Tag Archives: David Bennett Thomas

An All-Philadelphia Now Is the Time

boathouserowdayNow Is the Time jumps into the Giving Thanks for Philadelphia weekend on WRTI Saturday, November 19th at 9 pm. All the composers and many of the performers live in and around Philadelphia, or studied here. Retired Haverford College professor Harold Boatrite’s music is always smart and tuneful, and his Sonata for Flute and Piano is no exception. Daniel Kellogg and Zhou Tian both went through Curtis, and both have their works played here by Mimi Stillman, from her CD Odyssey.

David Bennett Thomas teaches at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and is here represented by Sketches for Flute and Guitar. Vistas is by Ingrid Arauco, one of Boatrite’s successors at Haverford, and David Laganella (from Penn a while back), leaves us with a luscious Sundarananda, celebrating the woodworked sculpture of another Philadelphia-area artist, George Nakashima.

from Zhou Tian: Duet for Flute and Piano 

PROGRAM:
Harold Boatrite: Sonata for Flute and Piano
Daniel Kellogg: Five Sketches for Solo Flute
Zhou Tian: Duet for Flute and Piano
David Bennett Thomas: Sketches for Flute and Guitar
Ingrid Arauco: Vistas
David Laganella: Sundarananda

Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith plays new American classical music on WRTI’s Now Is the Time, at wrti.org and on HD-2. At wrti.org click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI! 

Three of a Kind on Now Is the Time

DBThomasPathsEverything’s coming up threes on Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 10th at 9 pm. Childlike simplicity is deceptive in creativity but Brian Belet achieves that goal in Drei Kinderstücke for solo piano. John Corigliano fascinatingly pairs soprano with flute for his Three Irish Folksong Settings, and for soprano with piano are settings of a Scottish poet in Three Tannahill Songs of Evan Chambers.

Philadelphia’s own David Bennett Thomas comes along with Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, and for violin, cello, and piano is the Trio of Lera Auerbach. And to honor the memory of Fred Sturm, who just passed away in August, a saxophone quartet closes the program with one of his wonderful jazz-inspired compositions, Picasso Cubed.

from Fred Sturm: Picasso Cubed

PROGRAM:
Brian Belet: Drei Kinderstücke
John Corigliano: Three Irish Folksong Settings
David Bennett Thomas: Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano
Evan Chambers: Three Tannahill Songs
Lera Auerbach: Trio
Fred Sturm: Picasso Cubed

Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith hosts Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream. Just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, from the Jersey Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Delaware. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI! 

Valentines on Now Is the Time

valentinecatWe hope it’s not too late for Valentines on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 15th at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. We start with soprano and guitar, and with an orphan’s dream of an angel in Romance by William Ortiz. Irving Berlin’s “They Say It’s Wonderful” is the inspiration behind Love Twitters by Augusta Read Thomas, for piano, but Morten Lauridsen asks, “Against whom have you formed these thorns?” in Contre qui, rose. A lover asks for a handkerchief (she’ll return it when no one’s looking), in a four-hand piano setting of the Italian folk song Amor dammi quel fazzolettino by Andrew Violette.

David Bennett Thomas works with some of the greatest love poetry in his Juliet: Five Songs from Shakespeare, and we hear Eric Whitacre’s first published choral work, Go, lovely Rose. Finally, Allen Shawn sends us into the evening with a last-minute Valentine’s Day present for his wife, titled simply, Valentine.

from Augusta Read Thomas: Love Twitters 

PROGRAM:
William Ortiz: Romance
Augusta Read Thomas: Love Twitters
Morten Lauridsen: Contre qui, rose
Andrew Violette: Amor dammi quel fazzolettino
David Bennett Thomas: Juliet: Five Songs from Shakespeare
Eric Whitacre: Go, lovely Rose
Allen Shawn: Valentine

Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith brings you Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream (just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page). Here are the recording details and complete schedule. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

David Bennett Thomas, Paths

My latest CD mini-review for WRTI, podcast with musical examples below. You can read all my CD reviews here.

davidbennettthomas

Listeners look for categories, but artists freely create, and David Bennett Thomas is, first of all, an artist. Neo-this, post-that, or fusion-with-something-else may be of interest to others, but the artist is interested only in creating.

David Bennett Thomas works in jazz and classical music, but he doesn’t put one foot in one and one in the other. He’s a professional, so he commits to either, depending on his purpose. He’s an artist, so he’s true, regardless of what he’s composing. He laughs and loves life, so his music is filled with humor and, perhaps what is most revolutionary in our earnest age, happiness.

These facets are plainly evident in Paths, this collection of some of Thomas’s latest solo and chamber works. The Duo for Cello and Piano is a genial introduction to his music. There’s a narrative itching under the just-so title, and that’s part of the attraction. His writing is exact, compact, and smart.

Thomas wrings lyricism from every phrase as if he can’t help it.

For flute, viola, and cello is Deseo. Thomas took the title (Spanish for “desire”) from a poem by Lorca. The music is all butter and spice. Off in multiple directions it runs, returning always to a languid gaze, as if a window has been opened onto a warm breeze. The window is open, but not the door. Its emotions are unanticipated, but Deseo convinces in the tale it tells.

Paths is so attractive that it is easy to overlook the rhythmic hiccups and metrical shifts that bubble gloriously underneath. Seemingly throwaway lines pick out bop harmonies, but overall, a French classicism pervades the music.

Artistry at the service of communication is the hallmark of the music of David Bennett Thomas. This kind of artistry never struts, and might better be called “authenticity.” When music is authentic, as Thomas’s is, there’s no need for neo- or post- or any categories. When there’s artistry, there’s commitment and truth, and even, in the case of David Bennett Thomas, happiness.

Locking Horns

It’s horns French, English, and other on Now is the Time, Sunday, September 16th at 10 pm. Andrew Violette’s Trio is for French horn, bass trombone, and piano. Philadelphia’s David Bennett Thomas composed his Short Suite for the luscious alto flute, English horn, and bass clarinet. David Rakowski’s Locking Horns is a concerto for horn and chamber group, and Paul Richards gives us a traffic report in Rush Hour.

Now is the Time means American contemporary music on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

PROGRAM:
Paul Richards. Rush Hour
Andrew Violette. Trio
David Bennett Thomas. Short Suite
David Rakowski. Locking Horns

Now is the Time combines all styles of concert music by living American composers, every Sunday night at 10. Here are the recording details and complete schedule.