On the Upbeat January 2013 • Volume 6, Edition 3
Mozart & Mendelssohn January 19 & 20, 2013
Glenn Dicterow, Violin Cynthia Phelps, Viola
How Slow the Wind
Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and
(1756-1791) Orchestra in E-flat major, K. 364 (K. 320d) Allegro maestoso
January brings us a program filled with three centuries of music and a reunion of two friends from The New York Philharmonic. We spoke with Maestro Nir Kabaretti about his motivations behind this remarkable program:
— INTERMISSION —
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish” (1809-1847) Introduction and Allegro agitato
Q: The choice of Glenn Dicterow and Cynthia Phelps as soloists is an interesting one because of their local roots. What was your thinking in reuniting these two stars this weekend?
Scherzo assai vivace Adagio cantabile Allegro guerriero and Finale maestoso Played without pause
Nir: One of the things we want to celebrate during our 60th anniversary season is our deep connection to the community and our commitment to Santa Barbara arts. Glenn and Cynthia, both Southern California natives, have longstanding ties to Santa Barbara, especially through their relationship with the Music Academy of the West, and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante represented a wonderful opportunity to showcase the immense talent we enjoy surrounding us. Also, playing a double concerto asks for a special musical understanding between the 2 soloists. Knowing that these wonderful artists sit so close to each other at the NY Phil, and have played this together in the past, made my decision very easy. Continues on Page 2
PRINCIPAL CONCERT SPONSOR
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William H. Kearns Foundation Milton Warshaw and Maxine Prisyon ARTIST SPONSOR
John A. Rodriguez II SELECTION SPONSOR
Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein & Dunvegan Associates, Inc. 1
INTERVIEW, From Page 1 Q: The “Scottish Symphony” is one of Mendelssohn’s great works. What inspired you to put it on this weekend’s program?
Can we hear that influence in tonight’s selection? Nir: The piece by Takemitsu is part of our Debussy anniversary celebration, since this Japanese composer is in spirit the continuation of Debussy’s music. Takemitsu himself referred to Debussy as his “great mentor”. For example Takemitsu was inspired by the orchestration skills of Debussy, which emphasizes colors, light and shadow, and used these techniques in his own works. Debussy’s “Impressionism” is echoed in Takemitsu’s music, even though written decades after the French movement. The Japanese composer even quotes Debussy in his pieces, for example in his piece “Quotation of Dream” he uses motives from La Mer. But also the relation to the nature, and the titles are in many ways similar to Debussy.
Nir: Indeed, Mendelssohn’s “Scottish Symphony” is not so much about his original inspiration (a walking tour through Scotland) as it is about being an exquisite example of the symphonic form, and Mendelssohn’s genius in particular. In the “Scottish Symphony” Mendelssohn demonstrates his command of melody as well as his famed energetic scherzos. I wanted to include this piece as an homage to this master of the early romantic period! Q: Toru Takemitsu, although Japanese in heritage, was profoundly influenced by Western thought and culture.
Glenn Dicterow violin Violinist Glenn Dicterow’s extraordinary musical gifts became apparent at the age of 11 when he made his solo debut in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic where his father, Harold Dicterow served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years. He went on to win numerous awards and competitions and in 1967 he appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. He was then 18 years old. In 1980 he joined the New York Philharmonic as Concertmaster and has since performed as its soloist every year. Dicterow has also been a guest artist with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Birmingham, Chautauqua, Grant Park, Indianapolis, Hong Kong, Kansas City, London Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City, Montreal, Omaha, National Symphony in Washington, DC, and San Diego Symphony to name a few. Dicterow’s discography includes Copland’s Violin Sonata, Largo, and PianoTrio; Ives’s Sonatas Nos. 2 and 4 and Piano Trio; and Korngold’s Piano Trio and Violin Sonata, all for EMI. He is also featured in the violin solos on many other recordings. Dicterow can also be heard in the violin solos of the film scores for The Turning Point, The Untouchables, Altered States, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Interview With A Vampire, among others. Dicterow also enjoys an active teaching career. He is the chairman of the Orchestral performance Program at Manhattan School of Music in New York, and is on the faculty of the Julliard School and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In 2013 Dicterow will become the first holder of the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He will continue his duties as concertmaster with the New York Philharmonic through the 2013-14 Season.
Cynthia Phelps viola Cynthia Phelps is the New York Philharmonic’s Principal Viola (The Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Rose Chair). Her solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra have included performances on the 2006 Tour of Italy, sponsored by Generali, and the 1999 premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s, which the Orchestra commissioned for her and Philharmonic Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young. Other solo engagements have included the Minnesota Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao. Phelps performs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Bargemusic. Phelps has toured internationally with the Zukerman and Friends Ensemble; appeared with The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Guarneri, American, Brentano, and Prague string quartets; and has given recitals in the music capitals of Europe and the U.S. Her honors include the Pro Musicis International Award and first prize in the Lionel Tertis International Viola and Washington International String competitions. Her most recent album, for flute, viola, and harp, on Telarc, was nominated for a Grammy Award. She is both an Alumna and faculty member of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. 2
Program Notes by Dr. Richard E. Rodda Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)
How Slow the Wind Composed in 1991. Piccolo, two flutes, alto flute, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, two horns, percussion, harp, piano, celesta and strings. Approximately 11 minutes. Japanese in birth and sensibility, and Western in his compositional techniques and instrumental sonorities, Toru Takemitsu belied Kipling’s old adage that East and West would never meet by creating music that sings of universal human experience. Takemitsu sought in his many works to transmute dreams, water, trees, gardens, sky, birds, wind, the flickering images of film, the quiverings of the human heart, the resonance of a read word into patterns of sounds and silence that would penetrate to the quiet, inner place where the spirit dwells. “When one life calls out to another,” he wrote, “sounds are born. Silence bordered with a necklace of sounds, which become scales. Little by little, the strands of scales are bundled into a sheath of light, rising into the sky, or gushing out, splashing, like the body of a river finding liberation as it reaches the sea. They fill the universe: enormous, soundless sounds.” Though Takemitsu’s music is meticulously structured and unified through the conventional European practice of transformation of thematic motives, it gives the feeling of spontaneity and freedom and space, of being released from the earth, of being at once substantial and equivocal. He was preoccupied with timbre and texture rather than with traditional rhythmic and harmonic organization, with the aural point hovering between sound and silence, with discovering music that seems to issue from the very air and earth, with giving, he said, “a proper meaning to the ‘streams of sounds’ that penetrate the world which surrounds us.” His creative voice — quiet/disturbing, joyous/sad, universal/personal — is unique in modern music, a manifestation of a world brought closer together by diversity and expanded by individuality. Takemitsu was born in Tokyo on October 8, 1930. He studied intermittently for a few years with Yasuji Kiyose (1900-1981), 3
a student of Alexander Tcherepnin, but was largely self-taught, a circumstance that helps account for his highly individual style. A performance of his piano piece Futatsu no rento (“Lento for Two”) on a contemporary music series in 1950 brought him to the attention of the composer Jogi Yuasa and the conductor Kazuyoshi Akiyama, with whom he founded the Jikken Kobo (“Experimental Workshop”) for collaborations in mixed media combining traditional Japanese idioms with modernistic techniques. His Requiem for Strings of 1957, inspired by the death of his friend and fellow composer Fumio Hayasaka, drew praise from Stravinsky and brought Takemitsu his first recognition abroad. He won international fame with his 1967 November Steps for biwa (a traditional Japanese lute-like instrument), shakuhachi (a flute) and orchestra, commissioned for the 125th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic. Takemitsu thereafter came to be regarded among the world’s leading composers: designer and director of the spherical Space Theater in the Steel Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka; guest lecturer at the University of California at San Diego, Columbia, Harvard, Yale and Boston University; composer-in-residence at the Tanglewood, Colorado, Avignon, Stockholm, Canberra, Aldeburgh, Berliner Festwochen and other leading festivals; recipient of many prestigious awards in his native Japan as well as from the Akademie der Künste of the German Democratic Republic, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the French government (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and membership in the Académie des Beaux-Arts). His other distinctions include the UNESCO/IMC Music Prize (1991), the Grawemeyer Award (1994) and the Glenn Gould Prize (1996). Toru Takemitsu died in Tokyo on February 20, 1996. How Slow the Wind was commissioned for a Japan Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in 1991 and premiered at the City Hall there by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on November 9, 1991; Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducted. The composer wrote of it, “The title How Slow the Wind is taken from a short verse by Emily Dickinson, written in 1883. The entire verse is: How slow the wind/how slow the sea/how late their feathers be! In this work an attempt is made, by means of delicate changes in nuance in the restrained coloring, to create a perspective view of sound. The motif, which consists of seven tones, is like the original material Continues
NOTES, From Page 3
comprises numerous motives — a bold opening gesture in a distinctive rhythm, a tripping phrase divided between violins and oboes, a martial strain with active rhythmic underpinning, and a rising line intensified by repeated trills. The soloists emerge from the orchestral texture on a long-held note high in the register to introduce a new set of melodies. It becomes clear immediately that violin and viola are equal partners in this musical undertaking, sharing themes in dialogue fashion or playing them together in sweet harmonies. The rising trill motive returns to close out the exposition. The central section is less a development of what has preceded than a spirited conversation between the soloists. The recapitulation commences with the bold opening gesture that began the work, and proceeds with a hearty sampling of much of the movement’s previous thematic material. A carefully notated cadenza and a brief coda bring the movement to a close. The passionate second movement is in C minor, an uncommon tonality in late-18th-century music. It provides the background against which one of Mozart’s most moving essays is written, a composition not overshadowed by even the major works of his Viennese period. Its sonata form lends it a weight of utterance that is reinforced by the dark, rich sonority provided by the solo viola and the division of the orchestral violas into two parts. The finale is a rondo whose ingratiating theme is reminiscent of the rising trill motive of the first movement. The two recapitulations of the rondo theme are separated by extended episodes. After a cadenza-like accompanied stanza that takes the soloists into the highest reaches of their instruments, the piece concludes with a series of bright, cadential harmonies.
before it was formed into a melody, and it moves in a repetitive cycle, like waves or the wind. And with each repetition of the cycle, the scene waves slightly, undergoing a subtle change in its appearance…. I had the impression of a milk-white light shining pale in the midst of darkness, the appearance of nature’s great gentle change, or the delicate look of the poet at the infinite.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E-flat major, K. 364 (K. 320d) Composed in 1779. Two oboes, two horns and strings. Approximately 30 minutes. One of the more popular musical genres used to display artists and instruments during Mozart’s day was a hybrid form called the sinfonia concertante, which combined the richness of sonority and clarity of structure that were the most attractive features of the symphony with the tunefulness and technical virtuosity of the concerto. Such works, initially popular beginning in the 1760s in the great musical centers of Paris and Mannheim, where the best performers congregated, were scored for a group of two or more soloists with orchestral accompaniment. The solo ensemble ranged in number from two to eleven (!) players, and usually included wind instruments. Several dozen examples are known, most by such now-forgotten performer-composers as Bernhard Henrik Crusell, Georg Abraham Schneider and August Ritter. From stylistic evidence within the music of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, the date of its composition is placed during late summer 1779, about six months after he had returned from his exhausting journey through Germany and France in a fruitless attempt to find a secure position. He came back to his “Salzburg slavery,” as he rather injudiciously called his local employment, and reluctantly resumed his hated job as composer, orchestra musician and organist in Archbishop Colloredo’s provincial musical establishment. This time, though, when he put on the Archbishop’s livery (how demeaning he thought it was to be dressed like a common servant!), he refused to play the violin in the orchestra any longer despite his father’s insistence that he could be the best player in Europe if he would just put his mind to it. He chose instead the viola — still a distant second choice to his beloved piano — and it is a charming thought that he might have composed the Sinfonia Concertante for a father-son musical outing: Papa on violin, Wolfgang on viola. There is, however, not a shred of evidence to support this or any other conjecture. This beautiful work is not mentioned in his correspondence or in other known records, and its provenance will probably remain forever open to speculation. The first movement, as was typical of both the sinfonia concertante form and of Mozart’s works in general, is filled with an abundance of thematic material. The orchestral introduction
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish” Composed in 1841-1842. Woodwinds in pairs, four horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings. Approximately 38 minutes. At age twenty, Felix Mendelssohn was a wonder. He was one of Europe’s best composers, an excellent pianist, a pathbreaking conductor and a visual artist of nearly professional capability, as well as a man of immense charm and personality. It is not surprising that his first appearances in London in the spring and summer of 1829 were a smashing success. He even seemed blessed by a slight speech impediment that allowed him to negotiate the “th” sound of English that plagued most German visitors. Both to relax from his hectic London schedule and to temporarily sate his obsession with travel, he reserved time in late summer, following his appearances, to tour the British countryside. He and his traveling companion, Karl Klingemann, the secretary of the Hanover Legation in London, settled on a walking tour through the Scottish Highlands; they arrived in Edinburgh on July 28th. 4
NOTES, From Page 4
was touring Italy, but he admitted that he found it impossible to evoke the “misty mood” of Scotland while in sun-splashed Rome, and put the work aside; it was not finished until January 1842 in Berlin. He conducted the premiere on March 3rd with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and included the new Symphony in his London concerts for that summer. Its success only added to the great acclaim already accorded Mendelssohn by the English, a phenomenon that was royally recognized when Queen Victoria granted the composer permission to dedicate the work to her. The four movements of the “Scottish” Symphony, Mendelssohn’s greatest work in the genre, are directed to be played without pause. (This was the last symphony he composed, but it was published third, before the No. 4, “Italian,” and the No. 5, “Reformation.”) The long, brooding introduction opens with a grave harmonization of the melody that Mendelssohn conceived at Holyrood. The sonata form proper begins with a flowing theme, graceful yet filled with vigor. Other melodic inspirations follow. A stormy, thoroughly worked-out development utilizes most of the exposition’s thematic material. After the recapitulation, a coda with the force of a second development section is concluded by a return of the brooding theme of the introduction. The second movement is the only one that consistently shows sunlight and high spirits. It is built around two melodies: one, skipping and animated, is introduced by the clarinet; the other, brisk and martial, is presented in the strings. The wonderful third movement is unsurpassed in Mendelssohn’s orchestral oeuvre. In melody, structure, orchestration and mood it belongs among the masterworks of the Romantic era. Cast in sonata form, its first theme is a lyrical melody of noble gait that is perfectly balanced by the elegiac second theme, characterized by its heroic, dotted rhythms. The finale is a vivacious and well-developed dance in an atmospheric minor key. The Symphony concludes with a majestic coda in a broad, swinging meter. ©2012 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
In a letter recounting the experiences of his first day in the Scottish capital, Mendelssohn wrote, “Everything here looks so stern and robust, half enveloped in a haze of smoke or fog. Many Highlanders came in costume from church victoriously leading their sweethearts in their Sunday attire and casting magnificent and important looks over the world; with long, red beards, tartan plaids, bonnets and feathers and naked knees and their bagpipes in their hands, they passed along by the half-ruined gray castle on the meadow where Mary Stuart lived in splendor.” Two days later, he reported on his visit to Mary’s castle, Holyrood: “In the evening twilight we went today to the palace where Mary lived and loved. A little room is shown there with a winding staircase leading up to the door. This is the staircase the murderers ascended, and, finding Rizzio [Mary’s Italian advisor and, probably, lover, whom the Scots mistrusted] ... drew him out; about three chambers away is a small corner where they killed him. The chapel close to it is now roofless, grass and ivy grow there, and at the broken altar Mary was crowned Queen of England. Everything around is broken and moldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I have found today in that old chapel the beginning of my Scottish symphony.” Then follow ten measures of music that were to become the introductory melody of the Third Symphony. Mendelssohn’s Scottish adventure continued for most of August. He and Klingemann traveled on foot, stopping at whatever vista caught their fancy so that Felix could make a quick pencil sketch of the scene. Mendelssohn was most impressed by one particularly stormy prospect on the gnarled Isle of Staffa off the western coast of Scotland, an experience that gave rise to the superb Hebrides Overture. The travelers completed their strenuous journey and returned to London. Mendelssohn occupied himself immediately with the Hebrides Overture and completed it the following year. The Symphony, however, did not come so easily. Some preliminary sketches for it were done in 1830-1831 while Mendelssohn
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 5
60 th season The Symphony’s 2012-2013 Season Continues... DON’T MISS A SINGLE EXCITING PERFORMANCE! FEBRUARY 9-10
“FIREBIRD” with the State Street Ballet MICHELLE TEMPLE, HARP
Debussy • Brahms • Stravinsky World Premiere Choreography STATE STREET BALLET
“AMERICAN MASTERPIECES” XIAYIN WANG, PIANO
Bernstein • Gershwin • Leshnoff World Premiere APRIL 13-14
“THE FOUR SEASONS”
GREGORY VAJDA, GUEST CONDUCTOR NIGEL ARMSTRONG, VIOLIN NIGEL ARMSTRONG
Vivaldi • Glazunov MAY 18-19
with the Santa Barbara Choral Society
Saturday 8 pm & Sunday 3 pm • The Granada Theatre SB CHORAL SOCIETY
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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
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©On the Upbeat, JANUARY 2013 VOL. 6, EDITION 3. 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.
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