On the Upbeat MAY 2012 • VOLUME 5, EDITION 7
The Santa Barbara Symphony
Nir’s Notes Dear Music Lovers, The sounds of the Fantastique symphony from our opening concert are still echoing in my ears, and here we are in the last offering of the season. We are proud to open our program with “Sidereus,” the Santa Barbara Symphony premiere of a work by one of the most interesting and successful composers of our time, Argentinian born Osvaldo Golijov. Our Symphony, joining forces with 34 other U.S. orchestras, commissioned Golijov to write this piece as part of the celebration of the career of retiring symphony manager Henry Fogel, and orchestras from all over the country contributed to its funding. From our point of view it was a wonderful way to participate in the creation of a new work by a composer of international stature, and we look forward now to getting our turn to perform it. “Sidereus” is inspired by the revolutionary discoveries of Galileo Galilei as described in his famous book Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger). Golijov’s music is an inspiring journey through the astral beauties and mysteries with a special regard to the Moon muse for poets, lovers and scientists. Our principal horn player, Teag Reaves, will leave his seat in the orchestra and delight us with one of the rare pieces for solo french horn and orchestra written by the Austrian genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Only a very few great composers dedicated a concerto to this instrument, among them Richard Strauss, Haydn, Gliere and of course Mozart who made a contribution of not just one but four beautiful concertos for this haunting instrument, so evocative of the hunt. Our Fantastique season will be officially completed with the sounds of Dvorˇák’s Symphony No. 8, an absolute masterpiece of the symphonic repertoire. I am sure you will enjoy Dvorˇák’s spontaneous melodic inventions, enriched by traditional Bohemian themes, rhythmic variety and wonderful intensity of harmony. I wish you all a wonderful summer and look forward to welcoming you back to our 60th anniversary season in October!
May 12 & 13, 2012 Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Teag Reaves, Horn
GOLIJOV Sidereus (b. 1960) Commissioned by the Henry Fogel
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major, (1756-1791) K. 417
Allegro maestoso Andante Rondo
— INTERMISSION — DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 (1841-1904)
Allegro con brio Adagio Allegretto grazioso Allegro ma non troppo
Marilynn L. Sullivan
Nir Kabaretti Music and Artistic Director
Robin and Kay Frost
SEASON MEDIA SPONSOR
Join Ramón Araïza for “Music Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
Teag Reaves principal horn
Teag Reaves, a Los Angeles native, grew up studying the horn with the great Los Angeles studio players. Teag graduated from the University of Southern California, where he honed his orchestral and chamber music experience with the help of Vince Derosa, Mitchell Lurie and Yehuda Gilad and learned invaluable skills from Mehli Mehta in the American Youth Symphony. Teag is now principal horn of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Mladi Chamber Orchestra (a founding member), and the Monterey Symphony. He also plays with a great many California orchestras up and down the coast from the San Diego, Pacific, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Riverside and Long Beach Symphonies, to the Silicon Valley and Monterey Symphonies, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra as well as music and film projects. Orchestra tours have taken Teag around the world with the Philharmonie of the Nations and Michael Crawford. But when he is home, he loves teaching kids to play the horn.
OTES OSVALDO GOLIJOV (BORN IN 1960)
Sidereus (“Star”) Composed in 2010.
Premiered on October 16, 2010 in Memphis, Tennessee, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen. Woodwinds, horns, trumpets and trombones in pairs, tuba, timpani and strings. Approximately 20 minutes. In our increasingly interconnected world, the multi-cultural music of Osvaldo Golijov speaks in a voice that is powerful yet touching, contemporary yet timeless. Golijov’s parents, a piano teacher mother and a physician father, emigrated from Russia to Argentina, where Osvaldo was born on December 5, 1960 in La Playa, thirty miles from Buenos Aires, into a rich artistic environment in which he was exposed from infancy to such varied musical experiences as classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the tango nuevo of Astor Piazzolla. He studied piano and composition at the local conservatory before moving in 1983 to Jerusalem, where he entered the Rubin Academy as a composition student and immersed himself in the colliding musical traditions of that city. Golijov came to the United States in 1986 to do his doctoral work with George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania, and spent summers at Tanglewood on fellowship studying with Lukas Foss and Oliver Knussen. In 1990, he won Tanglewood’s Fromm Commission, which resulted in Yiddishbbuk, premiered by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music in July 1992 and winner the following year of the prestigious Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. Golijov came to wide public notice in 2000 with the Pasión según San Marcos (“Passion According to Saint Mark”), commissioned in remembrance of the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s death by German conductor Helmut Rilling and the International Bach Academy of Stuttgart. Golijov’s works, with their syntheses of European, American and Latin secular cultures and their deep spirituality drawn from both Judaism and Christianity, have brought him international notoriety and, in 2003, a coveted MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.” He was named Musical America’s “2005 Composer of the Year,” and in January and February 2006, Lincoln Center presented a festival called “The Passion of Osvaldo Golijov.” In 2008, he received a Vilcek Foundation Prize, which annually recognizes “foreign-born individuals for extraordinary contributions to society in the United States” in the fields of arts and biomedical research. He is currently at work on a commission for the
Metropolitan Opera. Golijov has been on the faculty of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts since 1991; he also teaches at the Boston Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center. Golijov’s Sidereus was commissioned by a consortium of 35 orchestras in honor of the recently retired Henry Fogel, who was the President of the League of American Orchestras from 2003 to 2008 after having served as Orchestra Manager of the New York Philharmonic, Executive Director of the National Symphony Orchestra and President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; each of the commissioning orchestras performs the work during its 2010-2011 or 2011-2012 season. The piece reworks some material on which Golijov collaborated with composer, accordionist and friend Michael WardBergeman for the soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola’s 2009 film Tetro. Golijov and Ward-Bergeman agreed that each could use ideas from the score in other works: Golijov transformed them in Sidereus and Ward-Bergeman expanded them for Barbeich for accordion and ensemble. Sidereus takes its title and inspiration from Sidereus Nuncius (“Starry Messenger”), the epochal treatise that Galileo Galilei published in March 1610 to announce his unprecedented observations of the heavens through a telescope and his theory that the earth revolves around the sun, a notion that was condemned in 1632 by the Catholic Church “as false and contrary to Scripture.” The Inquisition found Galileo “vehemently suspect of heresy” and sentenced him to house arrest for the last ten years of his life after he was forced to recant his theory. Golijov wrote of his Sidereus, “The observations of Galileo included new discoveries on the surface of the moon. In Sidereus, the melodies and the harmony are simple, so they can reveal more upon closer examination. For the ‘Moon’ theme, I used a melody with a beautiful, open nature, a magnified scale fragment that was developed some years ago ideas for a musical depiction of the sky in Patagonia. I then looked at that theme as if through the telescope and under the microscope, so that the textures, the patterns from which the melody emerges and into which it dissolves, point to a more molecular, atomic reality — like Galileo with his telescope…. There is a dark theme that opens the piece and reappears in the middle. It’s sort of an ominous question mark that tears the fabric of a work, which is essentially spacious and breathes with a strange mixture of melancholy and optimism.” A special note from Santa Barbara Symphony’s Director of Operations and Artistic Administration, Susan Anderson “Sidereus” is the rarest of commissions: a piece written to honor a manager! Henry Fogel was my first boss in the business—I worked as his assistant for three years when he was Orchestra Manager of the New York Philharmonic. Henry was the founder of a classical radio station in Syracuse, New York, and developed the idea of the “Radiothon” as a fundraiser for orchestras. It was such a success for the Syracuse Symphony that it was copied in cities across the country, and their successes brought Henry to the attention of the New York Philharmonic. From New York, he quickly went on to the National Symphony in Washington, DC, then the Chicago Symphony, and finally became Chief Executive of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras), the service and lobbying organization representing our industry. I am deeply touched that our industry chose to honor one of its greats with the commission of a new work by one of our most interesting composers. And I’m delighted that my recent arrival at the Santa Barbara Symphony coincides with its performance here, three years after Santa Barbara’s commitment to its creation. It’s so satisfying that this recognition has gone to someone who has devoted his life to the promotion and nurturing of dozens of young performers, composers and managers—including me! Thank you, Henry.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Horn Concerto No. 2 for in E-flat major, K. 417 Composed in 1783. Two oboes, two horns and strings. Approximately 15 minutes. Mozart completed this delightful work for the horn player Joseph Leutgeb in 1783. Later that year he inscribed the following jocular dedication on the manuscript of the Third Horn Concerto: “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has taken pity on Leutgeb, ass, ox and simpleton, Vienna, May 27, 1783.” Leutgeb was an old friend of the Mozart family from
Salzburg, where he was a colleague of Wolfgang and his father, Leopold, in the orchestra of Archbishop Colloredo. Leutgeb played well enough to tour successfully through Germany, France and Italy performing his own Horn Concerto. In 1777, he settled in Vienna but, finding it impossible to make a living from music, purchased from his wife’s family a cheesemonger’s shop with the help of a loan from Leopold Mozart. (When Leopold saw Leutgeb’s tiny establishment, he quipped that it was “the size of a snail shell.”) Wolfgang moved to Vienna in 1781, and he and Leutgeb again fell into the easy friendship of their Salzburg days. It was for this pal that he wrote the Concert Rondo (K. 371), the Quintet for Horn and Strings (K. 407) and the four Horn Concertos (K. 412, 417, 447 and 495). The nature of the relationship between the two musicians may be surmised from the mock dedication quoted above. In the K. 495 Concerto, Mozart used four colors of ink in the solo part to confuse Leutgeb; K. 412 was peppered with such good-natured insults as “Take courage,” “You ass” and “Thank heavens, that’s enough.” They must have had a merry time together, but there was also a deep, mutual concern. When the horn playercheese maker fell behind in his loan payments, Wolfgang defended his friend to his straight-laced father. Mozart knew well from personal experience the problems of the debtor. Things apparently went well for Leutgeb in later years, and he died in prosperity in 1811. The Horn Concertos, like all of Mozart’s concertos for winds, take account of the specific characteristics of the solo instrument. These works are simpler in structure than those for piano, and give frequent, brief rests to the soloist to allow recovery of lip and lung. The construction of the thematic material is determined by the nature of the particular instrument. Since the horn of Mozart’s day, for example, had no valves and could play chromatic passages only with difficulty, the composer was largely limited to themes based on scales and chords. The freshness, variety and difficulty of the horn writing in these concertos is testimony to Mozart’s ingenuity — and to Leutgeb’s considerable talent. The Horn Concerto No. 2 is in the traditional three movements. The opening movement is a compact sonata-concerto form in the “singing allegro” style that Mozart learned while still in knee pants from John Christian Bach, the youngest son of Johann Sebastian, who had settled in London and met the touring Mozarts there when Wolfgang was only eight. The generally sunny optimism of the first movement is clouded by some richly Romantic harmonies in the development section. The recapitulation presents some swift and challenging passages to the soloist in which Mozart, with an almost devilish glee, must have pressed Leutgeb to the limits of his technique. The lyrical second movement is a lovely song in sonatina form that fully utilizes the burnished sonority of the solo horn. The finale is an uncomplicated rondo in the 6/8-meter hunting style that recalls the sylvan ancestors of the concert horn. Just before the end of the movement, Mozart laid a little musical trap for his friend Leutgeb. Twice the music stops in mid-phrase with a measure of silence — the listener can almost imagine the baffled horn player looking back over his shoulder at the orchestra to see what went wrong — before the tempo increases for the final dash to the end.
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 Composed in 1889. Premiered on February 2, 1890 in Prague, conducted by the composer. Woodwinds in pairs plus piccolo, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. Approximately 36 minutes. You would probably have liked Dvořák. He was born a simple (in the best sense) man of the soil who retained a love of country, nature and peasant ways all his life. In his later years he wrote, “In spite of the fact that I have moved about in the great world of music, I shall remain what I have always been — a simple Czech musician.” Few passions ruffled his life — music, of course; the rustic pleasures of country life; the company of old friends; caring for his pigeons; and a child-like fascination with railroads. When he was in Prague during the winters, he took daily walks to the Franz Josef Station to gaze in awe at the great iron wagons. The timetables were as ingrained in his thinking as were the chord progressions of his music, and he knew all the specifications of the engines that puffed through Prague. When his students returned from a journey, he would pester them until they recalled exactly which locomotive had pulled their train. Milton Cross sketched him thus: “To the end of his days he
remained shy, uncomfortable in the presence of those he regarded as his social superiors, and frequently remiss in his social behavior. He was never completely at ease in large cities, with the demands they made on him. Actually he had a pathological fear of city streets and would rarely cross a busy thoroughfare if a friend was not with him. He was happiest when he was close to the soil, raising pigeons, taking long, solitary walks in the hills and forests of the Bohemia he loved so deeply. Yet he was by no means a recluse. In the company of his intimate friends, particularly after a few beers, he was voluble, gregarious, expansive and good-humored.” His music reflected his salubrious nature, and former New York Times critic Harold Schonberg concluded, “He remained throughout his entire creative span the happiest and least neurotic of the late Romantics.... With Handel and Haydn, he is the healthiest of all composers.” The G major Symphony, in its warm emotionalism and pastoral contentment, mirrors its creator. It was composed during Dvořák’s annual summer retreat to the country at Vysoká, and his happy contentment with his surroundings shines through the music. Dvořák was absolutely profligate with themes in the Symphony’s opening movement. In the exposition, which comprises the first 126 measures of the work, there are no fewer than eight separate melodies which are tossed out with an ease and speed reminiscent of Mozart’s fecundity. The first theme is presented without preamble in the rich hues of trombones, low strings and low woodwinds in the dark coloring of G minor. This tonality soon yields to the chirruping G major of the flute melody, but much of the movement shifts effortlessly between major and minor keys, lending a certain air of nostalgia to the work. The opening melody is recalled to initiate both the development and the recapitulation. In the former, it reappears in its original guise and even, surprisingly, in its original key. The recapitulation begins as this theme is hurled forth by the trumpets in a stentorian setting greatly heightened in emotional weight from its former presentations. The coda is invested with the rhythm and high good spirits of an energetic country dance to bring the movement to its rousing ending. The second movement is one of the most original formal conceptions in late-19th-century symphonic music. It comprises two kinds of music, one hesitant and somewhat lachrymose, the other stately and smoothly flowing. Some have interpreted these strains as tonal pictures of a crumbling ruin (the opening section resembles The Old Castle movement of the Poetic Tone Pictures for Piano, Op. 85) and a peasant wedding. This may be. But looked at in the abstract, as pure music, the movement also points forward to the interest of many 20th-century composers in creating a work from disparate types of music. The compositions of Mahler, Ives and Stravinsky, among others, are filled with instances of what seems to be two different pieces pushed up against each other for the dramatic effect their juxtaposition creates. In this movement, Dvořák built two blocks of music that are different not just in key and melody, but in their total conception. The first is indefinite in tonality, rhythm and cadence; its theme is a collection of fragments; its texture is sparse. The following section is greatly contrasted: its key is unambiguous; its rhythm and cadence points are clear; its melody is a long, continuous span. The form of this movement is created as much by texture and sonority as by the traditional means of melody and tonality. It is a daring and prophetic type of music-making from a composer who is usually regarded as an arch conservative, as the critic for The New York Times recognized in 1892. “The music of the symphony,” he wrote following the New York premiere on March 12th, “is certainly modern and strange enough to meet the demands of the most modern extremists.” The third movement is a lilting essay much in the style of the Austrian folk dance, the Ländler. Like the beginning of the Symphony, it opens in G minor with a mood of sweet melancholy, but gives way to a languid melody in G major for the central trio. Following the repeat of the scherzo, a vivacious coda in faster tempo paves the way to the finale. The trumpets herald the start of the finale, a theme and variations with a central section resembling a development in character. The bustling second variation returns as a sort of formal mile-marker — it introduces the “development” and begins the coda. This wonderful Symphony ends swiftly and resoundingly amid a burst of high spirits and warm-hearted good feelings. © 2011 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
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©On the Upbeat, JANUARY 2012 VOL. 5, 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.