Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lenten Music, part 1

Handel's autograph manuscript of Salve Regina, HWV 241

Marian music by Handel and Bonporti and featuring soprano Camille King is to be performed this week as part of the St. Thomas Aquinas Stations of the Cross and Concert Series. Stations begin at 7:00 PM and the concerts follow immediately at approximately 8:00 p.m.

Admission is free. For more information, visit the parish website at www.stthomasaquinas.org

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 8:00 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214
(map)

Program:

HANDEL - Salve Regina, HWV 241
BONPORTI - Clare Stelle, Motteto per la Madonna, Op. 3, No. 1
HANDEL - Haec est regina virginum - Antiphon, HWV 235

Camille King, soprano
Michael Conrady, organ continuo

GYROS STRING QUARTET
Cornelia Demian, violin
Emily Aquin, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Life is like a box of chocolates

It was fun going down memory lane while revisiting the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” whose original score was composed by Alan Silvestri. The Feather Theme - the main title of the movie - lends itself quite well to an arrangement for string quartet. The only tricky part was finding a way to address the very light, airy and playful piano texture of the opening:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Melody & Geoffrey at Dallas Heritage Village

May 2015 turned out not to be a good month for outdoor weddings. Severe thunderstorms made it one of the wettest months in Texas history. According to The National Weather Service in Fort Worth, over 16 inches of rainfall amounted to more than 35 trillion gallons of rain - enough to cover the entire state of Texas in 8 inches of water.

Despite all this, Sunday, May 25th brought us one of the most charming ceremonies in recent memory. The location would have been the fountain / big tree in the historic Dallas Heritage Village, but of course the weather caused everyone to move into the adjacent small church.

There a most unusual program - on which the bride and groom had obviously spent much thought and care on - unfolded with an almost improvised naturalness. In addition, the readings featured poems by Pablo Neruda - “Sonnet XVII” (1959), and D.H.Lawrence - “Fidelity” (1919). Even the postlude - normally upbeat and a little boisterous, but this time calm and relaxed (Handel’s “Air” from Water Music) - seemed to be the perfect bookend as the sun broke through the rain clouds just a little.

Months later, that afternoon still lingers.

Gyros String Quartet at Dallas Heritage Village

PROGRAM:

Prelude I: Gymnopedie No. 1 – Erik Satie (1866 - 1925)
Prelude II: Pavane, op. 50 – Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)

Entrance of Family
Edelweiss - Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895 –1960)

Entrance of Bridal Party
Ladies in Lavender – Nigel Hess (from the 2004 film Ladies in Lavender)

Entrance of Bride
Stars and Butterflies – Dario Marianelli (from the 2005 film based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice)

Candle Ceremony
Pure Imagination – Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

Recessional
Mother Nature – Natalie MacMaster

Postlude
“Air” from Water Music– George Frederic Handel (1685 - 1759)


GYROS STRING QUARTET:
Filip Fenrych, violin
Jennifer Sweetman, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Monday, July 27, 2015

Katelyn and Ryan at HPUMC

Katelyn had a very specific vision for her processional music. She wanted to walk down the aisle to “In Christ Alone” and had found a version on YouTube she really liked. Would it be possible with a string quartet?

We liked the idea and ended up creating an arrangement - incorporating the Celtic feel of the video clip inspiration -  which allowed for just enough of an intro to create anticipation while the doors were still closed, and then built to a dramatic crescendo as she arrived at the altar. For full effect the organ - imitating the sound of bagpipes - was added as well.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Patricia & David at HPUMC

The absolutely delightful flower girl in these pictures seems to have gotten side-tracked by those strange and fascinating instruments of the string quartet:


PROGRAM:

Chiming of the Hour

Ceremony:
Seating of the Families
Largo from “Xerxes”

Processional of the Groomsmen
Be Thou my Vision

Processional of the Bridesmaids
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Bridal Processional
Pachelbel - Canon in D

Solo
Embrace this Place **

Recessional
Mendelssohn – Wedding March

Postlude
Handel –The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba


GYROS STRING QUARTET:
Gary Schnitzer, violin
Saejin Yoon, violin
April Kondrat, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Shayne Green, soloist / guitar


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Break in Texas

Record snowfall - over 3 inches - just days before Spring Break. I blame the groundhog.

Snow in Dallas / March 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Katherine & Michael at Four Seasons

The new year’s first big wedding took place in the Las Colinas Ballroom at the Four Seasons on January 17, 2015. From the start it was evident that music was particularly important to the bride and her mom, who had stumbled upon a charming version for violin, cello and piano of John Legend’s “All of Me”. An arrangement / transcription had to be prepared for string quartet with piano and then edited for length to cover the bridal processional and circling of the groom, while maintaining the original arc of the song. Additionally, after the seating of the grandmothers, Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) - featuring soloist Goga - was used as an interlude.

John Legend - All of Me - arr. for string quartet and piano


PROGRAM:

Prelude:
Fauré – Pavane, Op. 50
Rota – Theme from “Romeo and Juliet”
Lovland – Song from a Secret Garden
Bach – “Siciliano” from Flute Sonata No. 2

Ceremony:
Seating of the Families
Chrissie Hynde – I’ll Stand by You

Interlude
Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) **

Processional
Jason Mraz –  I Won’t Give Up

Bridal Processional
John Legend – All of Me **

Recessional
Beatles – All You Need is Love


GYROS STRING QUARTET:
Aleksandr Snytkin, violin
Ordabek Duissen, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Goga, soloist / piano
Coordinator: Mary Wright Shaw - Diamond Affairs

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014


24 December, 2014
On Christmas Eve you can choose this year again from either two afternoon services, or two Candlelight midnight services:

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

3:00pm and 5:00pm – Christmas liturgy with the Gyros String Quintet, trumpet, organ and choir.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Avenue
Dallas, TX 75214
(map)

11:00 pm – Lessons & Carols
Midnight – Midnight Mass

or

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

10:00 pm – prelude with Gyros Strings, oboe and trumpets

TOMASO ALBINONI  –  Concerto for oboe and strings in C-major, Op. 7, No. 12*
ARCANGELO CORELLI  –  Concerto Grosso, op. 6, No. 8  (fatto per la notte di natale)

* Steve Pettey, oboe

10:30 pm – Midnight Service:
HOLST  –  Christmas Day
MOZART  –  Sanctus from Missa Solemnis in C
WARLOCK  –  Balulalow
BERLIOZ  – Shepherd’s Farewell
and others

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Somewhere in Time

For this upcoming weekend's wedding ceremony, the couple Lauren and Amy had requested “Somewhere in Time” for one of the processionals. An arrangement for string quartet needed to be created - always a highly enjoyable task when the composer is John Barry - that would ideally capture the big cinematic sweep of the original film score, even when reduced to just four string players.

How did it turn out? We will find out on Saturday.

Somewhere in Time - arr. for string quartet

In the meantime, you can refresh your memory with the original from 1980:


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mozart Requiem at St. Thomas Aquinas



All Souls’ Evensong and Mozart Requiem

Saturday, November 1, 2014

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214
(map)

All Souls’ Evensong
6:30 pm

Followed immediately by:

Mozart Requiem, K. 626
7:30 pm

Performed by the Saint Thomas Aquinas Choir and orchestra.

Michael Conrady, Conductor
Dee Donasco, Soprano
Janna Hinebaugh, Alto
John Hendricks, Tenor
Patrick Gnage, Bass

Admission is free


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