2024.01.28 | Jeremy Denk Program

Page 1

Jeremy Denk Sunday, January 28 | 3 PM Soka Performing Arts Center at Soka University of America

Jeremy Denk

PROGRAM JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825 Praeludium Allemande Courante Sarabande Minuet I & II Gigue

Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826 Sinfonia: Grave; Andante Allemande Courante Sarabande Rondeaux Capriccio

Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829 Preambulum Allemande Courante Sarabande Tempo di Minuetto Passepied Gigue

- INTERMISSION Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828 Overture Allemande Courante Aria Sarabande Menuett Gigue


PROGRAM (cont.) Partita No. 3 in A Minor, BWV 827 Fantasia Allemande Courante Sarabande Burlesca Scherzo Gigue

Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 830 Toccata Allemande Courante Air Sarabande Tempo di Gavotta Gigue

ABOUT THE PROGRAM Partitas for Keyboard, BWV 825-830 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Born March 31, 1685, Eisenach Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig When Bach moved to Leipzig in 1723, his musical duties changed. For his music-loving prince in Cöthen, Bach had written the great part of his secular instrumental music, but now–as Cantor of the Thomaskirche–he was charged with producing music for religious functions, and the music flowed out of him at a pace that would have exhausted even a Mozart: from the late 1720s came several hundred church cantatas and the St. Matthew Passion. But Bach did not altogether lose interest in instrumental music–he had

written the first book of The WellTempered Clavier in Cöthen, and now in Leipzig he continued to compose for keyboard. Bach’s set of six partitas, originally written for harpsichord, was composed between 1726 and 1731 and published in the latter year as the first volume of his ClavierÜbung (“Keyboard Practice”). In a wonderful introductory note in the score, the composer described these works as having been “Composed for Music Lovers, to Refresh their Spirits, by Johann Sebastian Bach.” Bach understood the partita to be a suite of dance movements–its name implies a set of “parts”–based on the traditional sequence of allemande-courante-sarabande-

Jeremy Denk gigue. He adopted this tradition but made it his own by supplementing it with three of what he called “galanteries”: extra movements, somewhat lighter in character and intended to make the work more attractive to listeners. These consisted of an introductory movement (in a different form in each of the six partitas) and two extra dance movements. Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major BWV825 The Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major dates from 1726, when Bach was 41. It opens with a flowing and stately Praeludium, whose progress is enlivened by constant turns. Each of the four traditional movements of the partita has a distinct national origin. The Allemande (that name suggests it German ancestry) is traditionally a slow dance of serious character, usually in 4/4 time and in binary form; the present Allemande moves along rather quickly. The Courante (French for “running”) is a lively movement in triple time; this one dances along its steady triplet figurations. The Sarabande, of Latin American and Spanish heritage, is a stately dance in triple time, while the concluding Gigue (derived distantly from the Irish jig) rockets along at a blistering pace and requires some deft handcrossings by the performer. The interpolated “galanteries” in this partita–they come between the Sarabande and Gigue–are a pair of minuets that are played without pause. The first dances nimbly along its hard-edged main

theme, while the second–much shorter–is chordal and restrained. Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826 The Partita No. 2 in C Minor comes from 1727, when Bach was also working on his St. Matthew Passion. It opens with an imposing Sinfonia in three parts: the opening Grave is built on steadilydotted rhythms, the Andante moves easily above a walking bassline, and the concluding section is a spirited fugue. The partita’s C-minor tonality gives the Allemande, Courante, and Sarabande a wistful, dark cast, and Bach keeps the tempo restrained in these movements as well. The interpolated movement here is a Rondeaux in 3/8, athletic and poised, and then Bach springs a surprise: he drops the expected Gigue and in its place concludes with a brilliant Capriccio in binary form. Partita No. 3 in A Minor BWV 827 The Partita No. 3 in A Minor opens with a Fantasia that dances gracefully along its 3/8 meter as the melodic line flows easily between the two hands. The ornate Allemande is enlivened by turns, mordants, and sharp interjections, while the energetic Courante contrasts a steady flow of sixteenth-notes in one hand with sharply-dotted rhythms in the other. The Sarabande is solemn and dignified–some scholars have noted that there is nothing distinctly sarabande-like about this music. Two interpolated

ABOUT THE PROGRAM movements follow. The Burlesca is sturdy and propulsive (though not self-consciously “funny”), while the Scherzo is distinctive if for no other reason than the fact that this is the only time Bach used that title. The partita concludes with an unusually powerful Gigue, full of contrapuntal complexity, that rushes relentlessly along its 12/8 meter. Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828 The Partita No. 4 in D Major dates from 1728, when Bach was 43. It opens with a lengthy Ouverture in the French style: a grand slow introduction, full of runs and dotted rhythms, gives way to a fast fugue in 9/8 that rushes along its staccato main idea; Bach does not return to the slow opening at the end of this movement. Like all the “standard” partita movements in this work, the Allemande is in binary form, and if both halves are repeated this stately movement is by far the longest in the whole work. The Courante is full of a jaunty, snappy energy, while the Aria–one of the “galanteries”–is not so much lyric or vocal in character as it is balanced and precise. The spare Sarabande moves slowly along its 3/4 meter, while the brief Menuett is energized by the showers of triplets in the pianist’s right hand. Bach rounds the partita off with a brilliant Gigue, contrapuntal in character, that rips along its 9/16 meter. This is a tour de force of keyboard writing (and of contrapuntal complexity), and it brings the work to an impressive close. Partita No. 5 in G Major BWV829

The Partita No. 5 in G Major dates from 1730. The wonderful Preambulum has been likened to a concerto. It features brilliant exchanges between the hands, and all this dashing energy is interrupted by dignified chords that provide moments of repose before the music dashes off again. The Allemande is of a slow and serious character, while the Courante is lively. The Sarabande, in 3/4 meter, makes frequent use of dotted rhythms and grace notes. The concluding Gigue dances energetically and features polyphonic entrances and off-thebeat accents. The interpolated “galanteries” are first a Tempo di Minuetto that belongs mostly to the right hand; its athletic and angular character makes this quick music seem at far remove from the minuet of classical form. The second is a Passepied (“pass-foot” in French), a lively dance in triple time, said to be originally a sailors’ dance. Partita No. 6 in E Minor BWV 830 The Partita No. 6 in E Minor is one of Bach’s most imposing–and serious–works for keyboard. Its opening Toccata, by far the longest first movement of the six partitas, is in ternary form: its outer sections have an improvisatory character (carefully written out), and these frame a somber and expressive fugue, which is all the more effective for being so restrained. The Allemande is propelled along dotted rhythms made ornate by rhythmic swirls and rolled chords. The Courante requires quite different music from the pianist’s

Jeremy Denk two hands: the left has the steady 3/8 meter, while the right breaks free with syncopations and racing 32nd-note runs. The energetic Air, one of the interpolated movements, is brief, but the complex Sarabande returns to the somber mood of the opening fugue. Textures are complex here, with long runs, dotted rhythms, turns, and broken chords. The other interpolated movement, Tempo di Gavotta, nicely meshes triplets and

dotted rhythms. Bach rounds the partita off with a Gigue that does not so much dance as drive this serious music to a firm close. Program notes © Eric Bromberger, 2024

About the Artist Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists, proclaimed by the New York Times as “a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs.” Denk is also a New York Times bestselling author, winner of both the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the 2023-24 season, Denk premieres a new concerto written for him by Anna Clyne, cocommissioned and performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra led by Fabio Luisi, the City of Birmingham Symphony led by Kazuki Yamada, and the New Jersey Symphony led by Markus Stenz. He also returns to London’s Wigmore Hall for a three-concert residency, performing Bach’s Solo Partitas, as well as collaborating with the Danish String Quartet, and performing works by Charles Ives with violinist Maria Włoszczowska. He further reunites with Krzysztof Urbański to perform with the

Antwerp Symphony and again with the Danish String Quartet in Copenhagen at their festival Series of Four. In the US, he performs a program focusing on female composers, and continues his exploration of Bach with multiple performances of the Partitas. His collaborations include performances with violinist Maria Włoszczowska in Philadelphia and New York, and, in the summer, returning to perform with his longtime collaborators Steven Isserlis and Joshua Bell. He closes the season with the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Denk is also known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” His New York Times Bestselling memoir Every Good Boy Does Fine was published to universal acclaim by Random House in 2022, with features on CBS Sunday Morning,

ABOUT THE ARTIST NPR’s Fresh Air, The New York Times, and The Guardian. Denk also wrote the libretto for a comic opera presented by Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, and the Aspen Festival, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. Denk has performed multiple times at Carnegie Hall and in recent years has worked with such orchestras as Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra. Further afield, he has performed multiple times at the BBC Proms and Klavierfestival Ruhr, and appeared in such halls as the Köln Philharmonie, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Boulez Saal in Berlin. He has also performed extensively across the UK, including recently with the London Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and play-directing the Britten Sinfonia. Last season’s highlights include his performance of the Well-Tempered Klavier Book 1 at the Barbican in London, and performances of John Adams’ Must the Devil Have All The Great Tunes? with the Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and Seattle Symphony,

as well as a return to the San Francisco Symphony to perform Messiaen under Esa Pekka Salonen. Denk’s latest album of Mozart piano concertos was released in 2021 on Nonesuch Records. The album, deemed “urgent and essential” by BBC Radio 3. His recording of the Goldberg Variations for Nonesuch Records reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Charts, and his recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 111 paired with Ligeti’s Études was named one of the best discs of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, and The Washington Post, while his account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Jeremy Denk is represented by Opus 3 Artists.

“Hamelin’s legend will grow right now there is no one like him”



Sponsored by Dr. Ken & Sandy Tokita and the Parnassus Society

soka.edu/pac tickets@soka.edu 949-480-4278

Soka Performing Arts Center Mission Statement

Our mission is to Engage, Educate, and Elevate the Human Spirit Soka Performing Arts Center strives to elevate humanity through transcendent experiences. Come experience our exquisite acoustics. Come to expand your understanding and appreciation of music. Come to forge community and emotional connections through the shared experience of live music.

Listen. Feel. Transform.


Soka Performing Arts Center is located on the beautiful hilltop campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo. Our facility includes the 1,032seat Concert Hall featuring world-class acoustics designed by master acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, among many others. We also have an intimate 350-seat Black Box Theatre that allows for multiple seating configurations including club seating with bistro tables. More than 750 performances have taken place since the center’s dedication on May 27, 2011. The 2023-24 season marks our twelfth season presenting first-class programming in our world-class concert hall. We are continuing to expand our programming and outreach with the addition of a Children’s Concert Series, Blues Festival, and the only Great Pianists Series on the West Coast. From classical and jazz to world and contemporary music, the Soka Performing Arts Center has become a prized space for artists and audiences alike. We are proud to be the home of the Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Our Sundays @ Soka Series with Pacific Symphony continues to be one of our most popular series year after year. Our presentations with other Orange County arts organizations have enabled us to reach further into our community to offer arts education and programming. Our partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County includes our PSOC Series, which brings superlative artists to our stage. We also partner with PSOC for our Outreach Program, bringing over 7,000 school children to Soka Performing Arts Center to experience live performances with outstanding musicians. With its world-class acoustics and first-class performances, Soka Performing Arts Center is quickly becoming one of the cultural jewels of Orange County.



DIRECTOR’S CIRCLE ($75,000+) Dr. Kenneth & Sandra Tokita Sam & Lyndie Ersan CONCERTMASTER ($10,000+) Ms. Emi Maeda STAGE CHAMPION ($5000+) Anonymous STAGE BENEFACTOR ($1000+) John and Sue Prange Terumi Saito Jochen Schumacher GOLD CLEF ($500+) Jeffrey Hendrix Jane A. Lynch Alex & Sandy Scott SILVER CLEF ($200+) Lorraine Leiser Anson and Marilyn Wong BRONZE CLEF ($25+) Raquel Bruno Sammy Chang Judy Kaufman Jeannette Pease Thomas Prigorac Jonia Suri Naomi Uchiyama Joseph Whitaker Joyce M Wrice Taro Yamanashi Anonymous

List current as of 09/29/2023 The Soka Performing Arts Center deeply appreciates the support of its sponsors and donors, and makes every effort to ensure accurate and appropriate recognition. Contact Renee Bodie, General Manager at (949) 480-4821 to make us aware of any error or omission in the foregoing list.


This season, we have made exciting updates to our subscription and renewal program, providing you with even more flexibility in our season packages*. With our enhanced program, you now have the power to curate your very own unique experience. • 15% Discount for a 3 performance package • 18% Discount for a 4 performance package • 20% Discount for a 5+ performance package *full details online at soka.edu/pac

OUR PARTNERS • Blueport Jazz • Philharmonic Society of Orange County • Pacific Symphony • San Diego Symphony • Parnassus Society

SOKA PAC MANAGEMENT TEAM Renée Bodie General Manager & Artistic Director John Morgan Box Office Manager Jarmil Maupin Technical Services Manager Jenski Nguyen Stage Manager Madeline Webb Lighting Technician Hiroyuki Connor Miki Internal Events Manager Jaime Spataro Marketing & Communications Manager Joe Nicholls Marketing & Communications Assistant Steve Baker Interim Production/House Manager

SokaPAC @SokaPAC SokaPerformingArtsCenter @SokaPAC Website soka.edu/pac

SOKA UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA BOARD OF TRUSTEES Soka Performing Arts Center resides on the beautiful campus of Soka University of America. We thank the SUA Board of Trustees and the SUA Leadership Council for all of their support.

SUA BOARD OF TRUSTEES Steve Dunham, JD Chair Vice President and General Counsel Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University | Baltimore, Maryland Tariq Hasan, PhD Vice Chair Chief Executive Officer, SGIUSA | New York, New York Andrea Bartoli, PhD President, Sant’Egidio Foundation for Peace and Dialogue | New York, New York Matilda Buck Benefactor | Los Angeles, California Lawrence E. Carter, Sr, PhD, DD, DH, DRS Dean, Professor of Religion, College Archivist and Curator, Morehouse College | Atlanta, Georgia Andy Firoved CEO, HOTB Software | Irvine, California Jason Goulah, PhD Professor of Bilingual-Bicultural Education and Director, Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education, Director of Programs in Bilingual-Bicultural Education, World Language Education, and Value-Creating Education for Global Citizenship, College of Education, DePaul University | Chicago, Illinois Clothilde V. Hewlett, JD Commissioner of Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, State of California | San Francisco, California Lawrence A. Hickman, PhD Director Emeritus, The Center for Dewey Studies and Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Carbondale, Illinois

Kris Knudsen, JD Attorney | Wilsonville, Oregon Karen Lewis, PhD Sondheimer Professor of International Finance and Co-Director, Weiss Center for International Financial Research, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Luis Nieves Founder, Chairman Emeritus AUL Corp, Benefactor | Napa, California Gene Marie O’Connell, RN, MS Health Care Consultant, Associate Clinical Professor, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing | Corte Madera, California Adin Strauss General Director, Soka Gakkai International-USA | Santa Monica, California Yoshiki Tanigawa Benefactor, Soka Gakkai | Tokyo, Japan Edward M. Feasel, PhD President, Soka University of America (ex-officio member) | Aliso Viejo, California


SUA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Edward M. Feasel, PhD President Chief Academic Officer Professor of Economics

M. Robert Hamersley, PhD Dean of Faculty Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry

Archibald E. Asawa Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Chief Financial Officer Chief Investment Officer

Hyon J. Moon, EdD Dean of Students Title IX and Section 504 Deputy Coordinator for Students

Katherine M. King, PHR Executive Vice President of University Community Chief Human Resources Officer Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator for Faculty, Staff and Others Michael Weiner, PhD Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Professor of East Asian History & International Studies Kevin Moncrief, PhD Vice President for Mission Integration Bryan E. Penprase, PhD Vice President for Sponsored Research and External Academic Relations Professor of Physics and Astronomy Tomoko Takahashi, PhD, EdD, LHD Vice President for Institutional Research and Assessment Dean of the Graduate School Professor of Linguistics and Education David Welch, JD Vice President University Counsel

Michelle Hobby-Mears, MBA Associate Dean of Students Director of Student Activities Andrew Woolsey, EdD Dean of Enrollment Services Martin Beck, MA Executive Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications


Concessions A wide variety of wine, beer, soft drinks and freshly prepared snacks will be available before the concert and during intermission in the lobby.

Artist Drink Pick Mezcal Paloma We asked the artists for their favorite drink pick to feature at concessions! The Mezcal Paloma was chosen by Jeremy Denk and will be available for purchase before the performance and during intermission

Click here for menu and to order Pre-order your concessions and skip the line ahead of time!

Concessions provided by FPG Events

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.