SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2013, 3PM Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall Donna L. Kendall Classical Series
ITZHAK PERLMAN, VIOLIN ROHAN dE sILVA, PIANO Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 1 in D major, Op. 12, No. 1
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Allegro con brio Tema con variazioni: Andante con moto Rondo: Allegro
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Allegretto ben moderato Allegro Recitativo-Fantasia Allegretto poco mosso
- INTERMISSION Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Continuo “Devil's Trill” (arr. Fritz Kreisler)
Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770)
Allegretto ben moderato Allegro Recitativo-Fantasia
- Additional works to be announced from the stage The Philharmonic Society gratefully acknowledges Donna L. Kendall Foundation for the generous sponsorship of tonight’s performance. Mr. Perlman records for EMI/Angel, Sony Classical/Sony BMG Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca, Erato/Elektra International Classics and Telarc. www.itzhakperlman.com Mr. Perlman appears by arrangement with IMG Artists. Carnegie Hall Tower | 152 W 57 St., 5th Floor | New York, NY 10019 Exclusive Print Sponsor Programs, artists and dates subject to change. Photographing or recording this performance without permission is prohibited. Kindly disable pagers, cellular phones and other audible devices.
BEETHOVEN: SONATA IN D MAJOR FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO, OP. 12, NO. 1 Torture and torment, often so prominent in the popular image of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), are nowhere to be found in this sonata for violin and piano. It is the late 1790s, and the composer, not yet thirty, has escaped from the backwaters of Bonn to become the toast of the town in imperial Vienna. Better yet, his hearing is still intact and a golden future seems to lie before him. In his early opus numbers— often of chamber music; the symphonies and concerti were yet to come—one finds music of youthful delight. They are at times a bit heartier in mood than was customary with Beethoven’s predecessors, but not yet so intense as the Beethoven works of the future. Early in his catalog, one finds the three violin sonatas that together make up his opus 12. They were published in 1799 by the Artaria firm, were dedicated to Antonio Salieri, then Imperial Kapellmeister and a man whose good will would have been well worth cultivating. At the time, Beethoven himself did not play the violin exceptionally well, preferring instead the piano. Yet he understood its characteristics and capacities to make the most of them. The first of the three opus 12 sonatas opens with both bold and song-like melodies appearing in turn. Both the violin and the piano have an equal share of the spotlight, so it would be better to describe it as a sonata for both instruments, than as a violin sonata per se. The second movement allows the pianist to introduce a gently winsome theme upon which both players will proceed to offer new interpretations, some bolder than others. For the closing rondo, bright and buoyant moods return as the sonata dances into its final pages; occasional minor key interludes bring no more than passing shadows. Although Beethoven’s style would evolve in the years ahead, there was little in terms of technique that he did not already understand thoroughly. FRANCK: SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO IN A MAJOR Permit no one to tell you that César Franck (18221890) was French. He did indeed spend much of his career in Paris, but in his youth he was refused admission to the Paris Conservatoire because he was a foreigner, a Belgian born in Liège in 1822. It was in Belgium that Franck received most of his education. His style and character were firmly established long before he settled abroad, and music-loving Belgians take pride in their native son. As for non-Belgians, they find delight in the graceful balance and melodic variety of Franck's works, nowhere better demonstrat-
His Violin Sonata has earned a place as a concert favorite, thanks to a proliferation of singing melodies that prove endearing to performers and listeners alike. The piece was written in 1886 as a wedding present for the great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931), who also gave the sonata's premiere later that year. The premiere itself was an extraordinary occasion. Ysaÿe arranged for the performance to be given on a winter afternoon in a Brussels art museum. In fear of damaging the paintings, authorities forbade the use of artificial light, and due to the late hour, all natural light faded with the setting sun. Before the sonata was half over, the room was in darkness. Ysaÿe and his pianist continued the performance from memory, invisible to their listeners, who were themselves concealed in shadows. To hear music of such exquisite lyricism in an utterly darkened room must have been an unforgettable experience. TARTINI: SONATA IN G MINOR FOR VIOLIN AND CONTINUO “DEVIL'S TRILL” (ARR. FRITZ KREISLER Ask most lovers of fine music to name an Italian Baroque composer/violinist and the answer will likely be Antonio Vivaldi. However, a worthy addition to that list—one no less famed than Vivaldi in their own time—is Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770). About a dozen years younger than Vivaldi, he was no less gifted in terms of musical skills. Like Vivaldi, Tartini wrote hundreds of violin works for his own concert performances, both concertos for violin with orchestra and chamber pieces for violin with smaller scale accompaniment. Tartini’s most famous piece falls in this latter category. This sonata’s nickname is not a fanciful addition by some imaginative publisher. The composer himself labeled it “Devil’s Trill,” and even explained why. As he told it, in 1713, he had awoken from a particularly vivid dream of the Devil himself playing a violin with ferocious virtuosity. Tartini’s impression of that playing was so strong that, immediately upon awaking, he seized pen and paper and began quickly copying it down from memory. This so-called “Devil’s Trill” sonata was the result of that frenzied burst of activity. The “continuo” (originally “basso continuo”) reference in the title refers to the instruments accompanying the soloist. Basso continuo literally means “continuous bass” and describes the steady repetition of accompanying chords upon which the musicians might choose to elaborate. It is largely a supporting role, but without
Itzhak Perlman (credit: Akira Kinoshita)
that support, the solo part would be like a house without a foundation: not particularly able to stand utterly on its own. Even continuo parts must be deftly rendered.
ed than in his best-known composition, the Violin Sonata.
This arrangement was crafted by virtuoso violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) for use on his own recitals. It is substantially similar to the original, though Kreisler chose to block it out in separate movements, rather than having the tempo changes occur in the flow of a single broader movement. All program notes © Betsy Schwarm, author of “Classical Music Insights” and “Operatic Insights”
ITZHAK PERLMAN, VIOLIN Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world, who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to the irrepressible joy of making music which he communicates. In January 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In December 2003 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation. In May 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House. 3
Born in Israel in 1945, Mr. Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He came to New York and soon was propelled into the international arena with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, Mr. Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, Itzhak Perlman has appeared with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world. Mr. Perlman’s 2012-13 season will take his performances as soloist to both new and familiar major centers throughout the world. In the fall of 2012, he appears with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on a play/conduct program for the Orchestra’s opening night; immediately thereafter, he joins the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall under Music Director Alan Gilbert in its season opening concert, to be televised on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. In October 2012, Mr. Perlman will travel to South America for recitals in Peru, Brazil, and Argentina with pianist and frequent collaborator, Rohan De Silva. Other highlights of his 2012-13 season include the release of his new album Eternal Echoes on the SONY Classical label and various performances in support of the album, including Boston and New York. He will make an extensive tour of recitals and orchestral appearances in cities across North America including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Kansas City, Sarasota, Houston, Las Vegas, and Seattle. A major presence in the performing arts on television, Itzhak Perlman has been honored with four Emmy Awards, most recently for the PBS documentary Fiddling for the Future, a film about the Perlman Music Program and his work as a teacher and conductor there. In July of 2004, PBS aired a special entitled Perlman in Shanghai which chronicled a historic and unforgettable visit of the Perlman Music Program to China, featuring interaction between American and Chinese students and culminating in a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater and a performance with one thousand young violinists, led by Mr. Perlman and broadcast throughout China. Mr. Perlman’s third Emmy Award recognized his dedication to Klezmer music, as profiled in the 1995 PBS television special In the Fiddler's House, which was filmed in Poland and featured him performing with four of the world’s finest Klezmer bands.
In February 2008, Itzhak Perlman was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence
in the recording arts. His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have garnered fifteen Grammy Awards. His most recent releases include an all-Mozart recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (EMI) with Mr. Perlman performing as both soloist and conductor and a recording for Deutsche Grammophon with Mr. Perlman conducting the Israel Philharmonic. Other recordings reveal Mr. Perlman’s devotion to education, including Concertos from my Childhood with the Juilliard Orchestra under Lawrence Foster (EMI) and Marita and her Heart’s Desire, composed and conducted by Bruce Adolphe (Telarc). Other recordings over the past decade have included a Grammy-nominated live recording with pianist Martha Argerich performing Beethoven and Franck Sonatas (EMI); Cinema Serenade featuring popular hits from movies with John Williams conducting (Sony); A la Carte, a recording of short violin pieces with orchestra (EMI) and In the Fiddler’s House, a celebration of Klezmer music (EMI) that formed the basis of the PBS television special. In 2004, EMI released The Perlman Edition, a limitededition 15-CD box set featuring many of his finest EMI recordings as well as newly compiled material and RCA Red Seal released a CD titled Perlman reDISCOVERED which includes material recorded in 1965 by a young Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Perlman has a long association with the Israel Philharmonic, and he has participated in many groundbreaking tours with this orchestra from his homeland. In November of 1987 he joined the IPO for historymaking concerts in Warsaw and Budapest, representing the first performances by this orchestra and soloist in Eastern bloc countries. He again made history as he joined the orchestra for its first visit to the Soviet Union in April/May of 1990, and was cheered by audiences in Moscow and Leningrad who thronged to hear his recital and orchestral performances. This visit was captured on a PBS documentary, which won an Emmy, entitled Perlman in Russia. In December of 1994 Mr. Perlman joined the Israel Philharmonic for their first visits to China and India. Over the past decade Mr. Perlman has become more actively involved in educational activities. He has taught full time at the Perlman Music Program each summer since it was founded and currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair at the Juilliard School. Numerous publications and institutions have paid tribute to Itzhak Perlman for the unique place he occupies in the artistic and humanitarian fabric of our times.
Rohan De Silva (credit: John Beebe)
Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva and Hebrew universities are among the institutions which have awarded him honorary degrees. He was awarded an honorary doctorate and a centennial medal on the occasion of Juilliard’s 100th commencement ceremony in May 2005. President Reagan honored Mr. Perlman with a Medal of Liberty in 1986, and in December 2000, President Clinton awarded Mr. Perlman the National Medal of Arts. His presence on stage, on camera and in personal appearances of all kinds speaks eloquently on behalf of the disabled, and his devotion to their cause is an integral part of Mr. Perlman’s life. Mr. Perlman is the recipient of the Philharmonic Society’s 2013 Golden Baton Award. ROHAN DE SILVA, PIANO Rohan De Silva’s partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Julian Rachlin have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world. With these and other artists, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Academy of Music, Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, La Scala in Milan, and Tel-Aviv, Israel. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman and was seen with Mr. Perlman on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center broadcast in early January 2000. Mr. De Silva regularly tours the Far East with Mr. Perlman, and in October 2011, they traveled to Asia for performances in China, Hong Kong and
Mr. De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva, and with the late Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller, and Wilfred Parry. While in London, he received many awards, including the Grover Bennett Scholarship, the Christian Carpenter Prize, the Martin Music Scholarship, the Harold Craxton Award for advanced study in England, and, upon his graduation, the Chappell Gold Medal for best overall performance at the Royal Academy. Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special scholarship in the arts from the Presidents Fund of Sri Lanka. This enabled him to enter the Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir, and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was awarded a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.
Taiwan. At the invitation of President and Mrs. Barack Obama, Mr. De Silva and Mr. Perlman returned to the White House in June 2012, where they performed at an official dinner for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres. In 2012-13, Mr. De Silva performs with Mr. Perlman in a recital tour of South America, with stops in Brazil, Peru and Argentina. They will also appear in Ottawa, Montreal, and in cities across the United States.
Mr. De Silva joined the collaborative arts and chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School in 1991, and in 1992 was awarded honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan, where he gives masterclasses in collaborative piano. Mr. De Silva was additionally on the faculty of the Perlman Music Program from 2000-2007. Radio and television credits include The Tonight Show with Midori, CNN’s Showbiz Today, NHK Television in Japan, National Public Radio, WQXR and WNYC in New York, and Berlin Radio. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, CBS/SONY Classical, Collins Classics in London, and RCA Victor.