On the Upbeat JANUARY 2010 • VOLUME 3, EDITION 3
Nir’s Notes: Dear Friends: Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful and healthy holiday season and that 2010 will bring you all great things. I am excited to return to Santa Barbara this month to lead the orchestra in “OohLa-La.” This French-inspired program will include the West Coast premiere of Canadian composer André Mathieu’s romantic Piano Concerto No. 4. When I discovered Mathieu’s Concerto No. 4, I was struck not only by Mathieu’s melodic gift, keen harmonies and dramatic elements, but also by this work’s pure romantic grandeur. Featured in this colossal work is the pianist who has researched, rediscovered and championed Mathieu’s music in recent years, fellow Canadian Alain Lefèvre. The legendary Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoﬀ referred to Mathieu as “a genius, more so than I am.” I am truly honored that Alain Lefèvre, agreed to grace us with his talent and passion to resurrect this amazing composer and I’m certain you will be as pleasantly surprised and musically satisﬁed upon hearing the work as I was when I was ﬁrst introduced to the concerto. The second half of the program will feature one of my favorite symphonic works: the Symphony in D minor of Belgian composer César Franck. A dramatic work in which the main theme of the ﬁrst movement is continuously revisited, transformed, and the development of the piece is reborn throughout the three movements and ﬁnishes triumphantly with the full orchestra reaﬃrming the main theme. This concert will be sure to move all of your senses...come one, come all! I look forward to seeing you on January 23rd and 24th. Bonne Année à Tout le Monde et Vive la Musique! Musically yours, Nir Kabaretti
Ooh La La...
Saturday, Jan. 23, 8pm & Sunday, Jan. 24, 3pm THE GRANADA
Alain Lefèvre, piano A NDRÉ M ATHIEU : Piano Concerto No. 4 C ÉSAR F RANCK : Symphony in D minor
Alain Lefèvre, piano Acclaimed as a “hero” (Los Angeles Times), a “spectacular pianist” (Fanfare), a “smashing performer” (Washington Washington Post Post), an “artistic winner” (Music Week, London), a “genial talent” (The Gazette), and as “the 10 most agile ﬁngers to have emerged from Quebec in recent years…” (Toronto Toronto Star Star), Canadian pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre has a sparkling international career, touring repeatedly worldwide, performing to prestigious venues, in recital and with international orchestras and leading conductors. Guest soloist to numerous orchestras, he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, with the London Mozart Players, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Stattskapelle Sinfonie in Weimar, the Hamburg, Nuremberg, Wuppertal and SWR (Stuttgart) Symphony Orchestras, ARTIST SPONSOR:
The Momentum Continues...
Léni Fé Bland
Join Ramón Araiza for “Music Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert! Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington, the Houston Symphony, the Tucson Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the Paciﬁc Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Québec Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, the Philharmonie de Lorraine, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra in Argentina and the Moscow Virtuosi touring in Japan, to name but a few. He has also worked with renowned conductors such as Matthias Bamert, Franz-Paul Decker, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Lawrence Foster, George Hanson, Jaçek Kaspszyk, Bernhard Klee, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vladimir Spivakov, Carl St. Clair, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Long Yu. For years, he has been devoted to the revival of the forgotten oeuvre of Canadian genius composer and pianist, André Mathieu, lending him an international credibility. He gave the European premiere of his Concerto for Piano No. 4 with the Orchestre National de France at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in a Live broadcast by RadioFrance to mark the event. Recipient of a Classical Internet Awards (ClassicsToday.com) and winner of six Felix Awards (2001 to 2009), his recent album, including André Mathieu’s Piano Concerto No. 4 — described as “truly a work of genius” by Fanfare —topped the Canadian and American charts when it was released. Alain Lefèvre also appeared on the acclaimed Charlie Rose Show, to share his passion for Mathieu. In January 2009, Alain Lefèvre joined the prestigious London Mozart Players for a tour in the UK and a recording in London, at St-Jude-on-the-Hill Church. Next May, Alain Lefèvre will open the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, in a concert with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, featuring Mathieu’s Concerto No. 4, followed the next day by the World Premiere of the motion picture on André Mathieu’s life, “L’Enfant Prodige” produced by Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film, Denise Robert (The Barbarian Invasions). Lefèvre signs here his ﬁrst motion picture as Music Director, composer and pianist, performing all the featured Mathieu’s piano works.
FOR JANUARY 23 & 24, 2010
by Dr. Richard E. Rodda
ANDRÉ MATHIEU (1929-1968)
Piano Concerto No. 4
Reconstructed by Gilles Bellemare (b. 1952) Composed in 1946-1947. Reconstructed version premiered on May 8, 2008 in Tucson, conducted by George Hanson with Alain Lefèvre as soloist. Approximately 42 minutes.
“The Canadian Mozart,” some called him; “If the word ‘genius’ has a meaning, it is surely here that we will be able to ﬁnd it,” wrote the highly respected Parisian critic Émile Vuillermoz; “A genius, more so than I am,” said Sergei Rachmaninoﬀ. The recipient of these encomiums was André Mathieu, one of the most gifted, but troubled, musicians of his generation. Mathieu was born into a richly musical family in Montreal on February 18, 1929 —his father was a music teacher and composer, and his mother was a cellist and teacher. André exhibited remarkable precocity as both pianist and composer, writing his ﬁrst pieces at age four, giving a recital of his own compositions two years later, and playing his Concertino No. 1 on a CBC broadcast a few months after that. In 1936, the Quebec government gave him a grant to study piano and composition in Paris, where his recital at the Salle Pleyel in December elicited the praise from Vuillermoz and Rachmaninoﬀ quoted above. Mathieu continued his studies in Paris until going back to Montreal in the summer of 1939 for what was intended to be a short family visit, but the outbreak of war in Europe kept him from returning to France. He gave a series of recitals in Canada and the United States, and after performing at Town Hall on February 3, 1940 settled in New York City with his family to study composition with Columbia
faculty member Harold Morris. In 1941, Mathieu won a competition for young composers celebrating the 100th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic with his Concertino No. 2; he played the work’s premiere at a gala concert in Carnegie Hall on February 21, 1942, three days after his 13th birthday. In 1943, Mathieu returned to Montreal, where he played numerous programs featuring a wide range of standard repertory as well as his own works. He left Canada for Paris again in 1946 to study composition with Arthur Honegger and piano with Jules Gentil, but he was disappointed with his teachers, short of money, depressed, homesick and already troubled by the alcoholism that would plague the rest of his life. He returned, dispirited, to Montreal the following year, where he continued to compose, teach and play some recitals as well as a few day-long “pianothons” as publicity stunts intended to recapture his early notoriety. A marriage in 1960 ended quickly because of his alcoholism and emotional instability. He died in Montreal on June 2, 1968 at the age of 39. Mathieu composed his Piano Concerto No. 4, in a lyrical and richly expressive style reminiscent of the music of Rachmaninoﬀ, in Paris in 1946-1947. CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
Symphony in D minor
Composed in 1886-1888. Premiered on February 17, 1889 in Paris, conducted by Jules Garcin. Two ﬂutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, harp and strings. Approximately 40 minutes.
César Franck was a private man, self-eﬀacing and apparently contented, who devoted his career to the relatively quiet world of teaching, organ playing and composition in Paris. His playing and teaching left little time for composition, so that activity was relegated to the two hours before he left the house each morning at 7:30. He seems to have delighted in his regular work schedule, in his generally halcyon domestic life, and in the daily musical practice of his faith. He did not actively seek public recognition for his works, and his ﬁrst general acclaim as a composer came only four years before his death, with his Sonata for Violin and Piano. Franck’s compositions show a growing mastery of his art throughout his life, and the Symphony in D minor of 1888 is his orchestral masterpiece. © 2010 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Symphony in D Minor There is no sadness that cannot be softened by music. At night, alone before the ﬁreplace, shadows ﬂickering
sun will eventually pierce the fog-laden morning. Happiness nearly always comes without warning:
their insistent Nothing will save you, the pizzicato strings suggest otherwise. Though the whole
we suddenly recall the bucket of dahlias somewhere in the house—vermillion and fuchsia
complex apparatus of living tip over in a tangle of gears and wire, the bass clarinet’s regal
and shocking pink—the dog wags her tail. Success is mere abstraction, and failure
molto crescendo recommends an alternative to silent brooding and a tumbler of single malt
needn’t harm us. What we seek is what will last, as long as we heed the tempo: fast, but not too fast.
Scotch. Even the English horn, that doleful instrument, reminds us that the dutiful
— David Starkey Santa Barbara Poet Laureate January 2010
Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra Association
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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)
“ ‘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!
Saturday, Feb. 20, 8pm & Sunday, Feb. 21, 3pm THE GRANADA
Caroline Campbell, Principal Concertmaster Serena McKinney, Assistant Concertmaster
BACH : Double Violin Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1043 E LGAR : Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47 BEETHOVEN : Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 “Eroica” For single tickets, call The Granada box ofﬁce, 1214 State Street, at (805) 899-2222 Santa Barbara Symphony Concerts One-time-only Broadcasts on
January concerts broadcast: Feb. 14, 7 p.m. February concerts broadcast: Mar. 14, 7 p.m. © On the Upbeat Upbeat, JANUARY 2010 VOL. 3, 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.