Debussy: Nuages and Fetes from Nocturnes (2017 Side By Side)
The three movements are: Nuages ("Clouds") Modéré – Un peu animé – Tempo I – Plus lent – Encore plus lent. Fêtes ("Festivals") Animé et très rythmé – Un peu plus animé – Modéré (mais toujours très rythmé) – Tempo I – De plus en plus sonore et en serrant le mouvement – Même Mouvement. Sirènes ("Sirens") Modérément animé – Un peu plus lent – En animant, surtout dans l’expression – Revenir progressivement au Tempo I – En augmentant peu à peu – Tempo I – Plus lent et en retenant jusqu’à la fin. The three movements were inspired by a series of impressionist paintings, also entitled "Nocturnes" by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Debussy wrote an "introductory note" to Nocturnes as follows: "The title Nocturnes is to be interpreted here in a general and, more particularly, in a decorative sense. Therefore, it is not meant to designate the usual form of the Nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word suggests. 'Nuages' renders the immutable aspect of the sky and the slow, solemn motion of the clouds, fading away in grey tones lightly tinged with white. 'Fêtes' gives us the vibrating, dancing rhythm of the atmosphere with sudden flashes of light. There is also the episode of the procession (a dazzling fantastic vision), which passes through the festive scene and becomes merged in it. But the background remains resistantly the same: the festival with its blending of music and luminous dust participating in the cosmic rhythm. 'Sirènes' depicts the sea and its countless rhythms and presently, amongst the waves silvered by the moonlight, is heard the mysterious song of the Sirens as they laugh and pass on." Nuages and Fêtes were premiered by Camille Chevillard with the Lamoureux Orchestra on 9 December 1900 in Paris. The complete suite was first heard under the same forces on 27 October 1901. The initial performances met with a cool response from critics and the public, but today these are considered some of Debussy's most accessible and popular works, admired for their beauty. The music lasts for about 25 minutes.
First-year Trumpet Fellow Ansel Norris has distinguished himself as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician of enthusiasm and diverse taste. He was twice a first-prize winner at the National Trumpet Competition's solo division, a YoungARTS Gold Award recipient and a first prize winner in Chicago's Luminarts competition, among others. In 2016 he gave a provocative solo recital in a bold new format—a performance of Schubert's "Die Schone Müllerin" with the text of the poems delivered verbally in between each song. He has been inspired by the relationship of music to storytelling, and finds particular relevance in the palette of moods and colors that gave life to romantic art song. This is a medium he has become fascinated with and intends to continue to explore as he moves forward.
Mr. Norris has a great love for the sound of the orchestra and has given performances with the Chicago and Boston symphonies, spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and completed a two-year period as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He is excited to join the Peninsula Music Festival of Door County, Wisconsin this season.
As a founding member of the Lincoln Chamber Brass, Mr. Norris competed in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition of 2014, earning a bronze medal. In 2016 he graduated from Northwestern University. He feels very grateful for the mentors who have pushed him along the way, including his mom, John Aley, Charles Geyer, Thomas Rolfs, Christopher Martin, Stephen Burns, Mark Gould and Robert Sullivan, to name just a few.
Mr. Norris has interests in reading, cooking, hiking, playing ping pong, doing yoga and playing video games, in no particular order. In Miami he hopes to explore all of these interests, in addition to many great musical opportunities, with a curious mind and an open heart.