On the Upbeat October 2013 • Volume 7, Edition 1
2013-2014 Subscription Series
October 12 and 13, 2013
Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Ted Atkatz, Percussion Women of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Jo Anne Wasserman, Director
A few words Dear Music Lovers, It is my pleasure to welcome you to our 61st season. Each program this season will offer something unique and special which combines the greatest works of the symphonic repertoire together with some works that we are delighted to unveil for you. The seven programs of the season will bring flavors from four centuries of music history, and include versatile styles and different emotions and experiences. Join us to rediscover some of your favorite music, with interesting connections that you may not have thought of before. Because education is at the core of our mission, we strive to make each season a feast of learning and growth. Whether you’re new to the world of the classics or a seasoned expert, our goal as a symphony family is to explore, teach and learn together. Discovering something new and making classical music part of our community is our vision and by joining us this season you can help make it a reality. No season is complete without a celebration of some of the very best this art form has to offer — and this season we perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Wagner, Verdi and many others, from the exquisite talents of Hélène Grimaud to the undeniably powerful compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich, all performed by the motivated and passionate musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Joining us this season gives you the chance to rediscover the music you love. Come celebrate with us, and I look forward to seeing you at the fabulous Granada Theatre!
WAGNER Overture to Tannhäuser ROUSE Der gerettete Alberich, Fantasy for Percussion and Orchestra — INTERMISSION —
HOLST The Planets, Op. 32
Mars, the Bringer of War: Vivace Venus, the Bringer of Peace: Adagio Mercury, the Winged Messenger: Vivace Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity: Allegro giocoso— Andante maestoso Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age: Adagio Uranus, the Magician: Allegro Neptune, the Mystic: Andante (with Women’s Chorus) sponsored by
Chris Lancashire SELECTION SPONSOR
Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marilynn L. Sullivan & Marlyn Bernard Bernstein.
Nir Kabaretti 1
Ted Atkatz percussionist
A former Principal Percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Edward (Ted) Atkatz has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, TED ATKATZ Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Over the past several years he has played on several movie scores, including those for The Day the Earth Stood Still, Super 8 and Up. He has also participated in the St. Barts Music Festival since 2001. Prior to winning his Chicago Symphony position in 1997, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Florida. He is currently a faculty member at Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and the Texas Music Festival in Houston, Texas. Mr. Atkatz began his studies at age 10 at the Bloomingdale House of Music and later attended the preparatory division at Manhattan School of Music. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance and Music Education, magna cum laude, from Boston University. Prior to graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, he taught music in elementary schools in Worcester, Massachusetts. While in graduate school, he was invited to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra for two summers, and in 1996 served as timpanist for Tanglewood’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Atkatz earned a professional studies degree at Temple University, where he worked with Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra. An avid long-distance runner, Mr. Atkatz ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001 with a time of 2:59:32, and ran the Santa Barbara Marathon in 2012 with a time of 3:09:34. He enjoys performing various styles of music, is a singer/songwriter, and is the founder and leader of the band NYCO. The band was the subject of a 2008 New York Times article and its music has been featured on MTV and in advertising for Volkswagen and JC Penney The band released its third full length album in 2012, entitled Future Imperfect.
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Program Notes by Dr. Richard E. Rodda Overture to Tannhäuser (1843-1845)
outpouring, and finally passes into the distance. As night falls, magic visions show themselves .... This is the seductive magic of the Venusberg. Lured by the tempting vision, Tannhäuser draws near. It is Venus herself who appears to him .... In drunken joy the Bacchantes rush upon him and draw him into their wild dance.... The storm subsides. Only a soft, sensuous moan lingers in the air where the unholy ecstasy held sway. Yet already the morning dawns: from the far distance the Pilgrim’s Chorus is heard again. As it draws ever nearer and day repulses night, those lingering moans are transfigured into a murmur of joy so that when the sun rises the pilgrims’ chorus proclaims salvation to all the world.”
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Tannhäuser opens in a grotto in the Venusberg, a mountain where Venus, the goddess of love, is said by German legend to have taken refuge after the fall of ancient civilization. Tannhäuser has forsaken the world to enjoy her sensual pleasures, but after a year he longs to return home and find forgiveness. He invokes the name of the Virgin Mary, and the Venusberg is swallowed by darkness. Tannhäuser finds himself in a valley below Wartburg Castle, where he is passed by a band of pilgrims journeying to Rome. His friend Wolfram recognizes him, tells him how Elisabeth has grieved during his absence, and invites him to the Wartburg to see Elisabeth and to take part in a singing contest. Elisabeth is joyous at Tannhäuser’s return, and they reassure each other of their love. At the contest, however, Tannhäuser sings a rhapsody to Venus and the pleasures of carnal love that so enrages the assembled knights and ladies that Elisabeth must protect him from their threats of violence. Tannhäuser agrees to join the pilgrims to atone for his sins. Several months later, he returns from Rome, alone, haggard and in rags. He tells Wolfram that the Pope has said it is as impossible for someone who has dwelled in the Venusberg to be forgiven as for the Papal staff to sprout leaves. He considers going again to Venus, but withstands that temptation when Wolfram mentions Elisabeth’s name. Elisabeth, however, not knowing of Tannhäuser’s return and despairing of ever seeing her lover again, has died of grief. Her bier is carried past Tannhäuser, who kneels next to it and also dies. As morning dawns, pilgrims from Rome arrive bearing the Pope’s staff, which has miraculously grown leaves. The Overture to Tannhäuser encapsulates in musical terms the dramatic conflict between the sacred love of Elisabeth and the profane love of Venus. Wagner wrote of it, “The orchestra introduces the Pilgrims’ Chorus. It approaches, swells to a mighty
Der gerettete Alberich (“Alberich Saved”), Fantasy for Percussion and Orchestra (1997) Christopher Rouse (born in 1949)
Christopher Rouse, a native of Baltimore, was largely selftaught in music before entering the Oberlin Conservatory in 1967; he received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin in 1971. Following two years of private study with George Crumb in Philadelphia, he enrolled at Cornell University, where his teachers included Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. He graduated from Cornell in 1977 with both master’s and doctoral degrees, and a year later joined the faculty of the University of Michigan. Rouse taught at the Eastman School of Music from 1981 to 2002, and has been on the composition faculty of the Juilliard School since 1997. Among his many distinctions are the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in Music, 2002 Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, three BMI/SCA Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Music, Friedheim Award of Kennedy Center, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and recognition as Continues 3
NOTES, From Page 3
The Planets, Op. 32 (1914-1917)
Musical America’s 2009 “Composer of the Year.” He is Composer-inResidence with the New York Philharmonic from 2012 to 2014. Der gerettete Alberich (“Alberich Saved”) found its inspiration in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. “One of Wagner’s most interesting decisions in the Ring,” Rouse explained, “was to leave unclear the fate of Alberich, the villainous dwarf who set in motion the inexorable machinery of destiny, leading in the end to the apocalyptic cataclysm that concludes Götterdämmerung (‘Twilight of the Gods’). As is so often the case in Wagner’s operas, Alberich is more than a cardboard villain and is not entirely unsympathetic; however cruel his actions, they are often the result of mistreatment at the hands of others. Thus, it is possible to recognize the inherent evil of his nature and deeds and yet still discern some measure of humanity in him and, in the process, to feel compassion for his plight. “As Alberich’s whereabouts are unknown at the end of the Ring, it occurred to me that it might be engaging to return him to the stage, so to speak, so that he might wreak further havoc in what is quite literally the godless world in which Wagner has left us in the final pages of Götterdämmerung. Der gerettete Alberich seeks to present a series of imagined moods that might underline Alberich’s possible state of mind after the conclusion of the cycle. Rather than a concerto, the piece is more of a fantasy for solo percussion and orchestra on themes of Wagner, with the soloist taking on the ‘role’ of Alberich. The solo percussionist plays from three stations placed close together (but still spatially separate) at the front of the stage. “Much of the musical material in the work is derived from a number of motives associated with Alberich in the Ring, among them the motives for The Curse, The Power of Gold, The Renunciation of Love, Annihilation, The Nibelungs and, of course, The Ring itself. Only Wagner’s ‘Redemption through Love’ motive stands beyond the ken of the other Alberich-related motives I have used, though I have rather maliciously distorted it to suit the purposes of my ‘hero.’ “Notwithstanding the discernible tripartite structure of Der gerettete Alberich, this work is somewhat looser architecturally than other scores of mine to which I have appended the title ‘concerto’— hence my decision to refer to it as a ‘fantasy.’ Beyond a brief passage in which Alberich serves a stint as a rock drummer, I was not attempting to paint specific pictures in this score. However, the listener is free to provide whatever images he or she likes to the sonic goings-on.”
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Holst’s interest in writing a piece of music on the attributes of the astrological signs was apparently spurred by his visit in the spring of 1913 with the writer and avid star-gazer Clifford Bax, who noted that Holst was himself “a skilled reader of horoscopes.” (Imogen Holst suggested that one reason her father may have been attracted to composing such a work was because he was having difficulty at the time formulating structural plans for large-scale pieces, and a suite for orchestra seemed appropriate to his compositional needs.) Of the music’s inspiration, Holst noted, “As a rule I only study things which suggest music to me. That’s why I worried at Sanskrit. Then recently the character of each planet suggested lots to me, and I have been studying astrology fairly closely.” Despite his immediate attraction to the planets as the subject for a musical work, however, he took some time before beginning actual composition. He once wrote to William Gillies Whittaker, “Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you,” and it was not until the summer of 1914, more than a full year after he had conceived the piece, that he could no longer resist the lure of The Planets. “Once he had taken the underlying idea from astrology, he let the music have its way with him,” reported Imogen of her father’s writing The Planets. The composition of the work occupied him for over three years. Jupiter, Venus and Mars were written in 1914 (prophetically, Mars, the Bringer of War was completed only weeks before the assassination at Sarajevo precipitated the start of the First World War); Saturn, Uranus and Neptune followed in 1915, and Mercury a year after that. Holst wrote of The Planets, “These pieces were suggested by the astrological significance of the planets. There is no program music in them, neither have they any connection with the deities of classical mythology bearing the same names. If any guide to the music is required, the subtitle to each piece will be found sufficient, especially if it is used in a broad sense.” The staggering hammerblows of Mars, the Bringer of War are followed by the sweet luminosity of Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Mercury, the Winged Messenger is a nimble scherzo. Within Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity co-exist a boisterous Bacchanalian dance and a striding hymn tune to which Elgar stood godfather. Holst declared the lugubrious Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age to be his favorite movement in the suite. Uranus, the Magician is shown as a rather portly prestidigitator. Neptune, the Mystic is a disembodied siren song for the female chorus floating away to inaudibility among the spheres. ©2013 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
An Evening of Mozart Join Matthias Bamert, former Music Director of the London Mozart Players, in this fascinating evening of the incomparable Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. NOVEMBER 23-24: Mozart: Serenade No. 10 “Gran Partita” for Winds Mozart: Serenade in G Minor “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”
“(Bamerts work is) beautiful, sensitive and sympathetic,” – BBC Music Magazine
Mozart: Symphony No. 25
FOR TICKETS (805) 899-2222 or www.thesymphony.org 5
Behind the Music Ramón Araïza’s pre-concert talks are a hit with concert goers. Get more out of your concert, come early for “Behind the Music.”
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!
Saturday Evening: 7:00-7:30pm Sunday Matinee: 2:00-2:30pm Behind the Music at the Granada Theatre is generously sponsored by Marilynn L. Sullivan and Marlyn Bernard Bernstein.
New Years Eve
The Best Party in town!
Why not make it a Symphony night? Terrific Granada seating starts at just $35.
For tickets, call the Granada Box Office at 899-2222 or visit www.thesymphony.org ©On the Upbeat, OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 7, EDITION 1. 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.
Santa Barbara Symphony October 12-13, 2013 program notes.