April 2 – Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Performed by
Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute
Winifred Goodwin, piano
Recorded by John Epps

Sergei Rachmaninoff was born on this day in 1873. Known both as a pianist and composer, his works exemplify Russian late Romanticism. The Vocalise, originally written for voice without words and piano, has been transcribed for countless instrumental combinations. The simple and poignant melody is supported by Rachmaninoff’s characteristic lush harmonic language that makes his style so attractive and recognizable.

April 13 – Mollitude by Frederic Rzewski

Performed by Lauren Watkins (USC DMA ’16)

American composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski was born on this day in 1938. Mollitude for solo flute was composed in 2006 for Molly Barth, founding member of the new music sextet eighth blackbird. Mollitude showcases a wide range of possibilities on the flute from the lowest notes to the highest, fast virtuosic passages followed by extremely soft and delicate harmonic tones, and percussive sounds marked in the score as “(stomp)”.