Elegy and Burlesque
for oboe, violin, viola, and cello
by Lee R. Kesselman - American composer
for the Metropolis Oboe Quartet
in memory of my dear friend Daniel Brewbaker, January 2018
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
In May of 2017, my friend, composer and poet Daniel Brewbaker, passed away from a brain tumor at the age of age 66. A graduate of the University of Illinois and the Juilliard School, Daniel’s notable premieres include his orchestral work The Poet in 1999, conducted by Valery Gergiev, his 2000 composition Cincinnatus Psalmpremiered by the Cincinnati Orchestra, his 1995 Cello Concertopremiered by Carter Brey and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra - and his 2004 Violin Concerto premiered by Vadim Repin and the Baltimore Symphony. That next winter, I wrote Elegy & Burlesque as a memorial to Daniel.
The first movement is an elegy --- a memorial ode to my friend. But the second movement, Burlesque, is a remembrance of Daniel's incredible sense of humor. He was a man who loved hearing jokes and loved telling funny stories. His deep and full laugh has stuck with me even through his loss.
The piece has a few obvious and less-than-obvious musical quotations -- the kinds of inside jokes both of us shared and enjoyed. In the lyrical Elegy, at m. 49, the opening theme to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde makes a brief appearance before it is developed and altered. In the Burlesque, at m. 103 there is a significant quotation from Beethoven's piano sonata, Op. 81a, Les Adieux (The Farewell). The farewell horn-call of Les Adieux which pervades the remainder of my Burlesque is a my own farewell to my friend.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER:
Lee R. Kesselman is best known as a composer of vocal works, including opera, music for chorus, chamber music and solo songs. Kesselman was Director of Choral Activities at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago, since 1981. He performs regularly as a conductor and as a collaborative pianist. His works include over 150 choral works, 2 chamber operas, more than 30 art-songs and chamber works for solo voice, in addition to instrumental chamber music and works for large ensembles and for dance. Kesselman is known for his diverse musical styles, unique approach to texts, and compositional craft. Many of Kesselman’s works can be found on https://soundcloud.com/lee-kesselman and a complete catalog on www.kesselmanpress.com. For more information, contact the composer at LRKmus@sbcglobal.net.