On the Upbeat FEBRUARY 2012 • VOLUME 5, EDITION 4
Nir’s Notes Dear Music Lovers, Three American composers of international fame will be featured in this concert. One of the most popular American concert pieces ever written, Rhapsody in Blue, displays Gershwin’s gifts of both rhythmic invention and melodic inspiration. Commissioned by jazz legend Paul Whitman for his band, and premiered with George Gershwin on the keyboard, this piece is heard in endless films, TV programs and commercials. The version you will hear at our concerts was revised after the first performance by the composer and re-orchestrated for a larger orchestra by Ferde Grofe. I am very happy to share the stage with Terrence Wilson for the performance of this masterpiece. Another Jazz icon, Dave Brubeck, the author of “Take 5,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” and many other hits, had classical training before dedicating himself to jazz. The music for “Ansel Adams: America,” was written by Dave Brubeck and his son Chris. Very much in the spirit of “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky, Brubeck’s music was created to accompany visual images by the great photographer Ansel Adams, himself originally trained as a concert pianist. You will be able to see these historic photos, in real time, as they will be projected on a big screen above the orchestra while we play. I am especially looking forward to interpreting, with our orchestra, Charles Ives’ Second Symphony. This symphony is a real treasure in the symphonic repertoire, but it’s still quite a rare treat to hear in live performance. Inspired by great European composers such as Brahms and Dvorˇák, Ives uses the same musical language, but incorporates American folk tunes. It will be easy for you to recognize “America the Beautiful,” “Long Long Ago,” “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean,” and other popular melodies that Ives quotes and develops into themes in this symphony. I hope you enjoy this program.
The Santa Barbara Symphony
February 11 & 12, 2012 Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Terrence Wilson, Piano DAVE BRUBECK Ansel Adams: America (b. 1920) for Orchestra and CHRIS BRUBECK Projected Photographs (b. 1952) GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue for Piano (1898-1937) and Orchestra orchestrated by Ferde Grofé — I N TE R M I S S I O N — IVES Symphony No. 2 (1874-1954) Andante moderato — Allegro Adagio cantabile Lento maestoso — Allegro molto vivace
for the baker foundation
Nir Kabaretti Music and Artistic Director
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Join Ramón Araïza for “Music Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
TERRENCE WILSON Piano Pianist Terrence Wilson has established a reputation as one of today’s most gifted instrumentalists. He has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Washington, DC (National Symphony), San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Among the conductors with whom he has worked are Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Yoel Levi, Andrew Litton, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Robert Spano, Yuri Temirkanov, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Gunther Herbig. Mr. Wilson opens the Jacksonville Symphony’s 2010-11 season with three performances of Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto with conductor Fabio Mechetti. He also appears in the 10-11 season with the orchestras of Buffalo, Syracuse, Tucson, Reno, Duluth, Peoria, and Las Cruces. In the 2009--10 season, he returned to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for performances of Liszt’s 2nd Concerto with Xian Zhang, and performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow. North American recital appearances include the cities of Seattle and Cincinnati. Abroad, Terrence Wilson has played concerti with such ensembles as the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In 2005, he toured Spain with the Baltimore Symphony with Yuri Temirkanov conducting. An active recitalist, Terrence Wilson made his New York City recital debut at the 92nd Street Y, and his Washington, DC recital debut at the Kennedy Center. In Europe he has given recitals at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at the Louvre in Paris. He has given recitals at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and for the La Jolla Chamber Music Society. An avid chamber musician, he performs regularly with the Ritz Chamber Players. Festival appearances include the Blossom Festival, Tanglewood, and Wolf Trap. Terrence Wilson has received numerous awards and prizes, including the SONY ES Award for Musical Excellence, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Juilliard Petschek Award. He has also been featured on several radio and television broadcasts, including NPR’s “Performance Today,” WQXR radio in New York, and programs on the BRAVO Network, the Arts & Entertainment Network, and public television. Terrence Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky. A native of the Bronx, he resides in Montclair, New Jersey. Website: http://www.terrencewilsonpiano.com/
OTES DAVE BRUBECK (BORN IN 1920) CHRIS BRUBECK (BORN IN 1952)
Ansel Adams: America for Orchestra and Projected Photographs Composed in 2008. Premiered on April 2, 2009 in Stockton, California, conducted by Peter Jaffe. Piccolo, three flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, piano and strings. Approximately 22 minutes. Dave Brubeck, one of America’s preeminent composers and jazz artists, was born on December 6, 1920 in Concord, California, thirty miles northeast of San Francisco. His father was a cattle rancher and his mother a highly skilled pianist and music teacher who passed her artistic genes on to her three sons: Dave’s older brothers, Henry and Howard, also became professional musicians, Henry as supervisor of music for the Santa Barbara public schools, Howard as a composer, conductor and Dean of Humanities at Palomar College. Though Dave’s father intended that the boy follow a career as a rancher and cowboy, Mrs. Brubeck insisted that he learn the piano and get a college education. She taught him well enough that he was playing in local Dixieland and swing bands by his early teens; he entered the College (now University) of the Pacific in Stockton in 1938. Brubeck started playing jazz in local clubs as soon as he arrived in Stockton, and organized a twelve-piece jazz band during his senior year. Following his graduation in 1942, he married Iola Whitlock and enlisted in the army before the end of the year, serving first in a band unit and then in Europe as a rifleman. Following his discharge from the military in 1946, Brubeck resumed playing piano in jazz combos in the San Francisco area and enrolled at Mills College in Oakland to study composition with the celebrated French composer Darius Milhaud. Milhaud, one of the pioneers in incorporating jazz elements into concert compositions, convinced Brubeck of the importance of jazz as an art form, and encouraged him to continue working in the field. In 1948, Brubeck formed an experimental jazz octet with some other Milhaud students; two years later, he started the Dave Brubeck Trio, the forerunner of the Dave Brubeck Quartet that became one of the most potent forces in the jazz world during the 1950s. Brubeck’s career as a jazz artist and composer thereafter is well-known — top-selling albums, world-wide tours, consistent top rankings in the Down Beat and Metronome polls. He has performed before princes, kings, heads of state, eight United States Presidents and Pope John Paul II; he holds honorary degrees from institutions in America, Canada, England and Germany; he received the National Medal of the Arts in 1994 from President Clinton; he has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; in 1996, he was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; in 2003, he was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame; in 2007, he was recognized with a Living Legacy Jazz Award from Kennedy Center and the Arison Award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts; and in 2008, he received the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy from the United States Department of State and was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2000, he founded the Brubeck Institute with his wife at their alma mater, the University of the Pacific, to provide fellowships and educational opportunities in jazz for students. Paralleling Brubeck’s meteoric career as a jazz artist is his work as a concert composer in a style that draws from both popular and classical idioms. His recent works include Cannery Row Suite, a jazz opera drawn from the characters in John Steinbeck’s novel about Monterey’s beginnings as a sardine fishing and packing town that was premiered at the 49th Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2006, and the 2008 Ansel Adams: America, created with his son Chris. Chris Brubeck, son of the legendary jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, was born in Los Angeles in 1952, attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan (where he taught himself electric bass), and majored in bass trombone at the University of Michigan, where he also led, toured and recorded with his innovative rock bands New Heavenly Blue and Sky King. From 1978 to 1988, Chris toured as bassist and bass trombonist with his father in the Dave Brubeck Quartet, recording a dozen albums with the group. He has since performed widely and recorded on bass, trombone, piano, guitar and vocals with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (featuring his brother Dan on drums, Mike DeMicco on guitar and Chuck
Lamb, Taylor Eigsti and others on keyboards), with Triple Play (an acoustic blues–jazz–folk trio with guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth), and with such diverse artists as Frederica von Stade, Ben Luxon, Dawn Upshaw, Bill Crofut, Meryl Streep, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Stephane Grappelli, Bobby Womack, Tower of Power, Patti Labelle and Imani Winds. While continuing to perform, Chris Brubeck has developed a parallel career as a classical composer, a discipline in which he is largely self-taught. His works include two concertos for bass trombone, which have been recorded and performed widely in Europe and America, concertos for violin and for trumpet and trombone, Convergence: Concerto for Orchestra (commissioned by the Boston Pops to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Symphony Hall), Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra (also a Boston Pops commission), featuring performances by violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (classical), Eileen Ivers (Irish) and Regina Carter (jazz), off-Broadway musicals, choral works and songs (for which he writes both music and lyrics), as well as commissioned works for the New York Pops, U.S. Army Field Band, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bay Chamber Concerts of Rockport, Maine, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Aspen Wind Quintette. Chris Brubeck has held two residencies with the Stockton Symphony and another with the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. Chris Brubeck wrote of Ansel Adams: America, which he composed with his father in 2008, “The merging of music and photography made perfect sense when I learned that Adams was well on his way to becoming a serious concert pianist until he was seduced by the beauty of Yosemite and succumbed to the lure of photography.... In Adams’ autobiography (which I highly recommend), I was impressed with his philosophical views, beautiful writing, and keen analysis and comparison of musical and photographic techniques. He wrote: ‘Photographers are in a sense composers, and the negatives are their scores.’ I thought his story was so interesting that I didn’t want to simply project his photographs, but wanted to try to present his remarkable story to the audience. Through talent, hard work and good fortune, he became a pioneer and icon of an emerging art form. “Dave began to write a piano score that was driven in style by Bach and Chopin, immortal music learned and played by Adams as a young man. This music was also part of Dave’s unusual environment, growing up on a ranch where his father was a cowboy and his mother was a classical pianist who often played Bach and Chopin. Because the architecture of some of Adams’s photographs was so like the complex structure of a fugue, I suggested to my father that he write one as the heart of this new composition. His enthusiasm and creativity inspired him far beyond the fugue, and he devised many wonderful themes and ideas that we expanded and polished together. Once the piano score was complete, my wife, Tish, and I began to select additional images to be shown throughout the developing score. (We respect the compositional integrity of Adams’ art, and project the full and complete images without close-ups, panning or other video techniques.) The beauty of Ansel Adams’s photography inspired Dave and me to create this music. We hope you’ll enjoy his breathtaking photographs and the way our new composition surrounds these images.”
GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Orchestrated by FERDE GROFÉ (1892-1972)
Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Orchestra Composed in 1924. Premiered on February 12, 1924 in New York, conducted by Paul Whiteman, with the composer as piano soloist. Two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, two bassoons, three horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings. Approximately 18 minutes. For George White’s Scandals of 1922, the 24-year-old George Gershwin provided something a little bit different — an opera, a brief, somber one-acter called Blue Monday (later retitled 135th Street) incorporating some jazz elements that White cut after only one performance on the grounds that it was too gloomy. Blue Monday, however, impressed the show’s conductor, Paul Whiteman, then gaining a national reputation as the self-styled “King of Jazz” for his adventurous explorations of the new popular music styles with his Palais Royal Orchestra. A year later, Whiteman told Gershwin about his plans for a special program the following February in which he hoped to show some of the ways traditional concert music could be enriched by jazz, and suggested that the young composer provide a piece for piano and jazz orchestra. Gershwin, who was then busy with the final preparations for the upcoming Boston tryout of Sweet Little Devil and somewhat unsure about barging into the world
of classical music, did not pay much attention to the request until he read in The New York Times on New Year’s Day that he was writing a new “symphony” for Whiteman’s program. After a few frantic phone calls, Whiteman finally convinced Gershwin to undertake the project, a work for piano solo (to be played by the composer) and Whiteman’s 22-piece orchestra — and then told him that it had to be finished in less than a month. Themes and ideas for the new piece immediately began to tumble through Gershwin’s head, and late in January, only three weeks after it was begun, the Rhapsody in Blue was completed. The premiere of the Rhapsody in Blue — New York, Aeolian Hall, February 12, 1924 — was one of the great nights in American music. Many of the era’s most illustrious musicians attended, critics from far and near assembled to pass judgment, and the glitterati of society and culture graced the event. Gershwin fought down his apprehension over his joint debuts as serious composer and concert pianist, and he and his music had a brilliant success. There was critical carping about laxity in the structure of the Rhapsody in Blue, but there were none about its vibrant, quintessentially American character or its melodic inspiration, and it became an immediate hit, attaining (and maintaining) a position of popularity almost unmatched by any other work of a native composer.
CHARLES IVES (1874-1954)
Symphony No. 2 Composed in 1897-1901. Premiered on February 22, 1951 in New York, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Woodwinds in pairs plus piccolo, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings. Approximately 40 minutes. In his book on American Music Since 1910, the composer/critic Virgil Thomson offered one of the most trenchant comments ever advanced about Charles Ives: “The man presents in music, as he did in life, two faces; on one side, a man of noble thoughts, a brave and original genius; on the other, a homespun Yankee tinkerer.” Indeed, much of Ives’ life seems almost to have joined two souls in a single body. From Monday through Friday, he was one of New York’s most successful insurance executives, heading a multi-million dollar business and even writing a guide book for salesmen. Evenings and weekends, in rural Connecticut, he was a composer creating music such as had never been heard before. He not only saw no antagonism between these two spheres of his life, but even allowed that they complemented each other. “You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality and substance,” he said. “There can be nothing exclusive about substantial art. It comes directly out of the heart of the experience of life and thinking about life and living life. My work in music helped my business and my work in business helped my music.” Just as his life style seemed to draw him to serve two masters, so his music was suspended between the poles of the great European traditions and the pioneering spirit of American adventuresomeness. Ives composed, or more correctly, assembled, his Second Symphony between 1897 and 1901, the years immediately after graduating from Yale when he was just beginning his business career. Each of the work’s five movements is based on an earlier composition: the first and third movements were derived from organ pieces Ives wrote when he was organist at Center Church in New Haven during his student days; the second and fourth movements were originally composed as overtures for New Haven’s Hyperion Theatre Orchestra between 1896 and 1898; the finale was based on a now-lost short piece called The American Woods (Brookfield). The slow opening movement, with its imitation, cascades of passing notes and rich texture, is reminiscent in style of a chorale prelude. The second movement follows without pause. Its main theme, played first by the woodwinds, is the offspring of some spirited camp-meeting tune and a Brahms symphony. After a snippet from the gospel favorite Bringing in the Sheaves, the sweet complementary melody is presented in a disarmingly artless manner by oboes in duet. The extensive development is brought to a climax with a flurry of simultaneous multiple rhythms. The themes of the exposition return, followed by a coda that serves as a second development. The third movement is a candlelit reverie, part prayerful, part parlor-room nostalgic. Movement IV is a re-working of the opening movement, and leads directly into the sonata-form finale, which incorporates a whole repertory of musical oddments, most American — Turkey in the Straw, Long Long Ago, Joy to the World, De Camptown Races, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Old Black Joe, Swanee River, even bits from Dvorˇák’s “New World” Symphony. The bursting good spirits of this rousing Symphony continue right up to its hair-raising final chord. ©2011 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
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February 11 & 12, 2012