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Historical Piano Concerts Series
at the
Ashburnham Community Church
Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 4: 00 p.m.

Diana Fanning
(Click on name for Bio)


Papillon - Butterfly   (c.1876)
    Poetic tone poem in e, Op.3 No. 1
Edvard Grieg
Po zarostlém chodnícku! - On an Overgrown Path  JW 8/17   (1900-11)
     (Please see additional program note below.)
Leos Janacek
I. Nase vecery - Our evenings 
II. Listek odvanuty - A blown-away leaf 
III. Pojdte s nami! - Come with us!
IV. Frydecka Panna Maria - The Madonna of Frydyk
V. Stebetaly jak lastovicky - They chattered like swallows
VI. Nelze domluvit! - Words fail!
VII. Dobrou noc! - Good night!
VIII. Tak neskonale uzko - Indescribable anguish
IX. V placi - In tears
X. Sycek neodletel! - The little owl has not flown away!


Silhouettes, Op. 8   (1872) Antonín Dvorák
I.  Allegro feroce
II.  Andantino
III.  Allegro moderato
IV.  Allegro feroce
Estampes - Engravings   (1903) Claude Debussy
Pagodes - Pagodas
La Soirée dans Grenade - Evening in Granada
Jardins sous la Pluie - Gardens in the Rain
from Douze études, Books I and II:   (1915) Debussy
Étude pour les arpèges composés - Study for arpeggios
Étude pour les cinq doigts, d'après Monsieur Czerny - Study for the five fingers, according to Mister Czerny

Piano by Blüthner, Leipzig, c. 1877

On an Overgrown Path is Leoš Janácek’s most autobiographical work:  the “path” is his life, crowded with memories dating back to his childhood in a small Czech village.  Our evenings is a nostalgic look back at Janácek’s home, and incorporates his memory of being carried out of a burning house, crying bitterly, at age four.  A blown-away leaf is a song about lost love. In Come with us!, imagine a passel of children coming to the door, inviting a friend out to play. Only a minute long, this piece contains a four-note fragment from a Czech folk tune which is repeated over 20 times.  The Madonna of Frydyka recalls religious processions to a church in the town of Frydyka, as well as a young shepherd playing a wistful tune on his flute.  Janácek called the contrasting middle section an “impassioned organ improvisation.”  Since he was an organist, perhaps he remembers himself in the organ loft, playing this improvisation as the pilgrims approached.  They chattered like swallows recalls the chatter of schoolgirls.  Words fail!  represents an unspeakable disappointment. The quick, rushing sections suggest stuttering or sobbing when trying to speak.   Two lovers part company in Good night!  The last three pieces depict Janácek’s grief and despair during the illness and death of his only child, Olga, at the age of 20 from tuberculosis.  Indescribable anguish is a psychological portrait of despair, full of wild outbursts alternating with eerily quiet music.  In tears suggests keeping up a hopeful appearance, while dissolved in tears on the inside.  According to a Czech legend, if an owl lingers outside the home of a sick person and cannot be chased away, that person will never recover.  In The little owl has not flown away!, the first impression is of efforts to shoo the owl away, followed by the owl’s mournful song.  Despite contrasting chorale sections, which suggest fervent prayers for Olga’s return to health, the entire suite ends quietly, and tragically, with the haunting call of the owl.

All pianos played in the concerts are from The Frederick Collection

Ashburnham Community Church: Main Street (Rte. 12) at Chapel Street

Admission: $10.00 /adult (children and students, free)

The building is wheelchair accessible.

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