FACS continues with ‘Mozart to Motown’

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The Faculty Artist Concert Series continued on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. with Mozart to Motown in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall.

The concert began with Mozart’s “Sonata in G Major, K. 379.” The song was performed on the violin by Austin Hartman, director of string ensembles and the University of Indianapolis assistant professor of music, and on the piano, Richard Ratliff, UIndy professor of music and director of artistic advancement.

Ratliff explained to the audience what “K. 379” was truly about.

“K. 379 exhibits the most unusual formal outlines of all Mozart’s duo sonatas, with a lengthy Adagio introduction, followed by a powerful G-minor sonata-form movement of remarkable momentum,” he said. “The ‘Sonata in G, K. 379’ was written for a musical evening hosted by Archbishop Colloredo shortly after Mozart’s arrival in Vienna.”

The Mozart piece was followed by a piece called “Moonrays on Marin” written in 2009 by John Berners, associate professor of theory and composition.

Berners explained to the audience the special significance of this piece to UIndy.

“This piece was composed for the University of Indianapolis Faculty Artist Series and dedicated to Dr. Richard Ratliff,”  Berners said. “The title is a play on the name of the baroque era composer, Marin Marais, who wrote a set of variations often played by baroque flute.”

The piece was performed by Tamara Thweatt, flute instructor at UIndy; Anne Reynolds, faculty member at DePauw University and UIndy and Mihoko Watanabe, associate professor of flute at Ball State University.

“The baroque flute is the soloist as the other flutes accompany it with the shimmering multiphonics, antagonize it with aggressive sounds or influence it to try new tricks,” Berners said.

After a brief intermission, the music shifted from more classical tones to jazz. The pieces were performed by the Art Reiner Trio. The trio is made up of Kevin Anker, Jonathan Wood and Art Reiner.

According to the program, Anker, the pianist, was an Indianapolis native who plays at times at The Jazz Kitchen and The Slippery Noodle Inn.

Wood, the bass player, also was an Indianapolis native who freelances with various groups. Reiner is an adjunct at UIndy. He directs the African Drum Ensemble and teaches percussion at UIndy.

The trio began with a piece called “I Love You,” by Cole Porter, and followed it with “What Is This Thing Called Love?” The final piece was “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.

Junior philosophy and math major Joe Krall enjoyed how different each piece sounded.

“I really enjoyed the jazz, but I found something to like in each section, from the very controlled and melodic and harmonic balance of the Mozart piece to the pretty out there piece for flute,” Krall said. “Some of the harmonies were really cool. The piece itself kind of had a dramatic progression.”

The Faculty Artist Concert Series continues on Monday Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall with “Echoing Air.”

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