On the Upbeat
MAY 2011 • VOLUME 4, EDITION 7
The Santa Barbara Symphony
Nir’s Notes Dear Friends, As we come to the close of another Symphony season, I want to thank you for your continued devotion and enthusiasm for the Santa Barbara Symphony. The final program of the season is a true mixture of the “new” and the “familiar.” With Dvoˇrák’s Carnival Overture, we celebrate the end of the season by opening the program with this festive orchestral poem. Our second work features pianist Alon Goldstein in a fascinating new work written by another celebrated friend, Avner Dorman. As the publisher indicates, the piano concerto, Lost Souls brings together Dorman’s cultural melange and melds it into a dynamic work that is a combination of his disperate influences — in one moment in Lost Souls, Cuban Bata drums accompany a baroque toccata, that in the end sounds as if it were Arabic in its origin. It is an extraordinary pleasure to collaborate with pianist Alon Goldstein in this exciting work by Avner. Finally, our featured piece is Brahms’ emphatic Symphony No. 4. Adored by classical music enthusiasts across the globe and considered one of the greatest works of the classical repertoire, Brahms’ fourth and final symphony encompasses a myriad of emotions, techniques and allusions. With this concert, I not only bid farewell to another wonderful season, but to some very dear colleagues who have been longtime members of the orchestra. Retiring from the orchestra are Nancy Chase (a member of the orchestra since its first year in 1953), Lois Helvey (member since 1968) and Alita Rhodes (member since 1976). Retiring from his role as Principal Cello, but continuing to perform in the section, is Geoffrey Rutkowski (member since 1968). I thank each of these musicians for their commitment, talents and contribution to our orchestra over the decades. Their long and uncompromised dedication to the SBS organization has inspired us all, and contributed immensely to the growth of this orchestra. I look forward to seeing you all again for our “Fantastique” 2011-2012 Season! Musically yours,
2 0 1 0 - 2 0 11 S E A S O N
May 14-15, 2011 Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Alon Goldstein, Piano
DVOŘÁK Carnival Overture, Op. 92
DORMAN Lost Souls, Concerto for (b. 1975) Piano and Orchestra Ghostly — Allegro — Adagio — Allegro — Presto
Adagio — Scherzo “Mischievousso” — Adagio Presto
Played without pause — INTERMISSION —
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Allegro non troppo
Andante moderato Allegro giocoso Allegro energico e passionato
KDB will be doing a live broadcast of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s concert on Sat., May 14, 8 p.m. with hosts, Ramón Araïza, Music Scholar and Tim Owens, KDB’s Vice President and General Manager. The Avner Dorman’s piece, Piano Concerto No 2 “Lost Souls,” is a West Coast premiere and was composed with pianist Alon Goldstein in mind. What a unique season finale! I hope the community who can’t make it to the concert will be able to join us at home.
Marilynn L. Sullivan CONCERT SPONSOR
Marlyn Bernard Bernstein ARTIST SPONSOR
Nir Kabaretti Music and Artistic Director
Join Ramón Araïza for “Music Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!
Sponsored by Marlyn Bernard Bernstein
Alon Goldstein piano “…an irresistible powerhouse performance” – The New York Times
photo: christian steiner
Alon Goldstein is one of the most sensitive artists of his generation, admired for his musical intelligence and dynamic personality. Alon’s artistic vision and innovative programming have made him a favorite with audiences and critics alike throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. He made his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Israeli Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta, and in April of 2008, made a triumphant return with Maestro Herbert Blomstedt. In recent seasons, Alon has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Vancouver, Kansas City and North Carolina Symphonies, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and orchestras on tour in Paris, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. His 2010-2011 season includes his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski playing Mendelssohn Concerto No. 1, a return to the IRIS Orchestra for a Saint Saëns Concerto No. 2 with Michael Stern and Tchaikovksy Concerto No. 1 with Jaime Laredo and the Vermont Symphony. Goldstein can be heard in recital and chamber music concerts in St. Paul, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beijing, Guatamala City, Kent (UK) and Paris among others.
Notes ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Carnival Overture, Op. 92 Composed in 1891. Premiered on April 28, 1892 in Prague, conducted by the composer. Woodwinds in pairs plus piccolo and English horn, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp and strings. Approximately 9 minutes. Like almost every musician of the late 19th century, Dvořák had to come to grips with the astounding phenomenon of Richard Wagner and his music dramas. Around 1890, he undertook a study of this grandiloquent music, as well as that of Wagner’s stylistic ally (and father-in-law) Franz Liszt, and he was rewarded with a heightened awareness of the expressive possibilities of orchestral program music. Several important scores from Dvořák’s last years seem to bear the influence of his study of this so-called “Music of the Future”: the five tone poems of 1896-1897 (The Water Goblin, The Noon Witch, The Golden Spinning Wheel, The Wild Dove and Heroic Song), Silent Woods for Cello and Orchestra, Poetic Tone Pictures for Solo Piano, and the 1892 cycle of three concert overtures originally titled Nature, Love and Life. In his study of the composer, John Clapham indicated that Dvořák intended the triptych of overtures to represent “three aspects of the life-force’s manifestations, a force which the composer designated ‘Nature,’ and which not only served to create and sustain life, but also, in its negative phase, could destroy it.” More specifically, Otakar Sourek noted that they depicted “the solemn silence of a summer night, a gay whirl of life and living, and the passion of great love.” Dvořák linked the three works by employing a motto theme representing Nature that appears in all of them, and he further pointed up their relationship by, at first, giving them a common opus number. He had difficulty settling on titles for the individual movements, however, arriving at the names In Nature’s Realm, Carnival and Othello (and three separate opus numbers) only after much consideration. The cycle was written between March 1891 and January 1892 in Prague and at the composer’s country home in Vysoká; Carnival was sketched during July and August, and completed on September 12th.
While he was composing these works, Dvořák was invited by Mrs. Jeanette Thurber to take up residence in the United States and become director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, an offer he accepted to begin the following year. The joint premieres of the overtures, under the composer’s direction in Prague on April 28, 1892, therefore became part of his farewell concert in that city. Appropriately, he next conducted them at his first New York appearance, in Carnegie Hall on October 21st, a program that also included America sung by a chorus of 300 voices, Anton Seidl directing Liszt’s Tasso, and a new setting of the Te Deum, written specially for the occasion by Dvořák— all of which was prefaced with a stretch of grand oratory delivered by one Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson on the subject of “The New World of Columbus,” who, it was remarked, had thoughtfully discovered the continent exactly four centuries before the composer’s arrival. A great success was proclaimed for the evening and the honored visitor alike. Dvořák said that the Carnival Overture was meant to depict “a lonely, contemplative wanderer reaching at twilight a city where a festival is in full swing. On every side is heard the clangor of instruments, mingled with shouts of joy and the unrestrained hilarity of the people giving vent to their feelings in songs and dances.” Dvořák evoked this scene with brilliant music given in the most rousing sonorities of the orchestra. Into the basic sonata plan of the piece, he inserted, at the beginning of the development section, a haunting and wistful paragraph led by the English horn and flute to portray, he said, “a pair of straying lovers,” the wanderer apparently having found a companion. Following this tender, contrasting episode, the festive music returns and mounts to a spirited coda to conclude this joyous, evergreen Overture.
AVNER DORMAN (born in 1975)
Lost Souls, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Composed in 2009. Premiered on November 20, 2009 in Kansas City, conducted by Michael Stern with Alon Goldstein as soloist. Piccolo, two flutes, oboe, English horn, E-flat clarinet, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns,three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, celesta, piano, synthesizer, harp and strings. Approximately 25 minutes. Avner Dorman was born in 1975 into a musical family in Tel Aviv — his father plays bassoon and conducts — and had cello and piano lessons as a child but only took up music seriously as a teenager. He studied composition with the Georgian émigré composer Josef Bardanashvili at Tel Aviv University while also taking courses in musicology and physics, and then pursued graduate study at Juilliard, where his doctoral work as a C.V. Starr Fellow was guided by John Corigliano. Dorman was a Composition Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and also served as Composer-in-Residence for the Israel Camerata from 2001 through 2003; he was a member of the composition faculty of the Cabrillo Music Festival in 2009. In 2000, at age 25, Dorman became the youngest composer to win Israel’s prestigious Prime Minister’s Award, and that same year he received the Golden Feather Award from ACUM (the Israeli Society of Composers and Publishers) for his Ellef Symphony. His additional distinctions include being named “ 2002 Composer of the Year” by Ma’ariv, Israel’s second largest newspaper, awards from ASCAP and the Asian Composers League, and selection as an IcExcellence Chosen Artist in 2008. Dorman’s compositions, in which he says he tries to achieve “a combination of rigorous construction while preserving the sense of excitement and spontaneity usually associated with jazz, rock or ethnic music,” have been performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Festival, Israel Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic, Cabrillo Music Festival and other leading ensembles; Zubin Mehta conducted the duo-percussion team PercaDu (Tomer Yariv and Adi Morag) and the New York Philharmonic in the United States premiere of his concerto Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, commissioned by the Israel Philharmonic, in March 2009. In 2006, Naxos released Eliran Avni’s album of Dorman’s piano works to critical acclaim; a recording of Dorman’s chamber orchestra concertos is scheduled for release on Naxos in 2010. Michael McCurdy, of G. Schirmer, Avner Dorman’s publisher, wrote, “Dorman refers to Lost Souls as a ‘séance for piano and orchestra,’ saying that this three-movement concerto was created by calling on ghosts from music’s past. Lost Souls begins
quite dramatically: the pianist, in a departure from all other concerti, is not on stage, but is called from beyond by the orchestra’s microtonal séance. As the ‘soul-oist’ emerges, a tense polytonal dialogue begins between the two worlds, and Dorman begins to echo seamlessly various musical styles through his own evolved voice, recalling hints of Bach, Art Tatum, Messiaen, Lutoslawski, Ravel, Ligeti, Sweelinck and Gershwin. “Music history’s graveyard is a harrowing resource for many composers; for Dorman, the weight of the past is not a burden, but can be embraced in the present through his own art. As with many works by Avner Dorman, Lost Souls brings together his own cultural mélange and melds it into a dynamic work that is a combination of his disparate influences — in one moment in Lost Souls, Cuban Batá drums [traditional double-headed, hourglass-shape drums] accompany a Baroque toccata [i.e., in a nimble, virtuosic style] that in the end sounds as if it were Arabic in its origin. “Perhaps for Dorman, his own soul has found its place in this globalized culture where Art Tatum and Johann Sebastian Bach converse on the Ouija board of the 21st century, and where these souls of the past can be the inspiration for the future.” The composer wrote of the formal progress and expressive intent of Lost Souls: “The first movement is closely related to sonata form, with a short introduction in the high strings and a concluding coda. The haunting opening motif (the ‘séance motif”) consists of soft, high string slides across a small interval. It is followed by the soloist’s wild entrance cadenza — a hard landing back from the after life. The main motif of the exposition is built from the small interval of a whole step (A-G-A). The exposition explores this motif through various toccata-like sections, morphing the simple motif into a variety of different themes. Dramatically, the soloist is trying to remember his old favorite repertoire, hence the allusions to great piano concertos of the past (Ravel, Bach, Prokofiev, Lutoslawski and Ligeti in the first movement). As the exposition progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that the afterlife (the pianist) and our world (the orchestra) cannot fully synchronize and are bound to clash. The development begins with an expressive Adagio (first soft, then passionate, then soft again). After a return to the opening ‘séance motif,’ the development proceeds to a fast section which explores various polymetric, polytonal and polyrhythmic combinations of the various motifs of the movement. In the recapitulation, the motifs of the entire movement collide more aggressively. The highest point of complexity resolves to four octaves on the note D in the piano and strings. The coda is the catharsis of the first movement, resolving its harmonic, rhythmic and emotional conflicts. “The second movement is in a modified rondo form: A–B–A’–B’–A’’–C–A+B. The ritornellos in the orchestra (the returning A sections) are of an otherworldly nature alluding to the ‘séance motif.’ The solo sections (B) are very simple and reminiscent of some of the earliest keyboard music we know (like that of the Dutch Baroque composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck). The solo sections (B) represent the pianist’s ‘return engagement.’ After a short third ritornello (A’’), a mischievous scherzo in the piano and some percussion (with hints of Messiaen) leads back to the ‘séance motif,’ now appearing in the woodwinds and not as ghostly as before. The final ritornello combines the A and B sections in a solemn coda. At the very end of the second movement, the ‘séance motif’ appears for the final time, summoning the last, and most evil, spirit in the concerto. “The final movement — in A–A–B form — is an exorcism scene. The last soul conjured will not leave the stage. The orchestra performs an exorcism ritual (in changing meters but mostly in 13/16 meter) to vanquish it. The piano fights back (now mostly in 7/8 meter) and does not show signs of fatigue. The orchestra splits up as the different sections attempt to exorcise the spirit separately. The sections join forces again and finally manage to defeat the demon.”
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 Composed in 1884-1885. Premiered on October 25, 1885 in Meiningen, conducted by the composer. Woodwinds plus piccolo and contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, triangle and strings. Approximately 42 minutes. In the popular image of Brahms, he appears as a patriarch: full grey beard, rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes. He grew the beard in his late forties as, some say, a compensation for his late physical maturity — he was in his twenties before his voice changed
and he needed to shave — and it seemed to be an external admission that Brahms had allowed himself to become an old man. The ideas did not seem to flow so freely as he approached the age of fifty, and he even put his publisher on notice to expect nothing more. Thankfully, the ideas did come, as they would for more than another decade, and he soon completed the superb Third Symphony. The philosophical introspection continued, however, and was reflected in many of his works. The Second Piano Concerto of 1881 is almost autumnal in its mellow ripeness; this Fourth Symphony is music of deep thoughtfulness that leads “into realms where joy and sorrow are hushed, and humanity bows before that which is eternal,” wrote the eminent German musical scholar August Kretzschmar. The Fourth Symphony’s first movement begins almost in mid-thought, as though the mood of sad melancholy pervading this opening theme had existed forever and Brahms had simply borrowed a portion of it to present musically. The movement is founded upon the tiny two-note motive (short-long) heard immediately at the beginning. Tracing this little germ cell demonstrates not only Brahms’ enormous compositional skills but also the broad emotional range that he could draw from pure musical expression. To introduce the necessary contrasts into this sonata form, other themes are presented, including a broadly lyrical one for horns and cellos and a fragmented fanfare. The movement grows with a wondrous, dark majesty to its closing pages. “A funeral procession moving across moonlit heights” is how the young Richard Strauss described the second movement. Though the tonality is nominally E major, the movement opens with a stark melody, pregnant with grief, in the ancient Phrygian mode. The mood brightens, but the introspective sorrow of the beginning is never far away. The third movement is the closest Brahms came to a true scherzo in any of his symphonies. Though such a dance-like movement may appear antithetical to the tragic nature of the Symphony, this scherzo is actually a necessary contrast within the work’s total structure since it serves to heighten the pathos of the surrounding movements, especially the granitic splendor of the finale. The finale is a passacaglia — a series of variations on a short, recurring melody. There are some thirty continuous variations here, though it is less important to follow them individually than to feel the massive strength given to the movement by this technique. The opening chorale-like statement, in which trombones are heard for the first time in the Symphony, recurs twice as a further supporting pillar in the unification of the movement. ©2011 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
We invite comparison. Nir Kabaretti Music and Artistic Director Gisèle Ben-Dor Conductor Laureate
Nancy Chase Original Member
On stage at the Lobero Theatre in December 1953, under the baton of Adolphe Frezin, Nancy Chase, a UCSB freshman, performed in a concert with local musicians and college students marking the beginning of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. Responding to the musical direction of successive conductors, performing on every stage the orchestra called home, she continued as a member of the bass section of the Santa Barbara Symphony from that early ensemble to the respected, fully professional orchestra of today. She also performs with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and Opera Santa Barbara and teaches young bassists through the String Instruction Workshop. Nancy is grateful for the many musical opportunities afforded by her long association with the Santa Barbara Symphony and states, â€œIt has been a privilege to have been a part of the nearly 60 year history of the Santa Barbara Symphony helping to ensure that our passion for musical expression reaches listeners in every segment of this community through excellent performance.â€?
Alita Rhodes Alita Rhodes is a long-time member of the Santa Barbara Symphony joining first in 1955. A Santa Barbara native, she was introduced to the cello in 6th grade at Roosevelt Elementary School. She studied under Adolphe Frezin and Gabor Rejto. In high school, Ms. Rhodes soloed with the AllCalifornia High School Orchestra, conducted by Richard Lert, performing
the Lalo Concerto. In 1958, she left Santa Barbara to attend college at the
University of Washington in Seattle. She taught in Washington State while
holding the Principal Cellist position with the Edmonds Symphony. Ms. Rhodes then played for two
years with the Long Beach Symphony. In 1976, she and her family settled in Santa Barbara. She re-joined the Santa Barbara Symphony in 1976 and has been a member ever since. In addition
to playing with the Symphony, Ms. Rhodes maintains an active teaching studio and loves to play chamber music. She is an accredited Suzuki instructor and teaches students ranging in age from 5 years to adult.
Lois Helvey has been a dedicated member of the Santa Barbara Symphony violin section for 42 years. She and her husband, Roger, joined the orchestra in 1968. Born into a musical family, Lois began her violin lessons when she was five and later studied with Joachim Chassman, who was her principal teacher. During her high school and college years she played with the Pasadena Symphony. After attending Occidental College for two years, she transferred to UCLA, where she earned her BA in Music Education and her teaching credentials. She then taught instrumental music for several years in Los Angeles and Oxnard. After her small children began school, Lois returned to teaching (Music, English, World History, Geography, and Archaeology) at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura for 22 years. Lois says that being a member of the orchestra has been a great experience, although occasionally the commute from Ventura County for many years, and the past couple of years, from her new home in Oregon, has been adventurous..... fires, floods, train derailments, traffic, etc. Thank you Santa Barbara Symphony family, and community for supporting this wonderful orchestra.
Geoffrey Rutkowski has been Principal Cellist of the Santa Barbara Symphony for 40 years with only one leave of absence while he served as Principal with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra. For two successive seasons he was invited to perform in the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino where he was Solo-Principal Cellist under such eminent conductors as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Colin Davis and Mistaslav Rostropovitch in addition to performing solo and chamber music concerts with the esteemed Musicus Concentus. Mr. Rutkowski performed throughout Europe and Southeast Asia as a cultural ambassador for the United States government. In the spring of 1985, at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, Mr. Rutkowski toured the People’s Republic of China, giving master classes and concerts. A frequent performer in Italy he returns often to perform recitals with the Italian pianist Giuseppi Modugno. They have recorded the two Brahms’ Cello Sonatas and the Shostakovich and Barber Sonatas for the Italian label Ermitage. Mr. Rutkowski is currently a Professor of Cello at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“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!
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KDB will be doing a LIVE broadcast of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s concert on Sat., May 14, 8 p.m. with hosts, Ramón Araïza, Music Scholar and Tim Owens, KDB’s Vice President and General Manager.
The Avner Dorman’s piece, Piano Concerto No 2 “Lost Souls,” is a West Coast premiere and was composed with pianist Alon Goldstein in mind. What a unique season finale! I hope the community who can’t make it to the concert will be able to join us at home.
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©On the Upbeat, MAY 2011 VOL. 4, EDITION 7. 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.