On the Upbeat February 2013 • Volume 6, Edition 4
Firebird with State Street Ballet February 9 & 10, 2013
Michelle Temple, Harp State Street Ballet
Rodney Gustafson, Artistic Director William Soleau, Choreographer
This month’s program, featuring a new collaboration with State Street Ballet, provides exciting opportunities for Maestro Nir Kabaretti and our symphony orchestra to stretch musically and artistically. We spoke with Nir about the concert and his time here in Santa Barbara.
Danse sacrée et Danse profane for Harp and String Orchestra
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
(1833-1897) Allegro con brio Andante Poco allegretto Allegro
— INTERMISSION —
Suite from The Firebird (1945 Version)
(1882-1971) Introduction — The Dance of the Firebird Three Pantomimes: Pas de Deux of the Firebird and Ivan Tsarevich Scherzo: Dance of the Princesses Round Dance of the Princesses Infernal Dance of the King Kashchei Berceuse — Finale
Q: What special challenges do you and choreographer William Soleau face when collaborating on Firebird?
Nir: It is essential that both the choreographer and the conductor be musically on the same page. William Soleau is a fantastic choreographer, and also a very musical person. From what I saw before, when we did Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”, I know his creations are always very loyal to the composer’s wish.
Michael & Anne Towbes PRINCIPAL CONCERT SPONSORS
Patricia Gregory, for the Baker Foundation Roger & Sarah Chrisman CONCERT SPONSORS
Barbara H. Burger & Terrie Mershon Robin & Kay Frost
Q: As part of the Symphony’s celebration of Debussy’s 150th birthday, how does Sacred and Profane Dances fit in with the February program?
Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Nir: Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances is the last piece in our mini celebration of the composer’s 150th
Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein & Dunvegan Associates, Inc.
Continues on Page 2
INTERVIEW, From Page 1 anniversary. While it is called “Dances” it is not really meant to be danced, or choreographed.
does find ways to be innovative; The Symphony ends with the same motif it began with, and in pianissimo (very soft). This is quite unusual for that period.
I thought it would be interesting to combine this with Stravinsky’s ballet, music that was written originally to be choreographed, but is now performed mainly in the concert hall.
Q: On this trip to Santa Barbara, you brought your lovely young family with you. How have they enjoyed the trip so far?
Q: Brahms Symphony No. 3 has been compared to Beethoven. What do you see as the connection between the two?
Nir: SB is our 2nd home, and we enjoy immensely being here for a longer period. This town has a lot to offer kids, and we discovered beautiful parks and other kids’ attractions. It is also so nice to spend some relaxed time with some of the supporters of the symphony who became through the years close friends. We are indeed blessed to be here!
Nir: It is hard to imagine any Brahms’ Symphony without Beethoven’s achievements in the Symphonic work. Brahms, like most of the post Beethoven composers, followed the path of Beethoven, but within his strict symphonic traditions, Brahms
Michelle Temple harp Harpist Michelle Temple was awarded the position of Principal Harp with the Santa Barbara Symphony in 1991. Enjoying frequent visits to her hometown, Michelle has also served as Principal Harp for Opera Santa Barbara for more than 15 years. She has been a member of Pacific Symphony, the third largest orchestra in California, since 1994. An active orchestral musician, Michelle has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, LA Opera, Opera Pacific, Pasadena Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She has toured Europe with Pacific Symphony and the American Wind Symphony, and spent a week as a guest Principal with the Singapore Symphony. Her many ballet orchestra credits include the American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Royal Ballet of London, and the Bolshoi Ballet. In March 2012, she performed in the world premiere of American Ballet Theater’s production of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, which featured the original 1910 orchestration. Michelle has shared the stage with some of opera’s brightest stars, including Jose Carreras, Deborah Voigt, Frederica von Stade, Denyce Graves, Kiri Te Kanawa, Thomas Hampson and Patricia Racette. With the LA Opera Orchestra, she has appeared in numerous productions featuring Placido Domingo. She has recorded with Pacific Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and can also be heard on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s “Christmas” CD, and Frank Sinatra’s “Duets.” Michelle has also been featured in world premiere performances of works by today’s leading composers, including Jake Heggie, Tobias Picker, William Bolcom, Richard Danielpour, and Phillip Glass. In 2005, she and flutist Cynthia Ellis formed the duo Arioso out of a shared passion to explore the vibrant and colorful repertory for flute and harp. They have performed innovative recitals and education concerts throughout Orange County, and are set to produce their first CD in 2013. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with internationally renowned harp virtuoso Susann McDonald, as well as a Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California.
Michelle Temple appears this weekend through the generous sponsorship of Barbara Burger and Terrie Mershon 2
State Street Ballet Rodney Gustafson, Artistic Director Tim Mikel, Managing Director
The Firebird Choreography by William Soleau Music by Igor Stravinsky Ballet Masters: Marina Fliagina & Gary McKenzie Lighting Design by Rolf Freeman Costume & Set Design by A. Christina Giannini In-house Costume Designer, Assistant to the Designer: Anaya Cullen Costume Construction: Milly Colahan, Denise Caracas, Amy Golembeski Firebird:
Samantha Bell, Anna Carnes, Julie Giordano, Angela Guerena, Samantha Schilke, Cecily Stewart
Lilit Hogtanian, Jameson Keating, Harrison Stevenson, Cecily Stewart
Carisa Carroll, Sergei Domrachev, David Eck, Lilit Hogtanian, Jameson Keating, Armond Moyono, Ben Onicortes, John Christopher Piel, Harrison Stevenson, Maurico Vera
Synopsis Prince Ivan is hunting in the forest when he encounters the legendary magic Firebird feeding on golden apples. The Prince is captivated by the Firebird’s beauty and captures her. The Firebird struggles to get free, but cannot escape Ivan’s grip. The Prince takes pity on the Firebird and sets her free. In gratitude, the Firebird gives the Prince one of her feathers, telling him, all he needs to do, is wave the feather and she will come to his aid. As the Prince continues through the forest he discovers a group of beautiful princesses playing and dancing. Princess Tsarevna is especially beautiful, and he falls instantly in love with her. They explain to Ivan that he is in the enchanted forest of the evil sorcerer, Katschei and they are all his prisoners. As Katschei spell calls them back to his castle, they beg the Prince not to follow them, warning him that Katschei’s evil powers will turn him into stone. The Prince follows the princesses anyway and he is immediately captured by Katschei’s monster servants. Katschei tries to turn the Prince into stone, but in the struggle, the Prince remembers what the Firebird told him and he waves her magic feather. The Firebird appears and casts a spell forcing everyone into a dance to exhaustion. The Firebird directs Ivan to the bejeweled Egg which contains the very soul of Kastchei. He finds
it and dashes it to pieces. Immediately Kastchei’s magic and his spells are now gone. The captive maidens are free, and Ivan weds Princess Tsarevna with whom he is to reign over the Kingdom, henceforth free from evil.
STATE STREET BALLET is a vibrant, innovative professional dance company based in Santa Barbara, California. The company combines the rigors and timeless beauty of classical technique with updated looks, special effects and digital technology, producing original works that satisfy today’s diverse audiences. By melding familiar storylines with exciting dance movement and special effects, State Street Ballet gives each tale a modern, passionate and unique twist. This heady mix of movement, music, lighting, scenery and acting is successfully reaching new audiences, introducing dance as mainstream entertainment while honoring classical training, style and tradition. As a fully professional dance company with well-known credentials, State Street Ballet attracts dancers from around the world and teams with top-notch choreographers to produce new works that showcase the company’s signature elegant-but-edgy tone. In addition to national and international tours, the company had its premiere performance in New York City in November 2012. Continues
Mr. Gustafson brings vision, energy and mastery of the classics to State Street Ballet, propelling the company to explore new and untapped areas of entertainment. As a dancer, Gustafson worked with many of the greatest dancers of our time including Mikhail Baryshnikov and famous choreographers like Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins and Antony Tudor.
Ms. Kadow, age 21, was born in Winter Park, Florida. Kate previously danced as a soloist with the Cuban Classical Ballet in Miami, Florida and performed a variety of pas de deux and featured roles in the classical repertoire, including Le Corsaire, La Bayadere and full length productions of Swan Lake and Giselle. RYAN CAMOU
Mr. Camou joined State Street Ballet in 2005. He performed in Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Nutcracker, La Bayadere, Black Swan Pas, and Carmina Burana, and has performed as Don Jose in State Street Ballet’s production of Carmen.
Mr. Soleau has created over 80 ballets on companies around the world. Soleau first gained international recognition in 1987 for his creation of Universe for The Shanghai Ballet of China during the first International Shanghai Arts Festival. As resident choreographer and principal dancer for both Finis Jhung’s Chamber Ballet U.S.A. and Dennis Wayne’s DANCERS in New York City, he established himself as an emerging international choreographer. As a dancer, Soleau had the opportunity to tour over 30 countries while working with such notable choreographers as Alvin Ailey, John Butler, Toer van Schayk, Antony Tudor, Joyce Trisler, Gray Vereden, and Norman Walker. His works can be seen in the repertories of Ballet British Columbia, Richmond Ballet, Ballet de Montreal, Ballet Austin, The Icelandic Ballet, BalletMet, American Ballroom Dance Theater, Ballet Florida, Ballet Gamonet, and The Louisville Ballet. Most recently created a critically acclaimed original production called An American Tango based on a famous ballroom couple Veloz and Yolanda that is a play, and dance combined in one of the most beautiful love stories of all time capturing the essence of of Romeo and Juliet meets Westside Story.
Special Thanks to our additional major sponsors for the ballet Sarah and Roger Chrisman, Tim Mikel, and Chris Lancashire Also thanks to the following individuals Denise Caracas Tamara and Seybert Kinsell Nancy Kelderhous, Artistic Director and Pedro Szalay of Roanoke Ballet Milly and Wayne Colahan Harlequin’s Theatrical Supply Pete and Sarah Mahar
State Street Ballet is generously sponsored by Robin and Kay Frost
Our Youth Symphony and Junior Strings has been busy during the past few months preparing for their upcoming concerts plus collaborating with the Santa Barbara Music Education Community on a one hour Children’s Concert. Be sure to join us at one of these events to experience the talent located in your community.
Junior Strings Winter Concert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 16
Youth Symphony Winter Concert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 17
Children’s Concert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 9
Junior Strings Spring Concert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 4
Youth Symphony Spring Concert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 10
For more information, visit www.thesymphony.org 4
Program Notes by Dr. Richard E. Rodda Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Danse sacrée et Danse profane for Harp and String Orchestra
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Composed in 1882-1883. Woodwinds in pairs plus contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings. Approximately 40 minutes.
Composed in 1904. Approximately 11 minutes.
Among the most ancient of instruments, the harp remained essentially unchanged in its construction until about 1810, when the Parisian piano maker Sébastien Érard introduced a system of pedals to chromatically alter the pitches of the open strings. Though this instrument could effectively negotiate every note within its range, it was somewhat clumsy of operation, and various attempts were made to simplify the harp’s mechanics. At the end of the 19th century, Gustave Lyon developed a “chromatic harp,” a pedal-less instrument in which a single string was devoted to each chromatic note. The Parisian instrument-making firm of Pleyel put Lyon’s invention into production. In 1904, Pleyel succeeded in having a course devoted to their chromatic harp instituted at the Brussels Conservatory, and the company’s officials asked Claude Debussy to compose a work specifically for the new instrument. In the spring of 1904 Debussy composed a matched pair of dances, one “sacred” and one “profane,” for chromatic harp and string orchestra. The work was first heard at a Parisian concert conducted by Édouard Colonne on November 6, 1904; Lucille Wurmser-Delcourt was soloist. It should be added that Lyon’s chromatic harp, with its vast curtain of strings, found little favor, and that it is Érard’s double-action pedal harp that remains the standard instrument to this day. The Danse sacrée et Danse profane comprises two brief works joined as one. The Danse sacrée is said (by the conductor Ernest Ansermet) to have been suggested to Debussy by a piano piece of his friend, the Portuguese composer and conductor Francisco de Lacerda (1869-1934). According to no less an authority than Manuel de Falla, the Danse profane (which shares a melody with La Sérénade interrompue from the Preludes for Piano) is colored by the influence of Spanish dance and techniques of melodic embellishment. Concerning the relation between the two sections of the work, Joseph Braunstein wrote, “The title is somewhat intriguing since there is not much difference between the sacred dance and its profane counterpart. Both display small melodic phrases, a transparent texture, shifting harmonies, and richness of dissonances, and at the same time arresting effects are obtained by the harp in combination with the sonorities of the string orchestra.”
Brahms had reached the not inconsiderable age of 43 before he unveiled his First Symphony. The Second Symphony followed within eighteen months, and the musical world was prepared for a steady stream of similar masterworks from his pen. However, it was to be another six years before he undertook his Third Symphony, though he did produce the Academic Festival and Tragic Overtures, the Violin Concerto and the Second Piano Concerto during that time. When he got around to the new symphony, he was nearly fifty, and had just recovered from a spell of feeling that he was “too old” for creative work, even informing his publisher, Simrock, that he would be sending him nothing more. It seems likely — though such matters always remained in the shadows where Brahms was concerned — that his creative juices were stirred anew by a sudden infatuation with “a pretty Rhineland girl.” This was Hermine Spiess, a contralto of excellent talent who was 26 when Brahms first met her in January 1883 at the home of friends. (Brahms was fifty.) A cordial, admiring friendship sprang up between the two, but this affair, like every other one in Brahms’ life in which a respectable woman was involved, never grew any deeper. He used to declare, perhaps only half in jest, that he lived his life by two principles, “and one of them is never to attempt either an opera or a marriage.” Perhaps what he really needed was a muse rather than a wife. At any rate, Brahms spent the summer of 1883 not in his usual haunts among the Austrian hills and lakes, but at the German spa of Wiesbaden, which just happened to be the home of Hermine. Work went well on the new symphony, and it was completed before he returned to Vienna in October. This Third Symphony of Brahms is the pinnacle of the pure, abstract symphonic art that stretched back more than a century to Haydn and Mozart. It is a work of such supreme mastery of all the musical elements that it is a distillation of an almost infinite number of emotional states, not one of which can be adequately rendered in words. “When I look at the Third Symphony of Brahms,” lamented the English master Sir Edward Elgar, “I feel like a tinker.” 5
NOTES, From Page 3
He wrote this glittering orchestral miniature in 1908, while still under the tutelage of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and it shows all the dazzling instrumental technique that the student had acquired from his teacher. Though the reception of Fireworks was cool when it was first performed at the Siloti Concerts in St. Petersburg on February 6, 1909, there was one member of the audience who listened with heightened interest. Serge Diaghilev was forming his Ballet Russe company at just that time, and he recognized in Stravinsky a talent to be watched. He approached the 27-year-old composer and requested orchestral transcriptions of short pieces by Chopin and Grieg that would be used in the first Parisian season of the Ballet Russe. Stravinsky did his work well and on time. Diaghilev then inquired whether Stravinsky had any interest in taking over for Anatoly Liadov, who had so far made slow progress on the Ballet Russe’s The Firebird. Though involved in another project (he had just completed the first act of the opera The Nightingale), Stravinsky was eager to work with Diaghilev’s company again, and he agreed. After some delicate negotiations with Liadov, Stravinsky was officially awarded the commission in December, though his eagerness was so great that he had begun composing the music a month earlier. The triumphant premiere of The Firebird, given by the Ballet Russe at the Paris Opéra on June 25, 1910, rocketed Stravinsky to international fame. With somewhat uncharacteristic understatement, he said, “The Firebird radically altered my life.” The story of the ballet deals with the glittering Firebird and the evil ogre Kashchei, who captures maidens and turns men to stone if they enter his domain. Kashchei is immortal as long as his soul, which is preserved in the form of an egg in a casket, remains intact. The plot shows how Prince Ivan wanders into Kashchei’s garden in pursuit of the Firebird; he captures it and exacts a feather before letting it go. Ivan meets a group of Kashchei’s captive maidens and falls in love with one of them. The princesses return to Kashchei’s palace. Ivan breaks open the gates to follow them inside, but he is captured by the ogre’s guardian monsters. He waves the magic feather, and the Firebird reappears to help him smash Kashchei’s vital egg; the ogre immediately expires. All the captives are freed, and Ivan and his Tsarevna are wed. Stravinsky drew three orchestral suites from The Firebird. The third, from 1945, uses the reduced orchestration of the more familiar 1919 suite (the 1911 suite requires the very large orchestra of the original ballet), but incorporates several additional scenes from the full score. The first two, Introduction and The Dance of the Firebird, accompany the appearance of the magical creature. There follow three Pantomimes, the Pas de Deux of the Firebird and Ivan Tsarevich and the Scherzo: Dance of the Princesses. Next comes the Round Dance of the Princesses, which uses the rhythm and style of an ancient Russian dance called the Khorovod. The Infernal Dance of King Kashchei, the most modern portion of the score, depicts the madness engendered by the appearance of the Firebird at Kashchei’s court after the revelation to Ivan of the evil ogre’s vulnerability. The haunting Berceuse is heard when the thirteenth princess, the one of whom Ivan is enamored, succumbs to a sleep-charm which saves her from the terrible King while Ivan destroys Kashchei’s malevolent power. The Finale, initiated by the solo horn, confirms the life-force that had been threatened by Kashchei. ©2013 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
When the Third Symphony first appeared, it was generally acclaimed as Brahms’ best work in the form, and perhaps the greatest of all his compositions, despite well-organized attempts by the Wagner cabal to disrupt the premiere. Critical opinion has changed little since. This, the shortest of the four symphonies, is the most clear in formal outline, the most subtle in harmonic content and the most assured in contrapuntal invention. In its beautiful, unhurried concentration, it is a perfect example of Brahms’ philosophy: “It is not hard to compose, but it is wonderfully hard to let the superfluous notes fall under the table.” No time is wasted in establishing the conflict that charges the first movement with dynamic energy. The two bold opening chords juxtapose bright F major and a somber chromatic harmony in the opposing moods of light and shadow that course throughout the work. The main theme comes from the strings “like a bolt from Jove,” according to Olin Downes, with the opening chords repeated by the woodwinds as its accompaniment. Beautifully directed chromatic harmonies — note the bass line, which always carries the motion to its close- and long-range goals — lead to the pastoral second theme, sung softly by the clarinet. The development section is brief, but includes elaborations of most of the motives from the exposition. The tonic key of F is re-established, not harmonically but melodically (again the bass leads the way), and the golden chords of the opening proclaim the recapitulation. A long coda based on the main theme reinforces the tonality and discharges much of the music’s energy, allowing the movement to close quietly, as do, most unusually, all the movements of this Symphony. A simple, folk-like theme appears in the rich colors of the low woodwinds and low strings to open the second movement. The central section of the movement is a Slavic-sounding plaint intoned by clarinet and bassoon that eventually gives way to the flowing rhythms of the opening and the return of the folk theme supported by a new, rippling string accompaniment. The romantic third movement replaces the usual scherzo. It is ternary in form, like the preceding movement, and utilizes the warmest tone colors of the orchestra. The finale begins with a sinuous theme of brooding character. A brief, chant-like processional derived from the Slavic theme of the second movement provides contrast. Further thematic material is introduced (one theme is arch-shaped; the other, more rhythmically vigorous) and well examined. Brahms dispensed here with a true development section, but combined its function with that of the recapitulation as a way of tightening the structure. As the end of the movement nears, the tonality returns to F major, and there is a strong sense of struggle passed. The tension subsides, and the work ends with the ghost of the opening movement’s main theme infused with a sunset glow. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Suite from The Firebird (1945 Version)
Composed in 1909-1910. Piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, piano and strings. Approximately 28 minutes. Fireworks. There could not have been a more appropriate title for the work that launched the meteoric career of Igor Stravinsky. 6
60 th season The Symphony’s 2012-2013 Season Continues... DON’T MISS A SINGLE EXCITING PERFORMANCE! MARCH 16-17
“AMERICAN MASTERPIECES” XIAYIN WANG, PIANO
Bernstein • Gershwin • Leshnoff World Premiere
“THE FOUR SEASONS”
GREGORY VAJDA, GUEST CONDUCTOR NIGEL ARMSTRONG, VIOLIN
Vivaldi • Glazunov Multi-media Event NIGEL ARMSTRONG
with the Santa Barbara Choral Society Saturday 8 pm & Sunday 3 pm • The Granada Theatre SB CHORAL SOCIETY
Call 805-899-2222 Today! 7
Behind the Music
Ramón Araïza’s pre-concert talks are a hit with concert goers.
Now in his seventh season with the Symphony, we are thrilled to bring you concert pianist, composer/arranger and music scholar Ramón Araïza and his lively, interactive pre-concert talks. These dynamic 30 minute discussions take you on an insightful and humorous tour of the music you’re about to hear. With Ramón’s extensive musical background, presentation style and passion for the subject, he breathes life into each composer and their works. Don’t miss these great talks!
Get more out of your concert, come early for “Behind the Music.”
Saturday Evening: 7:00-7:30pm Sunday Matinee: 2:00-2:30pm
Behind the Music at the Granada Theatre is generously sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein and Dunvegan & Associates.
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©On the Upbeat, FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 6, EDITION 4. 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.
and the Santa Barbara Foundation’s KDB Fund 8