today.
INTERMEZZO from the Little Suite for Strings by Carl Nielsen
When this work was premiered in 1888, the program notes that accompanied Carl Nielsen's Little Suite for Strings in A minor curiously identified the composer as "Mr. Carl Nielsen, whom nobody knows." While this was to be generally true of the musical world outside of Scandinavia for a half century, the designation would soon lose its accuracy in Denmark. While this work shows the fledgling composer paying homage to central European standards of form, Nielsen's own innovative musical language is already in evidence. In three movements (Prelude, Intermezzo, and Finale), the elegiac opening theme will actually fill a cyclic function, a device to which Nielsen would return to wholeheartedly a quarter century later in the Symphony No. 4. The second movement, the Intermezzo, gives a premonitory hint of the composer's love of triple time: it is an engaging waltz peppered with the occasional flat seventh grace notes that would later become so characteristic.
-- Wayne Reisig
A "Beethoven" year
2020 is considered a "Beethoven year" in that it is the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birth - December 17, 1770. It is illuminating to speak to students about Beethoven's influence because for the past about 200 years the genius of his compositional style, advances to symphonic and keyboard repertoire, and, important to our performance today, his 16 string quartets written in his early, middle and late periods, are now part of a known canon. Ask any lay person to name a famous composer and "Beethoven" will be uttered. Can you imagine musical life before Beethoven? How does a musician delve deeply into a work of art to know composer intent, influence, and connection? We have challenged our students to get to know the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven.
String Quartet Op. 59, No. 3
IV. Allegro Molto
Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. Seidenberg
The sensational finale Op.59 No.3 is one of Beethoven’s true virtuosic masterpieces (and is as much fun to play as it is to listen to). In the face of his having to come to terms with his loss of hearing and the uncertainty of his professional and artistic future, Beethoven managed to leave us with this amazing movement that captures the joy of life like no other. Again, to quote Thayer: “It is said that on the page in his notebook where Beethoven was working out the fugal theme he wrote “Never again need you feel ashamed of your deafness, nor others wondering at it. Can anything in the world prevent you from expressing your soul in music?” Beethoven opens the movement with a fugue that he begins in the solo viola, passes to the second violin, to the cello, and then to the first violin. Once all four voices are in, Beethoven begins to skillfully dismantle the theme, dispersing the various components throughout the quartet of instruments giving each player a chance to shine. The pace of the movement is rigorous and unrelenting; Beethoven halts the music only twice, as if to give the players a chance to catch their collective breaths, before reigniting the music and sending it charging to the brilliant finish.
(notes by Kurt Baldwin)
Danny Seidenberg made this orchestral arrangement of the Allegro Molto for Waubonsie Valley Chamber Strings to play 5 years ago. He has deftly incorporated bass into the counterpoint and excitement of the whole movement.
At Waubonsie Valley High School, we have 6 orchestras that we, Daryl and Will, share as co-directors. Each of us conducts 3 orchestras, does technique for their Chamber-level orchestra and technique for the others' 2 orchestras. Partnership with one another is key to the success of our program. We are thrilled to work with one another day in and day out and count each other and our families as close friends.
Partnership with our high school orchestra colleagues in District 204 gives us strength and commonality. We learn from one another and continue to share musically and inter-personally. It is most comforting to work with the area high school directors with the utmost of respect and shared purpose - on the football field we might be rivals but in the realm of music we are compatriots!
Partnership with our amazing Waubonsie Music faculty, headed by department chair Mark Duker, makes everyday special, amazing, and completely worth it all! Whether we are collaborating on our whole department events or simply supporting one another over the course of the year, we are so thankful for the collegiality and friendship of our band and choir colleagues.
Partnership with our middle school "feeder" school directors - attending their concerts, inviting them up to concerts at the high school, coming to work with their orchestras before school and during the day, valuing their input on their students who are now with us, having them join us on international trips - helps us support their amazing efforts and to know more intimately the students that will be coming up to Waubonsie.
Partnership with our Waubonsie staff and administration makes for a vibrant, safe, and encouraging work atmosphere. Whether it is as Chess coach (Will) or Scholastic Bowl coach (Daryl) that we have the privilege of working with other Waubonsie faculty, or serving on committees within the school, or travelling overseas with with our students and an administrator, we are so thankful for the "Warrior Way", supporting Academics, Athletics, and Arts.
Partnership with our parents is vital to the success of our program. We ask our students frequently to email parents from class, updating them on "what's going on in the orchestra" so they not only know the successes of their child in class but also keep informed about upcoming concerts and events. Our Orchestra Parent Association gives us so much support, whether it occurs during a large, organized event like our District's Fine Arts Festival or winter Prism concert, or simply asking a few parents to come help with feeding students after a big concert - we absolutely could not do what we do without their help.
Partnership with our Waubonsie and local private teachers helps our program strengthen student by student. We have a few private teachers approved by the district that teach our students at after school and we know there is a cadre of other amazing private teachers that encourage our students, support our program, and make the work that we do go more smoothly. Additionally, we are so thankful for the support we get from Quinlan & Fabish, our district's preferred vendor, and our other local music shops for all that they do supporting the students' instrument needs.
Last but absolutely not least is partnership with our students. Our students are so academic, so athletic, so artistic, so accomplished in many realms - we are grateful each and every day that we have the opportunity to guide their musical journey with one another and with us. Recently nationally acclaimed electric violinist Tracy Silverman said something to the effect of "you should do academics for your brain, you should do athletics for your body, and you should do music for your soul." We know that it is is the personal and group goal setting and accomplishments, the physical connection of the instrument with the body, and the humanity-building elements of being a young musician that only increases these young adults potential for success as they become the nation's next generation of adults, humans. We are so thankful to work with each and everyone of these amazing souls.
We are honored to have our Waubonsie Valley High School Chamber Strings, Waubonsie Valley High School Wind Ensemble, Scullen Middle School Chamber Strings, and Scullen Middle School Honors Chorus participate at the 2020 IMEC Conference in Peoria.
To have a large number of our students and teachers participate in such an important event defines the caliber of musicianship that can be found in our district’s music program. The opportunity for our students and staff to engage with other musicians and clinicians from across the state aligns with our mission to inspire all students to achieve their greatest potential.
We are very proud of our students as well as our talented music educators, who will accompany the students at the conference. They include John William Burck, Daryl Silberman, Kevin Carroll, Chris Dandeles, and Mark Duker, of Waubonsie Valley High School, as well as Matthew White and Michael Ferguson of Scullen Middle School. With support from community leaders and the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation, our participating students and teachers represent a shared commitment to excellence and innovation to which we have received national acclaim over the years.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your conference.
Karen Sullivan, Ed.D
Indian Prairie School District 204
It is my privilege to recognize Waubonsie Valley High School’s Chamber Strings and Wind Ensemble as they participate at the IMEC Conference in Peoria.
As principal I challenge our freshman class each year to identify something they are good at and something they love to do. I challenge them to do this through taking rigorous courses and being involved. The recognition our orchestra and band program are receiving by being selected to perform in front of their peers shows this commitment. I have no doubt that the mastering of a musical instrument encourages such skills for future careers and builds passion towards the areas of the arts that furthers community enrichment.
To this call I highly praise John William Burck, Daryl Silberman, Kevin Carroll, Chris Dandeles and Mark Duker, musical instructors at Waubonsie Valley. They have fostered this direction and desire in our students, encouraging them to seek out this path of growth, which often comes in direct competition of a demanding world asking more of students to think of careers and future planning. They have directly connected this skill and passion of playing an instrument to the overall health and growth of a student experience; all of this while having our students excel at the highest level. I can think of no better compliment.
Thank you for allowing us to share their efforts and passions with their peers at IMEC. This is a distinction I know all of them think highly of.
Jason P. Stipp
Principal-Waubonsie Valley HS
Welcome to today’s performance by the Waubonsie Valley High School Chamber Strings. We are honored by the Illinois Music Education Association’s invitation to perform at this year’s Illinois Music Education Conference. Our district is proud to have the Waubonsie Valley High School Chamber Strings represent the 33 schools and over 27,000 students of Indian Prairie School District 204.
Our educational community takes great pride in our nationally recognized arts programs, and today’s performance is sure to be yet another example of music thriving in our schools. While we are fortunate to enjoy the strong support of our local community, we commend our music programs for reaching beyond their individual buildings. It’s not always easy to be active at the regional, state, national, and even international levels; however, our music faculty and students continually demonstrate the desire to share their artistry and professionalism to broad audiences.
We are very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our music students and the exceptional music educators who leads them, John William Burck and Daryl Silberman. It is an honor to support them today, as they share their music with you.
Thank you to the Illinois Music Educators Association for the invitation, and I hope you enjoy today’s performance.
Director of Elective Curriculum and Coordinator of Fine Arts
Indian Prairie School District 204
Ms. Daryl Silberman is an orchestra director at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, IL, District 204. Ms. Silberman is also the co-director of the Kaneland Youth Symphony. “Ms. S” studied viola at the University of Colorado at Boulder, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and University of Southern California. She has been a private studio teacher, high school orchestra director, and freelance violist and violinist in Salem, Oregon, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area performing with regional orchestras, rock bands, movie studio orchestras, chamber groups, and baroque ensembles. Daryl plays with husband Danny Seidenberg in their baroque violin duo DuettoDS2
Ms. Silberman has served as a guest conductor and clinician for middle and high school orchestras all around the country and has presented at many educator conferences including IMEC multiple times. She was named as one of “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in 2011 by School Band and Orchestra magazine. In her free time, she is an avid yogi, gluten free foodie and a busy mom of two young adults.
John William Burck has been a string educator for over 30 years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Mr. Burck earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa and Master of Music Education from the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Currently Mr. Burck directs Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, Symphonic Strings, and co-directs Warrior Strings.
Summer music experiences have always been a rich and important part of Mr. Burck’s life. He attended his first summer music camp as a middle school student at the University of Iowa and it changed his life forever—leading him to study music at the U of I with violist, Bill Pruceil and into a career in music education. He has been on both staff and faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. He has served as conductor of the junior orchestra at the Cedar Arts Forum’s String Camp in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan. Most recently, Mr. Burck served as the summer orchestra director of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska.
When not teaching, Will enjoys touring the countryside on his motorcycle with his wife Andrea!
Waubonsie Valley High School is a part of Indian Prairie School District 204, located in Aurora, lllinois. WVHS opened in 1975 and currently serves a student population of approximately 2550 students. Our school's mission is "to foster students' learning to its highest potential while providing diverse and challenging educational experiences that academically, socially, and emotionally shape our students into independent and productive members of society."
The Waubonsie Valley High School Music Department serves approximately 700 students in curricular classes including five bands, six orchestras, and eight choirs. Students are also actively involved outside of the school day in almost 20 co-curricular music ensembles spread across our department. We are fortunate to have been named a GRAMMY Signature School five times and a GRAMMY Gold Signature school twice. Our community is very supportive of the Fine Arts, having earned NAMM "Best Communities for Music Education" designation for eight years.