Janáček: TARAS BULBA TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014 @ 8PM Pre-concert lecture by Rich Capparela, 7pm Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
CZECH PHILHARMONIC JIřÍ BěLOHLÁVEK, CHIEF CONDUCTOR | MUSIC DIRECTOR JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, PIANO
(1854-1928) The Death of Andrei The Death of Ostap The Prophecy and Death of Taras Bulba
Piano Concerto no. 2 in a major S.125
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
- InTeRMISSIOn Symphony no. 9 in e minor Op. 95 "From the new World"
antonín DvOřák (1841-1904)
Adagio, Allegro molto Largo Scherzo: Molto vivace Allegro con fuoco TOUR DIRECTION: Tim Fox and Alison Ahart Williams Columbia Artists Management LLC | New York, NY www.cami.com The Philharmonic Society gratefully acknowledges the Donna L. Kendall Foundation for its generous sponsorship of tonight’s performance. The Philharmonic Society dedicates tonight’s performance to The Committees of the Philharmonic Society.
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Of Janáček’s three symphonic poems, The Fiddler’s Child, Taras Bulba, and The Ballad of Blanik, the middle one, Taras Bulba, is by far the most frequently performed. Completed in 1918, it is also one of Janáček’s most popular pieces. The work, based on a fictional story by Russian writer Gogol published in 1835, depicts a battle in the 1600s in which Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Cossacks fight Poland. Their leader, Taras Bulba, is accompanied by his two sons, Andrei and Ostap. The three movements of Janáček’s symphonic poem depicts the death of each of them. As the work opens, the sound of the English horn represents Andrei falling in love with a Polish girl, followed by a prominent part for the organ representing the prayers of the people and Andrei’s fear of getting caught. The mood suddenly changes after this treasonous act is discovered: Taras rides onto the scene and murders his son. In the second movement, Taras Bulba’s other son, Ostap, is captured. Upon being led away, Janáček represents the celebration of the Polish people with a wild Mazurka, one of Poland’s national dances. Along with the dance, there are the heavy sounds of Taras Bulba making his way, in disguise, through the crowd to give Ostap some support. However, Ostap meets a nasty end when he is publicly tortured and killed. In the final movement, Taras Bulba himself is captured, nailed to a tree, and sentenced to be burned to death. Much of the music in this movement is derived from a simple three-note motive heard at the beginning and again later
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in various forms and tempos. Taras Bulba, though, predicts Russia’s triumph and the work closes with a great hymn of victory. lISZt: pIano ConCerto no. 2 In a maJor, S. 125 Considered one of the greatest pianists of all time, Franz Liszt wrote hundreds of piano works but only two piano concertos. (A “Third” Piano Concerto was discovered in 1989 and is believed to predate the other two concertos.) The Second Piano Concerto even had a different name when he first wrote it: Concerto symphonique. Liszt was influenced by his friend Henry Litolff, who composed four extant works with that title. These pieces, according to Litolff, were symphonies with piano obbligato. Although Liszt eventually changed the name to Piano Concerto No. 2, the inspiration of Litolff can be heard in the concerto. As in Litolff’s works, Liszt’s concerto is in a single movement containing multiple sections that convey different moods. Liszt also uses thematic transformation, where a musical idea is presented and then continually altered throughout the work. Liszt did this in other pieces, including the symphonic poem Les Préludes. Overall, the Second Concerto does not have the overt flashiness of the First Concerto and has not achieved as much success in the concert hall. The rewards of the Second Concerto are subtler. The work starts gently with the woodwinds presenting the theme that will carry throughout the concerto. The piano makes its first entrance soon after, playing quiet arpeggios. From here, Liszt takes the listener on a journey of different moods, including dramatic, reflective (with an extended solo for the cello), noble, and a vibrant
CZECH PHILHARMONIC (DANIEL HAVEL)
march towards the end. All of the sections are based upon the opening theme and, after a while, it may seem almost like a game to discover in what new ways the theme will appear. For many portions of the concerto, the traditional roles are reversed as the piano accompanies the orchestra (hence the original title of Concerto symphonique), but there are also plenty of places for undisguised virtuosity, particularly as the work draws to its thrilling conclusion. Dvořák: Symphony no. 9 In e mInor, op. 95 “from the new worlD” Dvořák composed his ninth and final symphony in 1893, one year after moving to New York to head the National Conservatory of Music, the brainchild of Jeanette Thurber. She had lured Dvořák to come, in part, with a massive annual salary of $15,000 (about $400,000 in today’s dollars). 3
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Just as Dvořák helped to identify a nationalistic sound for his Czech homeland, upon arriving in New York, Dvořák hoped to encourage American composers to do the same by utilizing the sounds of Native Americans and African Americans. Dvořák wrote four Americanthemed works. Two are rarely performed: the American Suite for orchestra and the cantata The American Flag. The other two are among his most famous works: the “American” String Quartet, and the “New World” Symphony. Premiered in 1893 at Carnegie Hall by the New York Philharmonic, the “New World” Symphony was a tremendous success.
Minnehaha. The third movement, inspired by a dance scene at Hiawatha’s wedding, is a relentless and rhythmically driven movement from start to finish. In the vibrant and powerful Finale, Dvořák masterfully combines new themes with melodies from the rest of the symphony. The music moves inexorably to its conclusion but with a surprise at the end: as the loud final chords are sounded, the winds sustain a chord that gradually dies away, thus making this the only Dvořák symphony to end softly. © Program notes by Christopher Russell
The work begins with quiet hints of things to come and is soon shattered by forte chords from the orchestra. Dvořák uses the main theme in the French horn in some guise in every movement. Although Dvořák composed only original melodies for this work, there are places where the themes resemble folk melodies. For instance, the woodwinds perform the second theme in natural minor, giving the music a more folk-like feel. The third theme, heard in the flute, resembles the spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
the CZeCh phIlharmonIC
The second movement is the emotional heart of the work. It contains the most famous solo ever written for the oboe’s lower-sounding cousin, the English horn, performing a melody later used by Dvořák’s student William Fisher for the song “Goin’ Home.” Like many of Dvořák’s slow movements, this one reaches a tremendous climax and then returns to the opening melody. The music dies away with the final chord played only by the double basses.
For more than a century, the Czech Philharmonic has represented the pinnacle of Czech cultural achievement, delighting audiences across the globe with its warm, vibrant sound. Today, the orchestra is enjoying a renewed reputation as one of the most exciting ensembles on the world stage, performing with artists including Hélène Grimaud, Lang Lang, Janine Jansen, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Frank Peter Zimmermann, to name but a few. The Czech Philharmonic has also been joined by soloists Garrick Ohlsson, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Alisa Weilerstein in recording Antonín Dvořák’s complete symphonies and his three concertos under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek, the orchestra´s chief conductor, to be released in 2014 by the Decca label.
While in the United States, Dvořák had hoped to write an opera on the story of Hiawatha, and the second movement was believed to depict Hiawatha’s return home and the death of
The Czech Philharmonic has a history of working with outstanding musicians. Dvořák himself conducted the orchestra in its debut performance on January 4, 1896, at the
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Rudolfinum in Prague, which is still home to its Prague concerts, and is now the center for its Orchestral Academy. The Academy is just one of numerous successful education projects through which the Czech Philharmonic engages with new audiences, from young children to university students and adults seeking to learn more about classical music.
ing schedule. Today, the orchestra performs in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including recent and forthcoming concerts at the Philharmonie in Berlin and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, as well as, in 2014, Carnegie Hall in New York and the NCPA in Beijing. Scheduled international appearances in 2015 and 2016 include three concerts at the Musikverein in Vienna, one in London’s Royal Other conductors in the orchestra’s history Festival Hall, and one in the Viennese include Gustav Mahler, who conducted the Konzerthaus. Czech Philharmonic for the world premiere of his Symphony No. 7 in Prague in 1908. The Festival appearances in 2014 include concerts at orchestra’s international reputation grew under the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival. the direction of Václav Talich, the energetic With its Chief Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, the leadership of Rafael Kubelík helped steer the Czech Philharmonic has also undertaken sucCzech Philharmonic through the difficult cessful tours in Australia, Germany, Japan, wartime years, and in the post-war era of Karel Luxembourg, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ančerl it embarked on its busy and varied tour- and the UK. 5
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The Czech Philharmonic is privileged to welcome many distinguished guest conductors, including recent and forthcoming collaborations with, among others, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Robin Ticciati, and David Zinman. The Czech Philharmonic has received numerous awards and nominations, including ten Grand Prix du Disque de l'Académie CharlesCros, five Grand Prix du Disque de l'Académie française, several Cannes Classical Awards, a position in Gramophone’s Top 20 Best Orchestras in the World (2008), as well as nominations for Grammy and Gramophone Awards. In a fitting tribute to its first conductor, the Czech Philharmonic has made nine new television programs, each of which features a full performance of one of Dvořák’s Nine Symphonies. The shows will be broadcast by Czech Television in 2014, and distributed internationally by UNITEL. The orchestra is also producing a Czech Television documentary (in association with Rhombus Media) about Dvořák, Jiří Bělohlávek, and the current work of the Czech Philharmonic itself. The documentary is directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, who has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, among others, on a number of prestigious films. Further exciting projects include the launch of a competition for composers, the winner of which will have his/her work performed by the Czech Philharmonic, and another competition for aspiring Czech soloists, the winner of which will perform with the orchestra. In seeking to foster new talent, the Czech Philharmonic con-
JIří Bělohlávek (vaClav JIraSek)
tinues its journey into the future, a future which looks brighter than ever. © Joanna Wyld, 2014 JIří Bělohlávek, ConDUCtor Jiří Bělohlávek was born in Prague in 1946. His love of music became apparent at an early age, and following studies in cello and conducting, he was invited to become assistant conductor to Sergiu Celibidache in 1968. Bělohlávek won the Czech Young Conductors’ Competition in 1970 and reached the final of the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in 1971. In 1977, Jiří Bělohlávek began to serve as Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1990, when he was appointed Chief Conductor of the
After serving as its Principal Guest Conductor between 1995 and 2000, Jiří Bělohlávek was appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2006. He conducted the orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms in 2007, becoming the first artist whose principal language is not English to undertake this important role. He performed at the Last Night of the Proms again in 2010 and 2012. Jiří Bělohlávek has also regularly conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, New York Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Jiří Bělohlávek has worked in the world of opera throughout his career, with regular appearances at the world’s main opera houses, including Berlin, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opéra Bastille and Teatro Real. Recent and forthcoming highlights include new productions of Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Vienna Staatsoper (2014), Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at the Zürich Opera House (2014), and Janáček’s Jenůfa at the San Francisco Opera (2016). Jiří Bělohlávek has an extensive discography, including a complete Dvořák Symphonies cycle recently released by Decca, and is the first conductor since Herbert von Karajan to receive the
Gramophone Award for Orchestral Recording two years running. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Jiří Bělohlávek an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to music. © Joanna Wyld, 2014 Jean-yveS thIBaUDet, pIano One of today’s most sought-after soloists, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities and dazzling technical prowess. His talent at coaxing subtle and surprising colors and textures from each work he plays led The New York Times to write that “every note he fashions is a pearl…the joy, brilliance and musicality of his performance could not be missed.” Thibaudet, who brings natural charisma and remarkable musical depth to his career, has performed around the world for more than 30 years and recorded more than 50 albums.
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Czech Philharmonic. In 1994, he founded the Prague Philharmonia, an orchestra he then led as Chief Conductor and Music Director until 2005, when he was appointed its Conductor Laureate.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s 2014-15 season is an intriguing combination of a wide variety of music: a balance of orchestral appearances, chamber music, and recitals and a repertoire that includes familiar pieces, unfamiliar work by well-known composers, and new compositions. He also follows his passion for education and fostering the next generation of performers by becoming the first-ever resident artist at the Colburn School of Los Angeles this year and the following two. Summer 2014 saw him touring with Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Lucerne Festival, 7
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and the Ljubljana Festival. Mr. Thibaudet then travelled to play Gershwin paired with a new piano concerto, “Er Huang” by Quigang Chen, with Long Yu conducting to open the China Philharmonic season in Beijing—a program both artists will repeat in Paris with the Orchestre de Paris. In October, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and its 8
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, he performed the Khachaturian Piano Concerto, which he also plays in the spring with the Cincinnati Symphony and on tour in Germany and Austria with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under the baton of Tugan Sohkiev. After concerts in Prague, Mr. Thibaudet embarks on a U.S. tour with
the orchestra’s 2015 Reveries and Passions Festival. He then travels to Europe to perform with the Frankfurter Museumsorchester (Venzago), Dresden Philharmonic (de Billy), and the Munich Philharmonic (Bychkov), among others, before ending the season in dramatic fashion with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Orchestre de L’Opéra de Paris under the baton of Music Director Philippe Jordan. A distinguished recording artist, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and won the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards, and the Edison Prize. In 2010 he released Gershwin, featuring big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, variations on “I Got Rhythm,” and Concerto in F live with the Baltimore Symphony and Music Director Marin Alsop. On his Grammy-nominated recording Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2 and 5, released in 2007, Thibaudet is joined by long-standing collaborator Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Thibaudet’s Aria—Opera Without Words, which was released the same year, features transcriptions of arias by Saint-Saëns, R. Strauss, Gluck, Korngold, Bellini, J. Strauss II, Grainger, and Puccini; some of the transcriptions are by Mikhashoff, Sgambati, and Brassin, and others are Thibaudet’s own. Among his other recordings are Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music and the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans, his tribute to two of jazz history’s legends.
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the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in November, reaching both East and West coasts with a grand finale at Carnegie Hall, where he performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The end of the year is a whirlwind of Gershwin, Ravel, and Liszt with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne. In the new year, audiences can hear Mr. Thibaudet play MacMillan’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which he premiered in 2011, with the St. Louis Symphony and New York Philharmonic, both conducted by Stéphane Denève, and then Liszt with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Naples Philharmonic. After playing a duo recital with Gautier Capuçon in his native France at the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, Mr. Thibaudet returns to the United States to play Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major—one of his signature pieces from the French repertoire for which he is renowned—with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink’s direction, in addition to Poulenc and Fauré with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Under Michael Tilsons Thomas’ baton, he performs Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety in San Francisco, where he celebrates Thomas’ 70th birthday earlier in the year by playing the Liszt Hexaméron with Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Yuja Wang, and Marc-André Hamelin. Mr. Thibaudet performs Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic before interpreting both the Ravel Piano Concerto and Messiaen’s Turangalîla with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen as part of
Known for his style and elegance on and off the traditional concert stage, Thibaudet has 9
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had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy. His concert wardrobe is by celebrated London designer Vivienne Westwood. In 2004, he served as president of the prestigious Hospices de Beaune, an annual charity auction in Burgundy, France. He had an onscreen cameo in the Bruce Beresford feature film on Alma Mahler, Bride of the Wind, and his playing is showcased throughout the soundtrack. Thibaudet was the soloist on Dario Marianelli’s Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning score for the film Atonement and his Oscar-nominated score for Pride and Prejudice. He recorded the soundtrack of the 2012 film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, composed by Alexandre Desplat. He was also featured in the 2000 PBS/Smithsonian special Piano Grand!, a piano performance program hosted by Billy Joel to pay tribute to the 300th anniversary of the piano. Jean-Yves Thibaudet was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at age seven. At twelve, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age fifteen, he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire and, three years later, the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. In 2001 the Republic of France awarded Thibaudet the prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2002 he was awarded the Premio Pegasus from the Spoleto Festival in Italy for his artistic achievements and his longstanding involvement with the festival. In 2007 he received the Victoire d’Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France’s Victoires de la Musique. The Hollywood Bowl honored
Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame in 2010. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was promoted to the title of Officier by the French Minister of Culture in 2012. Mr. Thibaudet’s worldwide representation: IMG Artists, LLC Mr. Thibaudet records exclusively for Decca Records
FIRST VIOLIN Josef Špaček Jr. * Jan Fišer * Miroslav Vilímec Miluše Skoumalová Magdaléna Mašlaňová Jan Jouza Eduardo Garcia Salas Barbora Kolářová Zdeněk Starý Jindřich Vácha Milan Vavřínek Zdeněk Zelba Viktor Mazáček Pavel Nechvíle Marie Dvorská Luboš Dudek Bohumil Kotmel
SECOND VIOLIN František Havlín Václav Prudil Ondřej Skopový Jan Ludvík Marcel Kozánek Zuzana Hájková Petr Havlín Libor Vilímec Jiří Ševčík Jan Jírů Pavel Herajn Jitka Kokšová Petra Brabcová Vítězslav Ochman
VIOLA Jaroslav Pondělíček Pavel Ciprys Dominik Trávníček Jaromír Páviček Petr Žďárek Jaroslav Kroft Jan Šimon Jan Mareček Jiří Řehák Lukáš Valášek Jiří Poslední Ondřej Kameš
CELLO Václav Petr * Josef Špaček Sr. Josef Dvořák František Lhotka Jakub Dvořák Tomáš Hostička Jan Holeňa Peter Mišejka Marek Novák Ivan Vokáč
DOUBLE BASS Jiří Hudec Petr Ries Jiří Valenta Ondřej Balcar Martin Hilský Jaromír Černík Jiří Vopálka Pavel Hudec
FLUTE Radomír Pivoda Jan Machat Petr Veverka Oto Reiprich
TRUMPET Jaroslav Halíř Ladislav Kozderka Zdeněk Šedivý Antonín Pecha
OBOE Ivan Sěquardt Jana Brožková Vojtěch Jouza Vladislav Borovka
TROMBONE Břetislav Kotrba Robert Kozánek Lukáš Moťka Karel Kučera
CLARINET František Bláha Tomáš Kopáček Zdeněk Tesař Petr Sinkule
TUBA Karel Malimánek
BASSOON Ondřej Roskovec Jaroslav Kubita Václav Vonášek Tomáš Františ
FRENCH HORN Jan Vobořil Jiří Havlík Zdeněk Divoký Zdeněk Vašina Jindřich Kolář Kateřina Javůrková
O r C h ES t r a r O S t E r
THE CZECH PHILHARMONIC
HARP Jana Boušková
PERCUSSION Petr Holub Michael Kroutil Pavel Polívka
ORGAN Kosinová Valtová
CONDUCTOR Jiří Bělohlávek
SOLOIST Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano