"Firecracker" - Fridays Free Ensemble Monterey Download

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Dear Ensemble Monterey Friends - Michael Dougherty is one of my very favorite composers. He is a very much alive American who will be familiar to anyone who has attended Santa Cruz's Cabrillo Music Festival. He grew up playing in a Midwestern rock band with his Father and he is one of many new composers mixing "pop" idioms with "classical" music. Firecracker is a virtuoso oboe solo with mixed instrumental accompaniment. Dougherty often writes music that is suggestive of actual places, and Firecracker is all about Las Vegas and "The Strip." Here is what he has to say about his piece:


In the 1940's and 50's, the calling card of every Las Vegas casino, hotel, and restaurant on the "strip" was a colorful souvenir matchbook: an icon of a Las Vegas long vanished, when the "Rat Pack" and neon signs ruled. These matchbooks could be used to light a candle, a cigarette, or perhaps a fiery composition for oboe and small chamber ensemble.

Firecracker evokes the vintage exotic decor of the Aladdin, the Sahara, and the Desert Inn. The oboe spins out a virtuosic musical motive in the perpetual motion of a roulette wheel. The small chamber ensemble provides a rhythmic, colorful counterpoint, like flickering and flashing neon signs. The musical fireworks are briefly interrupted by a tango floorshow. After a return to the fireworks, the oboe's firecracker fuse burns out into the Las Vegas night. (Composer)

Our oboe soloist for this 2011 performance was Ensemble Monterey Principal Oboist, and now Co-Executive Director, Peter Lemberg.

Let me once again invite you to join us, remotely, on Sunday, October 25th at 3 PM, for the opening concert of our 28th season. "Autumn in the Vineyard" will be hosted by Joseph Ribeiro and live streamed from the Lester Family Vineyards in Aptos it's free to everyone, just like these downloads. The concert includes many popular favorites including today's soloist, Peter Lemberg, playing the Mozart Oboe Quartet. A link to the web site will appear here soon and on our own web site, ensemblemonterey.org. I'll be "looking" for you there!
Yours in Music - John Anderson

Yours in Music - John Anderson