Finisterra News and Upcoming Events

Naxos releases Daron Hagen's four piano trios.  Critical review has been great!  The CD can be bought at most CD music outlets!  The trio is thrilled with this release and very honored to have a chance to bring this music to light.  Thanks to Pat Strosahl and the Seasons in Yakima for their help in this project, what a great team. 



Finisterra has been getting a lot of airplay lately on various NPR stations.  Of particular interest will be this Sunday, Oct. 15th the first part of a live recording of the wonderful concert we played with jazz greats, the Bill Mays trio (with Martin Wind and Matt Wilson on bass and drums) will be aired at 1pm on KPLU, locally or on the net.  Try your local station in other cities or tune in online to KPLU.

October.  Finisterra has just begun an exciting new project!  After searching high and low for a composer writing music and, further, piano trios that we could really believe in, we got in touch with Daron Aric Hagen, a New York composer in the prime of his career.  Mr. Hagen's work has attracted much notice of late for its populist charisma.  Hagen's work not only excites audiences as well as  performers and  critics because of its great craftsmanship and compositional and emotional depth.  His is music that engrosses in the first and through many subsequent hearings.  As it turns out, Hagen had the first two movements of a new trio underway when we contacted him.  He listened to some of our playing and set about to finish the work capitalizing on Finisterra's strengths as a trio.

January.  Finisterra has just finished recording the new trio The Wayfaring Stranger, by Daron Hagen.  This piece is fabulous and we have had a great time throughout this process of learning, interpreting and recording the work.  Look for it on an upcoming CD in the next months from the Seasons label.  Until then, please download a copy of the second movement found on the "media" page.  Here are the notes Hagen included in the preface to the work:

The American folk spiritual Wayfaring Stranger is thought first to have been arranged as a hymn by John
M. Dye in 1935, and may be found in The Original Sacred Harp (Denson Rev., 1936 ed.), paired with
words from Bever’s Christian Songster (1858). It has been reinterpreted by artists as diverse as Jerry Garcia
and Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Anonymous 4.
I confess that, in June of 1997, when my brother Britt asked me to compose a set of variations on his
favorite Mormon hymn, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, I had never heard it, and didn’t care for the tune. I
crafted four rather uninspired variants on it for violin and piano, sent it along to him with my love, and
forgot about it. Our final telephone conversation concerned itself in part with his account of how the little
piece had gone over at his church that Sunday; he died a few months later.
Nine years later, near dusk one late afternoon in June of 2006, as my wife and I drove through the Virginia
countryside, we were suddenly gripped by the words and melody of a spiritual playing on the radio.
Moreover, we realized at that moment that we had for some time been driving through hallowed ground;
the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run – the first major battle of the American civil war – had taken
place in the surrounding meadows in July of 1861. The hymn on the radio was Wayfaring Stranger. I knew
then that I would return to the hymn and try to do justice not just to my brother’s memory but to the
wonderful folk melody that he so loved.
The result is this trio, which begins with a Mazurka in seven; marked ‘gracious, pleasant, charming,’ the
customary triple meter pulse is divided into combinations of two and three beats. Wayfaring Stranger gives
the folk tune, and follows it with three variations. Next follows a tricky Fandango, an ancient Spanish
dance in triple meter, probably of Moorish origin, that came into Europe in the 17th century. At the end of
certain measures, the music halts abruptly and the dancers remain rigid until it is resumed. An Aubade, a
poem or song of or about lovers separating at dawn, follows; it acts as an introduction to the finale, a set of
eight more variations on Wayfaring Stranger.
– Daron Hagen
New York City, 2006


January.  We are very excited to hear that the great American composer, Ned Rorem thinks that the Wayfaring Stranger trio is a great success.  Further, he says Finisterra's performance is "exquisite."

January.  The World Premiere of the Wayfaring Stranger will take place at the Seasons Concert Hall in Yakima, WA where Finisterra are Artists-In-Residence on March 3, 2007 at 7:30.

January.  We have just confirmed that Finisterra will be returning for its fourth year to the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, a place we hold very dear to us.  We look forward to some great music making there the week of August 1-4.

January.   Jazz meets classical music in Part 2 of a concert by The Bill Mays Trio and members of Finisterra on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, February 4 at 1
pm on KPLU. The New York based jazz trio is joined by members of a Seattle chamber group in music by Ravel, Bach & Bird as well as original music by Bill Mays and Matt Wilson. Narrator Doug Ramsey joins the group on two selections, one including the poems of Carl Sandberg. The concert was recorded last Fall at The Seasons in Yakima. Jazz Northwest is produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for broadcast on 88-5, KPLU and .