TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013, 8PM Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall Pre-concert lecture by Daniel Alfred Wachs, 7pm
BBC CONCERT ORCHEsTRA Keith Lockhart, Principal Conductor sophie shao, Cello soloist Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Op. 33a
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Dawn Sunday Morning Moonlight Storm
BRITTEN: FOUR SEA INTERLUDES FROM PETER GRIMES, OP. 33A
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Adagio – Moderato Lento – Allegro molto Adagio Allegro – Moderato – Allegro, ma non troppo
- INTERMISSION The Banks of Green Willow
George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916)
Enigma Variations 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
C. A. E. H. D. S.-P. R. B. T. W. M. B. R. P. A. Ysobel Troyte
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
W. N. Nimrod Dorabella G. R. S. B. G. N. * * * (Romanza) Finale: E. D. U.
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As early as December 1943, before he had written a single note of Peter Grimes, Britten was suggesting to the conductor Henry Wood that he might be able to offer him the “first performance of an orchestral excerpt, or some kind of set-piece with voices out of it.” This was in response to an approach for a new work for Wood’s 50th-anniversary Proms season in 1944. The performance never happened, and instead the Four Sea Interludes were premiered at the inaugural Cheltenham Festival in 1945, following the opera’s sensational opening by the Sadler’s Wells opera company on June 7 of that year. The Four Sea Interludes received its London premiere during the 1945 Proms season. These Sea Interludes are taken, with slight modifications, directly from the opera, though in a modified order. “Dawn” is the music that links the Prologue—an inquest into the death of the fisherman Grimes’ last apprentice—to the opening of Act 1; “Sunday Morning” comes from the beginning of Act 2, when Grimes’s new apprentice is playing on the beach in the care of Ellen Orford, the widowed schoolteacher whom Grimes hopes one day to marry; “Moonlight” introduces the first scene of Act 3, during which suspicions grow that Grimes’ new apprentice has met the same fate as his last; while the concluding “Storm” is actually the opera’s second interlude, which links the two scenes of Act 1 and unleashes the tempestuous mood that dominates the whole of the second scene, set in the village pub where Grimes has come to collect his new apprentice. In the original operatic context, the interludes owe a debt to Berg’s Wozzeck and Shostakovich’s The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (both of which Britten knew well from the 1930s and greatly admired), in that they are used to introduce, comment on and step out-
Program note © Philip Reed Philip Reed is an authority on the life and works of Benjamin Britten and is Editor-in-Chief of Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten. He is currently Head of Publications at English National Opera.
COMPOSER PORTRAIT: BENJAMIN BRITTEN Benjamin Britten was born on St. Cecilia’s Day (November 22, 1913) in Lowestoft. His mother was an amateur singer and he heard plenty of music-making at
home, where he started to play the piano and to compose at a precociously early age. In his teens he started to have private lessons with Frank Bridge, who laid the foundations of a rapier-sharp technique and an iron self-discipline. As a result, he found the teaching of John Ireland and others at the Royal College of Music in London (1930-33) insipid and unchallenging. Public performances of Britten’s works during his student years were scarce and a desire to study in Vienna with Alban Berg was thwarted by the RCM authorities on the pretext that Berg would not be a good influence. Somewhat adrift in London in 1935, Britten found the creative catalyst for the next phase of his development in the poet and dramatist W. H. Auden, who encouraged his younger contemporary to explore his hitherto repressed homosexuality and to espouse pacifist, left-wing political views. The upshot was that in 1939 Britten followed Auden to America, where they worked together on the operetta Paul Bunyan in 1941. Accompanying Britten to America was the young tenor Peter Pears, who was to become his lifelong partner. They returned to England in 1942, settling at Snape in Suffolk, where Britten began work on his first opera, Peter Grimes, based on George Crabbe’s poem The Borough. At its Sadler’s Wells premiere in June 1945 it was clear that a new chapter in British music had begun and Britten’s reputation as the leading composer of his generation was conclusively established. He formed the English Opera Group in 1946 to tour his next operas—The Rape of Lucretia (1946) and Albert Herring (1947)—and in 1947 he and Pears moved to the seaside town of Aldeburgh, where they remained for the rest of their lives, establishing an annual festival in 1948. From here onwards, Britten divided his time between composition, conducting and playing the piano—notably as accompanist to Pears. A series of major operas followed, of which Billy Budd (1951), The Turn of the Screw (1954) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1960) are the most frequently staged. A highwater mark came in 1962 with the War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral. Curlew River (1964) broke new theatrical ground as a “parable for church performance;” Owen Wingrave (1971) was commissioned by the BBC specifically as an opera for television. But while writing his last opera—Death in Venice (1973)— Britten’s health deteriorated and a heart operation in 1973 left him partially paralysed. He died on December 4, 1976, shortly after being created Lord Britten of Aldeburgh.
side the stage action. But the individual titles in the concert suite suggest that they were intended to have a programmatic function within the overall structure of the opera, a point highlighted by the composer’s annotations on his working copy of the libretto. There “Dawn” is described as “Every-day,” “grey seascape;” “Sunday Morning” as ‘Sunny, sparkling music;” “Moonlight” as “Summer night, seascape, quiet;” and “Storm” as “Storm at its height.” The discovery in 1995 of a miniature score of the Four Sea Interludes closely annotated by the composer further emphasises the programmatic background to the music. It is not known when or why Britten marked up this copy of the score—was it perhaps to help him draft a program note?—though the precise, albeit prosaic, nature of the annotations suggests that specific events in the music were related to specific visual images in the composer’s mind. Thus, against passages in “Dawn,” we can read “land (or sea scape),” “slow wave,” “gulls” and “a big wave,” and in “Storm,” “Seascape (whole sea),” “waves,” “wind,” “spray blowing” and (rather more revealingly) “still centre (Grimes’ ecstasy).” The references to “land (or sea scape)” and “gulls” against the “Dawn” interlude are of interest in relation to the major dramatic work which Britten completed immediately prior to Peter Grimes—the incidental music for Edward Sackville-West’s radio drama The Rescue, based on Homer’s Odyssey, broadcast by the BBC in November 1943. It was the British musicologist Donald Mitchell who was the first to draw attention to the importance of The Rescue to Grimes, notably an anticipation of one of the opera’s principal images, the falling two-note motif, high in the flutes and violins, heard at the beginning of the “Dawn” interlude. In The Rescue, this same musical image— which for more than 60 years has been associated with Britten’s native East Anglian coastline—had already been used in a much-compressed form to evoke the shores of ancient Ithaca, with a high cliff-edge and swooping gulls. The common imagery demonstrates how acutely Britten’s musical imagination could be prompted to respond.
Profile © Geraint Lewis Geraint Lewis writes extensively on British music and is currently researching the works of Welsh composer William Mathias.
ELGAR: CELLO CONCERTO IN E MINOR, OP. 85 Of Elgar’s major works, the Cello Concerto has, along with his early Serenade for Strings and the evergreen “Enigma’ Variations,” the most recordings. Of course, there are fewer great concertos for cello than for violin; and then there’s the unforgettable poignancy of the young Jacqueline du Pré playing this “old man’s” music so vividly before the onset of multiple sclerosis. Above all, the heartfelt simplicity of this concerto seems to speak to us directly, as human beings, in a constantly changing world. It was not always so cherished. The performance of the Violin Concerto in 1910 marked a peak of Elgar’s popularity. But in 1911 the Second Symphony met with a more puzzled response. Change was in the air— King Edward was dead, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring was being composed, the Great War was one year nearer. In 1912 the Elgars had moved from Hereford to a grand house in London’s Hampstead. Real success had not come to Elgar until he was over 40 and the move must have seemed a natural progression. But it was too late. Their life in London was shadowed by anxiety. During the war Elgar composed occasional music and the masterpiece The Spirit of England, but he could not tolerate town life for long and in May 1917 rented a woodland cottage, Brinkwells, in Sussex. He was exhausted from conducting The Fringes of the Fleet (four Kipling settings for four baritones and orchestra) at the London Coliseum and on tour, and Lady Elgar’s health was failing. In March 1918 he had an operation for infected tonsils. The night he returned home he wrote down the theme of the Cello Concerto’s first movement—a long wandering melody which, without context, has the qualities of tiredness and resignation. Back at Brinkwells his spirits improved, and he composed the three chamber works (the Violin Sonata, String Quartet and Piano Quintet). The war over, Elgar, whose “Land of Hope and Glory” had been endlessly sung during it, declined to write peace music, feeling the time too complex for celebration. The Elgars returned to London for the first performances of the three chamber works. The cellist in the quartet was Felix Salmond. Then in 1919 the Cello Concerto gripped Elgar and he worked through May and June, partly at Brinkwells. Salmond made several visits for technical try-outs, and Elgar offered him the first performance. He dedicated it to Sir Sidney and Lady Colvin: “your friendship is such a real & precious thing that I should like to leave some record of it.” Colvin, a man of letters and arts, was close enough to Elgar to understand his sometimes violent despondency, and could
risk chiding him, when he felt it deserved: “…you take far too censorious & jaundiced a view of your countrymen…” The first performance was at the Queen’s Hall, London, on October 27, 1919. Elgar was to conduct the concerto, the rest being directed by Albert Coates, giving his first season with the London Symphony Orchestra. He included the demanding Poem of Ecstasy by the recently deceased Scriabin and—wanting to justify his new appointment—overran at rehearsals. Elgar and Salmond went short of time. As a result, the performance was indifferent, the orchestral playing a muddle. The concerto can be grouped with Elgar’s chamber music in mood as well as in period. Although the orchestra is the same size as for the Violin Concerto, it is used sparingly. The four movements are short and none is cast in fully traditional concerto-sonata form, but the second corresponds to the symphonic scherzo, which most concertos omit. The whole work is braced by the commanding recitative for the soloist that opens it and then returns pizzicato as a link to the second movement, then melodically to shape the fourth. The amplitude and panache of the opening gesture lead one to expect something more emphatic than the tune that uncoils from it. It is significant how many passages in this work end less expansively, less confidently, than they begin; certainly this is not a failure of technique, but a moving complex of disillusion and compassion. As first heard, the main theme has no harmony and only a monotonous rhythm. In its six presentations, it shifts position so as to begin on the supertonic, the dominant and the tonic, so moving harmonically from unease to confidence but then back again. There is a warmer, more conversational middle section, then the featureless melody returns, but the soloist breaks into its tonic statement as if in desperation and the movement ends bleakly. A haunting link, a sort of “try-out” passage, which casts backwards and forwards, leads to a fantastic moto perpetuum. Elgar places the melodic shift just off the beat, which helps give the whole movement a precarious balance; and the cello, skittering high through flecks and wisps of orchestral color, sounds brilliant but unstable. The Adagio is pure song, but stressed with suspensions and melodic dissonances to reveal profound intimacy, an articulate expression of a most private mood. It ends on a half close, from which arises the final movement, whose “risoluto” marking does not quite disguise some nervousness beneath the swagger. This ambivalence is further exposed in the second subject when a moment’s sweetness is peremptorily dismissed. The full pain of the whole work is gathered in a passage which begins by developing a passing countermelody with Romantic, abstruse harmony, and moves through passion and regret to die out with a quotation from the Adagio. Self-command is restored and summation
achieved with a full statement of the soloist’s opening recitative and the work ends brusquely. Program note © Diana McVeagh Diana McVeagh writes mainly about English Romantic music. She has recently published Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music and Elgar the Music Maker.
COMPOSER PORTRAIT: EDWARD ELGAR Edward Elgar was born on June 2, 1857, at Broadheath near Worcester. Despite having little formal education, the young Elgar gained a thorough musical grounding, largely from studying the scores and books on sale in his father’s music shop. He learned the craft of composition as he went along, writing short pieces for friends and for the band he conducted once a week at the county lunatic asylum. He also travelled around the area giving violin lessons. Elgar’s mother had converted to Catholicism shortly after Edward’s birth (he was the fourth of seven children), so for Elgar, largely selftaught, the son of a tradesman and a Catholic too, the task of establishing himself as a professional composer within the rigid social framework of Victorian England would be arduous indeed. Marriage in 1889 to one of his violin pupils, Caroline Alice Roberts, was a turning point. Eight years older than her husband, and the daughter of a Major-General, Alice sacrificed much in marrying beneath her social class. But her belief in Edward was absolute. With her encouragement, the 1890s saw Elgar gradually establish himself through an increasingly ambitious series of choral works, including The Black Knight, King Olaf and Caractacus. It was the virtuosity of the orchestral writing that really stood out in these pieces and in 1899 Elgar’s orchestral genius achieved full authority in the “Enigma” Variations.
The Variations established Elgar as a composer of international significance. Indeed it was in Germany that the true stature of his next major work, The Dream of Gerontius, was first recognised, with Richard Strauss hailing Elgar as “the first of the English progressivist” composers. For the next decade and a half Elgar was at the height of his powers. Major works emerged with dizzying speed: two symphonies, a violin concerto, the overtures Cockaigne and In the South, the Introduction and Allegro for strings, four Pomp and Circumstance marches, the oratorios The Apostles and The Kingdom, and the symphonic study Falstaff were all composed between 1901 and 1913. Honors flowed too: a knighthood in 1904, a Professorship at Birmingham in 1905, the Order of Merit in 1911. But with the outbreak of the First World War, and despite isolated masterpieces such as The Spirit of England and the Cello Concerto, the creative fires began to diminish. So too did Elgar’s popularity. With Alice’s death in 1920, the urge to compose largely deserted him. He retired to Worcestershire, living the life of a country gentleman, though still conducting regularly. A return to composition in the 1930s, including extensive sketches for a BBC‑commissioned Third Symphony, came too late; Elgar died from cancer on February 23, 1934. Profile © John Pickard John Pickard is a composer and musicologist. He is Professor of Composition and Applied Musicology at Bristol University, England, and General Editor of the Elgar Complete Edition. His Wildfire was performed at the BBC Proms last summer.
BUTTERWORTH: THE BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW Butterworth completed this enchanting idyll, his final orchestral work, in 1913. It employs two folk songs that he had collected during the summer of 1907 and calls for economical forces comprising double woodwind and horns, trumpet, harp and strings. The premiere took place on February 27, 1914, in West Kirby on the Wirral peninsula, north-west England (close by Liverpool) played by a freelance band drawn from the ranks of the Hallé and Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras under the 24-year-old Adrian Boult. This concert was, in fact, the budding maestro’s first professional engagement. Butterworth himself attended the first London performance at the Queen’s Hall, London, just three weeks later; it proved to be the last time he heard any of his own music. With its exquisitely judged scoring, elegant structure and succinct dialogue, the piece miraculously distills the very 9
essence of the English countryside and remains a great favorite. A serene solo clarinet launches the proceedings with the work’s eponymous folk-ballad, echoed first by the strings and then satisfyingly developed by the rest of the orchestra. Suddenly, the tempo slackens and skies begin to darken as maestoso horns vie for attention with agitato strings. With the mood becoming increasingly passionate, turbulent even, an ecstatic climax is reached. Calm returns, though, as the oboe sweetly sings the Lincolnshire folk song “Green Bushes.” When the flute takes up the same tune to a simple accompaniment of harp arpeggios, the effect is of the most ineffable beauty. Thereafter a solo violin wistfully muses and ascends the heights, before Butterworth’s vernal landscape at last fades from view. Butterworth
Program note © Andrew Achenbach Andrew Achenbach is a freelance classical music journalist, annotator, consultant and long-standing reviewer for Gramophone magazine.
COMPOSER PORTRAIT: GEORGE BUTTERWORTH George Butterworth was born in London in 1885, grew up in York, where his father was the General Manager of the North Eastern Railway, and was educated at Eton College and Oxford University. While at Oxford, he met the composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp, and became involved with them in collecting traditional music. After writing music criticism for The Times and teaching at Radley College, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music in 1910; but he left the following year. On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he joined the army. He was killed in action on the Somme in August 1916 and awarded a posthumous Military Cross. Butterworth was a leading member of the circle of friends around Vaughan Williams. It was Butterworth who suggested the idea of Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony, and who, when the manuscript score of the work had been sent irretrievably to Germany in 1914, organised the copying of a new score from the orchestral parts. When the symphony was published in 1920, it was with a dedication to Butterworth’s memory. Butterworth was extremely self-critical, and destroyed many of his manuscripts at the time he joined the army. In addition to the orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad and the two sets of Housman settings from which the rhapsody quotes, his principal surviving works are Two English Idylls and The Banks of Green Willow for orchestra, both based on English folk songs. It is a sadly small legacy, but enough to sug10
gest that Butterworth, late developer that he was, might well have become one of the most significant English composers of his generation. In the words which the poet Franz Grillparzer wrote for Schubert’s memorial: “The art of music buried here a rich possession, but far fairer hopes.” Profile © Anthony Burton Anthony Burton is a former BBC Radio 3 music producer, now a writer, editor and broadcaster. He contributes regularly to BBC Music Magazine and edited the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music’s Performer’s Guides series on the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.
ELGAR: VARIATIONS ON AN ORIGINAL THEME (“ENIGMA”) The first performance of Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations took place at St. James’s Hall, London, on June 19, 1899, conducted by Hans Richter. It was Elgar’s most ambitious orchestral work to date and a further performance in Düsseldorf in 1901 went on to establish him as a composer of international importance: Richard Strauss declared that “here for the first time is an English composer who has something to say.” Like most overnight successes, it was the result of years of hard work. Elgar was 42 years old when he completed the Variations and, despite bitter disappointments and frustrations, had steadily built up a reputation, first provincially, then at a national level. In particular, a series of cantatas of increasing size had revealed Elgar’s brilliant orchestration and growing mastery of large forms. Now that mastery was demonstrated on a symphonic scale through the time-honored form of Theme and Variations, inviting comparisons with the greatest Classical masters. But it was
particular personality or perhaps on some incident known only to two people.” So there appear to be not one, but two enigmas here: the title itself (why call it “Enigma” in the first place?) and the reference to the “larger theme” that “goes, but is not played.” Many commentators have attempted, with varying degrees of ingenuity and success, to show that the Theme is a counterpoint to another tune, usually of popular origin and ranging from Rule, Britannia! and God Save the Queen to Pop goes the weasel and Auld Lang Syne. They are probably wasting their time, because Elgar clearly stated that “through and over the whole set” a larger theme goes. In other words, the “larger theme” runs across the Variations, not the Theme. It seems likely therefore that the larger theme is not musical, but conceptual: a bond that links the 14 individuals. Perhaps the bond is simply friendship—or love. Given Elgar’s enjoyment of crosswords, perhaps his “dark saying” is a cryptic reference to St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, with its famous words “we see through a glass darkly” (or, perhaps, “through a mirror, in a riddle”), its next verse proclaiming (in the King James Version) “faith, hope, charity; these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” That Elgar preferred a more modern interpretation of the 17th-century English, where the word “charity” is replaced by “love,” is implied by a remark made in 1908 concerning his own First Symphony: “there is no programme beyond a wide experience of human life with a great charity (love) & a massive hope in the future.” If this is the correct interpretation, the bond of love that links the Variations makes a telling contrast with its Theme and the one un-enigmatic statement Elgar is known to have made about it, when, in a letter of 1912, he claimed that the Theme “expressed when written (in 1898) my sense of the loneliness of the artist…and to me, it still embodies that sense.”
Elgar’s highly personal approach to the form that gave the “Enigma” Variations its initial novelty and lasting appeal. Elgar himself recalled how the work came to be conceived on the evening of October 21, 1898: “After a long day’s fiddle teaching in Malvern, I came home very tired. Dinner being over, my dear wife said to me, “Edward, you look like a good cigar,” and having lighted it, I sat down at the piano. In a little while, soothed and feeling rested, I began to play, and suddenly my wife interrupted by saying, “Edward, that’s a good tune.” I awoke from the dream: “Eh! tune, what tune!” and she said, “Play it again, I like that tune.” I played and strummed, and played, and then she exclaimed, “That’s the tune.” And that tune is the theme of the Variations.” Many years later Elgar’s daughter Carice recounted the same incident in a BBC broadcast: “My father was at the piano, smoking his pipe, and when I went to bed I heard him playing what I thought were pretty tunes. My mother told me he was inventing music about his friends, and he turned to her and said, “Who’s that like?” My mother replied, “I can’t quite say, but it’s exactly the way WMB goes out of the room.” The grand scheme was established at the outset: 13 variations, 13 musical sketches of “my friends pictured within,” as the dedication eventually ran, and a final 14th variation representing the composer himself. What of the “Enigma” of the title? Before the first performance, Elgar said: “The “Enigma” I will not explain—its “dark saying” must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the apparent connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme “goes,” but is not played …” So the principal Theme never appears, even as in some late dramas—(e.g. Maeterlinck’s) L’intruse and Les sept Princesses—the chief character is never on stage. More ink has probably been spilled over these sentences than on any other Elgarian topic, each of the dozens of proposed solutions adding yet another layer of mystery to an already ambiguous pronouncement. What is clear is that the name “Enigma” applies only to the theme itself and not to the whole work. Writing in 1911 Elgar revealed that … “… this work, commenced in a spirit of humour & continued in deep seriousness, contains sketches of the composer’s friends. It may be understood that these personages comment or reflect on the original theme & each one attempts a solution of the Enigma, for so the theme is called. The sketches are not “portraits,” but each variation contains a distinct idea founded on some
Theme (“Enigma”) The theme is in G minor with a central contrasting passage in the major, before the opening returns. Elgar himself pointed out that the rhythm of the Theme’s first bar—two short notes followed by two long ones—is immediately reversed and that “references to this grouping are almost continuous.” 1. C. A. E. (Caroline Alice Elgar): a loving and dignified tribute to the composer’s wife. 2. H. D. S.-P. (Hew David Steuart-Powell): an amateur pianist, who often played piano trios with Elgar and Basil Nevinson. His characteristic warm-up rou11
9. Nimrod (August Jaeger): in the Book of Genesis, Nimrod is “the mighty hunter;” the name Jaeger means “hunter” in German. Jaeger was Elgar’s closest musical friend, the man who edited his music and whose judgement he trusted more than anyone else’s. Their shared love of Beethoven is enshrined in this profound Adagio, the most celebrated of all the Variations. 10. Dorabella (Dora Penny): Elgar’s nickname for her was taken from Mozart’s Così fan tutte and his flirtatious relationship with this attractive young woman is reflected in this whimsical variation, whose gently halting rhythm alludes to her slight stutter.
tines are gently parodied in a manner Elgar described as “chromatic beyond H. D. S.-P.’s liking.” 3. R. B. T. (Richard Baxter Townshend): a writer and amateur actor, whose theatrical presentations of an old man amused Elgar, “the low voice flying off occasionally into (soprano) timbre.” 4. W. M. B. (William Meath Baker): a country squire with a tendency to bang doors behind him when leaving a room. 5. R. P. A. (Richard P. Arnold): a music-lover and pianist (son of the poet Matthew Arnold) whose playing had, according to Elgar, a way of “evading difficulties but suggesting in a mysterious way the real feeling. His serious conversation was continually broken up by whimsical and witty remarks.” 6. Ysobel (Isabel Fitton): an amateur viola player from Malvern. This variation contains one of Elgar’s private jokes, the leading viola melody involving a tricky little exercise in crossing from the fourth to the second string without accidentally catching the third. 7. Troyte (Arthur Troyte Griffith): a Malvern architect and close friend of the Elgars. This energetic, rhythmically disrupted variation recounts Elgar’s desperate and ultimately abortive attempt to teach him to play the piano. 8. W. N. (Winifred Norbury): this variation is more a portrait of a graceful 18th-century house than the lady who inhabited it. Her characteristic laugh is, however, suggested in the central section. 12
11. G. R. S. (George Robertson Sinclair): organist of Hereford Cathedral. Sinclair had a bulldog called Dan, of whom Elgar was immensely fond, often writing a musical “Mood of Dan” in the visitors’ book at Sinclair’s home. The opening bars recall Dan falling into the River Wye, swimming upstream and scrambling to the bank with a triumphant bark. 12. B. G. N. (Basil G. Nevinson): a fine amateur cellist whom Elgar described as “a serious and devoted friend.” 13. * * * (Romanza): The identity of the friend concealed behind the three asterisks remains the subject of speculation. Some think she was Lady Mary Lygon, a society lady who was on a voyage to Australia around the time the Variations were composed. Others identify her as Helen Jessie Weaver, Elgar’s first love, to whom he was engaged as a young man. She later emigrated to New Zealand, where she died. In either case the elegiac quotation from Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, above the quiet throb of a ship’s engines, is apposite and poetic. 14. Finale: E. D. U. (“Edoo” was Alice’s pet name for her husband): a dashing self-portrait—accompanied in the middle section by a reference to C. A. E. herself, drawing the musical threads together in a symphonic finale of masterly conception and dynamic energy. Program note © John Pickard
KEITH LOCKHART, CONDUCTOR Since Keith Lockhart’s appointment as seventh Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in August of 2010, highlights of his tenure include a critically acclaimed 15-city United States tour in the 201011 season, conducting annual performances at The Proms, and celebrating the orchestra’s 60th year in 2012. In June of that same year, Keith Lockhart conducted the orchestra during Queen Elizabeth II’s gala Diamond Jubilee Concert, which was broadcast around the world. Meanwhile, across the pond, he celebrated his eighteenth anniversary season as Conductor of the Boston Pops, and continues to serve as Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival. Keith Lockhart has conducted nearly every major orchestra in North America, as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Deutsches SymphonieOrchester Berlin, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, and
BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the BBC Concert Orchestra is one of the UK’s most versatile ensembles. Since 1952 it has been the house orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night. It gives regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and this year helped surprise BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles on his birthday breakfast show, as well as performing at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Its many soundtrack recordings include those for BBC TV’s Frozen Planet and BBC Films’ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. In 2010, the BBC Concert Orchestra appointed Keith Lockhart as Principal Conductor and Johannes Wildner as Principal Guest Conductor, complementing Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth. Keith has been Conductor of the Boston Pops for eighteen seasons and Johannes came to the job with more than a decade’s experience with the Vienna Philharmonic. Anne Dudley was the orchestra’s first titled composer, followed by Jonny Greenwood from the band Radiohead. A regular at the BBC Proms, last year it took part in the first ever Comedy Prom, Havergal Brian’s “The Gothic” symphony and a Film Music Prom. The orchestra also performed two Human Planet Proms, one of which saw it play entirely on scrap instruments for BBC Four documentary Scrapheap Orchestra. This year the BBC CO performed in the Desert Island Discs 70th-Anniversary Prom. As always, on the last night it is outdoors for Proms in the Park. The orchestra performs regularly at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and Watford Colosseum. For the last two years it has worked extensively in the east and southwest of England with a mix of large-scale community and education work alongside radio broadcasts.
the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. This October, he made his London Philharmonic debut in Royal Albert Hall. In the opera pit, Maestro Lockhart has conducted productions with the Atlanta Opera, Washington Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Utah Opera. In 2009, Keith Lockhart concluded eleven seasons as Music Director of the Utah Symphony. He led that orchestra through the complete symphonic works of Gustav Mahler and brought them to Europe on tour for the first time in two decades. He stood at the front of that organization’s historic merger with the Utah Opera to create the first-ever joint administrative arts entity of the Utah Symphony and Opera. Since the merger, arts institutions nationally and internationally have looked to Maestro Lockhart as an example of an innovative thinker on and off the podium. Maestro Lockhart conducted three “Salute to the Symphony” television specials broadcast regionally, one of which received an Emmy award, and, in December 2001, he conducted the orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a national PBS broadcast of Vaughan Williams’ oratorio Hodie. Maestro Lockhart led the Utah Symphony during Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and conducted two programs for the 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. Under his baton, the Utah Symphony released its first recording in two decades, Symphonic Dances, in April 2006. In February 1995, Lockhart was named the 20th conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. Over the last 18 years, he has conducted more than 1,400 concerts and made 73 television shows, including 38 new programs for PBS’s Evening at Pops; the annual July Fourth spectacular, produced by Boston’s WBZ-TV and shown nationally on CBS Television; and the orchestra’s annual holiday special, produced and aired in Boston on WBZ-TV and nationally on PBS. The Boston Pops’ 2002 July 13
Fourth broadcast was Emmy-nominated, and the Evening at Pops telecast of “Fiddlers Three” won the 2002 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. Keith Lockhart was the 2006 recipient of the Bob Hope Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He has led the Boston Pops on 35 national tours, four overseas tours of Japan and Korea, and in performances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. Under his direction, the orchestra has performed to enthusiastic audiences in concert halls and sports arenas across the country. In September 2004, they appeared live on national television with Sir Elton John during the NFL Season Kickoff special. In February 2002, Maestro Lockhart led the Boston Pops in the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Since November 2004, he and the Boston Pops have released four self-produced recordings: Sleigh Ride, America, Oscar & Tony, and The Red Sox Album, all available online through www.bostonpops.org. Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra recorded eight albums with RCA Victor— Runnin’ Wild: Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops Orchestra Play Glenn Miller, American Visions, the Grammy-nominated The Celtic Album, Holiday Pops, A Splash of Pops, Encore!, the Latin Grammy-nominated The Latin Album, and My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration. In October 2007, Lockhart succeeded David Effron as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival. The Brevard Music Center (BMC) has established itself as one of this nation’s leading summer institutes for gifted young musicians, preparing them to perform great musical works at a high artistic level, Lockhart’s appointment solidifies an already special relationship with BMC; Having attended as a teenager for two summers (1974, 1975), Lockhart was first featured as a guest conductor in 1996 and has since returned numerous times. Keith Lockhart served as Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for seven years, completing his tenure in 1999. During his leadership, the Orchestra doubled its number of performances, released recordings, and developed a reputation for innovative and accessible programming. Maestro Lockhart also served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra from 1990 to 1995. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, Maestro Lockhart began his musical studies on piano at the age of 7, and holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds honorary doctorates from the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Northeastern University, Furman University, and Carnegie Mellon University, among others.
SOPHIE SHAO, CELLO At the age of nineteen, cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, the New York Times has applauded her “eloquent, powerful” interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb. Highlights of this season includes a thirteen-city tour with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra in performances of the Elgar and Haydn (C major) concerti, recitals across the country, and her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” tour of the Northeast. Last season, she premiered Howard Shore’s concerto “Mythic Gardens” with the American Symphony Orchestra and returned to the ASO to perform Saint-Saëns’s “La muse et la poete” at the Bard Music Festival. She performed recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Middlebury College, the complete Bach suites at Union College and in New York City, and presented a “Sophie Shao and Friends” tour from Brattleboro, VT, to Sedona, AZ. Recent performances include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin in Indianapolis, the world-premiere of Richard Wilson’s Concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet) among many other presenters across the country. She is also a frequent guest at many leading festivals around the country including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello once owned by Pablo Casals, made by Honoré Derazey in 1860.
Ms. Shao can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary recording), and on Albany Records. Her recording releases in 2009 include Richard Wilson’s Brash Attacks on Albany Records and Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records. She may also be heard on an upcoming release in the music of George Tsontakis on Koch Records. A native of Houston, TX, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with
kEIthLOCkhaRt,CONduCtOR 1ST VIOLIN Cynthia Fleming Charles Mutter Rebecca Turner Peter Bussereau Chereene Allen Michael Howson Helena Casey Lucy Hartley Samantha Wickramasinghe Robert Yeomans
2ND VIOLIN Michael Gray Matthew Elston Marcus Broome David Beaman Daniel Mullin Sarah Freestone Rustom Pomeroy Anna Ritchie
VIOLA Robin Del Mar Nigel Goodwin Helen Knief Jacqueline Lloyd Amanda Denley Pip Worn
CELLO Benjamin Hughes Matthew Lee Josephine Abbott Ben Rogerson Augusta Harris Miriam Lowbury
CLARINET Derek Hannigan Duncan Ashby
TROMBONE James Casey Mike Lloyd
BASS CLARINET Duncan Ashby
BASS TROMBONE Paul Lambert
DOUBLE BASS Stacey-Ann Miller Andrew Wood Peter Devlin Jeremy Watt
BASSOON John McDougall Rachel Simms Jane Sibley
TUBA Sasha Koushk-Jalali
FLUTE Ileana Ruhemann Sophie Johnson
PICCOLO Sophie Johnson
OBOE John Crossman Victoria Walpole
COR ANGLAIS Victoria Walpole
TIMPANI John McCutcheon CONTRABASSOON Jane Sibley
HORN Mark Johnson Tom Rumsby Richard Berry David Wythe Phil Woods
PERCUSSION Alasdair Malloy Stephen Whibley Tim Gunnell Mark McDonald
HARP Andrew Knight
TRUMPET Catherine Moore David McCallum John Blackshaw
BBC Program book