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On the Upbeat FEBRUARY 2011 • VOLUME 4, EDITION 4

Nir’s Notes

The Santa Barbara Symphony 2 0 1 0 - 2 0 11 S E A S O N

February 19-20, 2011

Dear Music Lovers: In a life of a musician, there are always professional surprises! Even though most of the international soloists and conductors are booked a few years in advance, from time to time “emergency” situations happen (for various reasons from personal issues up to volcanic ash) when they are asked to step in and replace a colleague. I am very grateful that Maestro Corrado Rovaris was able to change his busy schedule in order to be with us this weekend to offer you a beautiful musical program. Under the baton of the Italian Maestro, the orchestra will start with a musical gem of his native country — the virtuosic Concerto for Strings by Nino Rota. The versatile composer is best known for his Film scores (he won the Oscar for the best original score of The Godfather), but also wrote operas, ballet, concerti and other orchestral pieces. Another concerto is in the program, one written for strings, piano and trumpet by the celebrated Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. I am very happy that two members of our orchestra, Natasha Kislenko (piano) and Jon Lewis (trumpet), will be featured as the soloists in this original work. Mendelssohn’s master work, Symphony No. 5 “Reformation,” will conclude this exciting program. It opens with a solemn introduction in slow tempo, and builds to a powerful finale. Thank you again to Maestro Rovaris, and to you, the audience, for being a part of this exciting concert.

Corrado Rovaris, Conductor Natasha Kislenko, Piano Jon Lewis, Trumpet

ROTA Concerto for String Orchestra

(1911-1979) Preludio: Allegro ben moderato

Scherzo: Allegretto comodo Aria: Andante quasi adagio Finale: Allegrissimo

SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 1 for Piano, (1906-1975) Trumpet and Strings in C minor, Op. 35 Allegro moderato Lento Moderato Allegro brio Played without pause — INTERMISSION —

MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 107, (1809-1847) “Reformation” Andante — Allegro con fuoco

Allegro vivace Andante — Choral: Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (Andante con moto) — Allegro vivace — Allegro maestoso

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Anonymous, JoAnne Ando,William Watson ARTIST SPONSORS

Musically yours,

Drs. Russell D. and Charlotte S. Tyler GUEST CONDUCTOR SPONSORS

Nir Kabaretti

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Corrado Rovaris

conductor

Corrado Rovaris is the Music Director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and concurrently serves as the Principal Conductor of the Italian chamber orchestra I Virtuosi Italiani, based in Verona. Mr. Rovaris opened the 2010-11 season in Philadelphia with a new production of Verdi’s Otello directed by Robert Driver. Other company productions this season include Tosca and the US premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s chamber opera, Phaedra. In addition, Mr. Rovaris leads the Curtis Opera Theatre’s production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, staged at the Kimmel Center in association with Opera Company of Philadelphia. In Italy, at the famed Teatro San Carlo in Naples, he will lead the rare Pergolesi opera L’Olimpiade and a new production of Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail in Treviso. Born in Bergamo, Italy, Mr. Rovaris studied organ and composition at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Milan. A regular guest in several of Italy’s historic opera houses, Mr. Rovaris’ experience includes multiple productions at La Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Rossini Opera Festival (Pesaro). Elsewhere in Europe he has led productions for the Opéra de Lausanne, Opéra de Lyon, Oper Köln and Oper Frankfurt, to name a few places. Making his US debut in 1999 with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Le nozze di Figaro, Mr. Rovaris quickly became a company regular, eventually leading to his appointment as the company’s music director in 2004. In October 2008, he conducted the Tucker Gala with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, featuring among other guest soloists Susan Graham and Bryn Terfel. He has also led a number of productions at the Santa Fe Opera, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Glimmerglass Opera. He has established a close connection with the Curtis Institute of Music, leading a joint Curtis/Opera Company of Philadelphia production of Berg’s Wozzeck in 2009, with plans for joint productions in future seasons. Symphonically, Mr. Rovaris has led ensembles such as La Scala Filarmonica, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Orchestra du Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), among others. Mr. Rovaris will participate in two significant developments in the coming season. He instigated and will conduct the Spanish premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act masterpiece Ainadamar with a story loosely based on episodes in the life of author Federico García Llorca. The production by Mexican director Luis de Tavira will be co-presented by the Granada Festival and the Santander Festival. Also next season, Mr. Rovaris will become the Music Director and Principal Conductor of a new Spring Festival presented by the Walton Arts Center, Artosphere, which will be programmed with events occurring throughout northwest Arkansas. Mr. Rovaris made his first recording for SONY last season with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and cellist Silvia Chiesa, featuring the cello concerti of Nino Rota.

Natasha Kislenko piano

Pianist Natasha Kislenko has concertized extensively in Russia and former USSR, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and the United States. She is a truly versatile artist with a broad range of experience. On stage, she is frequently heard in solo and collaborative recitals, chamber music concerts, and playing keyboard instruments in orchestras. Over the years, Natasha has developed a vast repertoire extending from the Baroque era to the present. While favoring her native Russian music, she has also been actively exploring the diversity of the piano styles in the first half of the 20th century. Critics praise her “great artistry,” “perfect technique,” and “extraordinary richness of nuance and color.” Previous solo engagements include the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, The Tbilisi Philharmonia, Georgia, and the Lugansk Philharmonic Orchestra, Ukraine. Natasha has performed chamber music with many distinguished artists including Sarah Chang, Zvi Zeitlin, James Buswell, Theodore Kuchar, Alan Stepansky and Leone Buyse.


Natasha received top prizes at international piano competitions such as “J.S. Bach” competition in Germany and “J.N. Hummel” competition in the Slovak Republic, as well as in France, Italy, and Portugal. She made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut after taking the Grand Prize at the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in 1996. A faculty member at the Music Academy of the West, CA since 2004, Natasha joined the Keyboard faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 after serving at California State University, Fresno. Born in Moscow, Natasha holds graduate degrees in piano from the famed Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stony Brook University, NY. Natasha’s teachers included Anatoly Vedernikov, Joaquín Achúcarro and Gilbert Kalish.

Jon Lewis trumpet

Jon Lewis arrived in the Los Angeles area in 1981 after completing a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Kansas University. Since that time he has lived in the Southern California area. Jon now enjoys the distinction of being one of LA’s top “studio musicians.” His trumpet can be heard on over 700 movie soundtracks including these new or upcoming titles: Water for Elephants, Rio, The Big Year, The Green Hornet, Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides and The Green Lantern. Other notable titles include Avatar, Sorcerer’s Aprentice, War of the Worlds, and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Jon has played on over 1,000 television shows, and his solo trumpet has been heard regularly on the JAG and Star Trek television programs for the last 15 years. Currently Jon can be heard on the TV shows No Ordinary Family, The Cape and The Event. Jon can also be heard on the CD recordings of Ringo Starr, Amy Grant, KD Lang, Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, Graciela Palafox, Bruce Lofgren and recently worked on Michael Jackson’s “This is It,” from the movie of the same name. In addition to his busy recording schedule, Jon is Principal Trumpet in our Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra and Co-Principal Trumpet of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, along with performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pasadena Symphonies. Jon has traveled over the world as a clinician and soloist and is active each year at various Summer Trumpet camps and festivals as well as performing solo recitals local and abroad. Being with the Santa Barbara Symphony for over 25 years has been a tremendous journey. Seeing the growth and change of the symphony, with it’s management, artistic leadership and the amazing talents of the artists and musicians is almost magical and keeps the orchestra very near and dear to him.

The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, Andy Radford Music Director, invites you to our March 6 concert. It will be held at 3PM at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido with works to be played by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and features Youth Symphony bassoonist Kassra Rafiee performing Webers Bassoon Concerto in F. Tickets available at the Lobero Box Office are $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for students and seniors, and always free for children under the age of 6.


Notes NINO ROTA (1911-1979)

Concerto for String Orchestra Composed in 1964-1965; revised in 1977. Premiered on January 5, 1967 in Naples, conducted by Thomas Hungar. Approximately 16 minutes. The Oscar-winning score for The Godfather II and the love theme for Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet brought him his widest recognition, but Nino Rota was a fully rounded musician with rich and varied talents: a gifted and prolific composer for the opera house, concert hall, theater and cinema; a skilled pianist and conductor; a dedicated teacher; and the director of one of Italy’s leading conservatories. Rota was born in 1911 into an artistic family in Milan and began studying music as a child with his mother, the daughter of concert pianist Giovanni Rinaldi. Nino was composing by age eight, and by twelve he had completed an oratorio titled L’infanzia [Childhood] di San Giovanni Battista, whose performance established him as a child prodigy; he was admitted to the Milan Conservatory later that year to study privately with the school’s director, Ildebrando Pizzetti. In 1926 Rota entered the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome as a student of Alfredo Casella and when he graduated in 1930, Arturo Toscanini, recently appointed music director of the New York Philharmonic, helped arrange a scholarship for him to study composition with Rosario Scalero and conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Rota profited greatly during his two years in America, not just from the formal curriculum at Curtis but also from his newly forged friendships with Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and other leading American musicians, his immersion in this country’s popular music and, perhaps most influentially, his first experience with talking pictures. He began to establish a reputation as a composer with a number of chamber and orchestral works soon after returning to Italy in 1932, but he also continued his education by earning a degree in music history and literature from the University of Milan. After graduating in 1937, Rota accepted a teaching job in the southern coastal city of Taranto, located where the instep meets the heel of the Italian boot, and two years later moved east across the peninsula to join the faculty of the Bari Conservatory; he was named the school’s director in 1950 and retained that position until two years before his death, in Rome in 1979. Though he was active during one of the most stylistically adventurous periods in the history of music, Rota largely held to traditional forms and idioms in his works, a quality that not only shaped his many compositions for the stage and concert hall — twelve operas, six ballets, oratorios, cantatas, orchestral scores, incidental music, chamber and piano pieces — but also suited him particularly well to writing for film. He composed his first movie score (Treno Popolare) in 1933, and in 1942 signed with the Lux Film Company in Rome. Lux became a leading studio following World War II by nurturing such gifted filmmakers as Carlo Ponti, Dino De Laurentiis, Michelangelo Antonioni and a young screenwriter with ambitions to direct: Federico Fellini. Lux gave Fellini his chance in 1952, when he wrote and directed Lo Sciecco Bianco (“The White Sheik”) and recruited Rota to supply the score. Fellini and Rota went on to create one of cinema’s most enduring and productive collaborations with La Strada, La Dolce Vita, Boccaccio, 8½, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, The Orchestra Rehearsal and nine other movies, which the director’s biographer Tullio Kezich said was characterized by “empathy, irrationality and magic.” Rota scored nearly 150 other films, working with such prominent directors as Renato Castellani, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Mario Monicelli, King Vidor and René Clément, but he enjoyed his greatest success with Francis Ford Coppola in the first two Godfather movies — the score for Part I was nominated for an Academy Award, but had to be withdrawn when it was learned that Rota had borrowed from his music for the 1958 Fortunella (reference, even quotation, was an integral part of his technique); Part II won an Oscar. Despite the great diversity of his work, Rota said that it was all written to fulfill his simple creative philosophy: “I’d do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That’s what’s at the heart of my music.” The Concerto for String Orchestra, composed in 1964-1965 and premiered by the Italian Radio Orchestra of Naples on January 5, 1967, channels the influences of Baroque and Classical music through Rota’s distinctive, 20th-century sensibility. The Preludio takes as the theme of its opening and closing sections a yearning, poignant melody that is countered by a restless, urgent passage at the movement’s center. The Scherzo is a wistful shadow waltz occasionally interrupted by stern slashing figures from the full ensemble. The Aria, at least in its opening pages, is Rota’s tribute to the beloved Air on the G String from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3. The movement begins and ends in a serene, prayerful state but arches across a passage of considerable emotional intensity at its center. The driving muscularity and mischievous wit of the Finale provide the Concerto with a brilliant finish.


DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)

Piano Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings in C minor, Op. 35 Composed in 1933. Premiered on October 15, 1933 in Leningrad, with the composer as soloist. Approximately 22 minutes. In 1927, Joseph Stalin secured the expulsion of Trotsky and Zinoviev, his two chief rivals for power in the Soviet Union. A year later, he ended Lenin’s “New Economic Policy” in favor of the first “Five Year Plan,” a scheme intended to industrialize and collectivize the nation under his leadership. Stalin’s dictates had serious consequences for all Russians (most devastatingly for those caught in the ghastly “purges” of the 1930s), not excluding artists and musicians. The period of almost Dadaist artistic experimentation in the 1920s came suddenly to an end when artists were instructed that they had “social tasks” to perform with their creations, and that “formalism” — the ill-defined Soviet term for avant-garde or personally expressive works — was forbidden. Musical compositions of the time, because of their abstract nature, were less directly affected by Party policy than were literature or painting, but nevertheless showed a significant change in attitude from the preceding years. Alexander Mossolov (1900-1973), at first a modernist composer who had written songs to the texts of newspaper advertisements, created a sensation in 1927 with his ballet The Iron Foundry, an attempt to imitate the patriotic sound of a factory by including a shaken metal sheet in the scoring. To the genre of proletarian music, Shostakovich contributed the rattlingly jingoistic Second and Third Symphonies (To October, 1927 and The First of May, 1929), the ballets The Age of Gold (1930) and The Bolt (the former strongly anti-Fascist, the latter on an industrial theme), and the anti-bourgeois opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934). A strain of sarcasm, carried over from the music of the early 1920s, is evident in some of these pieces, and was dominant in the scathing opera of 1930, The Nose, based on a story by Gogol. This satirical quality appears again, balanced by the required “social realism” (described by one literary critic as “fundamentally optimistic” and “conservative”), in the Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35 of 1933. The Concerto’s opening Allegro moderato is in modified sonata form. After a prefatory flourish from the soloists, the pianist presents a serious melody derived from the tones of the C minor triad. The violins soon present a complementary theme of similar nature, which is then elaborated by the piano. A sharp change of mood ushers in the secondary motives: a mock-fanfare from the piano and a natty little tune tossed off by the trumpet. The middle of the movement is given over to a development of the letter and the spirit of the secondary themes. The recapitulation begins with the violins’ complementary theme. The Lento breathes a scented, nostalgic air. Its main melody is a wistful waltz in slow tempo, given first by muted violins. The piano enters with its own melody, which gathers intensity as it proceeds. The theme and mood of the opening return when the trumpet recalls the principal melody. The following movement, an introduction to the finale, comprises two cadenzas for the pianist: the first is unaccompanied; the second, prefaced by a sad melody for the strings, is supported by the orchestra. The finale is a brilliant, bubbling affair of several episodes. The cadenza near the end (added because a pianist friend of the composer was disappointed that the Concerto’s original version allowed no provision for a closing solo display) is an ironic treatment of a theme from Beethoven’s rondo titled Rage Over a Lost Penny.

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 107, “Reformation” Composed in 1829-1830. Premiered on November 15, 1832 in Berlin, conducted by the composer. Woodwinds in pairs plus contrabassoon, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. Approximately 30 minutes. In 1530, Melanchthon, the scholar and humanist who was one of the seminal figures in German history, wrote the document that became the basic creed of the Lutheran faith. Known as the Augsburg Confession, it was endorsed by Luther and became one of the fundamental cornerstones of the Reformation. A celebration in Germany was planned for the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, and Mendelssohn was commissioned to write a work to commemorate the event. His selection for


the commission at first appears curious, since he was born into one of the most prominent Jewish families in northern Europe. However, while he was still a boy his father had him baptized into the Christian faith because life for Jews in his birthplace, Hamburg, had become intolerable under the French occupation. Felix added the Christian surname Bartholdy to his ancestral one, and he insisted that he had abandoned the old religion. He eagerly took on the commission for the celebratory Symphony, both to make a public confirmation of his Christianity and also to show his admiration for Luther as a leader, a musician, and as the translator of the Bible into German. Just as Mendelssohn was setting to work on the new Symphony in London in September 1829, he had an unfortunate carriage accident that left him bedridden for two months with a severe leg injury. Despite the kindness he was shown by his English hosts, he was unable to make any progress on the score until he arrived back home in Berlin. The recovery time was not wasted, however. Mendelssohn, like Mozart, largely finished his compositions in his head before he committed them to paper, so the job of writing them down was more clerical than creative. Mendelssohn’s usual method was to write out the bass line completely for a section and then go back to fill in the other parts above it. For this Symphony, however, he decided to stretch his faculties to the limit and write the entire work, measure-by-measure, directly into full score. His friend Eduard Devrient, the German theater historian, was astonished by the process: “This was a gigantic effort of memory, to fit in each detail, each doubling of parts, each solo effect barwise, like an immense mosaic. It was wonderful to watch the black column slowly advance upon the blank music paper. Felix said it was so great an effort that he would never do it again; he discontinued the process after the first movement of the Symphony. It has proved his power, however, mentally to elaborate a work in its minutest details.” Such reports suggest that Mendelssohn may have been the most naturally gifted musician of the 19th century. The work was completed in April 1830. Mendelssohn included two of Protestantism’s most famous musical gestures in the “Reformation” Symphony: the “Dresden Amen” in the first movement and the chorale Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (“A Mighty Fortress is our God”) in the finale. The origin of the “Dresden Amen” has never been fully established. It probably dates from the 18th century, though it is uncertain which (if any) of several candidates put forward as its author actually composed it. The “Amen” was long associated with the Lutheran service at the Court Church in Dresden, where it was used as a response to the sermon to symbolize the hovering of the spirit of the Holy Ghost. (Wagner also heard this musical formula when he was living in Dresden, and it emerged in his opera Parsifal fifty years after Mendelssohn included it in this Symphony.) The other theme, Ein’ feste Burg, is Luther’s famous setting (based on an ancient plainchant) of his translation of Psalm 46. The Symphony opens with a solemn introduction in D major whose harmonic suspensions recall the style of Renaissance polyphony. Mendelssohn once remarked, “The trombones are too sacred for frequent use,” and their sonority in the chorale passages of this introduction invoke the precise mood of somber dignity appropriate for the work. The “Dresden Amen” is suspended high in the strings to close the introduction. The body of the movement (in D minor) commences with the quickening of the tempo and the announcement of the main theme, a bold melody begun with the rising leap of a fifth. A good deal of contrapuntal working-out ensues before the violins present the second theme, more lyrical in nature than the first but still unsettled in character. The agitated development section is joined to the recapitulation by another presentation of the “Dresden Amen.” The movement’s stormy countenance and minor tonality are maintained throughout, a quality that has led some commentators to view this music as a depiction of the zealous combat of the early Protestants against the old dogmas. The second and third movements are devoid of specific religious references. The second is a dance-like scherzo in buoyant triple meter that brings to mind the endearing minuets of Haydn. Its central trio is a sweet melody in thirds for oboe duet. The introspective mood of the Symphony’s opening returns in the third movement. This music is more like a quiet prayer serving as a preface to the finale than an independent movement. A richly harmonized presentation by the winds of Luther’s great chorale begins the finale. The tempo quickens and fragments of the tune are woven with new thematic material in a rich tapestry of orchestral sound. The movement is swept along with a vigorous exuberance to its closing pages, a powerful restatement of Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott by the full orchestra. ©2011 Dr. Richard E. Rodda


Santa Barbara Symphony’s upcoming performances:

“Music Behind the Music” Pre-Concert Events with your host, Ramón Araïza 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 Araïza 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. Araïza’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 Ramón’s creative and artistic “Notes Behind the Notes” in The Granada lobby!

March 19-20, 2011

Gilles Apap violin

ROBIN FROST: Concertino for Violin KHACHATURIAN: Violin Concerto MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL: Pictures at an Exhibition

For single tickets, call The Granada box office, 1214 State Street, at (805) 899-2222

Santa Barbara Symphony Concerts One-time-only Broadcasts on

February concert broadcasts March 13, 7 pm March concert broadcasts April 10, 7 pm April concert broadcasts May 8, 7 pm May concert broadcasts October 2, 7 pm ©On the Upbeat, FEBRUARY 2011 VOL. 4, EDITION 4. 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.

We invite comparison. Nir Kabaretti Music and Artistic Director

Shostakovich & Mendelssohn On the Upbeat Program Notes  

Santa Barbara Symphony's February 2011 program notes for Shostakovich & Mendelssohn.

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