THE PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA OF YALE o c t o b e r 1 9, 2 0 12 路 f rid ay, 8 pm 路 woolse y h all
Peter Oundjian, guest conductor
giuseppe verdi Overture to La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny)
bel谩 bart贸k Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major I. Alegretto II. Adagio religioso III. Allegro vivace Suzana Bartal, piano
dmitri shostakovich Symphony No. 12 in D minor I. Revolutionary Petrograd II. Razliv III. Aurora IV. The Dawn of Humanity
As a courtesy to others, please silence all cell phones and devices. Photography of any kind is strictly prohibited. Please do not leave the hall during musical selections. Thank you.
Robert Blocker, Dean
p ro g ram notes Giuseppe Verdi» 1813–1901
Overture to La forza del destino La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny) was Giuseppe Verdi’s twenty-second opera. It premiered in Saint Petersburg in 1862, but without this overture: all that began the opera was a short prelude. But the opera’s lukewarm reception, in Russia and abroad, led Verdi to substantially revise it for its first Italian performances in 1869. His revisions were primarily driven by a desire to make the opera’s plot less bleak; while all the major characters, including the lovers Donna Lenora and Don Alvaro, are dead by the end of the 1862 version, Don Alvaro is allowed to survive in the 1869 revision. The prelude was expanded into the overture we hear tonight. The overture evokes the opera’s ominous atmosphere, beginning with the so-called “fate” motive in the brass and the “destiny” motive in the strings. Despite a supposed curse (several singers, including baritone Leonard Warren, have died during productions, leading many others, including Luciano Pavarotti, to refuse to sing it), La forza del destino remains quite popular among opera audiences, and its overture is among Verdi’s finest.
Belá Bartók » 1881–1945 Piano Concerto No. 3
Béla Bartók’s final half-decade, spent in the United States, was not a particularly happy one. War was demolishing his Hungarian homeland, and Bartók himself was plagued by illness and financial difficulty. Despite this, his final opus, the Piano Concerto No. 3, manages to be one of his most pleasant works. Unlike his first and second piano concertos, whose solo parts are often fiery and explosive, the third’s solo part is lyrical and poised. He dedicated the piece to his second wife, the pianist Ditta PásztoryBartók. The first movement, with its Hungarian folk inflections and modal harmonies, contains a wealth of contrary motion and is scored with incredible transparency. The second movement, the only time Bartók used the tempo marking “Adagio religioso,” begins with a quasi-chorale in the piano which alternates with string interpolations. It is often compared to Beethoven’s “Heiliger Dankgesang” (from the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132). Its middle section, with woodwind bird calls above string tremolos, is Bartók’s final bit of night music, and is meant to evoke the mountain landscape around Asheville, North Carolina, where Bartók spent much of 1944 recuperating. The finale is a rondo, with increasingly complex fugal episodes. Bartók never completed the final movement; its last seventeen measures had been sketched, but not orchestrated, when he died in a Manhattan hospital from complications of leukemia on September 26, 1945. Shortly after his death, Bartók’s student Tibor Serly completed the orchestration with the help of Eugene Ormandy, who conducted the work’s premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra and pianist György Sándor in 1946.
Dmitri Shostakovich » 1906–1975
Symphony No. 12
Perhaps in a circuitous way, Giuseppe Verdi shares some responsibility for the circumstances which led to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12. When Tsar Alexander II’s imperial opera house commissioned La forza del destino in 1862, it paid Verdi fully twenty times the maximum legal amount a Russian composer could have been paid for a comparable commission. The ensuing scandal among Russian musicians greatly fed their growing nationalism, a nationalism which was still being cultivated under Communist domination a century later. Shostakovich’s relationship with his homeland’s politics was nothing if not complicated. Despite this, in 1960, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev appointed Shostakovich as General Secretary of the Composer’s Union. In order to accept the position, Shostakovich first had to join the Communist Party, something he had until that point avoided. Scholars debate whether he capitulated out of fear or out of hope that the Soviet Union’s artistic climate would improve under Khrushchev. Whatever Shostakovich’s motivation, the Communist Party commissioned from him a new symphony, which was premiered at the twenty-second Communist Party Congress in October 1961.
name from the battleship stationed on the Neva which fired on the Winter Palace on November 7 (October 25 on the Julian calendar), 1917, leading to its takeover by Bolsheviks the next day. The final movement, “The Dawn of Humanity,” is an idealization of Soviet life under and after Lenin’s leadership; material from previous movements, especially the second movement’s funeral march, reappears, this time transfigured. Shostakovich likely hoped that this symphony would further ingratiate himself to Khrushchev, but 1961’s Party Congress managed to be one of the most controversial in Soviet history. Two events, the removal of Stalin’s remains from Lenin’s Mausoleum, and a walkout by Zhou Enlai and the Chinese Communists, made the premiere by the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky only a small sideshow, soon forgotten by party leaders. – Program notes by Kenneth Miller
The symphony, subtitled The Year 1917 and dedicated to the memory of Vladimir Lenin, is the most outwardly pro-Soviet of all of Shostakovich’s symphonies. Its four continuous movements are a programmatic portrayal of events and places surrounding the October Revolution. The first movement, “Revolutionary Petrograd,” uses several popular songs, including the famous “Warsaw Song,” to paint a picture of a restless Saint Petersburg on the eve of revolution. The second movement, “Razliv,” is named for the small village forty miles outside Saint Petersburg from which Lenin directed the revolution, and includes a funeral march. The third movement scherzo, “Aurora,” takes its
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Peter Oundjian, guest conductor
Suzana Bartal, piano
Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian, noted for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality, has been an instrumental figure in the rebirth of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since his appointment as music director in 2004. In addition to conducting the orchestra in dynamic performances which have earned artistic acclaim, he has been greatly involved in a variety of new initiatives which have strengthened the ensemble’s presence in the community and attracted a young and diverse audience. Mr. Oundjian has also released four recordings on the orchestra’s self-produced record label, tsoLIVE. The award-winning documentary Five Days In September: The Rebirth of An Orchestra, chronicles Peter Oundjian’s first week as music director of the TSO.
Born in 1986 in Timisoara (Romania), Suzana Bartal started playing the piano at the age of 8 and made her debut with orchestra at the age of 13. She has appeared in such prestigious venues as the Musee d’Orsay (Paris), Radio France, and the Music Academy (Budapest). Her recital appearances have led her through Romania, Hungary, France, Italy, Holland, and Germany. She has been awarded scholarships from the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe, Nadia et Lili Boulanger Foundation, Mecenat musical Societe Generale, ADAMI, and the Williamson Foundation. Her appearances have been broadcast on radio and television in Romania, Hungary, and France.
Peter Oundjian served as principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010 and played a major role at the Caramoor International Music Festival between 1997 and 2007. He has served as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music since 1981. In 2009, Mr. Oundjian received an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Conservatory. Peter Oundjian was educated in England, where he studied the violin with Manoug Parikian. He then attended the Royal College of Music in London, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for Most Distinguished Student and Stoutzker Prize for excellence in violin playing. He completed his violin training at the Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Itzhak Perlman, and Dorothy DeLay. Peter Oundjian was the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet, a position he held for fourteen years.
Recent competition prizes include first prize and Fauré special prize at the Concours International d’Ile de France, first prize at the Lagny-sur-Marne International Competition, second prize and Debussy prize at the Agropoli International Competition (Italy), and third prize at the FLAME competition (Paris). In 2010, Suzana was a finalist in the international piano competition in Campillos, Spain. After graduating with honors from the music high school in her hometown, Suzana pursued her studies with Denis Pascal, Pierre Pontier, and Florent Boffard in Paris and at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique Lyon. She has also worked with musicians such as Andras Schiff, Menahem Pressler, Tamas Vasary, and many others. Suzana is currently studying with Peter Frankl at the Yale School of Music. Highlights of recent months include masterclasses with Thomas Adès at the International Musician’s Seminar Prussia Cove (UK) and a recital in the Festival Jeunes Talents (Paris). Suzana is a recipient of Yale’s Harriet Gibbs Fox Memorial Prize.
a b o u t yale p h ilha rm onia
The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire.
shinik hahm Conductor
Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Shubert Theatre. The Yale Philharmonia has also performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The orchestra undertook its first tour of Asia in 2008, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.
roberta senatore Music Librarian
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kate gonzales Production Assistant paolo bortolameolli Assistant Conductor jonathan brandani Assistant Conductor
The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale violin 1 Benjamin Hoffman Kayla Moffett Alissa Cheung Yoon Won Song Hen-Shuo Chang Seok Jung Lee Ji Hyun Kim Heewon Uhm Nayeon Kim Ki Won Kim Eun-young Jung Seul-A Lee Jacob Ashworth violin 2 Brian Bak Choha Kim Yuan Ma Cordelia Paw Matheus Garcia Souza Mann-Wen Lo Eun Kyung Park Wonyoung Jung Gayoung Cho Betty Zhou Hye Jin Koh Edouard Maetzener Melanie Clapies viola Dashiel Nesbitt Sara Rossi Isabella Mensz Eleanor Kendra James Colin Brookes Leonard Chiang Xinyi Xu Hyeree Yu Heejin Chang Benjamin Bartelt Jessica Li Jane Mitchell
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