Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet

Nora Shaffer – E-flat Clarinet/B-flat Clarinet

Erin Miesner – B-flat Clarinet

Cally Laughlin – B-flat Clarinet

Joe Sanchez – Bass Clarinet

September 30, 2020

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

David Schwan, host


Amy Beach, arr. Erin Miesner – Amy Beach Triptych

Empress of Night from “Three Songs” Op. 2, No. 3

Within Thy Heart from “Four Songs” Op. 29, No. 1

The Candy Lion from “Four Songs for Children” Op. 75, No. 1

Florence Price, arr. Erin Miesner – Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), arr. Erin Miesner – Quartet No. 4, Op. 44

I. Allegro non tanto e comodo

II. Adagio con sentimento religioso

III. Allegretto moderato ed innocento

IV. Molto adagio/Allegro non tanto, ma molto scherzoso

Established in 2011, Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet (LECQ) is committed to the performance of high quality chamber music – unbounded by style or instrumentation – that showcases the unique capabilities and versatility of the clarinet family. Comprised of voices similar to a string quartet, LECQ’s repertoire is focused on translating music originally written for other instrumentation into relevant listening experiences.

As Vandoren artists, LECQ concertizes and presents clinics throughout the Midwest. Lake Effect has performed and presented at the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinetfest (2017, 2019), Vandoren Clarinet Ensemble Festival (2013), presented at the Vandoren booth at the Midwest Band Clinic (2013, 2014), and was invited to compete in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana. Additionally, the quartet was in residence with Chicago composer, Jonathan Hannau, at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in 2017. LECQ released their first album, Nielsen, Grainger, & Strauss in October 2019, selections of which have been featured on WFMT.

Members Nora Shaffer (Clarinet, E-flat Clarinet), Erin Miesner (Clarinet), Cally Laughlin (Clarinet), and Joseph Sanchez (Bass Clarinet) met while students at DePaul University. In addition to giving clinics and performances with Lake Effect, they are each active freelancers and teachers in the Chicago area.

During time not spent perfecting the art of clarinetistry and quarteting, LECQ passionately pursues the craft of (s)wordplay, the art of matching outfits to their red shoes, and a deep, deep love of adorable kitty-cats.

Amy Beach (1867-1944)

arr. E. Miesner

Amy Beach Triptych 

An American composer spanning the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, Amy Beach was one of the first women to gain notoriety in the classical music world. These three songs are each taken from different song cycles she produced throughout her lifetime. Originally written for voice and piano, Empress of Night, Within Thy Heart, and The Candy Lion all work particularly well when translated into the clarinet quartet format. Empress of the Night was composed in 1891 and depicts the lush transition from night into day as an “Empress of Night.” Composed in 1895, Within Thy Heart features Amy Beach’s own text – words of love set to a beautiful melody which passes between all four clarinets. Finally, The Candy Lion is a whimsical tune taken from Beach’s “Four Songs for Children,” composed in 1914. It depicts the slow disappearance of the fearsome “candy lion” who is “very good, because he cannot bite.” The lion slowly shrinks throughout the song, until he’s no more than a “candy roar.”

Florence Price (1899-1952)

arr. E. Miesner

Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes 

Originally composed as part of Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, the lyrics for Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes date back to 1616, and the tune dates back to the 18th-century. A gifted symphonist, Florence Price lived much of her life in Chicago and was the first black woman to have an orchestral piece performed by a major American orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1933.) Though best known for her orchestral works, Price also wrote many works for piano and chamber ensembles. Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, completed in 1951, was originally composed for string quartet. This arrangement for clarinet quartet features one of the five songs, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes. Price treats this simple melody, written by John Wall Callcott around 1790, in the fashion of a theme and variations, traveling through a wide variety of chord progressions and rhythmic ideas. The work begins and ends in a hymn-like manner with a rich texture throughout. It is an excellent example of Price’s conversational and uniquely American style of composition.

Carl Nielsen (1899-1952)

arr. E. Miesner

Quartet No. 4, Op. 44 

Composed in 1906, Op. 44 is the fourth and final string quartet of Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Described by musicologist Daniel M. Grimley as “one of the most playful, life-affirming, and awkward voices in twentieth-century music,” Nielsen was influenced by Renaissance polyphony, the work of J.S. Bach, and Danish folk music – even composing over 290 songs and hymns set to Danish poems and verses. These influences, along with Nielsen’s wonderfully quirky sense of humor, can be heard throughout Op. 44. For example, contrapuntal writing is featured throughout the first movement, hymn-like qualities can be found in movement two, there is a third movement defined by simple folk melodies interspersed with playful outbursts, and the last movement demonstrates a combination of these qualities, using counterpoint, chorales, and jovial folk tunes. This arrangement for clarinet quartet is featured on Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet’s 2019 album, Nielsen, Grainger, & Strauss.

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and 98.7 WFMT


Don’t miss Isabella Brown and Milana Pavchinskaya

next week on the

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!

Wednesday October 7, 12:15pm

Pin It on Pinterest