Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tudor Domink Maican: his website offers many works, brings his audience up to date (at least to 2012)

I found a definitive website for young American composer Tudor Dominik Maican, link here. I last covered one of his compositions at Dumbarton Church concert on this blog, from a concert on April 11, 2010. 
The website bio says that he has returned (from undergraduate work in multiple majors at Indiana University) to composition and has several commissions.  The time currency (relative to today) is not totally clear. The website has some interesting artwork that appears to portray the inner connections in the human brain. 
Today I did play three more of the compositions from the website, under the Works link on top.
The most recent piece that I could find was a 2011 composition “Imaginary Letter to Gershwin for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet”, in three movements, totally about 24 minutes.  The style of the work reminds me of French impressionism, with the improvisatory jazz somewhat incidental.  It sounds lighthearted and Parisian, as if one were eating outside at a café in late spring, maybe with Anthony Bourdain getting ready for more “Parts Unknown”.  (My own last time in France was May, 2001; but the 1999 visit to Bayeux was certainly interesting.)   The leisurely first movement has a three-note “whippoorwill” bird-call theme in the clarinet.  There is a tendency for the whole-tone scales and harmonies to blur the tonalities, which seem to shift constantly.  The brisk ending of the Finale checked out as F# on my Casio.     
Dom mentions a commission for a Requiem for the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (in Romania?) which has been completed.  The website offers an earlier 5-minute “Requiem for Mixed Choir a cappella” (2006) which is harmonious and easily accessible to the ear.  It sounds familiar, as if I had heard it at church (but maybe without the composer’s name being printed?) or in the movies.
Another work to note is his three-movement 15-minute Sinfonietta for Strings, 2003 (composed when he was 14 – if my recollection of a Dec. 7, 1988 birthdate in Koln, Germany is right).  He writes that the work was motivated by 9/11.  I think that Britten started out his career with a Sinfonietta , and Reger used the term for a 52-minute orchestra “symphony” in A which is more or less like middle Mahler, with a crunching, devilish scherzo that still is easy to remember.

The website mentions many works, including two more “Imaginary letters” (one to Enesco). 
On May 14, 2009, I attended a solo piano concert at Strathmore, in Rockville, MD, given by Timo Andres;  Maican was also to play at that concert but could not because of a minor injury accident, according to reports.  Since then, I have become familiar with Timo’s music which, as a matter of comparison, seems unfold in miniature forms (like Schumann) more than does Maican’s, from what I can see.  My own mother had a stroke a few days after that concert.  At the end of 2010 (Dec. 11), I made a one day trip to NYC to hear a premiere of another of Timo’s works, one day after attending a DC Capitol rally that would lead to the eventual repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.  My own mother would pass away in a hospice three days later, ending what had been a long and difficult period.  Yet, the passing of family is not a reason to stop; instead, it seems to lead to new beginnings.  My own mother lived just long enough to see life-long initiatives of mine come into fruition.
Perhaps a combination concert with Maican and Timo or others will happen some day now. 
I need to mention one other little matter mentioned in his bio.  He reportedly has written a science fiction novel that was to be completed in 2012.  I vaguely remember talking about something like this at one of the Dumbarton concerts, maybe it was to someone else who attended, though.  What comes to mind immediately is Christopher Paolini’s novels (one of them became the movie Eragon).  A warning: I lay my real estate claim on all the surface area of Saturn’s moon Titan (just not the subsurface ocean that, as with Europa, probably exists). 

I’ve mentioned a number of musical prodigies (as if from "Smallville") on this site before, including Eugene d’Albert, whose first piano concerto is a teen composition but an overlooked masterpiece, summing up the entire tradition of 19th Century piano music, filled with familiar themes (for such an obscure work), and including a colossal fugue as a piano cadenza before the triumphant close – the very last pages of which predict the similar climaxes to appear later in Rachmaninoff’s concerti (especially the Third).  

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