Eksamenskonsert Maksim Semenov, horn & Vaiva Mazulytè, klaver
Diplomkonsert - eksamen
Onsdag 11. juni 2014
Masterkonsert - eksamen: Vaiva Mazulytè, klaver
Diplomkonsert - eksamen: Maksim Semenov, horn
Horn Sonata no. 2, op.67:
I. Tranquillo; Allegro moderato
II. Con eleganza (TIME COLLISION)
Horn Sonata no. 4 op. 115:
I. VENI CREATOR - Allegro molto
II. SUMMI TRIUMPHUM REGIS (Nidaros Book of Sequences; 11th century)
Horn Sonata no. 3, op. 88:
Wolfgang Plagge and his horn compositions
Wolfgang Plagge is an eminent Norwegian composer and pianist who, in recent
years, developed a special interest in composing works for horn. Most of these compositions
were commissioned by the Norwegian hornist Frøydis Ree Wekre, who has performed and
promoted these works internationally, particularly in Norway and the United States.
Wolfgang Plagge was born in 1960 to Dutch parents in Oslo, Norway. He began playing
the piano and composing at age four. Mr. Plagge was ten when he won his first international performance competition, and one year later he won the Young Pianists’ Competition in Oslo. In 1972, he made his recital debut in Oslo where HM King Olav V was in attendance. In 1986, he graduated with distinction from the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, Germany. During his studies in Hamburg, Germany he was influenced, of course, by all of the composition teachers and especially Lygeti and Schnitke. He won several prizes in the years that followed, including the Levin Prize in 1987.
Mr. Plagge had his first work published at age twelve and has continued to compose in a variety of genres. He has identified specific influences on his compositional style and resulting music: twentieth century composers, the concept of time in composition, and the Medieval and pre-Medieval music of Scandinavia and, more specifically, Norway. He states that composers such as Stravinsky and Prokofiev have had a direct influence on his writing. This is most evident in Sonata II, Op. 67. In addition, he has a unique interest in the Medieval music of Norway and has engaged in research of chant from the medieval period. He often incorporates elements of this music in his own works and, as a result, in several of the works for horn including the first and fourth sonata. The concept of time has been an influence in much of his writing, especially in the violin sonata, although not as much in his works for horn. The influence of Lygeti and Carter can be seen in his manipulation of time.
Through his collaboration with Frøydis Ree Wekre, which began in the late 1980s, he
developed a special interest in works for the horn. Prof. Wekre commissioned his first work for
horn, A Litany for the 21st Century: Sonata for Horn and Piano, Op. 39. Since that time, Mr.
Plagge has continued to compose works for horn in a variety of genres, including works for horn
and piano and various chamber works; these works include three additional sonatas, Monoceros
for unaccompanied horn, and Raga for two horns and piano as well as other works not included
in this study. Several of his works have become part of the standard repertoire. One such work is
A Litany for the 21st Century which has been featured as a required work in several international
SONATA II, OP. 67
This work was written in 1992 and later revised in 2001. It consists of three movements and is approximately fourteen minutes in length. Prof. Wekre first performed the work in Banff in 1992. She later performed the work with Mr. Plagge at the International Horn Symposium in Manchester, United Kingdom in July 1992. There was no commercial recording of the original version of the work. Thus far, no recording of the revised edition exists.
This work is the fourth composition Mr. Plagge has written for Frøydis Ree Wekre. She
describes the work as, “very happy in a way. It has a very twisted scherzo...it is a little bit of an
ironic waltz. And, the fast movement is kind of happy-go-lucky.”
This work originally carried a subtitle of “Ode to Hindemith,” which was intended as a joke. However, Mr. Plagge eventually removed this subtitle because it was largely misunderstood. Many began looking for Hindemith characteristics in the work; however, as Mr. Plagge explains, it is actually aspects of Prokofiev’s writing that are present in the work. As pointed out in the biographical information, Mr. Plagge studied at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, Germany. It was there that Mr. Plagge learned of Hindemith’s dislike of Prokofiev’s music; so, with Mr. Plagge’s rather unusual sense of humor, he subtitled Sonata II “Ode to Hindemith” and attempted to compose in a manner reminiscent of Prokofiev. He even included a quote from the fourth movement of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in the third movement.
SONATA FOR HORN AND PIANO, OP. 88
Written in 1995, the Sonata for Horn and Piano, Op. 88 is Plagge’s third sonata for horn. This work is actually the fourth work Mr. Plagge composed for Prof. Wekre. She premiered the work and, subsequently, has produced the only commercial recording of this work. Prof. Wekre describes the third sonata “as incredibly introvert.” She characterized the third movement, in part, as a spoof of twelve-tone composition:
“The last movement of the third sonata is where he makes fun of the twelve tone
composers because he goes right into their technique and rules and he still manages to
sound tonal...Of course, this is possible...lots of fifths, fourths and land in the same pitch
every time...G...G is the tone.”
Mr. Plagge unifies the work, both the first movement and the work as a whole, with the
material presented in the horn in the first five measures. And through the use of post-tonal techniques, Plagge managed to create a piece which sounds quite tonal.
SONATA IV, OP. 115
Sonata IV was written in 2002 and it consists of two movements. Frøydis Ree Wekre,
with pianist Kari Tikkala, premiered the work at the International Horn Symposium in Lahti,
Finland in 2002.
The work represents Mr. Plagge return to Medieval source material through the use of chant in both the first and second movements of the work. The form of the movements often reflects the Medieval source material .
There is an interesting effect that is a result of the departure from standard form. Due to the
material existing as a sequence, or possibly even a fragment, the overall effect is that the
composition as a whole sounds rather incomplete. Many, including Prof. Wekre, felt upon first
encountering the work that it needed a third movement. To this Mr. Plagge responded:
“...This is a fragment and that is the reason why the whole sonata sounds like a fragment.
It’s definitely one of the most ‘incomplete’ pieces I have been writing because it is like a
torso...it lacks a beginning and it lacks an end. ... I had a long hard battle with myself
putting a [third movement]... even putting a movement in front of the first
movement. I managed to let go because I think the whole piece would have suffered. ”
From: “A PERFORMANCE GUIDE FOR WOLFGANG PLAGGE’S MUSIC FOR HORN ”
by CARRIE D. STRICKLAND . ATHENS, GEORGIA , 2004
Frøydis Ree Wekre
"Through a long and distinguished career as one of the world's leading horn players, as a professor and celebrated cultural personality, Frøydis's work has been of tremendous value to the art of horn playing and its repertoire of contemporary music. Her distinctive tone and communicative abilities have captured audiences and composers all over the world, and numerous works have been written especially for her."
Frøydis Ree Wekre was born in 1941 in Oslo into a musical family. She studied piano and violin (playing in the Norwegian Broadcasting Junior Orchestra) before taking up horn at the age of 17, having become fascinated by the sound of the horn and the idea of having her own voice in the orchestra.
Her horn studies continued in Sweden, Russia, and the US. Her principal teachers were Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto and Vitali Bujanovsky. Frøydis first won a position with the Norwegian Opera Orchestra, then in 1961 she joined the Oslo Philharmonic and became co-principal in 1965. In 1991, she retired from the orchestra to be professor of horn and wind chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where she already held a part-time position.
Her role as a teacher has been important to Frøydis, and dozens of her students play in major orchestras around the world. She has been offered professorships in several countries. She received the Lindeman Prize in 1986 for her contributions as a teacher. With Nordic colleagues, she started the NORDHORNPED teaching group, whose activities include studying their own teaching on video. With Academy colleagues, she has been forging connections with music conservatories in the US.
Renowned as both teacher and performer, Frøydis has given master classes and workshops throughout Europe and North America. Her book On Playing the Horn Well has been translated into several languages, and she has contributed articles to various publications, including The Horn Call. Sometimes she demonstrates playing a scale with the main tuning slides pushed all the way in, then pulled all the way out; the scale is in tune at A=440 in both instances, showing that you can play in tune no matter the horn. She advocates practicing lip and mouthpiece buzzing while waiting for a bus, even if it might be considered a bit eccentric; "If people don't know you, it doesn't matter what they think of you, and if they do know you, well, then it's not a surprise."
Her CDs showcase her talents and include many works that have been dedicated to her or that she has commissioned, notably works by Andrea Clearfield and Norwegian composers such as Trygve Madsen and Wolfgang Plagge.
Frøydis is named after an Icelandic saga character; in the midst of war, her mother wanted to give her the name of a strong person. Her name is now instantly recognized in the horn world, and she prefers to be addressed by her given name.
In 1973, Frøydis sponsored IHS memberships for Peter Damm and Vitaly Bujanovsky, both of whom lived behind the Iron Curtain and were unable to send membership dues to the US. In 1976 the effort became formalized into the WestEast (WE) project (renamed the Friendship Project in 2000) to support members in countries where the economy or currency restrictions make regular memberships impossible.
Frøydis served on the IHS Advisory Council from 1974-1978 and 1993-2000 and as IHS President from 1998-2000, and she was appointed an IHS Honorary Member in 1994. She was co-host of the International Horn Symposium in Banff in 1998 and has participated in symposiums from the earliest days as performer, lecturer, and master, often humorous and always inspiring. She is famous for her whistling prowess, a highlight at otherwise business-like IHS General Meetings.