ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the great operatic composer Rossini slid into old age, he reigned over extravagant Parisian musical soirées.
The resulting songs, piano pieces and small ensemble works included “Sins of Old Age,” a lighthearted, inventive piece as virtuosic as his theater music. The New Mexico Philharmonic will perform this arrangement in a program of “Winds and Horns Aplenty” at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Nov. 14.
Eric Rombach-Kendall, a conductor and music professor at the University of New Mexico, will lead a program of woodwinds and brass.
Rossini was the author of 39 operas, including “The Barber of Seville” and “Cinderella.”
“My guess is he kind of wrote these for fun,” Rombach-Kendall said of the composer’s smaller works. “They’re kind of humorous little pieces.”
The musicians also will play 19th-century composer Arthur Bird’s “Serenade For Wind Instruments.” The piece won the Paderewski Prize in 1901 for best chamber work by an American composer.
“It’s a really fine piece of music that most people don’t know about,” Rombach-Kendall said.
The concert’s second half will open with Bach’s “Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor” arranged for brass. Although the great Baroque composer wrote it for organ, arrangers have transcribed it for multiple combinations of instruments. It features a continuous variation based on a repetitive bass line.
“It was a very popular form in Bach’s day,” Rombach-Kendall said. “It features the entire brass section of the New Mexico Philharmonic.”
The concert will end with Australian composer Paul Terracini’s “Concerto for Brass.” It follows the typical concerto form of three movements.
“The outer movements are fast; the inner movements are slow,” Rombach-Kendall said.
The second movement is a setting for a medieval Latin chant written by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi.