On The Upbeat November 2014 • Volume 8, Edition 2
2014-2015 Subscription Series NOVEMBER 15 & 16, 2014
From the Board President Dear Friends, Welcome to our Beethoven: Student to Master concert! In harmony with this concert’s theme, education is a strategic priority at the Santa Barbara Symphony, with robust programs and a rich history. I know first-hand about the benefits of the Symphony’s education programs. I had the opportunity to play the cello in the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and cement my love for classical music. My five years in the Youth Symphony were some of my best memories, and ones that helped shape me in many positive ways. More importantly, my story has been repeated countless times by the alumni of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education Center over the decades. Music education’s positive effects for students have been well documented, and the Symphony’s programs stand as living proof. This fall we received a record number of applications for our Music Van, Concerts for Young People, String Workshop, Junior Strings, and Youth Symphony. Thanks to your support, our education programs continue the tradition of offering low tuitions and scholarships so that there are no financial barriers to participation. But without additional funding support, we have reached capacity. Your support ensures that our strong commitment to education will continue, so please consider a gift which will help us expand each and every one of our programs by granting scholarships, hiring teachers, and ultimately serving more students. Enjoy the concert, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Arthur Swalley Board President
Beethoven: Student to Master Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Caroline Goulding, Violin
HAYDN Overture to Armida, H. XXVIII:12
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21 Adagio molto — Allegro con brio Andante cantabile con moto Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace Adagio — Allegro molto e vivace — INTERMISSION —
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 Allegro ma non troppo Larghetto — Rondo: Allegro sponsored by
Principal Concert Sponsor JO BETH VAN GELDEREN Artist Sponsors
JOHN A. RODRIGUEZ II Selection Sponsors
Come hear Maestro Nir Kabaretti speak for a very special “Behind the Music” 7pm Sat. and 2pm Sun. 1
Caroline Goulding violin
Called “precociously gifted” by Gramophone, violinist Caroline Goulding has performed as a soloist since her debut at age 13 with some of North America’s premier orchestras, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, National Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony and more. Throughout the 2013 season, Caroline made her recital debuts in Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” Series, and Bad Kissingen’s Sommer festival, in addition to orchestral debuts with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony and Reno Chamber Orchestra. Caroline’s recognition from the classical music world’s most distinguished artists, critics and institutions has been significant. She was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011; and in 2009, she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, was the recipient of the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, and received a Grammy nomination for her debut recording on the Telarc label. Violinist Jaime Laredo who called Caroline “one of the most gifted and musically interesting violinists I have heard in a long time; her playing is heartfelt and dazzling.” The Washington Post has proclaimed “Goulding is a skilled violinist well on her way to an important career,” Caroline has appeared on NBC’s Today, MARTHA, PBS’s From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall with worldrenowned banjo player Bela Fleck, and made her debut in December 2012 on Germany’s hit primetime television show Stars von Morgen (Stars of Tomorrow) hosted by Rolando Villazón on ZDF/ARTE. Caroline currently studies with Donald Weilerstein and Christian Tetzlaff as a Young Soloist at Kronberg Academy, funded by the Stork-Wersborg Stipendium.” Her past influences include Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka. A past recipient of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.
New Year’s Eve Pops Concert
Wed., December 31, 2014 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. at the Granada Theatre Fast becoming a Santa Barbara favorite, Bob Bernhardt returns with a Pops feast of the tunes you and your family will love, as well as a few surprises! Ring in the new year at the best party in town, but get your tickets early—this concert is always a sell-out! SANTA BARBARA CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Principal Concert Sponsor
Bob Bernhardt Guest Conductor
Purchase Tickets online at www.thesymphony.org or call the Granada Theatre at 805-899-2222 Programming to be announced. Not part of season subscription series.
Notes on the Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Overture to Armida (1783)
In his study of Haydn, Karl Geiringer described the Overture to Armida as “a sort of tone poem covering the whole plot of Rinaldo’s sinful passion for the lovely sorceress Armida, and his eventual return to duty.” The Overture is unusual in 18th-century practice in that it is based on excerpts from the opera. The opening theme depicts the conflict between Rinaldo’s sense of duty and his longing for love; the subsidiary subject is a reminder of the hero’s military activities. The development section describes Rinaldo’s turbulent scenes with Armida and his guilty conscience. The seductive music of the enchanted wood provides a beguiling contrast, but Rinaldo tears himself away, and the Overture ends with the victory of duty over love.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
The story of Armida and Rinaldo derives from Torquato Tasso’s epic dramatic poem about the First Crusade, Jerusalem Liberated (completed 1575). Armida, the Saracen sorceress, has entranced Rinaldo, the greatest of the Frankish heroes, with her sensual charms. For the love of Armida, he abandons his Christian comrades, who seek to rescue him from her spell. They restore his sense of duty, and win him back from the sorceress, but he determines to destroy the source of her magic, a myrtle tree at the center of her enchanted forest. He finds the tree, and just as he prepares to rend it with his sword, the trunk splits open to reveal Armida in her most alluring form. Nearly lost once again, Rinaldo summons his greatest courage and strikes the tree and Armida. Her spell is broken, and the Christians emerge victorious.
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21 (1799-1800) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
This story, usually fleshed out with a love interest between Rinaldo and Armida, provided the subject for a large number of operas in the 17th and 18th centuries, beginning with Monteverdi’s dramatic madrigal of 1624 (Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda), and continuing in later decades with stage works by Handel, Salieri, Lully, Gluck, Traetta, Jomelli, Anfossi, Sacchini, Gazzaniga and Righini; Rossini and Dvořák carried the subject into the Romantic era. Haydn settled on the old theme of Armida for the opera seria written in 1783 for the Esterháza Palace season of the following year—it proved to be the last opera that he composed for the Esterházys. After its premiere on February 26, 1784, Armida was performed more frequently than any other opera at Esterháza (at least 54 times before Prince Nicolaus’ death in 1790), and came to be a favorite at the court in Vienna (21 performances in 1784 and 17 in 1785; the work remained in the repertory for several more seasons). The composer and his contemporaries regarded it as his finest creation for the musical stage.
“He was short, about 5 feet, 4 inches, thickset and broad, with a massive head, a wildly luxuriant crop of hair, protruding teeth, a small rounded nose, and a habit of spitting whenever the notion took him. He was clumsy, and anything he touched was liable to be upset or broken. Badly coordinated, he could never learn to dance, and more often than not managed to cut himself while shaving. He was sullen and suspicious, touchy as a misanthropic cobra, believed that everybody was out to cheat him, had none of the social graces, was forgetful, and was prone to insensate rages.” Thus the late New York Times critic Harold Schonberg, in his book about The Lives of the Great Composers, described Ludwig van Beethoven, the burly peasant with the unquenchable fire of genius who descended, aged 22, upon Vienna in 1792. Beethoven had been charged by his benefactor in his hometown of Bonn, Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, to go to the Austrian capital and “receive the spirit of Mozart from the hands of Haydn.” He did study for a short time with Haydn, 3
then universally regarded as the greatest living composer, but young Ludwig proved to be a recalcitrant student, and the sessions soon ended, though the two maintained a respectful, if cool, relationship until Haydn’s death in 1809.
struggle that became one of the gravitational poles of his life. Within two years, driven from the social contact on which he had flourished by the fear of discovery of his malady, he penned the Heiligenstadt Testament, his cri de coeur against this wicked trick of the gods. The C major Symphony stands on the brink of this great crisis in Beethoven’s life.
Beethoven was not to make his first impression upon the Viennese as a composition student, however, but as a pianist—a pianist unlike any seen before. In a world still largely accustomed to the reserved, genteel musical style of preRevolutionary classicism, he burst upon the scene like a fiery meteor. Rather than the elegant, fluent style of a Mozart (dead less than a year at the time of Beethoven’s arrival), he played with a seeming wild abandon, thrashing upon the keyboard, breaking strings, trying to draw forth orchestral sonorities from the light, wood-frame Viennese pianos that regularly suffered under his onslaught. He repeatedly entreated piano manufacturers to build bigger, louder, sturdier instruments. (By the 1820s, they had.) Like his style of performance, the music he composed reflected the impassioned, powerful emotions that drove him throughout his entire life.
Beethoven’s music of the 1790s showed an increasingly powerful expression that mirrored the maturing of his genius. The First Symphony, though, is a conservative, even a cautious work. In it, he was more interested in exploring the architectural than the emotional components of the form, and relied on the musical language established by Haydn and Mozart in composing it. In its reliance on a thoroughly logical, carefully conceived structure, this work also set the formal precedent for his later music: though Beethoven dealt with vivid emotional states, the technique of his music was never founded upon any other than the most solid intellectual base. Romain Rolland made this point in his insightful, if flowery essay on “Beethoven in his Thirtieth Year”: “The Ego of Beethoven is not that of the Romantics.... Everything that was characteristic of them would have been repugnant to him—their sentimentality, their lack of logic, their disordered imagination.” Thus Beethoven, “at thirty, already the conqueror of the future,” in Rolland’s phrase, first flexed his symphonic muscles in a work reliant on the style and spirit of the past, not simply to “show he could do it,” but rather to explore and set into his imagination the possibilities of the form that he was to electrify as had no other.
The Viennese aristocracy took this young lion to its bosom. Beethoven expected as much. Unlike his predecessors, he would not assume the servant’s position traditionally accorded to a musician, refusing, for example, not only to eat in the kitchen, but becoming outspokenly hostile if he was not seated next to the master of the house at table. The more enlightened nobility, to its credit, recognized the genius of this gruff Rhinelander, and encouraged his work. Shortly after his arrival, for example, Prince Lichnowsky provided Beethoven with living quarters, treating him more like a son than a guest. Lichnowsky even instructed the servants to answer the musician’s call before his own, should both ring at the same time. In large part, such gestures provided for Beethoven’s support during his early Viennese years. For most of the first decade after he arrived, Beethoven made some effort to follow the prevailing fashion in the sophisticated city. But though he outfitted himself with good boots, a proper coat, and the necessary accoutrements, and enjoyed the hospitality of Vienna’s best houses, there never ceased to roil within him the untamed energy of creativity. It was only a matter of time before the fancy clothes were discarded, as a bear would shred a flimsy paper bag.
The First Symphony begins with a most unusual slow introduction. The opening chord is a dissonance, a harmony that seems to lead away from the main tonality, which is normally established immediately at the beginning of a Classical work. Though not unprecedented (the well-known and influential C.P.E. Bach consistently took even more daring harmonic flights), it does reinforce the sense of striving, of constantly moving toward resolution that underlies all Beethoven’s works. The sonata form proper begins with the quickening of the tempo and the presentation of the main theme by the strings. More instruments enter, tension accumulates, and the music arrives at the second theme following a brief silence—a technique he derived from Mozart to emphasize this important formal junction. The woodwinds hold forth here, and the remainder of the exposition is given over to two large paragraphs of rising intensity, each punctuated with a firm cadence. The compact development section deals exclusively with the main theme. The recapitulation follows the events of the exposition, but presents them in an intensified setting. The coda again recalls the main theme, and introduces one of the composer’s characteristic traits—the extended repetition of the cadential chords to release the accumulated harmonic tensions of the movement.
The year of the First Symphony—1800—was a crucial time in Beethoven’s development. By then, he had achieved a success good enough to write to his old friend Franz Wegeler in Bonn, “My compositions bring me in a good deal, and may I say that I am offered more commissions than it is possible for me to carry out. Moreover, for every composition I can count on six or seven publishers and even more, if I want them. People no longer come to an arrangement with me. I state my price, and they pay.” Behind him were many works, including the Op. 18 Quartets, the first two piano concertos, and the Pathétique Sonata, that bear his personal imprint. At the time of this gratifying recognition of his talents, however, the first signs of his fateful deafness appeared, and he began the titanic
The slow second movement, another sonata form, has a canonic main theme and a delicately airy secondary melody. 4
The development employs the melodic leaps of the subordinate theme; the recapitulation is enriched by the addition of contrapuntal accompanying lines. The third movement is the most innovative in the Symphony. Though marked “Menuetto,” its tempo indication, “very fast and lively,” precludes the staid gait of the traditional courtly dance. This is rather one of those whirlwind packets of rhythmic energy that, beginning with the Second Symphony, Beethoven labeled “scherzo.” Its tripartite form (minuet—trio—minuet) follows the Classical model, with strings dominant in the outer sections, and winds in the central portion.
incredulous Haydn was convinced Clement had copied the score, though that was quite impossible since it had not yet been published. Of Clement’s style of violin performance, Boris Schwarz wrote, “His playing was graceful rather than vigorous, his tone small but expressive, and he possessed unfailing assurance and purity in high positions and exposed entrances.” It was for Clement that Beethoven produced his only Violin Concerto. The Violin Concerto was written during the most productive period of Beethoven’s life: the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Coriolan Overture, the three Op. 59 Quartets, and numerous other works clustered within a few months of its composition in 1806. So busy was Beethoven that he was able to finish the Concerto only on the day of the concert, making orchestral rehearsals for the premiere impossible. Clement, who had probably been following the progress of the work as Beethoven was composing it, must have carried the day, however, because the concert proved to be at least a partial success. Johann Nepomuk Möser provided a review of the performance that was typical of many notices Beethoven received during his lifetime: “The judgment of connoisseurs about Beethoven’s music is unanimous; they acknowledge some beautiful passages in it, but they admit that the work frequently seems to lack coherence and that the endless repetitions of some trite passages tend to be tiring.... There is some fear that Beethoven, by persisting in this, will do serious harm to himself and to the public.... On the whole,” Möser added, “the audience liked this concerto and Clement’s fantasias very much.” The “fantasias” put on display by Clement that evening were his own works, and probably accounted in no small part for the audience’s good response to the concert. Clement was apparently as adept a showman as he was a virtuoso, and he played these pieces, which he programmed between the first two movements of Beethoven’s Concerto, with the instrument turned upside-down, virtually assuring a success. The Viennese public knew a master when they saw one.
The finale begins with a short introductory sentence comprising halting scale fragments that preview the vivacious main theme of the movement, “let out as a cat from a bag,” assessed Prof. Donald Tovey. Yet another excursion in sonata form, this bustling movement is indebted to the sparkling style of Haydn, and even gives off much of the brilliant wit associated with that composer. All is brought to an end with ribbons of scales rising through the orchestra, and the emphatic concluding measures. Olin Downes wrote, “Beethoven is trying, in this first symphony of his, to respect the forms and standards of earlier masters than himself, particularly Haydn and Mozart. He is a little constrained in their mold, however, and occasionally cannot help revealing the cloven hoof of the revolutionary beneath the gown of the respectful disciple.”
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 (1806) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
In 1794, two years after he moved to Vienna from Bonn, Beethoven attended a concert by an Austrian violin prodigy named Franz Clement. To Clement, then fourteen years old, the young composer wrote, “Dear Clement! Go forth on the way which you hitherto have travelled so beautifully, so magnificently. Nature and art vie with each other in making you a great artist. Follow both and, never fear, you will reach the great—the greatest—goal possible to an artist here on earth. All wishes for your happiness, dear youth; and return soon, that I may again hear your dear, magnificent playing. Entirely your friend, L. v. Beethoven.”
Such topsy-turvy histrionics were an accepted (and expected) facet of early 19th-century concert life, and Clement seems, in sum, to have been a fine musician. Certainly the Concerto that he inspired from Beethoven, one of that master’s most endearingly beautiful compositions, is unsurpassed by any other in the entire literature for the violin. Of the seemingly contradictory qualities of grandeur and intimacy in this work, Sir Donald Tovey commented, “Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is gigantic, one of the most spacious concertos ever written, but so quiet that when it was a novelty most people complained quite as much of its insignificance as of its length. All its most famous strokes of genius are not only mysteriously quiet, but mysterious in radiantly happy surroundings. The whole gigantic scheme is serene.” It is not surprising that such an introspective work failed to gain immediate popularity in the age of flamboyant virtuosity that was the 19th-century concert circuit. The Concerto enjoyed very few hearings until another child prodigy, Joseph Joachim, at the age of thirteen,
Beethoven’s wish was soon granted. Clement was appointed conductor and concertmaster of the Theater-an-derWien in Vienna in 1802, where he was closely associated with Beethoven in the production of Fidelio and as the conductor of the premiere of the Third Symphony. Clement, highly esteemed by his contemporaries as a violinist, musician and composer for his instrument, was also noted for his fabulous memory. One tale relates that Clement, after participating in a single performance of Haydn’s The Creation, wrote out a score for the entire work from memory, which he then submitted to the composer for corrections. So few were needed that the 5
took it up in 1844, and included it in his programs all over Europe. To give it yet another lease on life, Muzio Clementi, the piano virtuoso and music publisher, convinced Beethoven to arrange the score as a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. The most interesting aspect of this transcription was Beethoven’s inclusion of a kettledrum accompaniment for one of the cadenzas.
embellishment from the soloist. Following the cadenza, the second theme serves as a coda. “In the slow movement,” wrote Tovey, “we have one of the cases of sublime inaction achieved by Beethoven and by no one else except in certain lyrics and masterpieces of choral music.” The comparison to vocal music is certainly appropriate for this hymnal movement. Though it is technically a theme and variations, it seems less like some earth-bound form than it does a floating constellation of ethereal tones, polished and hung against a velvet night sky with infinite care and flawless precision. Music of such limited dramatic contrast cannot be brought to a satisfactory conclusion in this context, and so here it leads without pause into the vivacious rondo-finale. The solo violin trots out the principal theme before it is taken over by the full orchestra. This jaunty tune returns three times, the last appearance forming a large coda. The intervening episodes allow for a flashing virtuoso display from the soloist and even a touch of melancholy in one of the few minor-mode sections of the Concerto.
The sweet, lyrical nature and wide compass of the solo part of this Concerto were influenced by the polished style of Clement’s playing. The five soft taps on the timpani that open the work not only serve to establish the key and the rhythm of the movement, but also recur as a unifying phrase throughout. The main theme is introduced in the second measure by the woodwinds in a chorale-like setting that emphasizes the smooth contours of this lovely melody. A transition, with rising scales in the winds and quicker rhythmic figures in the strings, accumulates a certain intensity before it quiets to usher in the second theme, another legato strophe entrusted to the woodwinds. Immediately after its entry, the violin soars into its highest register, where it presents a touching obbligato spun around the main thematic material of the orchestral introduction. The development section is largely given over to wide-ranging figurations for the soloist. The recapitulation begins with a recall of the five drum strokes of the opening, here spread across the full orchestra sounding in unison. The themes from the exposition return with more elaborate
Theodore Front, noting the proportion and assurance that characterize this Concerto, wrote, “This was the period of perfect balance in Beethoven’s creative life—balance between expressive and sensuous elements, between youthful impetus and mature serenity, between 18th-century playfulness and Romantic introspection.” ©2014 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
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film with live orchestra accompaniment
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©On the Upbeat, NOVEMBER 2014 VOL. 8, EDITION 2. 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.