On The Upbeat April 2015 • Volume 8, Edition 6
2014-2015 Subscription Series
The New World APRIL 11 & 12, 2015
a few words from...
Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Philippe Quint, Violin
Dear Symphony Patrons, It’s spring and I love this time of the year, as this is when we unveil our forthcoming season and all of the glorious music we get to enjoy. The 2015/16 year is a significant one as we celebrate Maestro Kabaretti’s Tenth Anniversary with the Symphony. The season is packed with many highlights. Some of my favorites include Opening Night where four Santa Barbara arts organizations; the State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara Choral Society, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and the Symphony come together to present Carmina Burana. I’m also looking forward to our concert in March, 2016 when the orchestra performs two of our Maestro’s beloved masterworks from his first concerts with us as Music Director back in 2006. Please renew your concert subscriptions today so you can save on ticket prices, retain your seats and enjoy many of the other special benefits of subscribing. Don’t have our new season brochure? Copies are available in the Granada lobby, or call the office and we will send you one! The season launch also marks the start of our annual fund campaign. I want to thank all of you who support our annual fund. This fund ensures that we can continue to present high-quality concerts season after season, and you are a vital part of its success. If you’re not a contributor to the annual fund, please consider making a gift. I hope that you enjoy the concert!
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Moderato nobile Romance: Andante Finale: Allegro assai vivace — INTERMISSION —
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
Adagio — Allegro molto Largo Scherzo: Molto vivace Allegro con fuoco sponsored by IN REMEMBRANCE OF LÉNI FÉ BLAND CO-SPONSOR SARA MILLER MCCUNE Principal Concert Sponsors ROBIN AND KAY FROST Concert Sponsors
JOHN AND RUTH MATUSZESKI Artist Sponsors
JOAN AND BOB JACOBS Selection Sponsors
Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
David Pratt Executive Director
Sponsored by Marilynn L. Sullivan & Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
Philippe Quint violin Award-winning American violinist Philippe Quint is a multifaceted artist whose wide range of interests has led to several Grammy nominations for his albums, performances with major orchestras throughout the world at venues ranging from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to Carnegie Hall in New York, a leading role in a major independent feature film called Downtown Express, and explorations of Astor Piazzolla’s music and Nuevo Tango with his band The Quint Quintet. Philippe Quint plays the magnificent 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society®. A recent winner of “Ambassador of Arts” award presented to Philippe by Brownstone and Gateway Organizations at the United Nations last March his 2013-2014 season included debuts with the London Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, San Antonio Symphony among others. This season’s highlights include debuts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Kansas City Symphony and returns to Indianapolis, San Diego, Oklahoma and Santa Barbara Symphony orchestras. His recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Sofia Philharmonic led by conductor Martin Panteleev, paired with Anton Arensky’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 35 (for violin, viola, and two cellos) featuring cellists Claudio Bohorquez, Nicolas Altstaedt and violist Lily Francis was released in September 2014 on AvantiClassic which “Gramophone” described as “conspicuously persuasive, dazzlingly assured” performance. Philippe Quint studied at Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski’s Concerto No. 2. After moving to the United States, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues and mentors included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt and Felix Galimir.
Notes on the Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda
composer Stephen Montague wrote, “Tanaka’s music is delicate and emotive, beautifully crafted, showing a refined ear for both detail and large, organic shapes. Her harmonic vocabulary is consonant without being tonal, and she is attracted by what she describes as ‘transformation of timbre in space, analogous to a gradual change of light refraction in crystals and prisms.’”
Karen Tanaka (born in 1961) Running Time: 8 minutes
Karen Tanaka, like the late Toru Takemitsu, composes music that sings of her native Japan with an international voice. Born in Tokyo on April 7, 1961, Tanaka began studying piano at age four and composition at age ten, but she enrolled at Aoyama Gakuin University as a student of French literature. In 1982, she entered Toho School of Music to study composition with Akira Miyoshi and won several major Japanese and European awards during her four years there, including prizes at the Viotti and Trieste competitions and the Japan Symphony Foundation Award. A French Government Scholarship in 1986 enabled her to move to Paris to study composition with Tristan Murail, and to work and study at IRCAM (the Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics and Music founded by Pierre Boulez). In 1987, Tanaka won the Gaudeamus Prize at the International Music Week in Amsterdam for her piano concerto Anamorphose, and in 1988, she received the Muramatsu Prize. She studied with Luciano Berio in Florence in 1990-1991 with the support of the Nadia Boulanger Foundation and a Japanese Government Scholarship. Since being based in Paris for several years, Tanaka has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she held the Corwin Chair of Music Composition, and the University of Michigan, and now serves on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. She has received many important European, Japanese and American performances, broadcasts and commissions, and in 2012 was selected as a fellow of the Sundance Institute’s Composers Lab, which is mentored by Hollywood’s leading composers. American
Karen Tanaka composed Guardian Angel, luminously scored for clarinet, percussion, harp and strings, on a commission from New York’s Music from Japan for the organization’s 25th Anniversary Gala at Carnegie Hall. Of Guardian Angel, she wrote, “The title was inspired by a passage from Exodus (23:20) in the Old Testament: Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way. An image of angels, fragile and surrounded by beautiful illuminations, appeared in my mind, overlapping Biblical times and our present time. My intention was to realize my image of angels with sounds, sent to guard us along the way.”
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 (1945) Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Running Time: 22 minutes
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (his middle name honored Mozart) was the younger son of Julius Korngold, one of Vienna’s most influential music critics at the turn of the 20th century. By age five, Erich was playing piano duets with his father; two years later he began composing, and at nine, he produced a cantata (Gold) that convinced his father to enroll him at the Vienna Conservatory. When Mahler heard Erich play his cantata the following year, he proclaimed the boy “a 3
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World” (1892-1893)
genius” and arranged for him to take lessons with Alexander Zemlinsky. Korngold made remarkable progress under Zemlinsky — his Piano Sonata No. 1 was published in 1908, when he had ripened to the age of eleven. The following year he wrote a ballet, Der Schneemann (“The Snowman”), which was staged at the Vienna Royal Opera at the command of Emperor Franz Josef. In 1911, the budding composer gave a concert of his own works in Berlin, in which he also appeared as piano soloist. Korngold was an international celebrity at thirteen.
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) Running Time: 40 minutes
When Antonín Dvořák, aged 51, arrived in New York on September 27, 1892 to direct the new National Conservatory of Music, both he and the institution’s founder, Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, expected that he would help to foster an American school of composition. He was clear and specific in his assessment: “I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. They can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition to be developed in the United States…. There is nothing in the whole range of composition that cannot find a thematic source here.” The “New World” Symphony was not only Dvořák’s way of pointing toward a truly American musical idiom but also a reflection of his own feelings about the country. “I should never have written the Symphony as I have,” he said, “if I hadn’t seen America.”
In 1915 and 1916, Korngold wrote the first two of his five operas: Der Ring des Polykrates, a comedy, and Violanta, a tragedy. Following a two-year stint in the Austrian army playing piano for the troops during World War I, Korngold turned again to opera, producing his dramatic masterpiece, Die Tote Stadt (“The Dead City”), which was premiered simultaneously in Hamburg (where he served as conductor for three years after the war) and Cologne on December 4, 1920; Die Tote Stadt was the first German opera performed at the Met following World War I. After Korngold returned to Vienna in 1920, he was appointed professor of opera and composition at the Staatsakademie.
The “New World” Symphony is unified by the use of a motto theme that occurs in all four movements. This bold, striding phrase, with its arching contour, is played by the horns as the main theme of the sonata-form opening movement, having been foreshadowed (also by the horns) in the slow introduction. Two other themes are used in the first movement: a sad, dance-like melody for flute and oboe that exhibits folk characteristics, and a brighter tune, with a striking resemblance to Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, for the solo flute.
In 1934, the Austrian director Max Reinhardt was conscripted by Warner Brothers in Hollywood to film a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He chose to use Mendelssohn’s incidental music as background and took Korngold along to arrange the score. Korngold, who, as a Jew, felt increasingly uneasy in Austria, accepted other offers in Hollywood, and, when the Nazi Anschluss in 1938 prevented him from returning home, he settled permanently in California. (He became a United States citizen in 1943.) For the next seven years, he devoted his talents to creating a body of film music unsurpassed by that of any other composer in the genre and won two Academy Awards (for Anthony Adverse and The Adventures of Robin Hood). His father’s death in 1945, however, caused him to re-evaluate his career, and he returned to writing concert music with concertos for violin and cello, and a large symphony. Korngold died on November 29, 1957, and his remains were interred in the Hollywood Cemetery, within a few feet of those of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., D.W. Griffith and Rudolf Valentino.
Many years before coming to America, Dvořák had encountered Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, which he read in a Czech translation. The great tale remained in his mind and he considered making an opera of it during his time in New York. That project came to nothing, but Hiawatha did have an influence on the “New World” Symphony: the second movement was inspired by the forest funeral of Minnehaha; the third, by the dance of the Indians at the feast. That the music of these movements has more in common with the old plantation songs than with the chants of native Americans is due to Dvořák’s mistaken belief that AfricanAmerican and Indian music were virtually identical. The second movement is a three-part form (A–B–A), with a haunting English horn melody (later fitted with words by William Arms Fisher to become the folksong-spiritual Goin’ Home) heard in the first and last sections. The recurring motto here is pronounced by the trombones just before the return of the main theme in the closing section. The third movement is a tempestuous scherzo with two gentle, intervening trios providing contrast. The motto theme, played by the horns, dominates the coda.
Korngold borrowed themes for his Violin Concerto from four of his finest film scores. The haunting first theme of the opening movement is from the 1937 picture Another Dawn, a desert-outpost drama whose most memorable component is Korngold’s music. To provide a contrasting element in this loosely woven sonata form, the composer used the gently yearning love theme from Juarez, the 1939 film biography of the Mexican statesman and hero. The Romance is initiated by a poignant melody from the Academy Award-winning score for Anthony Adverse, the 1936 film about an orphan who struggles to overcome the adversities of life in early-19thcentury America. The finale is a sparkling rondo whose witty main theme is from The Prince and the Pauper, the 1937 screen recreation of Mark Twain’s famous story.
The finale employs a sturdy motive introduced by the horns and trumpets after a few introductory measures in the strings. In the Symphony’s closing pages, the motto theme, Goin’ Home and the scherzo melody are all gathered up and combined with the principal subject of the finale to produce a marvelous synthesis of the entire work — a look back across the sweeping vista of Dvořák’s musical tribute to America. © 2014 Dr. Richard E. Rodda 4
Your MAY 16–17
Porgy and Bess Laquita Mitchell Soprano Michael Sumuel Bass-baritone and Santa Barbara Choral Society REDFELD Arioso for Oboe, Percussion and Strings World Concert Premiere HANSON Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, “Romantic”
DANIEL AND MANDY OF THE GIRSH AND HOCHMAN FAMILIES Principal Concert Sponsors ROBIN AND KAY FROST DICK AND MARILYN MAZESS Concert Sponsors
GERSHWIN Porgy and Bess: A Concert in Songs for Soprano, Baritone and Chorus
BROOKS AND KATE FIRESTONE MARILYNN L. SULLIVAN Selection Sponsors
Terrific Granada seats start at just $25! For tickets: (805) 899-2222 or visit www.thesymphony.org ©On the Upbeat, APRIL 2015 VOL. 8, EDITION 6. Published for Symphony Series concert subscribers by the Santa Barbara Symphony, 1330 State Street, Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, (805) 898-9386 — A non-profit organization.