Page 1

On the Upbeat APRIL 2010 • VOLUME 3, EDITION 6

Nir’s Notes: Dear Friends: I returned to my homeland Israel during the month of March for a concert with the Israel Philharmonic orchestra. It was in Israel during my childhood that I was mesmerized by a performance by a young, American pianist who dazzled the judges and audience at the International Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition. His performance of Rachmaninoff ’s Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini, accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic, resulted in the young artist walking away with the coveted Grand Prize. At that time, never did I imagine that I would conduct the IPO or would be sharing the same stage with this extraordinary musician a quarter-century later. That extraordinary musician is Jeffrey Kahane. Jeffrey Kahane is currently the Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Colorado Symphony. He has built an international reputation for his artistic excellence both as conductor and pianist. Since I first heard him play Rachmaninoff, I was thrilled that the Maestro chose to play Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with us in Santa Barbara. I am honored to take the podium with Maestro Kahane at my side as soloist. Like Rachmaninoff ’s Third Piano Concerto, the other two works on the program were also premiered in the U.S. We open with Paul Hindemith’s Concert Music for Strings and Brass. Written in 1930 on the occasion of the Boston Symphony’s 50th Anniversary, this two-part composition demands a very luscious string sound and features a brass choir to create a celebratory atmosphere. “Chasing Light…” is a newly commissioned piece by American composer Joseph Schwantner as part of the League of American Orchestras’ Ford Made in America initiative. Inspired in part by a poem the composer had written from his time spent in New England, this dynamic composition is Schwantner’s sonorous interpretation of the spirit, colors and inspiration transmitted by the vibrant colors that penetrate the morning mist that wafts through New England’s hills. April’s program will reveal various orchestral colors and we look forward to sharing them with you at the Granada on April 10 & 11. Musically yours, Nir Kabaretti

CONCERT SPONSOR:

2009-2010 SEASON

CRESCENDO !

The Momentum Continues...

Classic “Rach”

Saturday, April 10, 8pm & Sunday, April 11, 3pm THE GRANADA

Jeffrey Kahane, Piano HINDEMITH : Concert Music for Strings and Brass, Op. 50 JOSEPH S CHWANTNER : Chasing Light... R ACHMANINOFF : Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30

Jeffrey Kahane, piano Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He regularly appears as soloist with leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel ARTIST SPONSORS:

Drs. Fred and Linda Wudl

Joseph Schwantner’s Chasing Light… is part of Ford Made in America

This program is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.

Join Ramón Araiza for “Music Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert! Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein


Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and is also a popular figure at summer festivals including Ravinia, Blossom, Caramoor, Mostly Mozart, Oregon Bach and the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Kahane is equally well-known for his collaborations with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell and Thomas Quasthoff and regularly appears with the leading chamber ensembles. Jeffrey Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then he has guest conducted orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields, Camerata Salzburg, and the Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Dallas and New World symphonies among others. Currently in his 13th season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and his fifth and final season as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony, Mr. Kahane was also Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony for ten seasons. He has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three orchestras and received 2007ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver. In addition to his programs and projects with LACO and the Colorado Symphony, highlights of Mr. Kahane’s 9/10 season include appearances at the Aspen, Mostly Mozart and Oregon Bach festivals; a concerto performance with Houston Symphony; conducting Haydn’s Creation with the Utah Symphony; and a return to the New York Philharmonic to play/conduct three Mozart concertos. Jeffrey Kahane’s recordings include works of Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo Ma for SONY, Paul Schoenfield’s “Four Parables” with the New World Symphony conducted by John Nelson for Decca/Argo, the Strauss “Burleske” on Telarc with the Cincinnati Symphony under Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and the complete Brandenburg Concerti (on harpsichord) with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling on the Haenssler label. He has also recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen for RCA, Bach’s Sinfonias and Partita #4 in D Major for Nonesuch, and Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” for Virgin Records, which was nominated by Gramophone magazine for their “Record of the Year” award. A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Kahane’s early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. First Prize winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, he was also the recipient of a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award in 1987. Jeffrey Kahane resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, Martha, a clinical psychologist in private practice. They have two children— Gabiel, a composer, pianist and singer/songwriter who lives in Brooklyn, and Annie, a senior at Northwestern University.

Notes

FOR APRIL 10 & 11, 2010

by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963)

Concert Music for Strings and Brass, Op. 50 Composed in 1930. Premiered on April 3, 1931 in Boston, conducted by Sergei Koussevitzky. Four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tuba and strings. Approximately 17 minutes.

Like most great creative figures, Paul Hindemith went through several phases during his compositional career. His first works (including the opera Murder, Hope of Women and Das Nuschi-Nuschi, a musical play for Burmese puppets), which date from the early 1920s, the most turbulent period of musical iconoclasm in modern times, were expressionistic and self-consciously avant-garde. In the wake of his


appointment to the administrative committee of the Donaueschingen Music Festival in 1923 and his growing concern over Germany’s economic and political difficulties under the government of the tottering Weimar Republic, however, Hindemith adopted what Ian Kemp called “a more responsible outlook” regarding his music, and he formulated a style which, Kemp continued, “directed attention to the energy in the human soul rather than to its capacity for introversion or self-advertisement.” Hindemith turned at that time to the music of J.S. Bach for both his inspiration and his model, and he devised a neo-Classical (or better, neo-Baroque) language characterized by: propulsive rhythmic constructions generated by the continuous contrapuntal working-out of a few motives; singularity of mood throughout an entire movement or section, without the strong contrasts of 19th-century music; and an expressive objectivity markedly different from the inflated emotionalism of post-Romanticism. In the mid-1930s, Hindemith added to this neo-Bachian style a stronger feeling for traditional tonality and harmonic progressions, more lyrical melodic writing and a certain fullness of sonority, qualities first seen in the 1934 opera Mathis der Maler. Standing on the cusp of this last creative period, which continued until Hindemith’s death in 1963, is the Concert Music for Strings and Brass of 1930. The Concert Music for Strings and Brass was one of a number of works commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in celebration of its 50th anniversary (Prokofiev’s Fourth Symphony, Hanson’s “Romantic” Symphony, Copland’s Symphonic Ode and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms were the most important of the others), and Hindemith fully exploited the virtuoso capabilities of that great ensemble. He was himself a master string player, giving the premieres of his own concerted works for viola (and of Walton’s Viola Concerto) and serving for many years as a member of the highly regarded Amar Quartet, and his writing for strings in this work, building on his own knowledge and experience, is consistently challenging. For their part, the brasses are called on to negotiate long, breath-taxing arches of melody, rapid staccato passages and the difficult intonation problems presented by Hindemith’s complex harmonic language. The Concert Music for Strings and Brass is disposed in two large parts, each subdivided. Part I comprises two sections, neither with strong internal contrasts: Moderately fast, with vigor leading directly to Very broad, but constantly flowing. The second part is divided into three portions: Lively, Slowly and a modified recapitulation of the Lively section.

JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (BORN IN 1943)

Chasing Light …

Composed in 2008. Premiered on September 20, 2008 in Reno, Nevada, conducted by Theodore Kuchar. Woodwinds in pairs plus two piccolos, two horns, two trumpets, trombone, timpani, percussion, piano and strings. Approximately 18 minutes.

Joseph Schwantner, one of today’s most frequently performed American composers, was born in Chicago on March 22, 1943. While in high school, he learned to play tuba and guitar, studied music theory and history, and composed several pieces for the student jazz ensemble, one of which, Offbeat eat, won the National Band Camp Award in 1959. Two years later, he enrolled as a composition student at the American Conservatory in Chicago, where he studied with Bernard Dieter. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1964, Schwantner undertook postgraduate work at Northwestern University with Anthony Donato and Alan Stout, receiving his master’s and doctoral degrees from that institution in 1966 and 1968. Following brief tenures teaching at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, he joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 1970; from 1999 to 2002, he served as Professor of Composition at Yale. Schwantner’s residencies include the Saint Louis Symphony, Cabrillo Music Festival and Sonoklect New Music Festival. His music has been played extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia by many leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists. He has received commissions and grants from the Ford Made in America Consortium, New York Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, National Symphony, Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber


Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music America, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, National Endowment for the Arts, AT&T, American Heritage Foundation and other prestigious ensembles and organizations. Among his many honors and awards are the first Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pulitzer Prize (1979, for Aftertones of Infinity nity), First Prize in the Kennedy Center Friedheim Competition, a Guggenheim Fellowship, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an honorary doctorate from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. His Magabunda and A Sudden Rainbow Rainbow, both recorded by the Saint Louis Symphony on Nonesuch, were nominated for Grammy Awards in the “Best Classical Composition” category. Joseph Schwantner has been the subject of a documentary produced by WGBH, Boston, which was broadcast nationally on public television. Schwantner composed Chasing Light ... in 2008 as part of the Ford Made in America partnership program of the League of American Orchestras and Meet The Composer. Ford Made in America is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Major support is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and The Amphion Foundation. The composer writes of Chasing Light ... , “One of the special pleasures of living in rural New Hampshire is experiencing the often brilliant and intense early morning sunrises, reminding one of Thoreau’s words, ‘Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me’ (Walden). Chasing Light ... draws its spirit, energy and inspiration from the celebration of vibrant colors and light that penetrate the morning mist as it wafts through the trees in the high New England hills. Like a delicate dance, those images intersected with a brief original poem that helped fire my musical imagination. Chasing Light ... Beneath the sickle moon, sunrise ignites daybreak’s veil Calliope’s rainbowed song cradles heaven’s arc piercing shadowy pines, a kaleidoscope blooms morning’s embrace confronts the dawn “Each movement’s subtitle is associated with a pair of lines from the poem. The four-movement work, about eighteen minutes in duration, proceeds from one movement to the next without pause. “Sunrise Sunrise Ignites Daybreak’s Veil (Con forza, feroce con bravura) opens with an introduction containing three forceful and diverse ideas presented by full orchestra: (1) a low rhythmic and percussive pedal point followed by (2) a three-note triplet figure in the brass overlaid by (3) a rapid swirling cascade of arch-like upper woodwind phrases cast in a stretto-like texture [i.e., close imitative entries]. These primary elements form the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic materials developed in the work. Following the introduction, the strings present a theme derived from the pedal-point rhythmic gesture and the brass three-note figure leading to an extended series of upward thrusting sixnote sonorities and a long, increasingly assertive line (first brass, then strings and woodwinds) divided into two parts. The movement ends with a return to the introductory material to provide a link to the next movement. “Calliope’s Calliope’s Rainbowed Song (Lontano [distantly]). The rapid, arched woodwind phrases in the introduction to the first movement occur in a variety of divergent contexts throughout the work, not only as small-scale gestures but in larger, more extended designs. Cast in an arch-like palindrome form, this movement begins softly, first with solo clarinet followed by a repeated piano sonority that forms the structure of a theme played by solo flute. Gradually, this theme builds to an exuberant midpoint, followed by sections that appear in reverse order, finally ending quietly and gently with solo clarinet and an ethereal violin harmonic that carries over to the third movement.


““A Kaleidoscope Blooms (Lacrimoso [tearfully]), a slow, expressive and elegiac movement for oboe, opens with a low, dark repeated pedal note played by piano, contrabass and gong. Sudden rapid woodwind gestures contrast and frame a succession of gradually ascending oboe phrases that accumulate ever-greater urgency as the music approaches its maximum intensity at the end. ““Morning’s Embrace Confronts the Dawn (Lontano... leggiero [lightly].) The rapid and aggressive woodwind phrases in the first movement now emerge in delicate and shimmering string textures. These earlier elements prepare for a stately but urgent chorale theme that builds forcefully to the palindromic music of the third movement, the introductory materials of the first, and a final climatic conclusion.” SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Composed in 1909. Premiered on November 28, 1909 in New York, conducted by Walter Damrosch with the composer as soloist. Woodwinds in pairs, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings. Approximately 39 minutes.

The worlds of technology and art sometimes brush against each other in curious ways. In 1909, it seems, Sergei Rachmaninoff wanted one of those new mechanical wonders —an automobile. And thereby hangs the tale of his first visit to America. The impresario Henry Wolfson of New York arranged a thirty-concert tour for the 1909-1910 season for Rachmaninoff so that he could play and conduct his own works in a number of American cities. Rachmaninoff was at first hesitant about leaving his family and home for such an extended overseas trip, but the generous financial remuneration was too tempting to resist. With a few tour details still left unsettled, Wolfson died suddenly in the spring of 1909, and the composer was much relieved that the journey would probably be cancelled. Wolfson’s agency had a contract with Rachmaninoff, however, and during the summer finished the arrangements for his appearances so that the composer-pianist-conductor was obliged to leave for New York as scheduled. Trying to look on the bright side of this daunting prospect, Rachmaninoff wrote to his long-time friend Nikita Morozov, “I don’t want to go. But then perhaps, after America I’ll be able to buy myself that automobile .... It may not be so bad after all!” It was for the American tour that Rachmaninoff composed his Third Piano Concerto. The Concerto consists of three large movements. The first is a modified sonata form which begins with a haunting theme, recalled in the later movements, that sets perfectly the Concerto’s mood of somber intensity. The espressivo second theme is presented by the pianist, whose part has, by this point, abundantly demonstrated the staggering technical challenge that this piece offers to the soloist, a characteristic Rachmaninoff had disguised by the simplicity of the opening. The development is concerned mostly with transformations of fragments from the first theme. A massive cadenza, separated into two parts by the recall of the main theme by the woodwinds, leads to the recapitulation. The earlier material is greatly abbreviated in this closing section, with just a single presentation of the opening melody and a brief, staccato version of the subsidiary theme. The second movement, subtitled Intermezzo, which Dr. Otto Kinkleday described in his notes for the New York premiere as “tender and melancholy, yet not tearful,” is a set of free variations with an inserted episode. “One of the most dashing and exciting pieces of music ever composed for piano and orchestra” is how Patrick Piggot described the finale. The movement is structured in three large sections. The first part has an abundance of themes which Rachmaninoff skillfully derived from those of the opening movement. The relationship is further strengthened in the finale’s second section, where both themes from the opening movement are recalled in slow tempo. The pace again quickens, and the music from the first part of the finale returns with some modifications. A brief solo cadenza leads to the coda, a dazzling final stanza with fistfuls of chords propelling the headlong rush to the dramatic closing gestures. ©2010 Dr. Richard E. Rodda


Santa Barbara Symphony’s upcoming performances:

“Music Behind the Music” Pre-Concert Events with your host, Ramón Araiza FREE TO ALL CONCERT TICKET HOLDERS Concert Saturdays 7pm-7:30pm Concert Sundays 2pm-2:30pm (1 hour prior to each concert)

Magnificent Mahler Saturday, May 15, 8pm & Sunday, May 16, 3pm THE GRANADA

M AHLER : Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp Minor For single tickets, call The Granada box office, 1214 State Street, at (805) 899-2222

“ ‘Music Behind the Music’ is one of my favorite parts of the concert! We did not want to miss Ramón!” – Sandra Lindquist, SB Symphony Subscriber Concert pianist, composer/arranger and music scholar Ramón Araiza presents “Music…Behind the Music!” These lively, interactive events take you on an insightful (and humorous) journey of discovery, shining light on the music you’re about to hear in the concert hall. Mr. Araiza’s extensive musical background, presentation style and passion bring each work and composer to life. Please join us in The Granada. Arrive early, venture in, and experience Ramon’s unique genius! Plus, make sure to read Ramon’s creative and artistic “Notes Behind the Notes” in The Granada lobby!

Santa Barbara Symphony Concerts One-time-only Broadcasts on

April concerts broadcast: May 9, 7 p.m. May concerts broadcast: Oct. 3, 7 p.m. ©On On the Upbeat Upbeat, APRIL 2010 VOL. 3, EDITION 6. 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.

Classic Rach  

The Momentum Continues... Drs. Fred and Linda Wudl Jeffrey Kahane, Piano Jeffrey Kahane, piano H INDEMITH : Concert Music for Strings and Bra...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you