The Navona Records 2CD set of Freund’s piano performance of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 with a supplemental DVD of his “Composition Lessons with JS Bach” was released in April. More information here.
Video of SeeNoHearNoSpeakNo for viola, bass, percussion (pots&pans) and three dancers is now up on YouTube. Liz Shea’s choreography is fabulous, and the musicians and dancers are brilliant!
New: Recordings from the extraordinary performance put together by the Jacobs School Organ Department on IU’s new Fisk organ. 14 members of the department, including students, faculty members Colin Andrews, Bruce Neswick, Janette Fishell and Marilyn Keiser, and faculty trumpet virtuoso John Rommel, contributed performances of Don Freund’s Concert Organ Mass Ordinary Pieces (sample scores), and BreezeWorks (score) for Organ and Trumpet.
was premiered by the IU Violin Virtuosi at Northwestern University on 5/5/12 and in IU’s Auer Hall 5/12/12.
Coming soon: More Recordings and video from IU CONCERT 3/30/12:
The March 30th Don Freund Faculty Composition Recital in IU’s Auer Hall showcased a full evening of Don’s works, including: SeeNoHearNoSpeakNo, Daydream in A-flat (premiere of recorder version), Piano Prelude 2011 (brittlesweet)(scrolling score video), Piano Prelude 2010 (chopping blocks)(scrolling score video) (both premieres), and Life of the Party: Concerto for Bassoon and 16 Friends, with the IU Faculty Chamber Orchestra, featuring Kathleen McLean on bassoon.
Fall 2011 News
Louder than Words — ‘Post-Haste Reed Duo’ (Sean Fredenburg, alto saxophone, Javier Rodriguez, bassoon) recitals at Valdosta State University (9/14), Florida State University (9/16), Louisiana State University (9/19), and McNeese State University (9/21).
Word on the Street was performed by the IU Jacobs School of Music University Orchestra 10/26 with Ekhart Wycik conducting, IU Musical Arts Center
Piano Preludes ’90, ’91 on the Dec. 16 Washington Square Contemporary Music Society concert at the TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK 43A WEST 13TH STREET, NYC. Steven Beck, piano Piano Prelude ’90 — About-Score, Audio Piano Prelude ’91 — About-Score, Audio
PASSION with Tropes 2011 (Audio with scrolling text video)
From IU Faculty Composition Recital, February 4
Autumnsongs – Piano Trio No. 2 (Brian Allen, violin; Young Hoon Koh, cello; Margaret Chun, piano–Young Artists from the IU JSoM Pre-College Program)  Fall from Grace
, ScoreTurning Colors/Harvest Hymn/Harvest Dance
Spur of the Moment (Kathryn Lukas, flute; Don Freund, piano)
Ornery Prelude (Kathryn Lukas, flute; Thomas Walsh, tenor saxophone; John Rommel, trumpet; Trent Lockhart, bass trombone;Brenda Brenner, violin; Warren Hagerty, cello; Kevin Bobo, percussion)
From Rose Wollman DM viola recital:
SeeNoHearNo SpeakNo (for dance) Rose Wollman, viola (SeeNo);Brian McNulty, pots&pans (HearNo); Dorian Jackman, bass (SpeakNo)
A new recording of Fast Music (Paul Christopher, cello) score-scrolling video
Spring-Summer 2011 News
Two major music theatre productions were the highlights of the Spring of 2011: A powerful touring production of Romeo and Juliet: A Shakespearian Music Drama (Watch), and the extraordinary immersive theatre interdisciplinary production of the 2011 reconstruction of PASSION with Tropes (more info, recording).
In March, Don was the featured composer at Northern Kentucky University’s New Now Norse Festival, coordinated by Eric Knechtges. The guest ensemble Conundrum performed part of Backyard Songs. Other works performed were Jug Blues & Fat Pickin’, Arioso und Splat, and 2 chorales from PASSION with Tropes, and the festival ended with the touring production presentation of Romeo and Juliet.
In January members of the San Francisco Symphony performed Freund’s Rough and Tumble at a concert presented by Composers, Inc. Earlier that month, saxophonist Allen Rippe presented Episode for alto saxophone and Casio MT-70. 11 pianists from the studio of IU faculty Jean-Louis Haguenaur performed 11 of Freund’s Piano Preludes on a recital in March. Three of these preludes were orchestrated on a joint commission from the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra and the Germantown Symphony orchestra, who celebrated their 35th anniversary in March with a reprise performance of Preludes for Orchestra.
In April, USC New Music Ensemble conducted by Donald Crockett performed Test of Time, and three dancers and three instrumentalists premiered SeeNoHearNoSpeakNo on Rose Wollman’s IU DM viola recital.
Things turned international in May: Ensemble Zellig gave the European premiere of their commissioned work Crunch Time at “The 104,” Radio France, Paris, and in June the fiery Mexico City women’s a cappella sextet Tuumben Paax performed their version of Freund’s O Fortuna during the Foros de Musica Nueva Festival. Closer to home, Bloomington’s Voces Novae performed Growing Orbits at the “Stone Age Institute.”
In the spring of 2010, Freund was awarded a $50,000 Indiana University “New Frontiers” grant for “A Trans-disciplinary conceptualization of Don Freund’s PASSION with Tropes.” Working with a team of artists from IU’s Departments of Theatre and Digital Arts assembled by conductor Carmen Tellez, Don has been reconstructing the score to prepare a 80-minute immersive theatre production that will be presented in IU Ruth N. Halls Theatre May 20th and 21st, 2011.
To experience the effectiveness of this reduced scoring, IU’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and New Music Ensemble presented a 30-minute Concert Extract from PASSION with Tropes directed by Maestra Tellez on the November 4th IU NME Concert.
Don also received two commissions to write trios in 2010, both of which were premiered in October. Autumnsongs for piano trio, commissioned by the Indiana Music Teachers/Music Teachers National Association, was premiered by an amazing trio from IU’s Pre-College Music Program at the IMTA conventions. Crunch Time for bass clarinet, cello and piano was commissioned by the Ensemble Zellig, with the support of the French American Fund for Contemporary Music, and was premiered at the beginning of the group’s tour of the US at Brown University, followed by performances at IU and UC Berkeley.
Freund was guest composer at James Madison University’s Contemporary Music Festival. JMU’s Wind Symphony gave a definitive performance of Jug Blues & Fat Pickin’, thanks to the meticulous and sympathetic preparation by the group’s conductor Stephen Bolstad. The same can be said for the Madison Singers performances of Lauda Anima Mea and God’s Grandeur, brilliantly conducted by Patrick Walders. Jason Haney and Paulo Steinberg made a tour de force out of the piano duo Prelude, Chorale and a few other things, and Haney conducted a ready-for-CD performance of Soft Cells with a 15-piece ensemble of the school’s faculty and top grad students. Freund added his own solo performance of three of his piano preludes to this substantial festival, which was kicked off by Alarm Will Sound’s presentation of their “1969” collage concert.
Don finished his recording and audio editing of his distinctive “composer’s approach” to the 24 Preludes and Fugues of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Book, and intends to produce and distribute the 2-CD set. He has been editing the videos of his lecture series “Composition Lessons with J.S. Bach.” Lectures for 10 of the Preludes and Fugues along with color-coded scores and complete performances are now on YouTube. Check out an in-depth interview with journalist George Walker.
“Spectrum of 5ths” at Fresno State
Freund’s way of looking at pitches on the “Spectrum of 5ths” (explained midway through the Bach C major Prelude YouTube lecture) became the focal point of Prof. Benjamin Boone’s graduate theory seminar in Fall 2010 at Cal State Fresno. Freund combined Skype classes with an intensive on-campus workshop to assist the class in their analyses of music from chant to Machaut to Bartok to Beatles using the “Spectrum of 5ths” as their point of departure. The class is creating a website to demonstrate the usefulness of this approach.
Violas and Saxophones
Nokathula Ngwenyama presented Freund’s Three Bagatelles for Viola and Piano at the 38th International Viola Congress in June (
) and the NorCal Viola Society presented Fanfare for Violas, performed by 16 violinists assembled by Ethan Filner for ViolaMania! in August (
Freund’s long-time saxophone muse, Allen Rippe just revisited Episode for Alto Saxophone and Casio MT-70 for the 34th International Saxophone Symposium in January 2011. In Rippe’s performance an iPod emulated the Casio; Thomas Walsh and Freund had performed the piece in 2010 using the original 1980’s instruments (