On The Upbeat October 2014 • Volume 8, Edition 1
2014-2015 Subscription Series OCTOBER 18 AND 19, 2014
From the Board President Let me begin by sharing with you how thrilled and honored I am by the opportunity to serve you as President of the Symphony Board of Directors. My goal is for all of us to hear lots of great music and have lots of fun! This year, we’re using two words to describe our programs—Accessible and Exceptional. But as we begin the season this weekend, I think there might be a better, simple word we could use to describe our programs— Fun! While it’s true that our Music Director Nir Kabaretti has crafted a season of music that is highly accessible for our newer audiences, and at the same time being deeply satisfying for our seasoned classical music aficionados, what is most remarkable is how Maestro Kabaretti is re-introducing us to the joy of live concert music. When you hear our November concert exploring the genius and influences of Beethoven, the celebration of film in January with Chaplin’s City Lights, and the smash Gershwin hit Porgy and Bess in May, you’ll know our 2014-2015 season has so much in store for you to remind us of how classical music is exciting, enjoyable, and downright fun. Better yet, it’s more than just the music. With special events, receptions and parties planned throughout the season, Youth Symphony concerts, entertaining talks by pre-concert speaker Saïd Ramón Araïza, and much more, you can look forward to a near-endless offering of ways to meet up with friends for a night out, get involved and reintroduce yourself to the joy of the Symphony. I welcome you to our new season. We invite you to join us, explore the music, and most importantly, share with your friends the fun of the Santa Barbara Symphony!
Chopin & Rachmaninoff Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Ingrid Fliter, Piano SHOSTAKOVICH Festive Overture, Op. 96 CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 Maestoso Larghetto Allegro vivace — INTERMISSION — RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 Largo — Allegro moderato Allegro molto Adagio Allegro vivace sponsored by
Principal Concert Sponsor
DR. AND MRS. H. WALLACE VANDEVER Artist Sponsors BARBARA BURGER AND PAUL MUNCH Selection Sponsors
Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” Arthur Swalley Board President
beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marilynn L. Sullivan & Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
Ingrid Fliter piano
Ingrid Fliter sprang to international attention when she was awarded the 2006 Gilmore Artist Award, one of only a handful of pianists to have received this honour. The Gilmore Artist Award is presented to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses profound musicianship and charisma and who sustains a career as a major international concert artist. Born in Buenos Aires, Ingrid Fliter began her piano studies in Argentina with Elizabeth Westerkamp. In 1992 she moved to Europe where she continued her studies at the Freiburg Musikhochschule with Vitaly Margulis, then in Rome with Carlo Bruno and with Franco Scala and Boris Petrushansky at the Academy “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola. She was a laureate of the Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Italy and was awarded the silver medal at the 2000 Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Ingrid Fliter was also selected as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist from 2007-2009, working with several of the BBC orchestras under the auspices of this programme. Ingrid Fliter now divides her time between Europe and the USA, where she works with orchestras such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In Europe and Australia, recent and forthcoming orchestral engagements include the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic and Royal Flemish Philharmonic. In recital, Ingrid Fliter has performed at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Museé d’Orsay, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Salzburg Festspielhaus, Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, and at London’s Wigmore Hall and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Recital highlights in North America have included New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, in Fort Worth for the Van Cliburn Foundation and in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Vancouver, Montreal and Santa Barbara. Later this season, she makes her International Piano Series debut at the Southbank Centre in London. Festival highlights include La Roque D’Antheron, Prague Autumn, Valdemossa Chopin Festival, Cheltenham Festival, City of London Festival and the World Pianist Series in Tokyo. She has also appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Grant Park, Aspen and Blossom festivals. Ingrid Fliter has established a reputation as one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Chopin, her two allChopin discs on EMI Classics a testament to this. Her recording of the complete Chopin Waltzes received five star reviews and was named the Daily Telegraph’s CD of the Week and was chosen as Editor’s Choice in both Gramophone and Classic FM Magazine and was described inGramophone, “Ingrid Fliter sets a new benchmark for the complete waltzes. From beginning to end, this is among the finest Chopin recordings of recent years.” (Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone). Forthcoming CD releases are Chopin Piano Concerti recorded with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Jun Märkl and the complete Chopin Preludes, both on Linn Records. Live recordings of Fliter performing works by Beethoven and Chopin at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw as well as in recital at the Miami International Piano Festival are also available on the VAI Audio label.
Notes on the Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Festive Overture, Op. 96 (1954) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Among the grand symphonies, concertos, operas and chamber works that Dmitri Shostakovich produced are also many occasional pieces: film scores, tone poems, jingoistic anthems, brief instrumental compositions. Though most of these works are unfamiliar in the West, one — the Festive Overture — has been a favorite since it was written in the autumn of 1954. Shostakovich composed it specifically for a concert on November 7, 1954 commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, but its jubilant nature suggests it may also have been conceived as an outpouring of relief at the death of Joseph Stalin one year earlier. Shostakovich was convinced that Stalin was behind the painful censures he had received in 1936 and 1948, and he had determined after the second episode not to issue any substantive works until the dictator was gone. The superb Tenth Symphony, completed within months of Stalin’s passing on March 5, 1953, served as a testament of Shostakovich’s renewed artistic creativity, and the composer Dmitri Kabalevsky noted that the finale of that work “has much in common with the Festive Overture (including the basic melodic seeds).” One critic suggested that the Overture was “a gay picture of streets and squares packed with a young and happy throng.” As its title suggests, the Festive Overture is a brilliant affair, full of fanfare and bursting spirits. It begins with a stentorian proclamation from the brass as preface to the racing main theme of the piece. Contrast is provided by a broad melody initiated by the horns, but the breathless celebration of the music continues to the end.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 (1829) Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
During his student days at the Warsaw Conservatory in the late 1829s, Chopin met a comely young singer named Constantia Gladowska and for the first time in his life, fell in love. In his biography of the composer, Casimir Wierzynski wrote, “She was considered one of the school’s best pupils, and also said to be one of the prettiest. Her regular, full face, framed in blond hair, was an epitome of youth, health and vigor, and her beauty was conspicuous in the Conservatory chorus. The young lady, conscious of her charms, was distinguished by ambition and diligence in her studies. She dreamed of becoming an opera singer....” Chopin followed Constantia to her performances and caught glimpses of her when she appeared at the theater or in church, but he never approached her. His love manifested itself in giddily immature ways. He raved about Constantia’s virtues to his friends. He invited one Mrs. Beyer to dinner simply because her given name was the same as that of his beloved. He reported “tingling with pleasure” whenever he saw a handkerchief embroidered with her name. He broke off one of his letters abruptly with the syllable “Con — ,” explaining, “No, I cannot complete her name, my hand is too unworthy.” After yet another half year of such maudlin goings-on, Chopin finally met — actually talked with — Constantia in April 1830. She was pleasant to him and they became friends, but he was never convinced that she fully returned his love. She took part in his farewell concert in Warsaw on October 11th before he headed west to seek his fame and fortune (he settled in Paris and never returned to Poland), and he kept up a correspondence with her for a while through an intermediary. (He felt it improper to write directly to a young woman without her parents’ permission.) Her marriage to a Warsaw merchant in 1832 caused him intense but impermanent grief, which 3
NOTES, From Page 3 soon evaporated in the glittering social whirl of Paris. The emotional rush of young love Chopin experienced over Constantia played a seminal role in the two piano concertos he wrote in 1829 and 1830, works full of melody and ardent emotion. Chopin based his concertos on the Romantic piano style of Hummel, Kalkbrenner, Field and Ries rather than on the weightier abstract forms of Beethoven. The orchestra in these virtuoso works is, truly, accompaniment and it is virtually excluded from the musical argument once the pianist enters. The center of attention is the soloist, and it says much about the quality of Chopin’s writing for the piano that his concertos continue to be heard while literally shelves-full of their contemporary creations have not been displayed for nearly two centuries. In the opening movement of the Second Concerto, most of the orchestra’s participation occurs in the introduction, in which are presented the main theme (a rather dolorous tune with dotted rhythms played immediately by violins) and the second theme, a brighter strain given by woodwinds led by the oboe. The piano enters and, with the exception of orchestral interludes surrounding the development section and the concluding coda, dominates the remainder of the movement. Franz Liszt thought the second movement “of a perfection almost ideal; its expression, now radiant with light, now full of tender pathos.” Robert Schumann — writer, publisher, editor as well as composer — mused, “What are ten editorial crowns compared to one such Adagio as that of the Second Concerto!” Composed under the spell of his first love, this movement was a special favorite of Chopin himself. A description of the movement’s form — three-part (A–B–A) with wide-ranging harmonic excursions in the center section — is too clinical to convey the moonlit poetry and quiet intensity of this beautiful music. In both its technique and its tender emotionalism, it breathes the rarefied air of Chopin’s greatest works. Chopin’s biographer Frederick Niecks noted the finale’s “feminine softness and rounded contours, its graceful, gyrating, dancelike motions, its sprightliness and frolicsomeness.” The theme was inspired by the mazurka, the Polish national dance that also served Chopin as the basis for more than fifty stylized compositions for solo piano. The movement brims with dazzling virtuosity. Its structure comprises a series of episodes rounded off by the return of the beguiling main theme and a cheerful coda in F major heralded by a call from the solo horn.
Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1906-1907) Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Early in 1906, Rachmaninoff decided to sweep away the rapidly accumulating obligations of conducting, concertizing and socializing that cluttered his life in Moscow in order to find some quiet place in which to devote himself to composition. His determination may have been strengthened by the political unrest beginning to rumble under the foundations of the aristocratic Russian political system. The uprising of 1905 was among the first signs of trouble for those of his noble class (his eventual move to the United States was a direct result of the swallowing of his family’s estate and resources by the 1917 Revolution), and he probably thought it a good time to start looking for a quiet haven. A few years before, Rachmaninoff had been overwhelmed by an inspired performance of Die Meistersinger he heard at the Dresden Opera. The memory of that evening and the aura of dignity and repose exuded by the city had remained with him, and Dresden, at that time in his life, seemed like a good place to be. The atmosphere in Dresden was so conducive to composition that within a few months of his arrival he was working on the Second Symphony, First Piano Sonata, Op. 6 Russian folk songs and symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead. The Second Symphony was unanimously cheered when it was premiered under the composer’s direction in St. Petersburg on January 26, 1908. The majestic scale of the Symphony is established at the outset by a slow, brooding introduction. A smooth transition to a faster tempo signals the arrival of the main theme, an extended and quickened transformation of the basses’ opening motive. The expressive second theme enters in the woodwinds. The development deals with the vigorous main theme to such an extent that the beginning of the formal recapitulation is engulfed by its surging sweep. The second movement is the most nimble essay to be found in Rachmaninoff’s orchestral works. After two preparatory measures, the horns hurl forth the main theme, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”), the ancient chant from the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead that haunted the composer for many years. The vital nature of the music, however, does not support any morbid interpretation. Eventually, the rhythmic bustle is suppressed and finally silenced to make way for the movement’s central section, whose skipping lines embody some of Rachmaninoff’s best fugal writing. The rapturous Adagio is music of heightened passion that resembles nothing so much as an ecstatic operatic love scene. Alternating with the joyous principal melody is an important theme from the first movement, heard prominently in the central portion and the coda of this movement. The finale bursts forth in the whirling dance rhythm of an Italian tarantella. The propulsive urgency subsides to allow another of Rachmaninoff’s wonderful, sweeping melodic inspirations to enter. A development of the tarantella motives follows, into which are embroidered thematic reminiscences from each of the three preceding movements. The several elements of the finale are gathered together in the closing pages. ©2014 Dr. Richard E. Rodda 4
Join our 2014-2015 Season!
OCTOBER 18-19, 2014
Chopin & Rachmaninoff
Ingrid Fliter, piano Shostakovich • Chopin • Rachmaninoff
NOVEMBER 15-16, 2014
Beethoven: Student to Master
Caroline Goulding, violin Haydn • Beethoven JANUARY 17-18, 2015
Chaplin: ‘City Lights’
film with live orchestra accompaniment
Dirk Brosse, guest conductor Chaplin FEBRUARY 14-15, 2015
Valentine’s Day: Triangle of Love Steven Sloane, guest conductor Natasha Kislenko, piano Theatrical Readings by Ensemble Theatre Company
Robert Schumann • Clara Schumann • Brahms MARCH 14-15, 2015
Impressions of Spain
Maria Rey-Joly, soprano Massenet • Rimsky-Korsakov APRIL 11-12, 2015
The New World
Philippe Quint, violin Tanaka • Korngold • Dvorˇák
MAY 16-17, 2015
Porgy and Bess
Laquita Mitchell, soprano Michael Sumuel, bass-baritone Santa Barbara Choral Society
Dan Redfeld • Howard Hanson • Gershwin
Subscribe today by calling (805) 898-9426 or visiting 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.
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©On the Upbeat, OCTOBER 2014 VOL. 8, 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.