Sarasota Music Club’s delightful season opening concert by Dale and Barbara Jensen was made even more interesting by Dale’s sharing his knowledgeable (and of course, witty) explanations and demonstrations of the various instruments in the flute family.
The concert opened with a sweet, lyrical rendition of “Love’s Greeting” by Edward Elgar, then moved into a lively performance of “Hungarian Serenade” by Victorin Joncieres. Dale explained what “transposing instruments” were before picking up the piccolo to perform Georg Phillip Telemann’s Largo & Allegro from “Partita #2.”
The bass flute was chosen for the performance of “Affettuoso” from Telemann’s “Partita #1,” an instrument Dale said he loves for its sexiness. Next, he picked up his alto flute and brought a chuckle from the audience with the opening notes of Henry Mancini’s “Main Theme from Pink Panther.”
Introducing Gwyneth Walker’s “Romance” from “Music for a Summer Evening,” Dale shared that he and the composer had conversed about her music on a tennis court.
Next was a solo piano performance by Barbara of Alex Templeton’s “Mozart Matriculates” – introduced as a piece that might have been composed and played by Mozart, had he matriculated into playing jazz.
A second solo piano piece followed, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude #1 from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 (along with an explanation that the word “Tempered” referred to tempering the pitch). This famous melody was played a second time, with Dale providing a wind instrument performance of the famous Bach/Charles Gounod composition, “Ave Maria.”
Dale’s teaching experience and deep knowledge of music was evident as he treated the audience to an explanation of fixed pitch instruments, the Circle of Fifths, and The Pythagorean Comma. He described the ways various instrument groups produce sound – strings, reeds, and edge-tone instruments (which includes flutes, pipe organs and whistles). He also shared an amusing way to demonstrate the uplifting effects of air flow, causing a piece of paper to rise as he blew air across the top of it.
Prior to performing the “Menuet and Spirit Dance” by Christoff Willibald Gluck, Dale told the story of Orpheus and his beloved Eurydice and Pluto, god of the underworld. He related that the music was composed for a ballet telling the story of the lovers within an opera (“Orfeo ed Euridice”).
The concert ended on the soft and uplifting notes of “On Eagle’s Wings” by Michael Joncas and Joel Raney.
Entertainment and education, combined in sweet harmony by the outstanding Jensens, was a great way to start the season!