EVENTS

EVENTS 2017-11-05T19:47:45+00:00
Aug
23
Tue
VIRTUOSO WINDS
Aug 23 @ 8:00 pm
VIRTUOSO WINDS @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

VIRTUOSO WINDS

The woodwind family moves downstage center for tonight’s performance featuring versatile and diverse works by Haydn, Britten, Fauré and Nielsen.

HAYDN    String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
NEILSEN    Wind Quintet in A Major, Op. 43 FS100
BRITTEN    Six Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Op. 49
FAURÉ    Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at NINE-TEN.


A little more information…
The woodwind family moves downstage center for tonight’s performance featuring versatile and diverse works by Haydn, Britten, Fauré and Nielsen. Neilsen described his Wind Quintet as “… an attempt to render the characters of the various instruments. At one moment they are all talking at once, at another they are quite alone.”


HAYDNString Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
Verona Quartet
NIELSENWind Quintet in A Major, Op. 43 FS100
Laura Griffiths, oboe, Catherine Ransom Karoly, flute, John Bruce Yeh, clarinet,
Keith Buncke, bassoon , Erik Ralske, horn
BRITTENSix Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Op. 49
Liang Wang, oboe
FAURÉPiano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15
Shai Wosner, piano , Sheryl Staples, violin ,
Cynthia Phelps, viola , Hai-Ye Ni, cello

WATCH!

BRITTEN: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, for Oboe, Op. 49
Liang Wang, oboe



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Virtuoso Winds

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 50, No. 1

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria
Died May 31, 1809, Vienna

During the 1780s, Haydn took a break from writing string quartets–between 1781 and 1787, he wrote only one. This was otherwise a fertile period for the composer (it saw the completion of fifteen symphonies, including the entire set of “Paris” Symphonies), but he was content to let the quartet form rest for awhile. When Haydn returned to it in the summer of 1787 with the six quartets that make up his Opus 50, he was writing with unusual concentration. He had become interested in these years in building his opening sonata-form movements not on the two separate theme-groups of classical form but instead on one principal theme. He would spin secondary material out of some subordinate feature of the theme–a tiny motif or a rhythmic pattern–and the entire sonata-form structure would grow out of that one seminal theme. It makes for a very concentrated–and imaginative–kind of music-making.

The six string quartets of Opus 50 are sometimes known as the “Prussian” Quartets because Haydn dedicated the set to King Friedrich Wilhelm II, the cello-playing monarch in Berlin (this is the same king for whom Mozart is supposed to have written his “King of Prussia” Quartets). This first quartet of Haydn’s set, in B-flat major, is quite attractive music. The opening of the Allegro can seem deceptively simple: over the cello’s steady pulse of quarters (a pulse that will recur throughout much of the movement), the first violin lays out a simple rising-and-falling shape that Haydn’s stresses should be dolce. It hardly seems noteworthy, but this is the seminal shape of the movement, and instantly Haydn transforms it into a shower of triplets, and when the “second” subject arrives, it too is a variation of this shape, even though it has been transformed into something much more lyric. After an active development– much of it in energetic triplets–the movement closes quietly. The slow movement is in variation form, based on the first violin’s long opening melody. As the variations unfold, the music becomes more ornate, but the central theme remains clear, even in the second variation, which moves into the unusual key of E-flat minor.

Haydn returns to the home key of B-flat major for the minuet; noteworthy here is the writing for cello, as it takes up the first violin’s opening line. The trio seems to pick up the same phrases as the minuet, but now with needle-sharp violin attacks, and Haydn creates a nice effect by syncopating the two violin parts as the trio proceeds. The real glory of this quartet, however, is the finale, which is as good-natured a piece as Haydn ever wrote (and that is saying something). It is quite concentrated: the violin’s agreeable opening melody–eight bars long– seems to promise a rondo, but this movement is in sonata form. There are many wonderful little touches here: the way the two violin parts weave together, the use of the opening phrase as the basis for the development, even a brief cadenza for the first violin at the center of the movement–but the principal impression is of the pleasure of making music, and the quartet speeds to its firm close on fragments of the finale’s opening theme.

Wind Quintet in A Major, Opus 43 FS100

CARL NIELSEN
Born June 9, 1865, Nørre Lyndelse, Denmark
Died October 2, 1931, Copenhagen

Carl Nielsen made his living to the age of forty as a violinist, but he had a particular affection for wind instruments. He learned to play cornet, signal horn, and trombone as a boy, and for several years he was a member of a military band. Later he composed a good deal for wind instruments, including the present quintet and distinguished concertos for flute and for clarinet.

Nielsen began his Wind Quintet in 1921 while at work on his conflicted and brutal Fifth Symphony, which critics have inevitably understood as a reaction to World War I. The need to relax while writing the intense symphony may have been one of the motivations for writing the gentle Wind Quintet. Another was hearing the Copenhagen Wind Quintet perform Mozart–Nielsen became good friends with those players and wished to write for them. This friendship inevitably affected the music he composed, since he wrote for the individual players as well as for their instruments. This was also a period when Nielsen was becoming interested in the sound and unique identity of individual instruments. While at work on his Sixth Symphony several years later, Nielsen made a remark about his use of instruments in the symphony that applies just as accurately to the Wind Quintet: “each instrument is like a person who sleeps, whom I have to wake to life.”

The quintet is in three movements. The genial Allegro ben moderato is built on two contrasted ideas: the bassoon’s lyric opening melody and a chattering second theme, full of leaps and grace notes. The second movement is classical in shape, if not in all its details–it is a minuet-and-trio with an eight-bar coda. Much of this movement is given to smaller instrumental combinations: clarinet and bassoon share the opening of the minuet, while flute, oboe, and clarinet launch the trio.

Most memorable of the movements is the finale, which is longer than the first two movements combined. It opens with an ornate Praeludium (marked Adagio) for which the oboist switches to English horn. The main body of the movement, however, is a theme, eleven variations, and brief finale. The theme is Nielsen’s own–he took this poised and noble chorale tune from his “My Jesus, make my heart to love Thee” from his Hymns and Sacred Songs of 1912-16. The variations are concise, imaginative, and often witty: the fifth is a comic duet for clarinet and bassoon, the seventh is for bassoon solo, the ninth for horn solo, and the final variation is a little march. The movement concludes with a restatement of the choral tune, now re-barred in 4/4 (the original statement was in 3/4), and this finale, marked Andantino festivo, drives the quintet to a firm close.

Nielsen completed the Wind Quintet in April 1922, three months after the première of the Fifth Symphony. Its sunny spirits belie the increasingly serious condition of the composer’s health–a few weeks later he was confined to bed with angina pectoris, and the remaining nine years of his life were clouded by heart trouble. The first performance of the Wind Quintet was given by the Copenhagen Wind Quintet on October 9, 1922.

Six Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Opus 49

BENJAMIN BRITTEN
Born November 22, 1913, Lowestoft
Died December 4, 1976, Aldeburgh

Britten was one of the best-read of composers. He set texts from the Bible, English writers (Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Crabbe, Keats, Tennyson, Hardy, Owen), French (Racine, Rimbaud, Hugo, Verlaine), American (Melville and James), continental (Pushkin and Brecht), as well as such classical sources as Virgil, Michelangelo, and the ancient Chinese, to name only a few. His Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, written in 1951, were inspired by one of the greatest of Roman poets. Ovid remains best known today for his Metamorphoses, fifteen books of mythological legends tracing the history of the world from its creation to Julius Caesar, who had been assassinated the year before Ovid was born. A recurrent theme in this massive work is suggested by its title: Ovid was struck by the instability of things and their tendency suddenly to turn into something else.

Britten chose six of Ovid’s mythological tales and set them for solo oboe. He made no attempt to suggest Ovid’s words, and these brief pieces should be regarded as instrumental miniatures that offer character portraits of mythological figures. The idea of transformation is of course a very important concept musically, and the listener may enjoy following the way certain themes are transformed (or metamorphosed) in the course of these brief pieces. In the score Britten prefaces each piece with a line from Ovid.

  1. “PAN who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved.” This tells of the god Pan and his pursuit of the nymph Syrinx, who fled into a river and prayed to be transformed into a reed. When her prayer was granted, Pan made musical pipes from the reed. The oboe’s music offers an impression of that playing.
  2. “PHAETON who rode upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt.” Phaeton was the son of Helios, the sun. He stole his father’s sun-chariot and careened wildly through the sky, scorching Africa before Zeus blasted him with a thunderbolt. The galloping triplets of the beginning echo the pounding hooves. The music grows more dramatic as Phaeton swerves through the sky and finally fades into silence as he falls to his death.
  3. “NIOBE who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned into a mountain.” Niobe was the queen of Thebes who bragged of her many children and was punished for her pride by the death of all of them. Weeping, she asked Zeus to turn her into a stone on a mountain, and he granted her wish. The flowing triplets mirror Niobe’s grief–Britten marks the music piangendo: “weeping.”
  4. “BACCHUS at whose feasts is heard the noise of gaggling women’s tattling tongues and the shouting out of boys.” This exuberant music, with its pounding dotted rhythms, should remind us that the Romans believed Bacchus a handsome and powerful young man, rather than the fat old reprobate of subsequent legend.
  5. “NARCISSUS who fell in love with his own image and became a flower.” Narcissus was the beautiful youth who pined away while staring at his own image in a pond, and Britten’s languid music mirrors the youth’s indolence. Full of wide melodic skips, it gradually fades into silence.
  6. “ARETHUSA who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned into a fountain.” The story is somewhat similar to the opening story of Pan, and the music concludes with another tale of transformation. Arethusa is bathing in a stream when Alpheus appears and tries to seduce her. She flees and is transformed into a fountain. Britten mirrors the sound of the water with trills and arpeggiated ripples of sound.

Piano Quartet in C Minor, Opus 15

GABRIEL FAURÉ
Born May 13, 1845, Pamiers, France
Died November 4, 1924, Paris

Fauré wrote the Piano Quartet in C Minor, one of the masterpieces of his early period, between 1876 and 1879, when he was in his early thirties. Despite the work’s success, the composer was dissatisfied with the final movement and rewrote it in 1883, making it–as he said– “new from top to toe.” In its completed form, the quartet is an extraordinary achievement, both for the range of its expression and for Fauré’s imaginative craftsmanship.

The Allegro molto moderato opens with a sturdy theme in the strings, with off-the-beat accompaniment from the piano. The vigor and drive of this opening continue throughout the movement, and its rhythm–heard almost continuously in the piano–unifies the entire movement; the gentle second subject, announced by the viola and marked espressivo, gracefully sets off the energy of the opening episode. In the development Fauré brings back the opening theme, now slowed down and played gently, and the wonder is that a theme which moments before had moved forward martially can be so transformed and made to sing lyrically. In the coda, this opening theme recurs quietly in the viola as the movement draws to its calm conclusion. Fauré reverses the expected order of the interior movements and places the scherzo, marked Allegro vivo, second. The piano’s opening idea rocks along cheerfully above pizzicato accompaniment in the strings; alert listeners will recognize it as a variant of the espressivo second theme of the first movement. The scherzo reaches a cadence, and then in another pleasing surprise Fauré replaces the expected trio section with a graceful chorale for muted strings.

Because of their many similarities, the final two movements should be considered together. The Adagio is built on the brief dotted phrase first heard in the cello: this rising figure will unify the final two movements. The lyric second episode, introduced by the violin, contains the same rhythm, and the opening theme of the finale–Allegro molto– rushes along on this same rising, dotted theme-shape. The energetic finale seems to be in motion throughout. Even when the viola sings the second theme, marked dolce e espressivo, this graceful melody assumes the rising shape that characterizes the final two movements. It is a measure of Fauré’s achievement in this music that so simple a figure can be made to yield such a range of expression.

Given this music’s popularity today, it comes as a surprise to learn that Fauré had a great deal of trouble getting it published. No publisher wanted to take a chance on a little-known composer. The quartet was rejected by two of France’s major publishing firms and was accepted by a third only on the condition that composer surrender all his rights to it. Desperate to have his work published, Fauré could do nothing but accept those terms. He never made a penny on this music.

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Aug
24
Wed
AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
Aug 24 @ 8:00 pm
AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ  HAMELIN @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN

Internationally acclaimed pianist Marc-André Hamelin delivers the third and final An Evening With this SummerFest.

HAMELIN    Four Perspectives – World Première
LISZT    Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178
TCHAIKOVSKY    Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

A little more information…
Internationally acclaimed pianist Marc-André Hamelin delivers the third and final An Evening With this SummerFest. Audiences will experience three aspects of this multi-faceted musician tonight.First “the composer” with the world-première of Mr. Hamelin’s new work for cello and piano. Next “the collaborator” as he plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor with violinist Paul Huang and cellist Mischa Maiksy, and finally “the virtuoso” as Mr. Hamelin takes on Liszt’s prolific B Minor Piano Sonata, considered by many to be his greatest work.


HAMELINFour Perspectives
Hai-Ye Ni, cello, Marc-André Hamelin, piano
WORLD PREMIÈRE
LISZTPiano Sonata in B Minor, S.178
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
TCHAIKOVSKYPiano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50
Paul Huang, violin, Mischa Maisky, cello, Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WATCH!

LISZT: Étude Un sospiro S.144 No. 3 in D-flat major for Piano
Marc-André Hamelin, piano



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: An Evening With Marc-André Hamelin

Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178

FRANZ LISZT
Born October 22, 1811, Raiding, Hungary
Died July 31, 1886, Bayreuth

Liszt wrote his Sonata in B Minor in 1852-3 and dedicated it to Robert Schumann. The first public performance took place four years later in Berlin in 1857, when it was played by Liszt’s son-in-law Hans von Bülow. The Sonata in B Minor is in all senses of the word a revolutionary work, for Liszt sets aside previous notions of sonata form and looks ahead to a new vision of what such a form might be. Schumann himself, then in serious mental decline, reportedly never heard the piece but could not have been especially comfortable with the dedication of a piece of music that flew so directly in the face of his own sense of what a sonata should be. Another figure in nineteenth century music, however, reacted rapturously: Wagner wrote to Liszt to say, “The Sonata is beautiful beyond any conception, great, pleasing, profound and noble–it is sublime, just as you are yourself.”

The most immediately distinctive feature of the sonata is that it is in one movement instead of the traditional three. Beyond this, it is built not on long and distinct melodic themes but on short phrases. These phrases undergo a gradual but extensive development–a process Liszt called “the transformation of themes”–and are often made to perform quite varied functions as they undergo these transformations. Despite the one-movement structure, Liszt achieves something of the effect of the traditional three-movement form by giving the sonata a general fast-slow-fast shape. The entire sonata is built on just four brief theme-phrases: the slowly-descending scale heard at the very beginning; the leaping theme in octaves at the Allegro; a powerful theme over repeated eighth-notes marked Grandioso; and a lyric fourth phrase marked cantando espressivo, itself an expanded version of the martial repeated notes of the opening.

The Sonata in B Minor is extremely dramatic music, so dramatic that many guessed that it must have a program, as so much of Liszt’s music does. But Liszt insisted that this is not descriptive or programmatic music. He wanted his sonata accepted as a piece of “pure music,” to be heard and understood for itself.

Piano Trio in A Minor, Opus 50

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Born May 7, 1840, Votkinsk, Russia
Died November 6, 1893, St. Petersburg

Nikolai Rubinstein, brother of the pianist Anton Rubinstein, had hired Tchaikovsky to teach composition at the Moscow Conservatory and later encouraged him as a composer, conducting and championing his music. When Nikolai died on March 23, 1881, at the age of 46, Tchaikovsky resolved to write a work in his memory, but it was difficult for him to choose the form for such a piece. Nikolai had been a pianist, but a piano concerto did not seem a proper memorial piece. Tchaikovsky disliked the combination of piano and strings in chamber music but eventually overcame this aversion to write the Trio in A Minor as the memorial to Rubinstein; it was the only time Tchaikovsky used a piano in his chamber music. He began work on the trio in December 1881 while living in Rome and completed the score on February 9, 1882. The manuscript is inscribed: “In memory of a Great Artist.”

A particular memory came back to Tchaikovsky as he worked on this music: in 1873, after the première of Tchaikovsky’s The Snow Maiden (which had been conducted by Rubinstein), faculty members from the Moscow Conservatory had gone on a picnic in the sunny, blossom-covered countryside. Here they were surrounded by curious peasants, and the gregarious Rubinstein quickly made friends and had the peasants singing and dancing. As he set to work on the trio, Tchaikovsky remembered how much Rubinstein had liked one of these songs.

The trio as completed has a very unusual form: it is in two massive movements that last a total of almost 50 minutes. The first movement in particular has proven baffling to critics, who have been unable to decide whether it is in sonata or rondo form. It is built on two sharply contrasted themes: the cello’s somber opening melody–which Tchaikovsky marks molto espressivo–and a vigorous falling theme for solo piano, marked Allegro giusto. Tchaikovsky alternates these themes through this dramatic movement, which closes with a quiet restatement of the cello’s opening theme, now played in octaves by the piano.

The second movement is a huge set of variations. The theme of these variations is the peasant melody Rubinstein had liked so much on the picnic in 1873, and Tchaikovsky puts this simple tune through eleven quite different variations. Particularly striking are the fifth, in which the piano’s high notes seem to echo the sound of sleigh bells; the sixth, a waltz introduced by the cello; the eighth, a powerful fugue; and the tenth, a mazurka introduced by the piano. So individual and dramatic are these variations that several critics instantly assumed that each must depict an incident from Rubinstein’s life and set about guessing what each variation was “about.” Tchaikovsky was dumbfounded when this was reported to him; to a friend he wrote: “How amusing! To compose music without the slightest desire to represent something and suddenly to discover that it represents this or that, it is what Moliere’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme must have felt when he learnt that he had been speaking in prose all his life.”

The trio concludes with a final variation so huge that many have considered it a separate movement. It comes to a somber end: Tchaikovsky marks the final page Lugubre (“lugubrious”), and over a funeral march in the piano come fragments of the cello’s theme from the very beginning of the first movement, now marked piangendo: “weeping.” This theme gradually dissolves, and the piano marches into silence.

PRELUDE 7 PM

Join us for tonight’s Prelude with Eric Bromberger

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Aug
26
Fri
FINALE WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM
Aug 26 @ 8:00 pm
FINALE WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

SUMMERFEST FINALE
WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM

End SummerFest on a Musical High!

Join La Opera’s Music Director, Maestro James Conlon, violin virtuoso Gil Shaham and the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra for a joyous evening celebrating a month fabulous performances and musical exploration.

SCHUBERT    Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485
PROKOFIEV    Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
MOZART    Symphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

A little more information…
End SummerFest on a Musical High! Join La Opera’s Music Director, Maestro James Conlon, violin virtuoso Gil Shaham and the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra for a joyous evening celebrating a month fabulous performances and musical exploration. We open with Schubert’s elegant Symphony No. 5, completed when the composer was just 19 years old, the only one of Schubert’s complete symphonies scored for Chamber Orchestra. Next, violinist Gil Shaham takes to the stage to perform Prokofiev’s lyrical and dramatic Violin Concerto No. 2. Mozart’s assured Symphony No. 34 in C Major, from its opening flourishing fanfare to its tarantella-style final movement, will bring our month-long journey to a joyous and satisfying conclusion.


SCHUBERTSymphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485
PROKOFIEVViolin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
MID-PERFORMANCE ENCORE
BARTÓK44 Duos for Violin, No. 43 “Pizzicato”
MOZARTSymphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338
James Conlon, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra


WATCH!

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
Gil Shaham, violin



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Finale with James Conlon & Gil Shaham

Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178

FRANZ SCHUBERT
Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna

Schubert composed his Fifth Symphony in September and October 1816 under very particular conditions, and those conditions did much to shape how this music sounds. Schubert wrote the symphony for a tiny informal orchestra that played in the homes of a group of music lovers in Vienna. That orchestra had begun as the Schubert family string quartet, to which a few winds and extra string players were added, and the modest scoring of the Fifth reflects this: one flute, pairs of oboes, bassoons, horns, and strings. Schubert omits clarinets, trumpets, and timpani, and their absence gives the music an unusually gentle character and makes for a very particular sonority, almost chamber-like in its textures. Schubert often sets the two violin sections in octaves (further contributing to the transparency of textures) and writes with great clarity for solo winds. In particular, the glowing, silvery sound of the single flute gives this symphony much of its clear, pure sound, a sonority quite appropriate to a piece of music conceived for performance in a living room rather than a 3000-seat concert hall.

The intimacy of the Fifth Symphony may come from a further reason as well: earlier that same year, under the strong influence of Beethoven, Schubert had written his Fourth Symphony, which he gave the somewhat inflated nickname “Tragic.” But several months later Schubert had come to feel that Beethoven’s style–however right it may have been for Beethoven–was not right for him, and now he turned away sharply from that dramatic manner. Perhaps in the effort to cleanse his palate of that taste, he went back to an earlier style for his model: the spirit of Mozart hovers over this gentle symphony.

At first glance, Schubert’s Fifth Symphony certainly seems to be of Mozartean proportion and manner: it is built on the outlines of the classical symphony, which are here wed to Schubert’s lyric gift and sometimes to his penchant for unexpected harmonic shifts. A four-bar introduction, full of glowing woodwind sound and scurrying violins, alights gracefully on the buoyant, dancing main idea in the violins, which also have the sprightly second subject. This sonata-form movement, full of youthful energy and bright spirits, proceeds normally until near the end, where the 19-year-old composer is willing to break the rules and start that recapitulation in the “wrong” key of E-flat major instead of the home key of B-flat. The Andante con moto sings throughout, from its melting opening violin phrase through the broader, chorale-like second subject. Schubert almost certainly turned to Mozart for his model in the minuet: its key-structure and theme-shape come directly from the third movement of Mozart’s great Symphony No. 40 in G Minor. Schubert wears these influences lightly, and this movement does not sound nearly so implacable as its predecessor; both composers move to sunny G major for the trio section. Schubert defies expectations slightly in the finale, offering another sonataform movement instead of the customary rondo (the model may again have been the Mozart Symphony No. 40). Here Schubert offers a series of irresistible tunes, of which the flowing second is a real beauty.

A teenaged composer could do worse than choose Mozart as his model, but one of the great pleasures of the Fifth Symphony is that–despite the model–it sounds like Schubert in every bar. The young man who wrote this symphony– and who was still feeling his way with symphonic form– was already a sophisticated composer of lieder. In fact, at exactly the same time he wrote this symphony Schubert composed a series of magnificent songs on texts by Goethe: Sehnsucht and the three Harfenspieler songs on texts from Wilhelm Meister. If the Fifth Symphony does not reach the same heights as those songs, its glowing melodies and youthful charm have nevertheless made it the popular favorite among Schubert’s early symphonies.

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 63

SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Born April 23, 1891, Sontsovka, Ukraine
Died March 5, 1953, Moscow

Like many other Russian musicians, Prokofiev fled to the West in the aftermath of the Communist Revolution of 1917, and he eventually made his home in Paris, where he wrote brilliant–and often abrasive–music. The young composer appeared to take delight in assaulting audiences: when one of his early premières was roundly booed, Prokofiev walked onstage, bowed deeply to the jeering audience, and sat down and played an encore of equally assaultive music. As the years went by, though, Prokofiev began to feel homesick for Russia. He made the first of many return visits in 1927, and after 1933 he kept an apartment in Moscow and divided his time between that city and Paris. Prokofiev knew that if he returned to Russia, he would have to relax his style. Socialist Realism demanded music that was lyric and attractive to a mass audience, and the Soviet government would not for an instant have tolerated some of the music he had written in the West. Perhaps Prokofiev himself was ready to relax his style, but as the composer made the decision to return to Russia (which he did in 1936), his music grew more lyric and accessible: among the first works he wrote after his return were Peter and the Wolf and the ballet Romeo and Juliet.

The Second Violin Concerto also dates from these years and from this evolution toward a more lyric style. In 1935 friends of the French violinist Robert Soetens asked Prokofiev to write a violin concerto for him. Prokofiev had already been thinking of writing a new work for the violin when the commission arrived, and he noted how the unsettled circumstances of his life caused this music to be written in many different places: “the principal theme of the first movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the second movement in Voronezh, the orchestration I completed in Baku, while the first performance was given in Madrid, in December 1935.” Prokofiev and Soetens then took the concerto on an exotic tour, performing it in Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Prokofiev had at first not planned to write a concerto and intended instead to compose a smaller-scaled work, which he described as a “concert sonata for violin and orchestra.” As completed, though, the work is clearly a violin concerto, though one conceived on a somewhat intimate scale: Prokofiev scores it for what is essentially Mozart’s orchestra (pairs of woodwinds, horns, and trumpets, plus strings), but that classical sound is enlivened by some unusual percussion instruments, including castanets and a variety of drums.

The intimate scale and lyric nature of this concerto are evident from the first instant of the Allegro moderato, where the solo violin–all alone–lays out the opening theme. This concerto veers between extremes–it can be murmuring and muted one instant, full of steely energy the next–and such a contrast arrives with the bittersweet second subject, also announced by solo violin. The development of this sonata-form movement is extremely energetic, and the movement finally snaps into silence on abrupt pizzicatos.

Pizzicato strings also open the second movement, where they provide a pointillistic accompaniment to the violin’s long cantilena. This melody, which changes meters smoothly between 12/8 and 4/4, evolves through a series of variations until a pair of clarinets introduces the singing central episode. The opening material returns, and Prokofiev closes with an imaginative touch: he has the solo violin take over the pizzicato figure from the opening and “accompany” the orchestra to the quiet close.

Briefest of the movements, the concluding Allegro ben marcato demands virtuoso playing from both soloist and orchestra, who must solve complex problems of coordination and balance. This is the most exotic-sounding of the movements, for here Prokofiev makes distinctive use of his percussion instruments, particularly the castanets. The closing pages–which alternate measures of 7/4, 5/4, 2/2, and 3/2 with the basic pulse of 3/4–are particularly exciting.

Symphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna

Mozart completed his Symphony No. 34 on August 29, 1780. The previous year he had returned to Salzburg from an extended–and utterly unsuccessful–effort to find a position in Mannheim or Paris, and in the following year would come his violent rupture from the Archbishop of Salzburg and his move to Vienna. But now the 24-yearold composer settled into the routine of serving as court organist to an employer he hated in a city he hated. The symphony as a form did not interest Mozart much in these years, but the key he chose for this symphony–C major–is the one he reserved for his most ceremonial music, and it may well be that this symphony was written for some grand occasion in Salzburg.

This symphony is remarkable for the sharp contrasts between its three movements–each has a quite distinct character. The Allegro vivace gets off to a brilliant beginning, ringing with the sound of trumpets and drums and martial fanfares, and this energy–borne along by trills, syncopations, and long crescendos–propels the entire movement. Alfred Einstein has shown how this movement depends for much of its power on Mozart’s use of differing keys to highlight the music’s C-major brilliance. Only in the recapitulation does the opening material return, and the movement drives to a dramatic close on the bright spirits of the very beginning.

The Andante di molto takes us into a completely different world. Gone are the festive fanfares of the opening movement, and now Mozart writes only for strings and bassoons, though he enriches the texture by dividing the violas and marking all parts sotto voce. In its endless lyricism, this movement sounds very much like an opera aria. The first violins sing the opening melody, full of graceful turns, and also have the flowing second idea, heard above chirping accompaniment from the second violins.

The Allegro vivace finale returns to the C-major tonality of the opening. It explodes to life with a great orchestral attack, and off the music goes, sparkling and dancing along on its 6/8 meter. Mozart calls for a repeat of the entire opening section before this music sails home on the infectious and propulsive energy that bursts out of each measure.

PRELUDE 7 PM

For tonight’s Prelude, join conductor James Conlon in a conversation hosted by Eric Bromberger

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Oct
6
Thu
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS
Oct 6 @ 8:00 pm
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
with Wynton Marsalis

Under the leadership of nine-time Grammy® Award-winner Wynton Marsalis, this world-renowned orchestra opens La Jolla Music Society’s 2016-17 Season. Combining the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players, Jazz at Lincoln Center returns to San Diego for a celebratory opening to La Jolla Music Society’s 48th Season.

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HAPPY HOUR:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The Westgate Hotel.


Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


Program to be Announced from the Stage
There will be No Intermission


Wynton Marsalis, music director, trumpet
Greg Gisbert, trumpet
Kenny Rampton, trumpet
Marcus Printup, trumpet
Vincent Gardner, trombone
Chris Crenshaw, trombone
Elliot Mason, trombone
Sherman Irby, alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Ted Nash, alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Victor Goines, tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet
Walter Blanding, tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet
Paul Nedzela, baritone & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet
Dan Nimmer, piano
Carlos Henriquez, bass
Ali Jackson, drums

WyntonMarsalisWynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons. At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band and at 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic, New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with the popular local funk band, the Creators.

At age 17 Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979. In 1980 Wynton seized the opportunity to join the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. It was from Blakey that Wynton acquired his concept for bandleading and for bringing intensity to each and every performance. In the years to follow Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends. Wynton assembled his own band in 1981 and hit the road, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and an exhaustive series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world. Students of Marsalis’ workshops include: James Carter, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed and Eric Lewis, to name a few.

At the age of 20, Wynton recorded the Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart trumpet concertos. His debut recording received glorious reviews and won the Grammy Award® for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” Marsalis went on to record 10 additional classical records, all to critical acclaim. Wynton performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic, working with an eminent group of conductors including: Leppard, Dutoit, Maazel, Slatkin, Salonen and Tilson-Thomas. Famed classical trumpeter Maurice André praised Wynton as “potentially the greatest trumpeter of all time.”

To date Wynton has produced over 70 records which have sold over seven million copies worldwide including three Gold Records. Marsalis’ rich and expansive body of music places him among the world’s most significant composers. He has been commissioned to create new music for several dance companies including: Garth Fagan, Peter Martins at the New York City Ballet, Twyla Tharp with the American Ballet Theatre, Judith Jamison at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Savion Glover. Marsalis collaborated with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in 1995 to compose the string quartet At The Octoroon Balls, and again in 1998 to create a response to Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale with his composition A Fiddler’s Tale. With his collection of standards arrangements (Standard Time Volumes I-VI), Wynton reconnected audiences with the beauty of the American popular song. He re-introduced the joy in New Orleans jazz with his recording The Majesty Of The Blues. He extended the jazz musician’s interplay with the blues in Levee Low Moan, Thick In The South and other blues recordings. With Citi Movement, In This House On This Morning and Blood On The Fields, Wynton invented a fresh conception for extended form compositions. His inventive interplay with melody, harmony and rhythm, along with his lyrical voicing and tonal coloring assert new possibilities for the jazz ensemble. The New York Times Magazine said Blood On The Fields marked the symbolic moment when the full heritage of the line, Ellington through Mingus, was extended into the present.”

The San Francisco Examiner stated, “Marsalis’ orchestral arrangements are magnificent. Duke Ellington’s shadings and themes come and go but Marsalis’ free use of dissonance, counter rhythms and polyphonics is way ahead of Ellington’s mid-century era.” Wynton extended his achievements in Blood On The Fields with All Rise, an epic composition for big band, gospel choir, and symphony orchestra which was performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur along with the Morgan State University Choir and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (December 1999). Marsalis collaborated with Ghanaian master drummer Yacub Addy to create Congo Square, a groundbreaking composition combining elegant harmonies from America’s jazz tradition with fundamental rituals in African percussion and vocals (2006). For the anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church’s 200th year of service, Marsalis blended Baptist choir cadences with blues accents and big band swing rhythms to compose Abyssinian 200: A Celebration, which was performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Abyssinian’s 100 voice choir before packed houses in New York City (May 2008). In the fall of 2009 the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiered Marsalis’ composition Blues Symphony. Marsalis further expanded his repertoire for symphony orchestra with Swing Symphony, premiered by the renowned Berlin Philharmonic in June 2010. The New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican have all signed on to perform Swing Symphony.

In the fall of 1995 Wynton launched two major PBS broadcast events: Marsalis On Music, an educational television series on jazz and classical music, and the 26-week series entitled Making the Music. These entertaining and insightful radio shows were the first full exposition of jazz music in American broadcast history. Wynton’s radio and television series were awarded the most prestigious distinction in broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Award. Marsalis has also written five books: Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life, To a Young Musician: Letters from the Road, Jazz ABZ, and his most recent release Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life.

Wynton Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards® and in 1983 he became the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® for both jazz and classical records. He repeated the distinction by winning jazz and classical Grammy Awards® again in 1984. Today Wynton is the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® in five consecutive years (1983-1987). Honorary degrees have been conferred upon Wynton by over 25 of America’s leading academic institutions including Columbia, Harvard, Howard, Princeton and Yale. Time magazine selected Wynton as one of America’s most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995, and in 1996 Time celebrated Marsalis as one of America’s 25 most influential people. In November 2005 Wynton Marsalis received The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. In 1997 Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood On The Fields. During the five preceding decades the Pulitzer Prize jury refused to recognize jazz musicians and their improvisational music, reserving this distinction for classical composers. In the years following Marsalis’ award, the Pulitzer Prize for Music has been awarded posthumously to Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.

Wynton’s creativity has been celebrated throughout the world. He won the Netherlands’ Edison Award and the Grand Prix Du Disque of France. The Mayor of Vitoria, Spain, awarded Wynton with the city’s Gold Medal – its most coveted distinction. Britain’s senior conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, granted Mr. Marsalis Honorary Membership, the Academy’s highest decoration for a non-British citizen (1996). The city of Marciac, France, erected a bronze statue in his honor. The French Ministry of Culture appointed Wynton the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature and in the fall of 2009 Wynton received France’s highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, an honor that was first awarded by Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1987 Wynton Marsalis co-founded, and became Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In July 1996, due to its significant success, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet - a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution. In October 2004, with the assistance of a dedicated Board and staff, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first institution for jazz. Under Wynton’s leadership, Jazz at Lincoln Center has developed an international agenda presenting rich and diverse programming that includes concerts, debates, film forums, dances, television and radio broadcasts, and educational activities.

Wynton Marsalis has devoted his life to uplifting populations worldwide with the egalitarian spirit of jazz. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, Wynton organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert and raised over $3 million for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane. At the same time, he assumed a leadership role on the Bring Back New Orleans Cultural Commission where he was instrumental in shaping a master plan that would revitalize the city’s cultural base. Wynton Marsalis has selflessly donated his time and talent to non-profit organizations throughout the country to raise money to meet the many needs within our society. From My Sister’s Place (a shelter for battered women) to Graham Windham (a shelter for homeless children), the Children’s Defense Fund, Amnesty International, the Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, Food For All Seasons (a food bank for the elderly and disadvantaged), Very Special Arts (provides experiences in dance, drama, literature, and music for individuals with physical and mental disabilities) to the Newark Boys Chorus School (an academic music school for disadvantaged youths) and many, many more. It is Wynton Marsalis’ commitment to the improvement of life for all people that portrays the best of his character and humanity.

Wynton Marsalis last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on March 15, 2014


Jazz at Lincoln Center OrchestraThe Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is comprised of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. This remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra spends over a third of the year on tour. The big band performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie.

Over the last few years, the orchestra has performed collaborations with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Television broadcasts of Jazz at Lincoln Center programs have helped broaden the awareness of its unique efforts in the music. The orchestra was featured in a production of Great Performances entitled “Swingin’ with Duke: Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis,” which aired on PBS in 1999.

The Orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on March 15, 2014

Oct
7
Fri
OMARA PORTUONDO 85 TOUR
Oct 7 @ 8:00 pm
OMARA PORTUONDO 85 TOUR @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

From Buena Vista Social Club:
Omara Portuondo 85th Anniversary Tour

Special Guests Roberto Fonseca,
Anat Cohen & Regina Carter

Embodying the musical spirit of the original Havana club and encapsulating Cuba’s “musical golden age,” Buena Vista Social Club’s leading lady Omara Portuondo headlines this 85th Anniversary Tour. A legendary vocalist who has been singing professionally for an incredible 70 years, the great Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo’s voice reflects a long, creative life and passion for music.

Buy Tickets

Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


Program to be Announced from the Stage
There will be No Intermission


Omara Portuondo, vocals
Roberto Fonseca, piano, keyboards, vocals
Anat Cohen, clarinet & saxophone
Regina Carter, violin
Ramses “Dinamite” Rodriguez, drums
Andras Coayo, percussion
Yandy Martinez, bass

As Cuban revolutions go, it was an entirely peaceable uprising – but its impact could not have been more profound. On the release of the Buena Vista Social Club™ album in 1997, few outside the specialist world music audience initially took much notice of the record’s elegantly sculpted tunes and warm, acoustic rhythms. Then something extraordinary occurred. The album was spectacularly reviewed by a few discerning critics, but although their words of praise did Buena Vista’s cause no harm, they cannot explain what subsequently happened. Good reviews create an early surge in sales, but unless it’s a big pop release sustained by an expensive TV advertising campaign, the established pattern is that interest then slowly tails off. Instead, Buena Vista’s sales figures kept steadily rising week by week, building almost entirely by word-of-mouth until it achieved critical mass: all who heard the record not only fell in love with Buena Vista’s irresistible magic, but were then inspired to play or recommend the album to everyone they knew. It was one of those rare records that transcended the vagaries of fad and fashion to sound timeless but utterly fresh. Once you heard it, you had to have a heart of stone not to be swept away by the music’s romantic impulses and uninhibited exuberance.


Omara PortuondoAs a result of this renewed popularity, Omara Portuondo experienced one of her most fertile and successful periods. After a solo world tour in 2002, in the autumn of the same year, she performed at the Japan Jazz Festival, accompanied by Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Wayne Shorter and Danilo Pérez. In 2003, she returned to European soil to take part in the legendary Glastonbury Festival before going on to perform in Canada and the USA in autumn, leading a band which included such heavyweights as Papi Oviedo on the Tres, Rolando Baro on piano and Fabián García on the double-bass.

That same year, Omara went back to the studio to record her second solo album for World Circuit. The producers were Nick Gold and Alê Siquiera, a respected Brazilian producer well-known for his work with Carlinhos Brown, Caetano Veloso and Tribalistas, winners of a Latin GrammyTM . The technical team was complemented by two renowned professionals, engineer Jerry Boys and Cuban musician and arranger Demetrio Muñiz.

Flor de Amor (World Circuit) signals a change in direction in Omara Portuondo’s career: it is an album marked by a more subtle sound and a richness of texture. Omara brought in a mixture of Cuban and Brazilian musicians for this album, and it is this factor which influences the particular style of the music. Never one to sleep on laurels, Omara returned to Europe in 2004 to promote this album, which she performed at such illustrious venues as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Marble Hill House in London, Olympia in Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. That same summer, Omara gave the first concert at Berlin’s legendary Gendarmenmarkt, within the series of concerts “Open-air Classics”. Before an audience of 7,000 people and accompanied by 68 musicians – among whom were members of the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Scott Lawton – and escorted by such a special guest and friend as Ibrahim Ferrer, it was an unforgettable night which signalled the start of a new, ambitious world tour, the Projecto Especial Sinfónico, which in 2006 led to performances in the most important classical music festivals and theatres.

Before 2004 had come to a close, Omara received two great surprises: in Montreaux, the International Red Cross appointed her International Ambassador, making her the first Cuban artist to achieve such a distinction; and Flor de amor was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Tropical Record category. This was not, however, the only accolade that the record was to receive. In the 16th edition of theBillboard Latin Music Awards, in 2005, Flor de amor obtained the Tropical Record of the Year award in the female category.

In 2006, Omara continued along the same lines that have characterized her work in recent years. Indeed, her deep-rooted social conscience led her to establish the Fundación de Amigos de Omara in Cancun to provide support to women from all over the world who are the victims of the social and economic circumstances that affect developing countries. Moreover, she kept up her intense musical activity with concerts in Latin America, Asia and Europe, among these one of very special significance for her: the performance in Barcelona which brought her together with Mayte Martín and Martirio in the show “Entre Amigas” and in which she paid tribute to her idol, Ibrahim Ferrer, whom she also honored with the songs “Casablanca” and “Killing Me Softly”, songs which she and Ferrer sang together on Rhythms del Mundo (Universal) and in which several Cuban artists joined rock groups to play numbers by Radiohead, U2 or Sting, to name a few.

And, while in 2006 she was able to work with two figures of the Spanish music scene, 2007 was the year in which she joined forces with one of the legends of Brazilian music, the singer Maria Bethânia. The two of them worked on recordings in Rio de Janeiro, with both Cuban and Brazilian musicians such as pianist Roberto Fonseca and the Brazilians Carlos Baia and Jorge Hélder, and under the close attention of producers Swami Jr (Omara’s current musical director) and Jaime Alem (Bethânia’s current music director).

Finally, we come to 2008, a year which Omara started with a tour alongside Bethânia and continued with Gracias (Montuno Producciones), the record marked her sixtieth year in the music business. Recorded in Havana and produced by the Brazilians Alê Siquiera (who also produced her last record) and Swami Jr, what better way to celebrate such an auspicious occasion than to recruit a first-class quintet? Indeed, Omara’s career is one full of exceptional talent and the careers of the musicians that are to take part in this celebration are no less impressive: the three musicians that Omara has worked with in the past – pianist Roberto Fonseca, guitarist and musical director Swami Jr and percussionist Andrés Coayo – and the two musicians who will be debuting alongside “the girlfriend of feeling”, the Israeli double bassist Avishai Cohen and the Hindu percussionist Trilok Gurtu.

With Gracias, Omara’s aim is to relive the numbers that she has found most moving and to work with the songwriters she most admires, such as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés and Jorge Drexler, the latter being the composer of the record’s title song, specially dedicated to Omara. These are not, however, the only star guests at this event. If the list were not already impressive enough, other great names will also be present: Chucho Valdés, who performs a number composed by Omara’s son; the brilliant African musician, Richard Bona; and the Brazilian maestro, Chico Buarque. In 2009, Omara performed Gracias on stage in a series of concerts in which she reviewed her singing career, accompanied by six musicians.

This performance makes Omara Portuondo's La Jolla Music Society debut


Anat CohenClarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. Reviewing one of Anat’s headlining sets with her quartet at the North See Jazz Festival, DownBeat said: “Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic bandleader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group – whooping it up when pianist Jason Lindner followed her clarinet trills on a Latin-flavored number. . . With her dark, curly, shoulder-length hair swaying to the beat as she danced, she was a picture of joy.”

The Jazz Journalists Association has voted Anatas Clarinetist of the Year nine years in a row, and she has topped both the Critics and Readers Polls in the clarinet category in DownBeat magazine every year since 2011. That’s not to mention years of being named Rising Star in the soprano and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat, as well as for Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2009, ASCAP awarded Anat a Wall of Fame prize for composition and musicianship, among other honors. Earning this acclaim, Anat has toured the world with her quartet, headlining at the Newport, Umbria, SF Jazz and North Sea jazz festivals as well as at such hallowed clubs as New York’s Village Vanguard and at Columbia University’s prestigious Miller Theatre. In March 2015, Anzic Records releases Luminosa, her seventh album as a bandleader. Luminosa sees Anat play singing, dancing originals, interpret Brazilian classics by the likes of Milton Nascimento, and even re-imagine electronica as acoustica with an ingenious arrangement of a Flying Lotus tune. Members from Anat’s touring quartet – keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Daniel Freedman – appear on the album, as do guest guitarists Romero Lubambo and Gilad Hekselman, percussionist Gilmar Gomes and the Brazilian players of her new band Choro Aventuroso.

Luminosa encapsulates the description Jazz Police offered of Anat in full flight: “She becomes a singer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.” Along with interpreting several Brazilian numbers – two choro pieces and a trio of Nascimento songs –the album features multiple originals by Anat, including compositional tributes to Brazilian guitar great Baden Powell and the inspirational founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein.“The sound of Luminosa reflects my musical life in New York City,” she explains. “I flow between modern and traditional jazz, between samba and choro– all maybe in a week’s time. The title is Portuguese for luminous – something shining, especially in the dark. To me, music is a luminous experience. Whenever I’m immersed in it, life lights up for me, no matter what else is going on.”

The new Luminosa follows Anat’s acclaimed Anzic release from 2012, Claroscuro, which takes its title from the Spanish word describing the play of light and shade (chiaroscuro in Italian). The album showcased Anat’s fluency in a global set of styles, from creolized New Orleans chanson and the evergreen swing of an Artie Shaw tune to African grooves and Brazilian choro, samba and more. Playing clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor and soprano saxophones, she was joined in the studio by her quartet, plus such special guests as trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon and star clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. Reflecting on the naturally communicative, one-take spontaneity of the album, Anat said: “I was playing with some of my favorite musicians in the world, and we all speak a common language, no matter where we come from.” DownBeat gave Claroscuro four-and-a-half stars out of five, praising its “effervescence” and “deeply resonant” qualities, with the review concluding that “this multifaceted woodwind player only gets better.” Also taken by the record’s ebullient, irresistible variety, All About Jazz declared about Anat: “She’s one of a kind.”

Anat was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and raised into a musical family. She attended the Tel Aviv School for the Arts, the "Thelma Yellin" High School for the Arts and the Jaffa Music Conservatory. Jazz captured the youngster’s imagination, and she thrilled to recordings by Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, Benny Goodman and Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Anat began clarinet studies at age 12 and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland band. At 16, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play the tenor saxophone; it was this same year that Anat entered the prestigious “Thelma Yellin” school, where she majored in jazz. After graduation, she discharged her mandatory Israeli military service duty from 1993-95, playing tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force band.

Through the World Scholarship Tour, Anat was able to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she not only honed her jazz chops but also expanded her musical horizons, developing a deep love and facility for various Latin music styles. Fellow Berklee students who hailed from Latin and South American countries were inspirational for the young musician: “Hearing them play the samba of Brazil, chacarrera of Argentina and cumbia of Colombia, I loved those rhythms immediately and was drawn to playing them myself,” Anat says. “The flowing Latin rhythms opened up a whole world of groove to me – and added new layers of expressivity in my jazz playing.”During her Berklee years, Anat visited New York City during semester breaks, making a beeline for the West Village club Smalls to soak up a melting pot of jazz, contemporary grooves and world music in a scene that included such future collaborators as Jason Lindner, Omer Avital and Daniel Freedman. Back in Boston, she played in myriad contexts and bands, including Afro-Cuban, Argentinean, klezmer, contemporary Brazilian music and classic Brazilian choro.

Moving to New York in 1999 after graduating from Berklee, Anat spent a decade touring with Sherrie Maricle’s all-woman big band, The Diva Jazz Orchestra; she also worked in such Brazilian groups as the Choro Ensemble and Duduka Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet, along with performing the music of Louis Armstrong with David Ostwald’s “Gully Low Jazz Band.”Anat soon began to bend ears and turn heads; whether playing clarinet, soprano saxophone or tenor saxophone, she won over the most knowing of jazz sages: Nat Hentoff praised her “bursting sound and infectious beat,” Dan Morgenstern her “gutsy, swinging” style, Ira Gitler her “liquid dexterity and authentic feeling,” and Gary Giddins her musicality “that bristles with invention.”

Establishing her own Anzic Records label in 2005, Anat kicked off her discography as a bandleader with Place & Time, a small-combo session of mostly original tunes that was named one of the year’s best debuts by All About Jazz. Her two ambitious releases of 2007 –Noir (presenting Anat with a jazz orchestra) and Poetica (a chamber-jazz feature for her clarinet) – led The New York Times to enthuse over her “warm, singing tone.”Beautifully arrangedby Oded Lev-Ari, Noir saw Anat front a large ensemble in numbers from “Cry Me a River” to a medley of “Samba de Orfeu” / “Strutting with Some Barbecue”to the Sun Ra ballad “You Never Told Me That You Care.”Poetica drew from a world of music – popular melodies from Israel, a Jacques Brel song and John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament,” with a mix of jazz quartet settings and pieces arranged for Anat with string quartet by Omer Avital. Both albums appeared on many year-end best of 2007 lists, including those of JazzTimes, Slate and Paste magazines. The Village Voice spoke of Anat’s “enviable insouciance” and how “she alludes to the mystical in a merry way,” while DownBeat declared: “Noir could be a classic” and added that Anat’s “unforced elegance on clarinet could take her to the top.” The Washington Post said: “Cohen has emerged as one of the brightest, most original young instrumentalists in jazz. . . with a distinctive accent of her own.”

Anat’s 2008 release, Notes from the Village, was a showcase for her multi-reed talents in quartet and quintet settings, with the album featuring such original Cohen compositions as the one-world tribal dance “Washington Square Park” and sweetly, gorgeously playful “Lullaby for the Naïve Ones” alongside interpretations that again reflect the leader’s wide enthusiasms– from Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” and John Coltrane’s “After the Rain” to Ernesto Lecuona’s “Siboney” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” In its review, The New York Times said: “Notes From The Village is a resounding confirmation – yes, she is the real deal.” DownBeat awarded the album four stars, stating that “Cohen makes it seem easy, mixing a gift for melody with an improvisational fluidity that has few peers today.” And All Music Guide pointed out: “What makes Cohen’s music so special, aside from the high level of musicianship, is her fertile imagination. Through all of her efforts as a leader, there's hardly a speck of filler, but rather a wealth of ideas and the desire to expand the purview of her instrument beyond putative traditional swing.”

In 2007, Anat became the first Israeli to headline at the Village Vanguard, the setting for perhaps the most celebrated live recordings in jazz history; the occasion yielded the 2010 release Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard, which captured the leader paying tribute to Benny Goodman and leading a hard-swinging combo with all-stars Benny Green, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. Calling Anat “one to watch,” National Public Radio underscored the contemporary approach the group took to the Goodman book: “Cohen and company treat 1920s and ‘30s material with a relatively free hand; when they get rolling in `Sweet Georgia Brown,’ her rhythm section echoes the thunder of John Coltrane’s quartet.” In its glowing review, All About Jazz singled out the performance of “St. James Infirmary,” saying: “Cohen reaches a state of musical ecstasy... as her clarinet moans, sighs, soars and wails with passion and emotion.”

Anat has also recorded four acclaimed albums as part of the3 Cohens Sextet with her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai: 2003’s One, 2007’s Braid, 2011’s Familyand 2013’s Tightrope(with the last three released by Anzic). Declared All About Jazz: “To the ranks of the Heaths of Philadelphia, the Joneses of Detroit and the Marsalises of New Orleans, fans can now add the 3 Cohens of Tel Aviv.” The 3 Cohens band has toured from across the U.S. and Europe to Brazil and Australia, including headlining the Village Vanguardand Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. The three siblings – with Anat the middle child to the elder Yuval and younger Avishai – graced the cover of the January 2012 issue of DownBeat, and among the international acclaim for the recent Tightrope was the Financial Times marveling over its “emotional sweep.” The album features the 3 Cohens improvising as an a cappella horn choir as well as teaming with such special guests as Fred Hersch and Christian McBride. About the special rapport she has with her brothers, Anat says: “We can talk without talking. Often, we don't even have to look at each other onstage. We have such history together that we feel each other through the music.”

Several recordings by the Choro Ensemble feature Anat’s clarinet as a key solo voice, including the 2007 Anzic album Nosso Tempo. She has added solos to albums by guitarist Howard Alden (I Remember Django), drummer Teri Lynne Carrington (The Mosaic Project), singer Ann Hampton Callaway (Blues in the Night), percussionist Cyro Baptista (Beat the Donkey and Infinito), trombonist-vocalist Wycliffe Gordon (Hello, Pops!), singer Lila Downs (Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra), pianist Jason Lindner (Now vs. Now and Live at the Jazz Gallery, both on Anzic), the Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet (Samba Jazz in Black and White), Sherrie Merricle’s Diva Jazz Orchestra (Live in Concert), pianist Jovino Santos Neto (Veja o Som), singer Amy Cervini (Digging You, Digging Me: A Tribute to Blossom Dearie and Jazz Country, both Anzic) and singer Melissa Stylianou (Silent Movie and No Regrets, both Anzic), among many others. With Anat as executive producer, Anzic has also released albums by the 3 Cohens, Avishai Cohen, Yuval Cohen, Third World Love, Duchess, Hilary Gardner, Joel Frahm, Joe Martin, Omer Avital, Daniel Freedman, Eli Degibri, Duduka Da Fonseca, Ernesto Cervini and the Waverly Seven.

Anat collaborates regularly with one of her heroes, Cuban-American clarinetist-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, who introduced her onstage at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in the Jazz at Lincoln Center complex as “one of the greatest players ever of the clarinet.”Having first appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2007, she had the honor of being the music director for the Newport Jazz Festival Now 60! all-star band that toured the U.S. on the occasion of the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2014. Anat is a fixture on the New York scene at such clubs as Birdland, starring in a recent tribute to the music of Django Reinhardt there, among much else. Anat has also appeared in New York at the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Iridium, Joe’s Pub, Greenwich House and the Jazz Gallery, as well as other top clubs across the country and around the world – Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., Regatta Bar in Boston, the Sunset in Paris, Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm, A Trane in Berlin and Zappa in Tel Aviv. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Symphony Space in New York, along with Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Boston’s Berklee Performance Center, the ORF-Kulturhaus in Vienna and Belgrade’s Kolarac Hall in Serbia.

The world’s great jazz festivals have invited Anat to perform, including the JVC, Newport, Chicago, Monterey, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, SF Jazz (San Francisco), Playboy (Los Angeles), Duke Ellington (Washington, D.C.), Montreal, Copenhagen, Jazz a Vienne, Umbria, North Sea (Netherlands), Tudo e Jazz (Brazil), Caesaria (Israel) and Zagreb Jazzarella festivals. Her performances have been broadcast internationally, including by WBGO, WFUV, WNYC and NPR in the U.S. and Radio Netherlands, ORF (Austrian Radio), SR (Swedish Radio) and Radio Bremen (Germany).

As the Chicago Tribune says about Anat, “The lyric beauty of her tone, easy fluidity of her technique and extroverted manner of her delivery make this music accessible to all.” Leading up to the March 17, 2015, release of Luminosa and beyond, Anat will be bringing her charismatic stage performances again to music lovers around the globe, including a five-night March 4-8 stand at New York City’s Jazz Standard. She says: “Any day when I get to share music with people – other musicians, an audience–feels like a celebration to me.”

This performance marks Anat Cohen's La Jolla Music Society debut

For more information visit www.anatcohen.com


Regina CohenViolin virtuoso Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Winner of a coveted 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship, she is also a Resident Artistic Director at SF JAZZ.

In 1987, she joined the all-female pop-jazz quintet Straight Ahead and appeared on their first three albums before leaving the band in 1991 and moving to New York, where she picked up session work with artists including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. She released her self-titled solo album on Atlantic in 1995, followed by Something for Grace, an album dedicated to her mother and released in 1997. Carter also toured with Wynton Marsalis that same year, then switched to the Verve label where she released Rhythms of the Heart in 1999. Motor City Moments, a tribute to her hometown, followed in 2000.

In December 2001, she traveled to Genoa, Italy, and made musical history by being the first jazz musician and the first African American to play the legendary Guarneri Del Gesu violin, made in 1743 and owned by classical music virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini. This encounter inspired her 2003 album, Paganini: After a Dream, which featured works by Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. She recorded I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey in 2006 as a tribute to her late mother. That same year Carter was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, given to a highly select group who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.”

Reverse Thread, released in May 2010, was a celebration of traditional African music via a contemporary perspective. Carter also took her pioneering spirit on the road in the late summer and fall of 2012 for a two-month world tour with rock icon Joe Jackson’s stellar ensemble in support of his release The Duke, a collection of interpretations of Duke Ellington’s work .

Carter continues her musical quest for beauty and history with her SONY Music Masterworks debut Southern Comfort, in which she investigates her family history and explores the folk tunes her paternal grandfather, a coalminer, would have heard as he toiled in Alabama. The expanded project includes a blend of folk songs and spirituals, serving as Carter’s interpretation of her roots through a modern lens.

Said Chuck Mitchell, Senior Vice President of SONY Masterworks, "We're tremendously pleased to have the incomparable Regina Carter with us at Masterworks. Her musical odyssey has been charted through a series of unforgettable recordings over the years and Southern Comfort is the latest and perhaps the most eloquent expression of her deep and profoundly enlightening musical humanity.”

Regina’s new album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, marks the 100th birthday of a musical legend. The album celebrates the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald – THE source of Regina’s musical inspiration. An influence she has cherished throughout her life, Regina describes her visceral connection to Ella’s music:

“Growing up in Detroit, there was always music playing in our home. While there was a variety of music I enjoyed, there were a few recordings and artists I found consistently captivating. Ella Fitzgerald was one of these exceptions. To this very day, whenever I hear an Ella recording it grabs me at my core. I’m entranced by her voice, her melodic improvisations and the passion and artfulness with which Ella sings a song. She helps me understand a song by providing a window to its essence. In a word, Ella is sublime, and she is at the top of my go-to list when learning a jazz tune. Perhaps Jimmy Rowles said it best, “Music comes out of her. When [Ella] walks down the street…she leaves notes.” I’m so excited to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald, an artist who has meant so much to all the notes in my musical life.”

For Regina Carter, the violin isn’t merely an improvisational vehicle. It’s a passport to unexpected realms, a Rosetta stone that unlocks the door to a myriad of cultures and worlds.

This last performed with La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on October 7, 2016


Guitarist and composer Marvin Sewell was born and raised in Chicago. He learned how to play the guitar by hanging out with many Chicago basement bands, and was exposed to a variety of styles of music. In high school, he started playing with the Malcolm X Community College Big Band, and from there started playing with many famous local Chicago musicians such as Von Freeman, Ramsey Lewis, Billy Branch, Jody Christian, Big Time Sarah, and Barbara La Shore. He moved to New York in 1990, began working with his first major jazz group, Jack Dejohnette’s Special Edition, in 1992. At that same time, he was playing with jazz cellist Diedre Murray and jazz bassist Fred Hopkins. The following year he recorded albums with Jack Dejohnette, Diedre Murray, and Gary Thomas, and played in Hannibal Peterson’s composition African Portraits, an opera in which he played blues slide guitar in collaboration with the St. Louis Symphony, New Music Symphony, and the Westchester Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, he began playing with Cassandra Wilson with whom he played a variety of string instruments for six years. On Wilson’s album Traveling Miles, Sewell co-wrote the song, “Right Here, Right Now” with Wilson. In 2002, Sewell did a tour of eastern Africa with the Newsoeme, Sewell, and Harris Trio, performing in Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, and Mauritius. Today, he spends most of his time writing music for his own band, The Marvin Sewell Group. Additionally, Sewell has performed and recorded with Ani DiFranco, David Sandborn, Marcus Miller, Jorge Sylvester, Greg Osby, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Sekou Sanidiata, Peter Herborn, and a host of many other esteemed musicians.

This performances marks Marvin Sewell's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Chris Lightcap played violin and piano before taking up the electric bass at fourteen. As a senior in high school he started to study the upright bass and the following year he enrolled at Williams College. During this period he studied bass, composition and improvisation with Milt Hinton, Cameron Brown, Robert Suderburg, Alvin Lucier, and Bill Dixon. Upon graduating from Williams with the school’s Hutchinson Arts Grant, he moved to his current home, New York City. He began performing weekly with the Cecil Taylor Big Band in 1995, and was invited to perform in a trio with Archie Shepp and Sunny Murray in Paris the following year. For the next two years he worked regularly throughout New York City in a trio led by a saxophonist George Garzone. In 2000, Lightcap joined the ensemble of Regina Carter. He has performed and recorded extensively with Carter on four continents and has been featured alongside her group with the Boston, Atlanta and Minnesota Symphonies. He has also toured and played major festivals with such bandleaders as Mark Turner, Tomasz Stanko, Ravi Coltrane, Joe Morris, Ben Monder, Terrel Stafford, Ralph Alessi, and Rob Brown. In 1998 he began to write for his own group, a quartet featuring Gerald Cleaver on drums and Tony Malaby and Bill McHenry on tenor saxophones. Lightcap’s two recordings with this group, Lay-Up (2000) and Bigmouth (2003) were on CMJ’s top 10 radio chart and received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Jazztimes, Cadence, Village Voice, and All About Jazz. In 2005, Lightcap expanded the band to include Craig Taborn on keyboards and named the group Bigmouth. In 2010, he released his third album, Deluxe, and it was named one of the year’s top albums by NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Jazz Times, Village Voice and Time Out New York. In 2011, Chamber Music America awarded Lightcap a New Jazz Works commission grant. The result, New York: Lost and Found was premiered by Bigmouth at the 2012 Earshot Festival and featured on NPR’s Jazzset with Dee Dee Bridgewater. This music, along with a cover of Lou Reed’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” was released under the title Epicenter on Bigmouth’s 2015 album Clean Feed. He has also appeared on recordings with Tom Harrell, Dianne Reeves, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman, Steve Bernstein, Roy Campbell, Mat Maneri and Joshua Bell.

This performances marks Chris Lightcap's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Drummer Alvester Garnett was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1970. He began his formal studies in percussion at the age of 14, and was first introduced to jazz at the age of 16. While still a junior in high school and participating in an all-county high school jazz band, he met Ellis Marsalis, who advised him to obtain the famed jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis recordings of Max Roach and many others, including “Papa” Jo Jones, “Philly” Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins, James Black, and Ed Blackwell. During the following summer, Garnett again studied with Marsalis in a summer program for gifted musicians at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later joined the Malden Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corp in Boston, and the summer after graduating high school attended Gunther Schuller’s music training program at The Festival at Sandpoint in Sandpoint, Idaho. It was here that he first met and studied with master drummer Max Roach, leading trumpeter and educator Wynton Marsalis, and jazz historian Martin Williams. Garnett graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. During his undergraduate career, he won third place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition. After college, he relocated to New York, where he worked with Betty Carter’s trio and became a member of Abbey Lincoln’s quartet. He was also a member of Cyrus Chestnut’s trio, and in 1998 began touring extensively with both Regina Carter and James Carter. Among his numerous appearances and accomplishments, he has appeared on PBS’s Great Performances in a tribute to Kurt Weill along with Betty Carter; performed on a live record with saxophonist Teddy Edwards, as well as the albums Earth Stories with Cyrus Chestnut and Who Used To Dance with Abbey Lincoln. He has also continued working with numerous artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Clark Terry, Dr. Michael White and the Richmond Symphony.

This performances marks Alvester Garnett's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Regina CohenSince the beginning of his musical career in the early 1990s, Cuban-born multi-instrumentalist Roberto Fonseca has stated his mission clearly: “I want my music to reach people who don’t know me, and I dream of one day becoming a point of reference for my audience.” Although still very young – by the standards of jazz, hip-hop, world music or any other genre – Fonseca has maintained a sharp focus on his mission that has already garnered him global recognition.

The UK Guardian is just one of the many voices in both the music and mainstream press worldwide to have recognized Fonseca’s immense talent by heralding him as “a fabulously gifted pianist, composer and bandleader with a gift for melody that outshines more celebrated peers.” The Guardian further proclaimed him as “one of a new breed who can transcend musical boundaries through sheer quality.”

Born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba, in 1975, young Roberto originally gravitated to percussion, but started playing the piano at age 8 (the interest in percussion would eventually enhance his piano style). His first musical performances was playing drums for a band that covered Beatles songs.

He began composing at age 14, drawing inspiration from Afro-Cuban music. “In school, we used to regard American jazz as a point of reference,” Fonseca recalls. “I felt that my music would be a fusion of both genres. I liked lots of jazz musicians, such as Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, but also old American funk and soul classics.”

His appearance at Havana’s International Jazz Festival at the tender age of 15 was not only a revelation to audiences, but the launching pad for a musical education that resulted in a degree in musical composition from the Instituto Superior de Arte. But the degree was only the beginning of his education process. He saw every road after college as an opportunity to merge his style with other styles and create something greater than the sum of its parts. At 21, he embarked on a tour through Italy with singer Augusto Enriquez, which included performances on RAI, the state TV channel, which introduced him to audiences well beyond his Cuban origins.

Shortly after the Italian tour, Fonseca joined saxophonist Javier Zalba to form Temperamento, a group that became his creative platform for the next 15 years, beginning with the release of En el Comienzo in 1998. The album won the award for Best Jazz Album at the Cubadisco 1999 festival.

En el Comienzo was followed by three solo albums in rapid succession – Tiene Que Ver (1999), No Limit (2000) and Elengó (2001). In between these projects, he also composed the soundtrack for Black, a film by French director P. Maraval, and produced Un montón de cosas, an album by the hip-hop group Obsesión.

In 2001, he joined the Orquestra de Ibrahim Ferrer for a world tour that logged more than 400 performances throughout Europe, the UK, South America, Australia, Asia and just about every other corner of the globe. Led by Ferrer – an alumni of the Buena Vista Social Club™, the legendary Cuban collective that had taken the world by storm some five years earlier – the tour with the Orquestra positioned Fonseca alongside legendary figures like Cachaíto López, Guajiro Mirabal, Manuel Galbán and many others. The tour marked the beginning of an ongoing and fruitful relationship with various members of BVSC.

Fonseca’s relationship with Ferrer strengthened in the years following the tour. When Ferrer set out to record his treasured collection of boleros, he tapped Fonseca to arrange the compositions and co-produce the recording. Mi Sueño: A Bolero Songbook was released in early 2005, and a world tour followed later in the year. The project was Ferrer’s last – and arguably one of his greatest – before his death in August 2005.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Fonseca had established his reputation as a creative bridge between traditional Cuban music and the sound of a new era. As such, he drew the attention of not just enthusiastic audiences but seasoned musicians as well. Omara Portuondo, another Buena Vista alumni also invited him to join her on tour.

The intensive touring and multicultural exposure planted the seeds for Zamazu, Fonseca’s monumental 2007 recording that assembled more than 20 musicians and integrated elements of his various influences: Afro-Cuban, jazz, classical and traditional Cuban music. Among the musicians on this diverse and ambitious recording were Portuondo, Zalba, Carlinhos Brown, Vincente Amigo, Ramsés Rodríguez and many others. Following the release of Zamazu, Fonseca showcased generous portions of the recording at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world in front of spellbound audiences.

“Llegó Cachaíto,” one of the tracks from Zamazu, appeared in Hancock, the 2008 film starring Will Smith. That same year, Fonseca also played on Portuondo’s Gracias, a recording that won a Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Tropical Album.

Zamazu was a tough act to follow, but Fonseca found a way to bring the magic and energy of his live show into the studio for his 2009 release, Akokan. The album featured his quartet with guest performances by Cape Verdean vocalist Mayra Andrade and American guitarist Raul Midón.

The following year, 2010, was no less hectic and ambitious for Fonseca. He collaborated with director Jorge Fuentes in the filming of Temperamento, a documentary chronicling the history of the band that Fonseca had co-founded more than a decade earlier. Fonseca also arranged and co-produced Havana Cultura with British DJ Gilles Peterson. The two-disc album released in 2010 assembles the best of a new generation of Cuban musicians – more than 60 in all – specializing in Afro-jazz, hip-hop, funk, reggaeton and R&B. Later that same year, he also released Live at Marciac, a CD-DVD set that captures Fonseca and his band at a 2009 festival date in France.

Along the way, Fonseca has developed an aesthetic sense that extends beyond music. This became most evident when he developed a professional relationship with French fashion designer Agnes B. Their rapport first emerged when he began wearing her creations for all of his performances, and deepened when he played live for the Agnes B fashion show in Paris in 2006. In addition, Fonseca’s music has been used in Marie Claire’s internet advertising and marketing campaigns.

His latest studio effort Yo, was recently nominated for a GRAMMY® in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album. Recorded in Paris, Yo draws its simple but appropriate title from the Spanish word for “I” or “me.” Fonseca is clearly the focal point of the recording, but his multidimensional and multicultural sound exists within an intricate mosaic made up of a total of 15 fifteen musicians from Cuba, Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere. All of these valuable partners help Fonseca down new paths that continue to explore countless directions and ideas.

Fonseca and his crew have already touring worldwide in support of Yo, with more than 100 concerts since April 2012. In the midst of this ambitious schedule, he has also managed to remix a new recording by the French alternative rock band Mensch.

The live shows have been stunning audiences across Europe, North America and Japan. The Guardian said “A rousing demonstration of what can happen when a great Cuban pianist becomes obsessed with Africa. Fonseca is the finest fusion exponent in Cuba.” The Arts Desk said of Roberto, “The sense was that Fonseca has music hard-wired into every cell, pouring out of his body and soul.” The album has also received positive accolades, topping the Best of 2012 album lists in The Sunday Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, Vibrations, Telerama and after his release in the U.S.A continuing the tradition with the Best of 2013 in The Washington Post, “Songs of 2013″ on NPR.

As always with Fonseca, there are new creative worlds to explore, and new artistic bridges to build between the traditional and the modern-day. “This album unveils the beginning of a new phase more than the closure of an old one,” he says. “I want to delve deep into my roots in light of my experiences and show the diversity of my musical universe, all these ideas which I had out aside, unable to use until now.”

In 2014 Roberto Fonseca combined solo performances, robertoSOLOfonseca in France and Rusia. He briefly toured in the U.S. with a trio format and performed last summer with Mali singer Fatoumata Diawara.

From that encounter, Roberto released the new album At Home (Jazz Village).

This performance marks Roberto Fonseca's La Jolla Music Society debut

Oct
22
Sat
TWYLA THARP DANCE
Oct 22 @ 8:00 pm
TWYLA THARP DANCE @ Spreckels Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Twyla Tharp Dance
50th Anniversary Tour

Tony Award-winning choreographer and Kennedy Center Honoree Twyla Tharp celebrates fifty years of dance making with her hand-chosen, fierce band of dancers who bring her choreography to life. Turning her decades of experience into proof that time is her partner as she continues to deepen and expand the singular imagination which makes her one of the century’s most treasured artists.

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Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


PROGRAM NOTES: Twyla Tharp Dance

COUNTRY DANCES

Premièred 1976 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Santo Loquasto
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Music recorded by:
The Hired Hands,
The Kessinger Brothers,
The Skillet Lickers, Charlie Poole and
the North Carolina Ramblers,
Johnny and Albert Crockett
Dancers: Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero, Kaitlyn Gilliland

Texas Quickstep (The Hired Hands)
Fifty Year Ago Waltz (The Hired Hands)
Rat Cheese Under The Hill (The Kessinger Brothers)
Cacklin’ Hen And A Rooster Too (The Skillet Lickers)
Took My Gal A-Walkin’ (Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers)
Fresno Blues (Johnny and Albert Crockett)
Alabama Jubilee (The Hired Hands)
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

BEETHOVEN OPUS 130

Premièred 2016 in Saratoga Springs, New York
Performed to String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 130
by Ludwig van Beethoven

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Norma Kamali
Lighting: Stephen Terry
Dancers: Matthew Dibble with Kaitlyn Gilliland, Ron Todorowski, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero, Reed Tankersley, Ashlee Dupré
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

BRAHMS PAGANINI

Premièred 1980 in Dayton, Ohio
Performed to Variations on a Theme by Paganini,
Opus 35
by Johannes Brahms

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Ralph Lauren
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Dancers: Reed Tankersley, Matthew Dibble, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero with Kaitlyn Gilliland

Book I Reed Tankersley Book II Matthew Dibble, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero with Kaitlyn Gilliland
Approximate Duration: 23 minutes


ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Executive Director Jesse Huot
Company Manager Alexander Brady
Archivist Rika Okamoto
Administrative Assistant Chelsea Keys

Lighting Supervisor/Production Manager, Stage Manager Stephen Terry
Wardrobe Supervisor Sydney de Briel

Additional thanks to David Kahne, Shelley Washington, Sean Kelleher, Amy Lehman, Joe Mizrahi, Lisa Egan, Twanette Tharp, and Norma Stevens.

Country Dances shoes handcrafted by Capezio

This program was made possible by support from Pathways to Dance and the New York State Council on the Arts. The Joyce Theater Foundation’s Artist in Residence program helped realize rehearsals of this evening’s repertory.

The Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation thanks Jay Franke and David Herro, Bill and Catherine Miller, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Stephen and Cathy Weinroth and Vicente Wolf for their generous support with special thanks to Tam O’Shaughnessy for underwriting Twyla Tharp and Three Dances.


PRELUDE 7 PM
Marcus Overton will host a conversation with Malashock Dance’s Artistic Director John Malashock, a San Diego-born-and-based dancer and choreographer who danced for many years with Twyla Tharp and was one of the original dancers on which Brahms-Paganini was created.

Twyla TharpSince graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works: one hundred twenty-nine dances, twelve television specials, six Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines. She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1965, Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance. Her dances are known for creativity, wit and technical precision coupled with a streetwise nonchalance. By combining different forms of movement – such as jazz, ballet, boxing and inventions of her own making – Ms. Tharp’s work expands the boundaries of ballet and modern dance.

In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has created dances for The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Today, ballet and dance companies around the world continue to perform Ms. Tharp’s works.

In 1992, Ms. Tharp published her autobiography PUSH COMES TO SHOVE. She went on to write THE CREATIVE HABIT: Learn it and Use it for Life, followed by THE COLLABORATIVE HABIT: Life Lessons for Working Together.

Today, Ms. Tharp continues to create.

This performance marks Twyla Tharp Dance's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Oct
30
Sun
RAPHAËL SÉVÈRE, clarinet
Oct 30 @ 3:00 pm
RAPHAËL SÉVÈRE, clarinet  @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Raphaël Sévère, clarinet

2013 First Prize Winner Young Concert Artists International Audition

The young award-winning French clarinettist Raphaël Sévère performs works
by Devienne, Poulenc, Berg and Weber. He is joined by pianist Paul Montag.

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POULENC: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in C Major
Raphaël Sévère, clarinet and Adam Laloum, piano


Raphaël Sévère, clarinet
Paul Montag, piano

DEVIENNEClarinet Sonata No. 1 in C Major
POULENCSonata for Clarinet and Piano
BERGFour Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 5
WEBERGrand Duo Concertant in E-flat Major, Op. 48

WATCH!

POULENC: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in C Major
Raphaël Sévère, clarinet and Adam Laloum, piano



JOHN WILLIAMS: Fantasy on Themes
Raphaël Sévère, clarinet and Paul Montag, piano



Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Raphaël Sévère, clarinet

by Eric Bromberger

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in C Major

FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE
Born January 31, 1759, Joinville, Haute-Marne, France
Died September 5, 1803, Paris
Approximate Duration: 16 minutes

A contemporary of Mozart, François Devienne moved at age 20 to Paris, where he joined the Paris Opera orchestra as a bassoonist and studied the flute. Over the next decade he appeared frequently as a soloist on both flute and bassoon in that city, and he apparently was a member of the orchestra of the Loge Olympique, which gave the first performances of Haydn’s “Paris” Symphonies. During the difficult years of the French Revolution, Devienne joined the military band of the Paris National Guard, and when the Paris Conservatory was established in 1795, Devienne became its first professor of flute. In these same years he published an important method for the one-key flute, Nouvelle méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte. Devienne’s life, however, was brief. He was placed in asylum shortly after his 44th birthday and died a few months later after a period of mental decline. A handsome portrait of Devienne, elegantly dressed and holding a black wooden flute, was painted by a student of Jacques Louis David.

Devienne was a prolific composer. Though he had great success in his own day as an opera composer, he is remembered today primarily for his writing for winds, particularly for flute and bassoon (his own instruments), and also for the clarinet. The clarinet was just being admitted into orchestras in these years, and Devienne–like Mozart–was attracted to its expressive possibilities, particularly its smooth sound, agility, and wide range.

The Sonata No. 1 in C Major, which has become one of Devienne’s best-known works for clarinet, is in fact an arrangement of his Oboe Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Opus 70, No. 1; in the process of arranging this music for clarinet, Devienne rewrote sections so that the clarinet’s greater range and agility would be highlighted. The sonata is in three movements. The first, marked Allegro con spiritoso is in a sort of early sonata form. The line moves easily between clarinet and piano here, and Devienne’s melodic material is sturdy and attractive. The Adagio moves to C minor, with the clarinet spinning its long and mournful melody over an understated accompaniment, while the concluding rondo–in the expected 6/8 meter–offers much opportunity for the clarinetist to display his abilities: long runs, a minor-key episode, and a great cadenza-like flourish all help drive this music to its firm conclusion.

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

FRANCIS POULENC
Born January 7, 1899, Paris
Died January 30, 1963, Paris
Approximate Duration: 13 minutes

The summer of 1962 found Francis Poulenc in a valedictory mood. That summer he wrote two sonatas for woodwinds and piano, and both were dedicated to the memory of other composers who had been his friends: a Sonata for Oboe and Piano, dedicated to the memory of Serge Prokofiev, and a Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, dedicated to the memory of Arthur Honegger. Forty years earlier, Honegger and Poulenc had both been members of Les Six, a group of composers in Paris who were briefly united by their youth and talent. When Poulenc wrote these sonatas, he was 63 years old and in good health, and he could not have known that they would be his final works: he died suddenly of a heart attack the following winter.

Throughout his career, Poulenc had been particularly attracted to the sound of woodwinds: in 1940 he described his Sextet for Piano and Woodwind Quartet as an act of “homage to the wind instruments I have loved from the moment I began composing.” Something of the memorial character of the Clarinet Sonata can be seen in Poulenc’s marking for the first movement: he asks that the opening Allegro be played tristamente: “sadly.” A somewhat astringent opening leads to more lyrical material; Poulenc shifts gears at the center of the movement, moving into 3/4 and a more stately section marked Très calme before a return of the opening themes brings the movement to a quiet close. The middle movement is marked Romanza, suggesting music of an unusually expressive character. An introductory flourish from the clarinet leads to the movement’s climbing main theme, marked “very gentle and melancholy”; the exotic swirls from the clarinet will return throughout this movement, which also comes to a peaceful close. Out of the silence, the finale–“Fast and with fire”–bursts to life on pounding chords and an abundance of energy. There are more lyric episodes along the way, but the bristling energy of the opening is never far away, and the music finally pounds to the sudden plunge that brings this sonata to its abrupt conclusion.

The original plan was that the première of Sonata for Clarinet and Piano would be given by Benny Goodman with the composer at the piano, but Poulenc’s sudden death in January 1963 made that impossible. Goodman did perform this sonata at a memorial concert for Poulenc given in Carnegie Hall in April 1963. The pianist on that occasion was Leonard Bernstein.

Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Opus 5

ALBAN BERG
Born February 9, 1885, Vienna
Died December 24, 1935, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 8 minutes

The Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano come from early in Alban Berg’s career, at a moment when he was still feeling his way as a composer. Berg had studied with Schoenberg from 1904 to 1910, and now–in his late twenties–he was searching for a voice of his own. In 1911 his String Quartet met with a disastrous public reception in Vienna, the following year he composed the five Altenberg Lieder (the complete set would not be not performed until 1952), and early in 1913 he wrote the Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. These pieces would also wait some time to be heard, for the war soon disrupted musical life throughout Europe (miserable the entire time, Berg spent the war in the Austrian army). Immediately after the war, Schoenberg established in Vienna the Society for Private Musical Performances, an idealistic organization dedicated to young composers and to new music. The Society banned all critics, gradated ticket prices on one’s ability to pay, and gave new music the rehearsal time it deserved. It was at one of the Society’s concerts–on October 17, 1919–that Berg finally was able to hear the Four Pieces, six years after they had been written. By that time he had become a completely different composer–he was now at work on Act II of his opera Wozzeck.

In the years before the war, Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg had pared their musical language down to its barest essentials: this meant the virtual elimination of theme, development, repetition, and even a harmonic foundation. Their works from these years tend to be very short, built on bits of theme or rhythm or instrumental color that do not have the opportunity to develop. Berg’s Four Pieces span a total of eight minutes, and the keynote throughout is compression: the second piece, for example, is only eight measures long. These four miniatures for clarinet and piano almost by definition do not require detailed description. Berg requires a wide range of technique (the clarinetist is repeatedly asked for flutter-tonguing and echo-tone), and the sudden changes of mood rest on dynamic markings that extend from triple forte to quadruple piano.

In gratitude, Berg dedicated the Four Pieces to Schoenberg and to the Society for Private Musical Performances.

Grand Duo Concertant in E-flat Major, Opus 48

CARL MARIA VON WEBER
Born November 18, 1786, Eutin, Germany
Died June 5, 1826, London
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

The Grand Duo Concertant took shape only gradually, and its unusual composition reflects a degree of uncertainty in Weber’s own mind about the proper form for this music. He wrote the final two movements first, composing the Andante and the Rondo during the summer of 1815 for a tour with the clarinetist Heinrich Baermann; the two of them played this work in its two-movement form on a tour through southern Germany. Successful as this version proved, Weber was not satisfied, and the following year he went back and wrote a sonata-form first movement. Weber could easily have called the resulting work a sonata for clarinet and piano, but he chose a different name: Grand Duo Concertant.

It was a good decision. This is not so much a sonata (which implies chamber music) as it is a chamber concerto. This music is certainly “grand” in scope, but Weber was also right to specify its “concertant” quality: it demands that its performers be not just equals but virtuoso soloists capable of a technique more often heard in the orchestra hall than in the more intimate environs of chamber music. Weber wrote the piano part for himself (and the music shows just how good a pianist he must have been), but the Duo shines throughout with his love for the clarinet. While it has been arranged for violin and is sometimes performed in that version, the Duo is clarinet music, featuring fluid runs, wide leaps, and the instrument’s distinctly mellow sound.

It may be no surprise that the first movement was written last. Sonata form gave Weber a good deal of trouble: he preferred a freer, more rhapsodic approach to composition, and his ambivalence about sonata form may be another reason why he chose to give this music a different name. He marks this opening movement Allegro con fuoco, and it is full of fire. This movement establishes its character from the first instant, where the piano sweeps the clarinet along an opening theme that spans nearly three octaves; the clarinet introduces the second subject, a plastic and flowing idea that Weber marks lusingando: “charming, intimate.”

Dramatic as the first movement is, the slow movement is–in its own way–even more impressive. Weber moves to C minor, and over steadily-tolling chordal accompaniment the clarinet sings the grieving main idea, marked con duolo. But, having concluded this episode, the clarinet drops out entirely and the piano launches into a thunderous interlude of its own. The clarinet returns, and the music rises to a dramatic reprise and falls away to the quiet close.

The clarinet announces the main theme of the rondo-finale, a sinuous melody full of some nice rhythmic dislocations, and the music dances ahead. Something of its character is evident from Weber’s instructions in the score: scherzando, con anima, dolce, grazioso, and delicamente. But there are surprises here too: suddenly, over surging tremolo piano accompaniment, the clarinet has a soaring episode marked con molto affetto: “with much affection.” Gradually the rondo tune reasserts itself, and Duo dances and swirls its cheerful way home.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Young artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

REINECKEAllegro molto moderato from Flute Concerto, Op. 283 Christine Kim, flute
Dana Burnett, piano
DUTILLEUXSonatine for Flute and Piano Christine Kim, flute
Dana Burnett, piano
Christine Kim, flute
Dana Burnett, piano

Raphaël Sévère“Destined for the most brilliant future, gifted with astonishing technical mastery and astounding musicality” (ResMusica), French clarinetist Raphaël Sévère is quickly gaining attention. After making his concerto debut at age 11 with the Beijing Opera Orchestra, Mr. Sévère’s budding career took off when he won five international competitions at age 12. When he was just 15, he became the youngest artist and first clarinetist to be nominated for Best New Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2010 Victoires de la musique classique. By the time he turned 19, he had already received a degree with highest honors from the Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris.

Mr. Sévère’s U.S. tour this season includes recitals at the University of Florida Performing Arts, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Embassy Series, Vancouver Recital Society, and appearances as soloist with Sinfonia Gulf Coast and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He appears at festivals in France including Les Musicales de Pommiers, Festival du Périgord Noir, Festival du Comminges, and Festival du Vigan, as well as Festival Amadeus in Geneva. Mr. Sévère also performs in Paris, Lucerne, Montpellier, and Bucharest, Romania, and as soloist with French orchestras including L’Orchestra de Normandie, L’Orchestra de Basse-Normandie, and L’Orchestre Provence Côte D’Azur.

As a soloist, Mr. Sévère has performed with many orchestras throughout France, including the Orchestre National de France. Outside of his home country, he has played with the Russian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov, as well as the Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He has also participated in La Folle Journée festivals in Nantes, Bilbao, and Tokyo, as well as the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Festival International de Colmar, Festival de Menton, Festival Antibes Génération Virtuoses, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. During his first U.S. tour last season, he performed concerts at the Paramount Theatre, the Port Washington Library, the University at Buffalo, the Center for Arts in Natick, Rockefeller University, and the Levine School of Music. A seasoned chamber player, Mr. Sévère frequently collaborates with distinguished musicians including YCA alumni Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Olivier Charlier, and the Modigliani String Quartet.

Winner of the 2013 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Sévère gave his New York and Washington, D.C. recital debuts on the Young Concert Artists Series last season. At the YCA Auditions, he was the recipient of the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Prize and the Korean Concert Society Prize, which provide support for his Kennedy Center debut, as well as the Leona Green Prize for Winds.

After an early music education that included piano, violin, and cello, Mr. Sévère began playing the clarinet at the age of eight, and was admitted to the Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris at 14. When he was 12 years old, he recorded his first album, Récital de musique française, which received four stars from Diapason; his second album, Opus 2, received five. Mr. Sévère’s most recent recordings include the Berio Folk Songs on Naïve Records and an album of Brahms works.

This performance marks Raphaël Sévère's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Paul MontagBorn in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Paul Montag began playing piano at the age of four. Two years later, he entered France’s National Regional Conservatory of Boulogne-Billancourt and at 11 was awarded a Unanimous First Prize. At 13, he was admitted to France’s National Superior Conservatory of Music of Paris (CNSM), where he earned two recital prizes. Later he attended France’s Normal School of Music in Paris, where he earned the Superior Perfection Certificate and the Concert Certificate, and participated in the master classes of pianists Anne Quéfélec, François-René Duchâble, Jean-Claude Pennetier and Paul Badura-Skoda.

As an award winner of the Cziffra Foundation and a recipient of the Charles Oulmont Prize of the Foundation of France, he was invited at a young age to play in a number of renowned festivals throughout Europe including those at Sceaux, Epau, Colmar, Senlis, Evian, Milan, Sienna, Bamberg and Porto. He also frequently performed at major Parisian halls including the Gaveau, the Cortot, the Mogador and the Salle Pleyel. In recent years he has been touring and giving master classes in Japan and Vietnam.

He recently recorded Paul Hindemith’s youth piano music; a complete edition of Albert Roussel’s melodies; and songs of Charles-Marie Widor and Félicien David. He loves musical diversity and is particularly fond of contemporary repertoire, participating in numerous musical world premieres as well as recordings on France Musique and broadcasts for the Nippon Television Network System.

This performance marks Paul Montag's La Jolla Music Society debut

Dec
1
Thu
HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD, piano
Dec 1 @ 8:00 pm
HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD, piano @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Hélène Grimaud, piano

French pianist Hélène Grimaud makes a welcome return to La Jolla Music Society to open the 2016-17 Season Piano Series.

She brings a diverse program of works featured on her new album Water, released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2016, including works by Berio, Ravel, Liszt, Debussy and more. She also performs Brahms’ Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor.

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RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at NINE-TEN.


BERIOWasserklavier
TAKEMITSURain Tree Sketch II
FAURÉBarcarolle No. 5 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 66
RAVELJeux d'eaux
ALBÉNIZAlmeria
LISZTLes jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este
JANÁČEKIn the Mists 1
DEBUSSYLa cathédrale engloutie
BRAHMSPiano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 2
ENCORE
RACHMANINOFFÉtudes-tableaux, Op. 33, No. 2

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Hélène Grimaud, piano

by Eric Bromberger

WATER The first half of this program consists of eight separate works, each inspired in a different way by water. Water in these pieces may take many forms–it can be mist, rain, oceans, fountains. Some of these pieces were inspired by different locations or settings or legends, each having to do in some way with water. Or the composers may simply have been inspired by water itself–its sound, its feel, its beauty, its evocative power. Water is fundamental to life, and these eight composers–eight very different artists–respond to it in quite different ways.

Wasserklavier

LUCIANO BERIO
Born October 24, 1925, Oneglia, Italy
Died May 27, 2003, Rome
Approximate Duration: 2 minutes

Luciano Berio composed his Wasserklavier in 1964, and in its original form the work was for two pianos; Wasserklavier (that title means “Water-Piano”) has a companion piece composed in 1970: Erdenklavier: “Earth- Piano.” Wasserklavier is an extremely brief (26-measure) and concentrated work. Berio’s detailed performance markings give explicit indication of the music’s character: it must be triple piano throughout, and Berio marks the music sempre legatissimo and teneramente e lontano: “tenderly and far away.” Though it is in a specific key (F minor), this music may be regarded as a study in harmonic and textural complexity. It begins gently in 6/8, and at least one critic has made the connection between this quiet opening and the barcarolle, the rocking song of Venetian gondoliers, and identified that connection as the source of the work’s title. Within this quiet beginning, Berio introduces a brief thematic cell that interrupts the harmonic and rhythmic flow. Gradually textures grow thicker, there are wide thematic skips, and the music takes on an unexpected complexity before Wasserklavier resolves quietly on an F-minor scale.

Rain Tree Sketch II

TORU TAKEMITSU
Born October 8, 1930, Tokyo
Died February 20, 1996, Tokyo
Approximate Duration: 4 minutes

Takemitsu was virtually self-taught as a composer. His music–which combines Japanese materials, Western techniques, and an acute ear for instrumental color–is entirely original. Not for Takemitsu is the dramatic, incident-crowded music of the Western symphonic tradition. Instead, he suggests, “We should listen in the way we walk through an ornamental garden.” Certain features distinguish Takemitsu’s music: its wide palette of color, the contrast between what seems a static timelessness and bursts of ecstatic activity reminiscent of Messiaen, the contrast between the sound of the piano’s sharp percussive attack and the subtle decay of that attack, the attention to reverberation (this music requires scrupulous use of all three pedals), and the delicacy of much of his music.

Takemitsu composed Rain Tree Sketch II in 1992, shortly after the death of Olivier Messiaen in April of that year; the work received joint premières in October 1992 in France and Japan. Subtitled In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen, this music seems to take on some of the spirit of that French master: Takemitsu’s opening marking is “Celestially Light,” and he specifies that the central episode is to be “Joyful.”

Barcarolle No. 5 in F-sharp Minor, Opus 66

GABRIEL FAURÉ
Born May 12, 1845, Pamiers, France
Died November 4, 1924, Paris
Approximate Duration: 6 minutes

The term barcarolle (“boat-song”) comes from the Italian barcarole, the songs of the Venetian gondoliers. The barcarolle traditionally has some of the relaxed ease of those songs, in which a melody is sung over a rocking accompaniment in a slow 6/8 meter that echoes the motion of the boat across the waves. This agreeable form made its way into the art-music of serious composers across Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century–Chopin composed a Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Mendelssohn included what he called Venetian Boat Songs in several of his sets of Songs without Words, and many other composers provided examples.

French composer Gabriel Fauré was particularly attracted to the barcarolle–he wrote thirteen of them across the span of his career. He completed the fifth of that series on September 18, 1894, a few months after his fiftieth birthday and dedicated it to the wife of his friend Vincent d’Indy. No one coming to this music without knowing its title would guess that it is a barcarolle. Rather than exuding a relaxed ease, this is complex music. Fauré sets it in 9/8 rather than the expected 6/8, but will then write passages in 6/8, and at one point he sets the right hand in 2/4 and the left in 6/8. This is also quite energetic music. Fauré may mark the beginning dolce, but within just a few measures the music has grown to sempre fortissimo, and it spills over with energy throughout–it can be rippling and sparkling one moment, turbulent and dissonant the next, and dissonances will sting from out of these washes of sound. After all this energy, the music grows quiet and vanishes on a gently-arpeggiated chord in F-sharp major.

Jeux d’eau

MAURICE RAVEL
Born March 7, 1875, Ciboure, Basses-Pyrénées, France
Died December 28, 1937, Paris
Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

Ravel composed his Jeux d’eau in 1901, when he was still almost unknown. At that time, the 26-year-old composer had gained a slender reputation with a few brief piano pieces– Pavane for a Dead Princess and Habanera–but he was still enrolled in the Paris Conservatory as a student of Fauré and struggling to win that symbol of success for young French composers, the Prix de Rome. Ravel never won that prize, but his Jeux d’eau, one of his most dazzling and original pieces, brought him sudden fame.

This music is at once both a connection with the past and a departure toward the future. The connection with the past may at first seem an unlikely one: Franz Liszt. In 1877, while living in Rome, Liszt had composed a brief piano piece called Les jeux d’eaux a la Villa d’Este (heard later on this program), a depiction of the play of the water in the fountain of the estate where he was living. Ravel borrowed both the general conception of Liszt’s music and the first part of his title when he wrote Jeux d’eau (“Play of the Water”), but he achieved a range of sparkling color from the piano that Liszt never dreamed of.

In the score, Ravel prefaced the music with a quote from Henri de Regnier: “The river god laughs at the water as it caresses him.” One should take this as a general suggestion of spirit rather than as something the music sets out to depict literally–Ravel himself said that Jeux d’eau was “inspired by the bubbling of water and the musical sounds of fountains, waterfalls, and brooks.” In this music he achieves an enormous range of sounds that evoke sparkling waters: the very opening (which sounds bell-like because Ravel keeps it in the piano’s ringing high register) suggests a completely new soundworld from the piano, and Ravel contrasts this with a variety of sonorities, from delicate tracery cascading downward to thundering music that sweeps across the keyboard.

Almería

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ
Born May 29, 1860, Camprodón, Lérida, Spain
Died May 18, 1909, Cambo-les-Bains, France
Approximate Duration: 10 minutes

We remember Albeniz primarily for the music inspired by his homeland, and the work that most completely embodies Albéniz’s use of Spanish materials is his masterpiece, the suite Iberia. Iberia consists of four books of three pieces each, which were composed during the final years of his life, 1905- 09. These twelve pieces have been described as a collection of evocations of Spain and its atmosphere, music, and sounds (so successful has this music proven that some observers claim that this music evokes for them even the characteristic smells of Spain). Albéniz wrote Iberia during his final illness, when he was living in France, and in a touching way these pieces truly are evocations of a music and a world Albeniz remembered from his boyhood.

Almería, the second piece in Book II, was inspired by the city of that name, built on the Mediterranean coast during the Muslim occupation of southern Spain. Almería is famous for its fortress, its beautiful setting, and its hot temperatures. Albéniz’s evocation of the city is in ternary form, with the central chordal section giving way to an expansive return of the opening material.

Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este S.163/4

FRANZ LISZT
Born October 22, 1811, Raiding, Austria
Died July 31, 1886, Bayreuth, Germany
Approximate Duration: 7 minutes

Liszt gave up the post of kapellmeister in Weimar in 1859 and moved the following year to Rome, where he took minor orders in the Catholic Church and lived for part of each year in the Villa d’Este in Rome. The Villa d’Este is a handsome sixteenth-century villa built on a steep hillside in Tivoli and famous for its gardens and particularly for its fountains, which are of many different and elaborate designs and which stretch down the hillside. By the time Liszt lived there, the Villa had fallen into disrepair (it has since been renovated), but the fountains and gardens were intact, and they made a profound impression on the composer.

Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (“Play of the Waters at the Villa d’Este”) is a musical evocation of one of the sparkling fountains on the estate. This shimmering music would have a powerful influence a generation later on two young French composers who would write a great deal of similar “water” music: Debussy and Ravel. Liszt’s portrait of sunlight sparkling off the waters of the fountain seems pure impressionism: the swirling beginning gives way to more lyric ideas in the middle section. In the score at this point Liszt includes a quote from St. John: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.”

Andante from In the Mists

LEOŠ JANÁČEK
Born July 3, 1854, Hukvaldy, Czech Republic
Died August 12, 1928, Ostravia, Czech Republic
Approximate Duration: 3 minutes

Janáček composed In the Mists in 1912, when he was 58 years old and serving as director of the Organ School in Brno. As a composer he was virtually unknown: a regional production of his opera Jenůfa in 1904 had brought him a brief moment of notice, but now he seemed doomed to live out his days as a provincial musician. Success would come to Janáček a decade later, but when he wrote In the Mists, Janáček could have no inkling of this: he was nearing retirement, he was unknown, he was trapped in an unhappy marriage, and he feared that this would be his fate.

Some of Janáček’s biographers believe that the title In the Mists is autobiographical and that it refers to Janáček’s belief that–as a composer–he was lost “in the mist.” Janáček had a fondness for enigmatic titles, and we need to be careful not to read significance into a situation where it may not belong, but that suggestion is intriguing.

In the Mists is a suite of four brief movements. The mood here is neither bitter nor angry, but all four movements are tinged with a measure of melancholy. All four are in a general ternary form: an opening statement, a central episode in a different mood or tempo, and return (sometimes modified) to the opening material. But this music conforms to no set form, and the individual movements are episodic, mercurial in their short themes, repeated phrases, and quick changes of mood and color. This recital offers only the opening Andante, and one might note how beautifully it establishes the subdued mood of the entire work.

La cathédrale engloutie

CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died March 25, 1918, Paris
Approximate Duration: 6 minutes

Debussy composed his first book of twelve Preludes very quickly, between December 1909 and February 1910. Though he has been inescapably tagged an “impressionist,” Debussy disliked that term. He would have argued that he was not trying to present a physical impression of something but instead trying to re-create in sound the character of his subject. So little was he concerned to convey a physical impression that he carefully placed the evocative title of each prelude at its end rather than its beginning: he did not wish to have an audience (or performer) fit the music into a preconceived mental set but rather wanted the music heard for itself first, then identified with an idea or image later. Some scholars, in fact, have gone so far as to say that perhaps Debussy wanted the music to suggest the title.

La cathédrale engloutie (“The Engulfed Cathedral”), however, does seem to offer a kind of tone-painting. It was inspired by the ancient Breton legend of the town of Ys, which had been submerged and would rise from out of the sea one day each year. The prelude begins with the sound of tolling bells, a distant chorale is heard, and gradually the cathedral rises magnificently out of the sea, sparkling and majestic in the sunlight, then gradually sinks back into the depths.

Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Opus 2

JOHANNES BRAHMS
Born May 7, 1833, Hamburg
Died April 3, 1897, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 26 minutes

In his famous article in the October 1854 Neue Zeitschrift für Musik that hailed Brahms as “a young eagle,” Robert Schumann described the effect of watching the young man play his music: “Sitting at the piano he began to disclose wonderful regions to us. We were drawn into even more enchanting spheres. Besides, he is a player of genius who can make of the piano an orchestra of lamenting and loudly jubilant voices. There were sonatas, veiled symphonies rather…” Schumann helped Brahms publish these sonatas, and the young man was astonished by the experience of seeing his own music in print–and by his sudden respectability. To Schumann he wrote: “I still cannot accustom myself to seeing these guileless children of nature in their smart new clothes.”

For the first of his works to be published, Brahms chose the two piano sonatas he had played for the Schumann family; both had been composed while he was still a few months short of his twentieth birthday. Published as his Opus 2, the Piano Sonata in F-sharp Minor was actually the first to be composed: Brahms had written it in November 1852. This is a big-boned and dramatic piece of music–at moments it feels very much like “a veiled symphony”–and throughout its span one feels the young composer attempting to constrain his own impetuous and spirited music within the frame of the piano sonata as handed down by Beethoven. The result can feel like a hybrid: this sonata gives the impression of wildness, of a free and rhapsodic spirit caught almost unwillingly within classical form. This is also a very unusual piano sonata, and one of its most distinctive features is the young composer’s effort to unify it around one controlling theme-shape.

This shape appears at the beginning of the second movement, marked Andante con espressione. Brahms in fact composed this movement first, and it may be useful to begin a discussion of this violent sonata with this gentle theme. Brahms drew the shape of the theme from the song Mir ist Leide by the Minnesinger Kraft von Toggenberg; in the song, this theme sets the words: “It makes me sad, that winter has bared the wood and heath.” Brahms uses this theme as the basis of a variation movement: he offers three variations, the last of which grows into a huge extension of the melody (Brahms marks it con molt’ agitazione) before fading to the quiet close. But the interesting thing is that Brahms then takes the initial four notes of this theme and uses them as the basis for the dramatic opening gesture of the first movement and for the main theme of the third movement, a scherzo: he works outward from the slow movement as he builds the rest of this sonata.

A quick tour of that sonata: the opening movement is extremely dramatic, with hammered octaves and much chordal writing. It proceeds almost unremittingly to its powerful coda and then closes (surprisingly) with two quiet chords. The slow movement follows, leading without pause into the scherzo, which is in many respects the most attractive of the four movements. Its basic theme-shape is drawn directly from the melodic theme of the slow movement; here it rushes nimbly along a 6/8 meter. The trio section–quite long–is also impressive: the mood changes sharply here as the music dances with an unexpected elegance, then makes a dark and dissonant return to the opening section. The last movement shows similar imagination. It opens with a long introduction–full of swirls, trills, and runs–before launching into the main section, a smoothly-flowing Allegro non troppo e rubato. Some of the opening movement’s explosive manner returns here, but at the end Brahms springs another surprise: the movement’s florid introduction now returns, and the sonata spirals to its close in a great shower of arabesques and delicate runs.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Of Brahms’ first five opus numbers, three are massive piano sonatas, all of them complete by the time he was twenty, and while he lived for another 44 years, he never wrote another piano sonata. Apparently he found the form too confining for the kind of piano music he wanted to write. When the Piano Sonata in F-sharp Minor was published–and appeared in its “smart new clothes”–Brahms dedicated it to Clara Schumann, whom he had not yet met when he composed it.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by Steven Cassedy
Can you really make a piano sound like water? And why do composers (almost) always write water music with lots of sharps and ask performers to spend most of their time playing on the black keys of the piano? Maybe it has something to do with the sounds of the pentatonic scale (what you get if you play only black keys)? But what makes those sounds water-like?

Helene-GrimaudShe could be called a Renaissance woman for our times. Hélène Grimaud is not just a deeply passionate and committed musical artist whose pianistic accomplishments play a central role in her life; she is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays with such poetic expression and peerless technical control. The French artist has established herself as a committed wildlife conservationist, a compassionate human rights activist and as a writer.

Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence where she began her piano studies at the conservatory with Jacqueline Courtin and subsequently under Pierre Barbizet in Marseille. She was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at just 13 and won first prize in piano performance a mere three years later. She continued to study with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher until, in 1987, she gave her well-received debut recital in Tokyo. The same year the renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris. This marked the launch of Grimaud’s musical career – one highlighted by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award and the Echo Award.

Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999 – just two of many acclaimed musical milestones – Grimaud made a wholly different kind of debut: in upper New York State she established the Wolf Conservation Center.

Her love for the endangered species was sparked by a chance encounter with a wolf in northern Florida which led to her determination to open an environmental education centre. “To be involved in direct conservation and being able to put animals back where they belong,” she says, “…there’s just nothing more exciting.” But Grimaud’s engagement doesn’t end there: she is also a member of the organization Musicians for Human Rights, a worldwide network of musicians and people working in the field of music to promote a culture of human rights and social change.

For most people, establishing and running an environmental organisation or having a flourishing career as a musician would be accomplishment enough. Yet, remarkably, Hélène Grimaud has also found time to pursue writing, publishing three books that have appeared in various languages. Her first, Variations Sauvages, appeared in 2003. It was followed in 2005 by Leçons particulières, and in 2013 by Retour à Salem, both semi-autobiographical novels.

Despite her divided dedication to these multiple passions, it is through Grimaud’s thoughtful and tenderly expressive music-making that she most deeply touches the emotions of audiences. Fortunately, they have been able to enjoy her concerts worldwide, thanks to the extensive tours she undertakes as a soloist and recitalist. She is also an ardent and committed chamber musician who performs frequently at the most prestigious festivals and cultural events with a wide range of musical collaborators, including Sol Gabetta, Thomas Quasthoff, Rolando Villazón, Jan Vogler, Truls Mørk, Clemens Hagen and the Capuçon brothers.

Recent performance highlights have included two collaborations with the Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon – firstly, tears become… streams become…, a large-scale immersive installation at New York’s historic Park Avenue Armory, whose Drill Hall floor was flooded to become an immense field of water, and secondly, Neck of the Woods, a piece devised for the Manchester International Festival combining music, visual art and theatre, in which Grimaud shared the stage with legendary actress Charlotte Rampling. She also appeared at the opening-night gala of the new Philharmonie de Paris and gave two summer concerts at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (New York State) in her role as 2015 Artist-in-Residence. Her recital at the Philharmonie Essen in May, meanwhile, was crowned by the award of the 2015 Klavier-Festival Ruhr Prize, honouring her exceptional career and extraordinary artistry.

In her diary for the 2015/16 season are appearances with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at St Petersburg’s White Nights Festival and at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden’s Summer Festival. She plays Beethoven with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano and Brahms with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She also tours Asia and Europe, playing concertos by Ravel, Brahms and Mozart and giving a recital programme inspired by water.

In 2016, Grimaud will release Water, a live recording of the performances from tears become… streams become… which brings together works by nine composers: Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt, Janáček, Debussy, and Nitin Sawhney, who has written seven short Water Transitions for the album as well as producing it. Grimaud has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002, and Water follows the September 2013 release of her album of the two Brahms piano concertos, the first concerto with Andris Nelsons conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the second recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic. Classic FM said: “Hélène Grimaud turns her thrilling, deeply personal brand of music-making to Brahms’s first and second Piano Concertos. Throughout her playing is sensitive, graceful, and commanding without ever feeling forced.” Limelight magazine called it an “utterly remarkable, inspired and inspiring recording”.

Duo, the album she recorded with cellist Sol Gabetta just prior to the Brahms concertos, won the 2013 ECHO Award for “chamber recording of the year”. Previous releases include her readings of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 23 on a 2011 disc which also featured a collaboration with singer Mojca Erdmann in the same composer’s Ch’io mi scordi di te?. Grimaud’s 2010 release, the solo recital album Resonances, showcased music by Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Bartók, while her other DG recordings include a selection of Bach’s solo and concerto works, in which she directed the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the piano; a Beethoven disc with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Vladimir Jurowski which was chosen as one of history’s greatest classical music albums in the iTunes “Classical Essentials” series; Reflection and Credo (both of which feature a number of thematically linked works); a Chopin and Rachmaninov Sonatas disc; a Bartók CD on which she plays the Third Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez; and a DVD release of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.

Hélène Grimaud is undoubtedly a multi-faceted artist. Her deep dedication to her musical career, both in performances and recordings, is reflected and reciprocally amplified by the scope and depth of her environmental and literary pursuits.

Hélène Grimaud last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity Orchestra Series on February 13, 2015.

For more information visit helenegrimaud.com

Dec
2
Fri
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Dec 2 @ 8:00 pm
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SDYS Chamber Orchestra

Jeff Edmons, music director & conductor
Richard O’Neill, viola

Returning for the second year as resident artists through our deepening Education Partnership, La Jolla Music Society showcases the incredibly talented young musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra featuring violist Richard O’ Neill
playing Alexander Tchaikovsky’s arrangement of the Shostakovich Sinfonia for Solo Viola and Strings.

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FALLARitual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo
SHOSTAKOVICHSinfonia for Solo Viola and Strings
(arr. Tchaikovsky)
DEBUSSYClair de Lune
(Orchestrated by André Caplet)
MOZARTSymphony No. 31 in D Major, K.297 "Paris"

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: SDYS Chamber Orchestra with Richard O'Neill, viola

by Eric Bromberger

Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo

MANUEL DE FALLA
Born November 23, 1876, Cádiz, Spain
Died November 14, 1946, Alta Gracia, Argentina
Approximate Duration: 4 minutes

Falla went to Paris to study in 1907 and remained there for seven years, but with the outbreak of World War I he returned to Madrid and–not surprisingly–wished to write something specifically Spanish. Through his friend Martinez Sierra, he met the Andalusian singer-dancer Pastora Imperio, and from her mother, the gypsy Rosario la Mejorana, they heard the old Andalusian gypsy tale that became the basis for a ballet entitled El amor brujo. Sierra adapted a scenario, and Falla composed the music between November 1914 and April 1915, when it was premièred in Madrid.

El amor brujo tells of the young gypsy woman Candelas who loved a passionate but dissolute gypsy, now dead. Candelas is being pursued by the handsome Carmelo, but she is haunted by the ghost of her former lover: whenever she and Carmelo are about to exchange “the perfect kiss” that will symbolize their love, the ghost appears and prevents it. Carmelo devises a plan: remembering the dead gypsy’s fondness for all beautiful young women, he asks his friend Lucia to accompany them. The ghost appears and begins to flirt with Lucia, freeing Candelas and Carmelo to exchange “the perfect kiss.” Vanquished, the ghost disappears forever and triumphant bells ring out.

The Ritual Fire Dance depicts Candelas’ final attempt to exorcise the demon of the gypsy. Midnight arrives on its twelve quiet strokes, and now Candelas dances this “fire” dance in the effort to banish the spirit of her dead lover. Swirling trills over a walking bass line lead to the famous main theme of this dance, with its characteristic triplets; the dance grows increasingly animated and ends brilliantly. Though the Ritual Fire Dance fails to chase off the dissolute ghost, it has become famous on its own and has been heard in many arrangements (it was one of Arthur Rubinstein’s most successful encore pieces).

Sinfonia for Viola and String Orchestra (arr. by Alexander Tchaikovsky of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Minor, Opus 138)

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg
Died August 9, 1975, Moscow
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

In 1923, four young string players at the Moscow Conservatory formed a quartet that would eventually become known as the Beethoven Quartet, and they quickly became good friends with the star composition student at the rival St. Petersburg Conservatory, Dmitri Shostakovich. The Beethoven Quartet’s close relation with the composer would last for over half a century, and they gave the premières of thirteen of his quartets (all but the first and last). By the late 1960s, however, the effect of time was becoming all too clear: Shostakovich suffered from debilitating illness over the final decade of his life, and the quartet lost two of its original members–second violinist Vasily Shirinsky died and violist Vadim Borisovsky retired. As a gesture of lifelong respect and gratitude, Shostakovich dedicated each of his String Quartets Nos. 11 through 14 to a different member of the quartet. He composed the String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Minor during the summer of 1970, completing it on August 10, and dedicated it to violist Borisovsky on the occasion of his seventieth birthday (Borisovsky had at that point already retired from the quartet). With its new members, the Beethoven Quartet gave the quartet several private hearings before the official première on December 13, 1970, in Leningrad.

The Thirteenth Quartet is heard at this concert in an arrangement for solo viola and string orchestra made by the Russian composer Alexander Tchaikovsky (born 1946). In this arrangement, titled Sinfonia for Viola and String Orchestra, Tchaikovsky transforms the quartet into a sort of concerto for viola and string orchestra by assigning to the solo viola the quartet’s leading melodic line, whether it was for the two violins, the viola, or the cello in the original. The effect is to re-cast Shostakovich’s quartet in a way that gives the viola a concerto-like solo part and enriches the overall sound of the original.

This music may have been written to commemorate a birthday, but there is nothing festive about it. It’s one movement is in a broad ternary form: the opening Adagio gives way to a long central episode at twice that tempo before the final section returns to the opening tempo.

Set in the dark key of B-flat minor, the Sinfonia opens with a spare viola solo marked espressivo. Gradually the other voices enter, the music rises to a dissonant outburst, and the opening section gives way to the central section, marked Doppio movimento and announced by chirping threenote patterns. These patterns of three-note attacks gradually build to a strident climax in which three-note patterns are hammered out by the entire ensemble. Then the music launches into an eerie dance that skitters along triplet rhythms and is punctuated by the sound of the players tapping their bows on their instruments. This unsettled music–wild in its hard-edged energy and strange sounds–is the most Bartókian moment in the entire cycle of Shostakovich’s quartets.

Gradually this dance winds down, and ominous trills and a recall of the three-note patterns lead to a return to the opening tempo. But now that opening music has become even darker. In the course of this closing section, for which Shostakovich mutes all the instruments, there is a long duet– murmuring and subdued–for viola and cellos, and then the cellos vanish. The final word is left to the viola, whose bleak soliloquy (sometimes set at the extreme upper limit of that instrument’s range) leads to the jolting cadence: on its final note, the viola is rejoined by the (unmuted) violins, and these instruments shriek out the concluding B-flat.

Clair de lune (orch. André Caplet)

CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Died March 25, 1918, Paris
Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

Clair de lune, Debussy’s seductive invitation into a world of moonlit possibility, has become one of his most famous compositions, so it may come as a surprise to learn that in its earliest version this music had nothing at all to do with moonlight. Debussy originally composed it around 1890 under the title Promenade sentimentale, and the 28-year-old composer intended it as one of the movements of a suite of pieces for piano. Debussy sketched that suite in 1890, but he was in no hurry to finish it–not until fifteen years later, in 1905, did he come back to these pieces, revise them, and publish the set under the title Suite bergamasque.

But there had been some important changes along the way. The movement originally titled Promenade sentimentale now had a new name, Clair de lune, which Debussy had taken from the title of a poem by Paul Verlaine. Verlaine (1844-1896) is remembered as one of the symbolist poets, that school of poetry centered in France at the end of the nineteenth century that reacted against realism and in favor of an exploration of the internal consciousness–a setting suffused with the half tones of soft moonlight was perfect for that imagination.

Debussy’s Clair de lune fully deserves its popularity. No matter how over-familiar this music may have become, Debussy’s fluid rhythms, haunting melodies, and muted, silvery colors continue to work their hold on listeners (and performers). Clair de lune has been arranged for many different instrumental combinations, and arrangements for orchestra offer a palette of sound that can evoke the subtle textures of Debussy’s music more fully than a solo piano. Clair de lune is heard at this concert in an orchestration by the French composer André Caplet (1878-1925), who is best-remembered today for his arrangements of Debussy’s piano pieces.

Symphony No. 31 in D Major, K.297 “Paris”

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

In the years 1777-78 Mozart and his mother set out on a long trip through the musical capitals of Europe in search of a position for the young man. Mozart found no position, but the trip did let him hear the two finest orchestras in Europe: those of Mannheim and Paris. He was very impressed by the Mannheim orchestra, renowned for its virtuosity and long crescendos, but he was distinctly less impressed with the situation in Paris, where he found the orchestra subpar and the audiences shallow. The Paris orchestra was famous for its unison attacks, called there coup d’archet, but Mozart was underwhelmed. To his father back in Salzburg, he wrote: “The oxen here make such a fuss of this!–the devil!–they all begin together–just like in other places.” In Paris, Mozart was asked by Joseph LeGros, director of the Concerts Spirituels, to write a symphony, and early in June 1778 he composed a symphony tailored specifically for Paris. He wrote for the large Paris orchestra, which meant a full complement of winds (including the first appearance of clarinets in a Mozart symphony); he left out the minuet movement typical only of the Viennese symphony; and he tried to appeal to current Parisian fashions. This is most evident in Mozart’s conscious use of the coup d’archet: the first movement opens with a massive attack for full orchestra and then a brisk run up the D-major scale. This flourish, clearly aimed at Parisian taste, returns at key points throughout the movement. Scholars have noted the influence of the baroque concerto on this movement, which features themes tossed between strings and solo winds, but there is also a touch of Mannheim influence in the long crescendos. In a letter to his father, Mozart made clear just how consciously he was trying to please his audience: “Right in the middle of the first Allegro, there was a passage that I knew must please, all the hearers were quite carried away and there was a great burst of applause–but I had known, when I wrote it, what kind of effect it would make, so I brought it back again at the close–when there were shouts of Da capo.”

While the audience liked the slow movement at the première, LeGros did not and asked Mozart to rewrite it for a second performance of the symphony in August. This Mozart did, and the movement exists in two versions–as an Andantino in 6/8 and as an Andante in 3/4–but the problem now is that no one knows which is the original and which is the replacement! At the present concert, the Andantino is performed. This is songful and elegant music, and while Mozart introduces a second subject, he does not develop either of his main ideas. The scoring is somewhat unusual: after the huge orchestral effects of the first movement, Mozart uses the winds very sparingly here, and most of the thematic interest is in the strings.

The concluding Allegro returns to the manner of the opening movement and is notable for its virtuosity and brilliant effects, which include some accomplished fugal writing in the development. For the best description of this music, though, we should turn to the composer himself, who wrote to his father after the première: “as I had heard that all the last Allegros here, like the first, begin with all the instruments together, usually in unison, I began mine with the two violins alone, piano for the first eight bars–after which came a forte–this made the audience, as I expected, say ‘Ssh’ at the piano–and then came the forte–when they heard the forte they at once began to clap their hands–I went as soon as the symphony was over to the Palais Royal–I had a large ice–and I said the Rosary as I had vowed.”

On a final note, Mozart may have sneered at French tastes and consciously catered to them, but this does not mean that he undervalued this music. On the contrary: he took this symphony with him when he moved to Vienna in 1781 and performed it there several times, something he rarely did with his “old” music.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with Richard O’Neill hosted by Marcus Overton.

SDYSChamber3Under the leadership of President and CEO Dalouge Smith and Music Director Jeff Edmons, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students ages 8 to 23 through rigorous and inspiring musical training experiences. Since 1945, SDYS has given thousands of musicians the opportunity to study and perform classical repertoire at a highly advanced level. SDYS attracts student musicians from throughout San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties and serves over 600 students annually through its 12 ensembles.

The organization’s preeminent ensemble, the SDYS Chamber Orchestra is comprised of the principal and assistant principal musicians from the advanced level Ovation Program and rehearses at an extraordinarily proficient level for a youth program. Provided the finest training, the Chamber Orchestra is given the opportunity to perform professional level repertoire from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra on a national and international stage. Most recently, select students of the San Diego Youth Symphony participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary tour to China and performed in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, San Diego’s sister city Yantai’s Poly Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai in June 2015.

SDYS Chamber Orchestra last performed at La Jolla Music Society in the San Diego Youth Symphony Series on December, 11 2015 San Diego Youth Symphony enjoys a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit www.sdys.org


Jeff-EdmondUnder Jeff Edmons' direction, the Youth Symphony has experienced tremendous growth, both in enrollment and in level of musical achievement. Performing the most difficult works in classical repertoire, SDYS achieves the highest standard attainable by a youth orchestra. SDYS' exemplary standards of skill and musicianship have afforded it the opportunity to participate in the most prestigious international festivals and perform with eminent guest artists and musicians from around the world.

Under Mr. Edmons direction, the Youth Symphony boasts a strong international presence as well as setting a benchmark for excellence in the United States. San Diego Magazine named Jeff Edmons as "50 People to Watch in 1997."

Mr. Edmons has dedicated himself to promoting youth music and youth education. He has led youth, collegiate and professional orchestras in critically acclaimed performances throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland. He has received numerous local and national invitations and awards for his achievements in music education. Mr. Edmons has also been featured in articles and journals honoring his work and has been the subject of documentaries on CNN, Fox Television, National Public Radio and many more.

He studied violin performance with Michael Davis, former Concertmaster of the Scottish National Orchestra, String Pedagogy with renown Pedagogue Dr. Robert Gillespie, and he studied Wind, Brass,Percussion Pedagogy and Wind Ensemble conducting with Craig Kirchoff, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Wind Orchestra and past President and Chair of the National College Band Director's Association.

Jeff Edmons and the San Diego Youth Symphony enjoy a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit www.sdys.org


Richard-ONeillEMMY® Award Winner, two-time GRAMMY® nominee and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Richard O'Neill has appeared as soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Euro-Asian Philharmonics, the BBC, KBS and Korean Symphony Orchestras, the Moscow and Württemburg Chamber Orchestras and Alte Musik Köln with conductors Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nezet-Sequin, Vassily Sinaisky, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and François Xavier Roth. As recitalist he has performed at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, Kennedy Center, Wigmore, the Louvre, Salle Cortot, Madrid’s National Concert Hall, Tokyo’s International Forum and Opera City, Osaka Symphony Hall and Seoul Arts Center. A UNIVERSAL/DG recording artist, he has made eight solo albums that have sold more than 150,000 copies. An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and resident violist of Camerata Pacifica, he frequently collaborates with the world’s greatest artists. Dedicated to the music of our time, composers Elliot Carter, John Harbison, Huang Ruo and Paul Chihara have written works dedicated to him. In his ninth season as Artistic Director of DITTO (his South Korean chamber music initiative) he has introduced tens of thousands to chamber music in South Korea and Japan and will collaborate with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica this October. The first violist to receive the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, he was honored with a Proclamation from the New York City Council for his achievement and contribution to the Arts. He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross and UNICEF, runs marathons for charity and teaches at UCLA.

Richard O’Neill last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2014.

For more information visit www.chambermusicsociety.org

Dec
9
Fri
TAKÁCS QUARTET
Dec 9 @ 8:00 pm
TAKÁCS QUARTET @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Takács Quartet

Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet
returns to La Jolla Music Society to play their unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. They bring
an all-Beethoven program featuring three quartets from different decades in chronological order, highlighting the development of Beethoven’s writing
for the quartet.

“The Takács might play Beethoven better than any other quartet in the past or the present.”
– The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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HAPPY HOUR:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The LOT.


BEETHOVENString Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5
BEETHOVENString Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"
BEETHOVENString Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: TAKÁCS QUARTET

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in A Major, Opus 18, No. 5

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 28 minutes

Beethoven’s first string quartets, a set of six written in Vienna during the years 1798-1800, inevitably show the influence of Haydn and Mozart, who had made the form a great one. Scholars have been unanimous in believing that the fifth quartet of Beethoven’s set had a quite specific model: Mozart’s String Quartet in A Major, K.464, composed in 1785. Beethoven greatly admired this particular quartet and had copied out the last two movements as a way of studying them. Carl Czerny reported that Beethoven once took up the Mozart score and exclaimed: “That’s what I call a work! In it, Mozart was telling the world: Look what I could create if the time were right!” For his own quartet, Beethoven took both the key and general layout of Mozart’s quartet: a sonata-form first movement, a minuet movement that comes second, a theme-and-variation third movement, and a sonata-form finale that–like Mozart’s–ends quietly.

But it is unfair to Beethoven to see his Quartet in A Major as just an imitation of Mozart’s masterpiece. Though the two composers were the same age when they wrote these quartets (29), Beethoven was still feeling his way with a form Mozart had mastered, and though he may have chosen Mozart as a model, this music sounds in every measure like young Beethoven. The opening Allegro is built on two nicely-contrasted ideas–a soaring opening theme and a darker, more melodic second idea–and Beethoven asks for a repeat of both exposition and development. The opening of the minuet belongs entirely to the violins, with the second violin gracefully following and commenting on the first’s theme; the trio section–with the theme in the middle voices under the first violin’s drone–is surprisingly short.

Longest of the movements, the Andante cantabile offers five variations on the simple falling-and-rising idea announced at the beginning; particularly effective are the fugal first variation, the first violin’s staccato triplets in the second, the expressive fourth (which Beethoven marks sempre pp), and the exuberant fifth. A long coda leads to a restatement of the theme and a quiet close. The energetic and good-natured finale is in sonata (rather than the expected rondo) form. The opening melody leaps smoothly between instruments, and Beethoven offers a quiet chorale as the second theme. The writing for all four voices is extremely accomplished here, and on the energy of the opening idea the music rushes to its close, which brings a sudden and surprisingly quiet concluding chord.

String Quartet in A Major, Opus 18, No. 5
Approximate Duration: 21 minutes

Beethoven’s manuscript for the Quartet in F Minor is dated October 1810, but almost certainly he continued to work on this quartet for some years after that, and it was not published until 1816. This quartet has a nickname, “Quartetto Serioso,” that–unusually for a musical nickname–came from the composer himself. Well aware of the music’s extraordinary character, Beethoven described the quartet as having been “written for a small circle of connoisseurs and . . . never to be performed in public.” Joseph Kerman has described it as “an involved, impassioned, highly idiosyncratic piece, problematic in every one of its movements, advanced in a hundred ways” and “unmatched in Beethoven’s output for compression, exaggerated articulation, and a corresponding sense of extreme tension.” Yet this same quartet–virtually the shortest of Beethoven’s string quartets–comes from the same period as the easily accessible “Archduke” Trio, the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, and the incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont, and this music’s extraordinary focus and tension seem sharply at odds with those scores. In fact, this quartet in many ways prefigures Beethoven’s late style and the great cycle of quartets written during his final years.

The first movement is extraordinarily compressed (it lasts barely four minutes), and it catapults listeners through an unexpected series of key relationships. The unison opening figure is almost spit out, passing through and ending in a “wrong” key and then followed by complete silence. Octave leaps and furious restatements of the opening figure lead to the swaying second subject, announced in flowing triplets by the viola. The development section of this (highly modified) sonata-form movement is quite short, treating only the opening theme, before the movement exhausts itself on fragments of that theme.

The marking of the second movement, Allegretto ma non troppo, might seem to suggest some relief, but this movement is even more closely argued than the first. The cello’s strange descending line introduces a lovely opening melody, but this quickly gives way to a long and complex fugue, its sinuous subject announced by the viola and then taken up and developed by the other voices. A quiet close (derived from the cello’s introduction) links this movement to the third, a violent fast movement marked Allegro assai vivace ma serioso. The movement is in ABABA form, the explosive opening section alternating with a chorale-like subject for the lower three voices which the first violin decorates. Once again, Beethoven takes each section into unexpected keys. The last movement has a slow introduction–Larghetto espressivo–full of the darkness that has marked the first three movements, and this leads to a blistering finale that does much to dispel the tension. In an oft-quoted remark about the arrival of this theme, American composer Randall Thompson is reported to have said: “No bottle of champagne was ever uncorked at a better moment.” In contrast, for example, to the near-contemporary Seventh Symphony, which ends in wild celebration, this quartet has an almost consciously anti-heroic close, concluding with a very fast coda that Beethoven marks simply Allegro.

Some have felt that the Quartet in F Minor is composed with the same technique as the late quartets but without their sense of spiritual elevation, and in this sense they see the present quartet as looking ahead toward Beethoven’s late style. But it is unfair to this music to regard it simply as a forerunner of another style. This quartet may well be dark, explosive, and extremely concentrated. But it should be valued for just those qualities.

String Quartet in E-flat Major, Opus 127
Approximate Duration: 37 minutes

When Russian prince Nikolai Golitsyn wrote to Beethoven in the fall of 1822 to commission three string quartets, his request met a sympathetic response: the composer had been thinking about writing string quartets for some time and promised to have the first done within a month or two. After seven years of intermittent activity he had resumed sustained composing in 1820 with a set of three piano sonatas, but other projects now intervened, and despite the prince’s frequent inquiries Beethoven had to complete the Missa Solemnis, Diabelli Variations, and Ninth Symphony before he could begin work on the first of the three quartets in the summer of 1824. This quartet–in E-flat major–was not complete until February 1825. Performed immediately by the string quartet of Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the music was a failure at its première on March 6, 1825. Furious, Beethoven quickly had it rehearsed and performed by a quartet led by Joseph Böhm. The composer attended their rehearsals and supervised their interpretation (though deaf, he could follow their performance by watching the movement of their bows). The second performance was successful, and this quartet was performed publicly at least ten more times in 1825–an extraordinary number of performances for a new work–and always to great acclaim.

That fact is important because it undercuts the notion that Beethoven’s late quartets were far ahead of their time. Certain features of the late quartets did defy quick comprehension, but this was not true of the Quartet in E-flat Major. At first glance, this is the most traditional of Beethoven’s late quartets. It has a relatively straightforward structure: a sonataform first movement, a variation-form slow movement, a scherzo in ABA form, and a dance-finale. But to reduce this music to such simplicity is to miss the extraordinary originality beneath its appealing and gentle surface.

In the first movement, Beethoven seems to set out intentionally to blur the outlines of traditional sonata form, which depends on the opposition of material. Contrast certainly seems to be implied at the beginning, which opens with a firm chordal Maestoso, but this Maestoso quickly melts into the flowing and simple main theme, marked Allegro (Beethoven further specifies that he wants this melody performed teneramente–“tenderly”–and sempre piano e dolce). The powerful Maestoso returns twice more, each time in a different key, and then drops out of the movement altogether; Beethoven builds the movement almost exclusively out of the opening melody and an equally-gentle second subject. Here is a sonata-form movement that does not drive to a powerful climax but instead remains understated throughout: the movement evaporates on a wisp of the opening Allegro theme.

Two softly-pulsing measures lead to the main theme of the Adagio, a gently-rocking and serene melody introduced by the first violin and repeated by the cello. There follow six melodic variations, each growing organically out of the previous one until the music achieves a kind of rhapsodic calm–and the original theme has been left far behind. Four sharp pizzicato chords introduce the scherzo, and these four chords then vanish, never to reappear. The fugue-like opening section, built on a dotted figure and its inversion, leads to a brief–and utterly different–trio section. In E-flat minor, this trio whips past in a blistering blur: Beethoven’s phrase markings here stretch over twenty measures at a time. Beethoven brings back the opening section, then offers a surprise at the ending by including a quick reminiscence of the trio just before the cadence.

The last movement has proven the most difficult for commentators, perhaps because of its apparent simplicity. Marked only Finale (there is no tempo indication), it opens with a four-measure introduction that launches off in the wrong direction before the true main theme appears in the first violin. Of rustic simplicity, this melody has been compared to a country-dance, and the second theme–a jaunty march-tune decorated with grace notes–preserves that atmosphere. The tunes may be innocent, but Beethoven’s treatment of them in this sonata-form movement is quite sophisticated, particularly in matters of modulation and harmony. The ending is particularly striking. At the coda Beethoven re-bars the music in 6/8, moves to C major, and speeds ahead on violin trills, chains of triplets, and shimmering textures. The very end, back in E-flat major, is calm, resounding–and perfect.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by James Chute
In the Takács Quartet’s illuminating, all-Beethoven program, we’ll hear Beethoven learning the principles of the string quartet genre in the String Quartet No. 5, expanding those principles in No. 11, and transcending them in No. 12, the first of his five celebrated late string quartets. We’ll talk about some of basics that Beethoven mastered, the rules that had been perfected by Haydn and Mozart, and how Beethoven broke them to go beyond any other composer of his era, and some would say any era, in his string quartets.

Takacs QuartetRecognized as one of the world's great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire.

In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the Takács Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, in North America, throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Appointed in 2012 as the first-ever Associate Artists at Wigmore Hall in London, the Takács will present six concerts per season there. Other European engagements include performances in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

In 2013-2014, the Takács returns to Japan and Singapore, and will also perform Bartók Cycles throughout the U.S., including performances at Ravinia, Carnegie Hall, Princeton, Kennedy Center, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Boston, and Cleveland. The Quartet recently toured in North America with pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin and Garrick Ohlsson, including concerts at New York's Lincoln Center.

The Quartet's award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven Cycle on the Decca label. In 2005 the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy. Of their performances and recordings of the Late Quartets, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote "The Takács might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present."

In 2006 the Takács Quartet made their first recording for Hyperion Records, of Schubert's D804 and D810. A disc featuring Brahms' Piano Quintet with Stephen Hough was released to great acclaim in November 2007 and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy. Brahms' Quartets Op. 51 and Op. 67 were released in the fall of 2008 and a disc featuring the Schumann Piano Quintet with Marc-Andre Hamelin was released in late 2009. The complete Haydn "Apponyi" Quartets, Op. 71 and 74 were subsequently released, followed in 2012 by the Schubert Quintet CD with Ralph Kirshbaum. The three Britten Quartets will be released in 2013.

The Quartet has also made sixteen recordings for the Decca label since 1988 of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble's recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and, in 1999, was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to the Beethoven String Quartet cycle recording, the ensemble's other Decca recordings include Dvořák's String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51 and Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 with pianist Andreas Haefliger; Schubert's Trout Quintet with Mr. Haefliger, which was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award; string quartets by Smetana and Borodin; Schubert's Quartet in G Major and Notturno Piano Trio with Mr. Haefliger; the three Brahms string quartets and Piano Quintet in F Minor with pianist András Schiff; Chausson's Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; and Mozart's String Quintets, K515 and 516 with Gyorgy Pauk, viola.

The quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2007 it performed, with Academy Award–winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Everyman" in Carnegie Hall, inspired by the Philip Roth novel. The group collaborates regularly with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, performing a program that explores the folk sources of Bartók's music. The Takács performed a music and poetry program on a fourteen city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky. In 2010 the Takács collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven's last quartets. The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. The Quartet's commitment to teaching is enhanced by summer residencies at the Aspen Festival and at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. The Takács is a Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics' Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the Quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Mr. Tapping in 2005. In 2001 the Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight's Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit Commander's Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

The Takács Quartet last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on January 17, 2015.

For more information visit www.takacsquartet.com

Jan
14
Sat
LOUIS LORTIE
Jan 14 @ 8:00 pm
LOUIS LORTIE @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

LOUIS LORTIE, piano
“LISZT AT THE OPERA – mostly with Wagner”

A little over 200 years since the birth of Richard Wagner, French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie brings his homage to the iconic opera composer to La Jolla Music Society. Featuring piano transcriptions by Hugo Wolf, Mozart, Liszt and Mr. Lortie himself, arias and orchestral interludes from Wagner’s operas will be heard in this solo piano recital.

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WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde , (trans. Louis Lortie)
Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre , (trans. Hugo Wolf)
LISZT Réminiscences de Don Juan, S.418
WAGNER Siegfried Idyll (trans. Josef Rubinstein)
“O du mein holder Abendstern” from Tannhäuser, (trans. Franz Liszt)
Overture to Tannhäuser, (trans. Franz Liszt)

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Louis Lortie, piano

by Eric Bromberger

LISZT AT THE OPERA — MOSTLY WITH WAGNER On this evening’s recital Louis Lortie plays a program of music from operas that has been arranged for piano. Such arrangements were common in the nineteenth century, when virtuoso performers would use themes from popular operas–tunes their audiences would already recognize–to create completely new works with which they could demonstrate their own virtuosity. These pieces went under a variety of names–fantasy, reminiscence, paraphrase–and they were essentially new compositions based on themes by other composers. But sometimes composers would make literal piano versions of music from opera–or the concert hall–and here their intentions were more generous: they wanted to bring unfamiliar music to audiences that might not otherwise hear it. The name for such faithful arrangements was transcription, and Liszt made piano transcriptions of such works as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Beethoven’s symphonies, Weber’s overtures, and many more.

On this program Mr. Lortie offers both these approaches, including a reminiscence of a Mozart opera and a paraphrase of the end of a Wagner opera, plus fairly literal transcriptions of music from Wagner’s operas, made by a number of different composers.

Prelude und Liebestod (trans. Liszt) from Tristan und Isolde (trans. Louis Lortie)

RICHARD WAGNER
Born May 22, 1813, Leipzig
Died February 13, 1883, Venice
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

During the 1850s Wagner was at work on the operas that would make up The Ring of the Nibelungen. He completed Das Rheingold in 1854 and Die Walküre in 1856 and immediately set to work on Siegfried. Partway through Act I of Siegfried, however, Wagner’s plans took an unexpected detour when he became fascinated by the ancient Irish legend of Tristan and Iseult, lovers who find fulfillment only in death. He laid aside his work on Siegfried for three years and composed Tristan und Isolde between 1856 and 1859.

Even before the opera was premièred in Munich in 1865 Wagner had led orchestral excerpts from it in concerts, and the most important of these involves a remarkable piece of compositional surgery: Wagner took the very beginning of the opera–its opening prelude–and the very ending–Isolde’s farewell to life–and fused them in an orchestral work he called Prelude and Love-Death. This reduces the four-hour opera to a sixteen-minute distillation that moves directly from its yearning beginning to Isolde’s ecstatic fulfillment in death at the very end, and it has remained one of the most popular orchestral excerpts from Wagner’s operas.

It is also one of the most remarkable works in the repertoire, so remarkable that many feel that modern music (whatever that is) begins with the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde. The Prelude opens this tale of unfulfilled love with music that is itself the very embodiment of unfulfilled longing–a falling cello line intersects dissonantly with a rising oboe line, and that harmonic clash does not resolve. That same pattern repeats in a new key, again without resolution. It will never resolve. The music’s failure ever to find harmonic stasis mirrors the lovers’ failure to find fulfillment in life, and–despite the beauty of the music–its effect is intentionally unsettling. Berlioz confessed that he was “completely baffled” when he heard Wagner conduct the Prelude in Paris in 1859, and he was quite right to feel assaulted. This music annihilated the conception of a tonal center decades before those other two works that have seemed to launch modern music–Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring–were conceived (and before either of those two composers had even been born).

The Prelude–built on a series of longing, surging phrases– comes to a quiet close on two deep pizzicato strokes, and the music continues directly into the concluding Liebestod, or Love-Death. It was Wagner himself who invented that name, though he considered calling this concluding excerpt Verklärung, or Transformation. Tristan has died, and Isolde– dying herself–clings to his body and finds in death the union that the two could never achieve in life. The Liebestod is built on a sonority quite different from the Prelude, full of shimmering sounds that mirror Isolde’s transfiguration.

Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre (trans. Hugo Wolf)) Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

At the end of Die Walküre, the second opera of the Ring cycle, Wotan faces a horrifying decision. Siegmund and his enemy Hunding are about to fight to the death, and Wotan and his daughter Brünnhilde clash over that fight. As king of the gods, Wotan must abide by the rules of marriage and cannot protect Siegmund, but Brünnhilde disobeys him and sides with Siegmund. The furious Wotan allows Hunding to kill Siegmund, then kills Hunding with a wave of his hand. In the opera’s final scene, Wotan punishes Brünnhilde by making her mortal and putting her to sleep on the top of a mountain. In a moving farewell to his daughter, he surrounds her with a magic fire that can be penetrated only by a hero worthy of her love, and this is accompanied by some of the most beautiful music in the entire Ring, Wotan’s Farewell to Brünnhilde and the Magic Fire Music. The Magic Fire Music begins quietly. Tentative at first, the flames slowly expand to surround and protect Brünnhilde, and Die Walküre winds down to its quiet and very moving conclusion as the flames flicker around Wotan’s sleeping daughter.

The Magic Fire Music is heard on this recital in a little-known arrangement by Hugo Wolf. One of the most ardent of Wagnerians, Wolf made what he called a Paraphrase über Die Walküre von Richard Wagner in 1880, when he was still a 20-year-old. That substantial paraphrase, well over twenty minutes long, freely treats themes from throughout the opera, but it concludes with a fairly literal version of the Magic Fire Music. On this recital Mr. Lortie plays only the Magic Fire Music.

Réminiscences de Don Juan, S.418

FRANZ LISZT
Born October 22, 1811, Raiding, Austria
Died July 31, 1886, Bayreuth, Germany
Approximate Duration: 15 minutes

The “Don Juan” of this French title is actually Don Giovanni of Mozart’s great opera. Liszt wrote this paraphrase on themes from Don Giovanni in 1841, just as he turned 30 and was at the crest of his fame as a touring virtuoso. Unlike some of Liszt’s paraphrases, which string together tunes from an opera, the Réminiscences de Don Juan is a much more carefully conceived composition. Liszt chose three characteristic scenes from the opera and treated each in turn and at some length. The result is a very serious piece of music–it has been described as “symphonic”–which is remarkable not just for the virtuosity of the writing but for imagination of Liszt’s treatment of Mozart’s ideas.

The three scenes Liszt chose are quite different, and each shows us a different face of Mozart’s opera. The opening section is a powerful extension of the music that accompanies one of the most dramatic moments in the opera– the appearance of the statue at Don Giovanni’s dinner party at the very end of the final act, when the Don is dragged down into hell. Liszt then turns to Don Giovanni and Zerlina’s great duet from Act I, Là ci darem la mano, as he attempts to seduce her. This is one of the best-loved melodies in all music (Chopin and others have also written variations on it), and here Liszt evolves two long variations. The extended final section is based on what has been called the “champagne aria”–Don Giovanni’s Finch’han dal vino from Act I, when he orders Leporello to prepare a party at which he plans to seduce as many women as possible. It is a sparkling aria in the opera, and Liszt uses its drive to energize his own virtuoso treatment. It all comes to a brilliant close, and it is no surprise that Liszt performed this music so often (or that it proved so popular with nineteenth-century audiences).

In our own day, when it may seem sacrilegious to “tamper” with a masterpiece like Don Giovanni, it is important to remember that we do not come to this music to hear Mozart but to hear what Liszt does with Mozart: Humphrey Searle has remarked that this piece is “Mozart- Liszt and not Mozart, and one should appreciate it for what it is.” And what it is, is quite impressive: over its nearly twentyminute span this paraphrase reminds not just of the greatness of Mozart but of Liszt’s own powerful musical personality.

Siegfried Idyll (trans. Josef Rubinstein)

RICHARD WAGNER
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

An understanding of Wagner’s lovely Siegried Idyll requires some knowledge of the details of that composer’s irregular personal life. In 1864, at the age of 51, Wagner began an affair with 27-year-old Cosima von Bülow, daughter of Franz Liszt and wife of pianist-conductor Hans von Bülow. Wagner and Cosima’s daughter Isolde was born the following April, on the same day von Bülow conducted the first rehearsal of Tristan und Isolde. All concerned agreed to keep details of the situation a secret, and the infant’s birth certificate listed von Bülow as the father, Wagner as the godfather. Cosima bore Wagner two more children, a daughter Eva in 1867 and a son Siegfried in 1869, and moved in with him in 1868. Finally, in 1870–after a six-year relationship and three children–the couple was married.

That fall, Cosima became aware that Wagner was working on a project he would not describe to her, and for good reason–it was to be one of the best surprises in the history of music. On Christmas morning, Cosima–asleep with eighteen-month-old Siegfried–awoke to the sound of music. Her husband had secretly composed and rehearsed a piece for small orchestra, and now that orchestra–arranged on the staircase leading to Cosima’s bedroom–gave this music its most unusual première.

This music was not just a token of love and a Christmas present, but also a birthday present–Cosima had turned 33 a few weeks earlier. She treasured this music, which is full of private meanings for the couple: it is based on themes from Wagner’s (as yet unperformed) opera Siegfried, but it also uses a child’s cradlesong and other themes with personal meaning for Wagner and Cosima. Their private title for the piece was Tribschen Idyll: they were living at Tribschen on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland at the time, and Cosima felt that the music was an embodiment of their life and love in these years. When in 1878, pressed for cash, Wagner had the music published (under the now-familiar title Siegfried Idyll), Cosima confessed in her diary: “My secret treasure is becoming common property; may the joy it will give mankind be commensurate with the sacrifice I am making.”

As good love music should be, Siegfried Idyll is gentle, warm, and melodic. Listeners familiar with the opera Siegfried will recognize some of the themes, all associated with the young hero Siegfried: his horn call, the bird call from the Forest Murmurs sequence, and others. Wagner also quotes, in the oboe near the beginning, the old cradlesong “Sleep, Little Child, Sleep.” The Siegfried Idyll is heard on this concert in a transcription by Josef Rubinstein.

“O du mein holder Abendstern” from Tannhäuser (trans. Franz Liszt) Approximate Duration: 6 minutes

Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner shared a long and–at times–difficult relationship. During his years as music director in Weimar, Liszt championed Wagner’s music and conducted a number of his operas, including Tannhäuser. But in 1865 Liszt’s daughter Cosima abandoned her husband Hans von Bülow, ran off with Wagner, and eventually married him. Liszt was furious with both Cosima and Wagner and remained estranged from them until a reconciliation was worked out in 1872.

If Liszt could disapprove of Wagner’s actions, he nevertheless admired his music, and he made piano transcriptions of music from eleven of Wagner’s operas. Liszt’s paraphrases or transcriptions of other composers’ opera excerpts could sometimes be quite free, as in the Réminiscences de Don Juan heard earlier on this program, but it is a measure of Liszt’s respect for Wagner’s operas that these transcriptions were usually quite respectful–they were almost always straightforward and literal, as are the two hear on this program.

The idea of the redemptive power of love would engage Wagner throughout his life: it lies at the core of Der fliegender Holländer, Tristan und Isolde, the Ring Cycle, and even in some ways in Parsifal. It is also central to Tannhäuser, which Wagner composed between 1843 and 1845. Set in the thirteenth century, the opera tells of the minstrel-knight Tannhäuser, who is trapped by the sensual claims of Venusberg and is living a dissolute life in that grotto of love. Weary of the flesh and longing for something purer and finer, he appeals to the Virgin Mary and instantly finds himself back in his native Thuringia, where he once loved the pure Elizabeth. Sensing where he has been, the locals turn piece was Tribschen Idyll: they were living at Tribschen on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland at the time, and Cosima felt that the music was an embodiment of their life and love in these years. When in 1878, pressed for cash, Wagner had the music published (under the now-familiar title Siegfried Idyll), Cosima confessed in her diary: “My secret treasure is becoming common property; may the joy it will give mankind be commensurate with the sacrifice I am making.”

As good love music should be, Siegfried Idyll is gentle, warm, and melodic. Listeners familiar with the opera Siegfried will recognize some of the themes, all associated with the young hero Siegfried: his horn call, the bird call from the Forest Murmurs sequence, and others. Wagner also quotes, in the oboe near the beginning, the old cradlesong “Sleep, Little Child, Sleep.” The Siegfried Idyll is heard on this concert in a transcription by Josef Rubinstein.

Overture to Tannhäuser (trans. Franz Liszt) Approximate Duration: 15 minutes

The overture to Tannhäuser is built on the same conflict that underlies the opera: the collision between the pure and the sensual. The overture opens with stately music from the “Pilgrim’s Chorus,” sung in Acts II and III by those on their way to and from Rome. This soon gives way to the Venusberg music, which accompanies the bacchanalian sensuality that has seduced the young knight. This music seems powerful enough to us today, but to generations past it was overwhelming in its sensuality. In The Victor Book of the Symphony (1941), Charles O’Connell described it as “the maddest music in the orchestral repertoire; a music so delirious, so powerfully suggestive of forbidden orgies, of insanely drunken exuberance, of fearsome passions turned loose in terrible play, of frenzies and rages and fierce intolerable ecstasies, as to leave the senses reeling and words stopped in the mouth.” Wagner builds the overture on the collision between these very different kinds of music, and it eventually drives to an overpowering climax, full of great cascades of instrumental sound.

Liszt made his (fairly literal) transcription of the overture in 1849, just a few years after the première of Tannhäuser. It has always been regarded as one of the finest of his Wagner transcriptions, particularly for the way Liszt is able to make a single piano unleash the same sort of furious sonority an orchestra can.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by Steven Cassedy
Testing the limits of the pianoforte. Wagner strove for the Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), with mega-compositions designed to blend theatre, poetry, and music into one colossal multi-sensory experience. Liszt strove to test the limits of the pianoforte, which grew tremendously in size over the course of his career. Is a piano reduction a fit vehicle for the total artwork of Wagner, or must we experience Liszt’s transcriptions as simply compositions of an entirely different order?

Louis LortieThe brilliant and highly-esteemed French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has extended his interpretative voice across a broad range of repertoire rather than choosing to specialize in one particular style. The London Times has identified the artist’s “combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have”.

He has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, OSESP/Sao Paulo, the Royal Philharmonic, and toured with the Leipzig Gewanhaus, the La Scala Orchestra and with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. Upcoming engagements include the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and recitals at London’s Wigmore, in Aldeburgh, Detmold, Berlin, Bonn, Florence, Sao Paulo, and at the Bergen Festival and the Raiding Liszt Festival.

Mr. Lortie has performed with the world’s leading conductors, including Riccardo Chailly, Jaap Van Zweden, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Neeme Järvi, Sir Andrew Davis, Emmanuel Krivine, Sir Mark Elder, Andres Orozco-Estrada and Osmo Vänskä. His play/conducting engagements are with great orchestras world-wide.

He has made more than 45 recordings for the Chandos label, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky, including a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the complete Liszt “Annees de Pelerinage”, which was named one of the ten best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker Magazine. His recording of the Lutosławski Piano Concerto with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony received high praise, as did a recent Chopin recording (he is recording all of Chopin’s solo piano music for Chandos), which was named one of the best recordings of the year by the New York Times. Many recordings are planned, including the just-released Chopin Waltzes, Saint Saens’ Africa, Wedding Cake, and Carnival of the Animals with Neeme Jarvi and the Bergen Philharmonic, Rachmaninov’s complete works for two pianos with Helene Mercier, Poulenc works for piano and orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic, Faure piano works, and Scriabin piano works. For the Onyx label, he has recorded two highly-acclaimed CDs with violinist Augustin Dumay.

Louis Lortie studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of the legendary Alfred Cortot), in Vienna with Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was also prizewinner at the Leeds Competition. He has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.

For more information, visit www.louislortie.com

Louis Lortie last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Frieman Family Piano Series on January 30 2011.

Jan
20
Fri
KRONOS QUARTET
Jan 20 @ 8:00 pm
KRONOS QUARTET @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Kronos Quartet

Synonymous with musical innovation, the Kronos Quartet is known for its unique artistic vision and fearless dedication to experimentation. For more than 40 years, this Grammy® Award-winning ensemble has been at the forefront of contemporary classical music, building an eclectic repertoire for string quartet through its collaborations with contemporary composers and genre-defying artists. For their La Jolla Music Society debut, Kronos Quartet bring a program of contemporary works by Ali-Zadeh, Terry Riley, Sofia Gubaidulina, Garth Knox and Wu Man, some of which were written especially for them.

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RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The MED at La Valencia Hotel.


FRABGHIZ ALI-ZADEHRəqs (Dance)
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
NICOLE LIZEÉDeath to Kosmische
N. RAJAMDadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail)
TERRY RILEYOne Earth, One People, One Love from Sun Rings
TANYA TAGAQSivunittini (arr. Jacob Garchik)
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
SOFIA GUBAIDULINAQuartet No. 4
GARTH KNOXSelections from Satellites:
I. Geostationary
II. Dimensions
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
WU MAN
(arr. Danny Clay)
Selections from Four Chinese Paintings:
III. Ancient Echo
IV. Silk and Bamboo
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
ALEXANDRA VREBALOVMy Desert, My Rose
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire

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Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Kronos Quartet

by Eric Bromberger

FIFTY FOR THE FUTURE Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s Rǝqs (Dance), Tanya Tagaq’s Sivunittinni, Garth Knox’s Satellites, Wu Man’s Four Chinese Paintings and Aleksandra Vrebalov’s My Desert, My Rose were commissioned as part of the Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, which is made possible by a group of adventurous partners, including Carnegie Hall and many others..

Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association launched, in the 2015/16 season, an exciting new commissioning initiative—Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Fifty for the Future will commission 50 new works—10 per year for five years— devoted to contemporary approaches to the quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The works will be created by an eclectic group of composers—25 men and 25 women. Kronos will première each piece and create companion digital materials, including scores, recordings, and performance notes, which will be distributed online for free. Kronos’ Fifty for the Future will present string quartet music as a living art form. Kronos, Carnegie Hall, and an adventurous list of project partners join forces to support this exciting new commissioning, performance, education, and legacy project of unprecedented scope and potential impact.

Rǝqs (Dance)

FRANGHIZ ALI-ZADEH
Born 1947, Baku, Azerbaijan

Composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was born in Azerbaijan,a republic of the Soviet States. She first came to prominence as a composer and performer while still a student of the celebrated composer Kara Karayev. Ali-Zadeh is highly regarded for her creativity and distinctive style. Her compositions draw from the vocabulary of modern European classical music, including the Second Viennese School, and incorporate the sounds of mugham (the main modal unit of Arabic music), music traditional to Azerbaijan.

About Rǝqs, Ali-Zadeh writes:

Rǝqs means ‘dance’ in Azerbaijani as well as in all other Turkic languages. In Azerbaijan, many different dances have existed since time immemorial: for men and women, heroic and lyric, fast and slow. And the tradition of accompanying all important life events with all kinds of dances has been preserved to the present day: engagements and weddings, harvest and farewells, birthdays and even dates of death. There are also burial dances that accompany the farewell to the deceased person. In this respect, the dance tradition remains very strong and current in Azerbaijan today, especially in rural areas. In my new piece for the Kronos Quartet, I have attempted to reflect some of the rhythms and configurations of Azerbaijani dances.”

Death to Kosmische

NICOLE LIZÉE
Born 1947, Baku, AzerbaijanBorn 1973, Gravelbourg, Canada

Nicole Lizée is a composer, sound artist and keyboardistbased in Montreal, Quebec. Her compositions range from works for large ensemble and solo turntablist featuring DJ techniques fully notated and integrated into a concert music setting, to other unorthodox instrument combinations that include the Atari 2600 video game console, Simon and Merlin handheld games, and karaoke tapes.

About Death to Kosmische, Lizée writes:

Death to Kosmische is a work that reflects my fascination with the notion of musical hauntology and the residual perception of music, as well as my love/hate relationship with the idea of genres. The musical elements of the piece could be construed as the faded and twisted remnants of the Kosmische style of electronic music. To do this, I have incorporated two archaic pieces of music technology (the Stylophone and the Omnichord) and have presented them through the gauze of echoes and reverberation, as well as through imitations of this technology as played by the strings. I think of the work as both a distillation and an expansion of one or several memories of music that are irrevocably altered by the impermanence of the mind. Only ghosts remain.”

Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by Margaret Dorfman and the Ralph I. Dorfman Family Fund.

Dadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail)

N. RAJAM
Born 1938, Chennai, India

Indian-American composer, Reena Esmail is a graduate of Juilliard and the Yale School of Music, and a 2011–12 Fulbright grantee to India. Her work draws elements from both Western and Hindustani (North Indian) classical music.

About Dadra in Raga Bhairavi, Esmail writes:

“Hindustani (North Indian) violinist N. Rajam occupies a rare and unique position in Indian music. While initially trained as a Carnatic (South Indian) violinist, she later adapted Carnatic violin technique to the performance of Hindustani music. N. Rajam plays in what is called the gakayi ang, the singing style, having trained on her instrument with such vocal legends as Omkarnath Thakur. Her melodies are direct and yet subtle: they seem, at once, guileless and ephemeral.

“This arrangement of N. Rajam’s Dadra in Raga Bhairavi sets her improvised violin solo into the medium of string quartet. Raga Bhairavi, normally rendered in the late morning hours, is often used throughout the day in its semi classical form (as heard here) in shorter, lighter pieces that come towards the end of a Hindustani classical performance. The metric cycle, Dadra, is also characteristic of a lighter piece of music. In this arrangement, the Dadra taal (metric cycle) is rendered on the body of the cello, as it imitates the strokes of the tabla (Hindustani percussion).”

Reena Esmail’s arrangement of N. Rajam’s Dadra in Raga Bhairavi was commissioned for Kronos Quartet by the David Harrington Research & Development Fund.

One Earth, One People, One Love from Sun Rings

TERRY RILEY
Born 1935, Colfax, California

Terry Riley’s evening-length composition Sun Rings includes sounds harvested from our solar system—the crackling of solar winds, the whistling of deep-space lightning, and other cosmic events. The NASA Art Program offered Kronos a commission to take these tones from outer space and create a musical work from them. Kronos’ David Harrington turned to longtime collaborator Riley to serve as the project’s composer.

The Sun Rings project was nearly de-railed by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, after which all parties concerned questioned Sun Rings’ relevance in the wake of the terrorist attacks and the impending war in Afghanistan. But then, as the Los Angeles Times put it: “Riley heard poet and novelist Alice Walker on the radio talking about how she had made up a September 11 mantra—‘One Earth, One People, One Love.’ It suddenly occurred to him that contemplating outer space could be a way to put the problems on Earth into perspective.” Alice Walker’s mantra provided a title and focal point for Sun Rings’ concluding movement. Furthermore, the sound of Walker’s voice intoning the words “One Earth, One People, One Love” became an integral component of the movement itself.

As Riley describes his fully realized, post-September 11 conception of Sun Rings: “This work is largely about humans as they reach out from Earth to gain an awareness of their solar system neighborhood….Space is surely the realm of dreams and imagination and a fertile feeding ground for poets and musicians. Do the stars welcome us into their realms? I think so or we would not have made it this far. Do they wish us to come in Peace? I am sure of it.”

Sun Rings was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the NASA Art Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Multi-Arts Production Fund, Hancher Auditorium/University of Iowa, Society for the Performing Arts, Eclectic Orange Festival/Philharmonic Society of Orange County, SFJAZZ, Barbican, London, U.K., and University of Texas Performing Arts Center, Austin (with the support of the Topfer Endowment for Performing Arts). Additional contributions from Stephen K. Cassidy, Margaret Lyon, Greg G. Minshall, and David A. and Evelyne T. Lennette made this work possible

Sivunittinni (arr. Jacob Garchik)

TANYA TAGAQ
Born 1975, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada

Tanya Tagaq’s unique vocal expression is rooted in Inuit throat singing, but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture. Her contribution to Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future project marks another chapter in a longstanding creative association with the group. Appearances with Kronos have included a performance at the Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, Tennessee) in 2015 and work on the album Tundra Songs. Tagaq’s album Animism won the Polaris Music Prize in 2014 and a Juno Award in 2015. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from her alma mater, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax.

About Sivunittinni, Tagaq writes:

Sivunittinni, or ‘the future ones,’ comes from a part of a poem I wrote for my album, and is the perfect title for this piece. My hope is to bring a little bit of the land to future musicians through this piece. There’s a disconnect in the human condition, a disconnect from nature, and it has caused a great deal of social anxiety and fear, as well as a lack of true meaning of health, and a lack of a relationship with what life is, so maybe this piece can be a little bit of a wake-up.

“Working with the Kronos Quartet has been an honour. We have a symbiosis that allows a lot of growth musically. They teach me so much, I can only hope to reciprocate. Kronos has gifted me the opportunity to take the sounds that live in my body and translate them into the body of instruments. This means so much because the world changes very quickly, and documenting allows future musicians to glean inspiration from our output.”

String Quartet No. 4

SOFIA GUBAIDULINA
Born 1931, Chistopol, Soviet Union

Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg. Gubaidulina’s compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the “Astreia” ensemble, of which she was a co-founder.

Of String Quartet No. 4, Gubaidulina writes:

“What interested me especially with this piece was how the ‘real’ arises from the ‘unreal’: the ‘real’ normal play of arco or pizzicato arising from the ‘unreal’ transparent sounds of rubber balls on the strings; the ‘real’ on-stage playing of the quartet arising from the ‘unreal’ playing by the same musicians on a pre-recorded tape; the ‘real’ colored lights arising from the ‘unreal’ white and black (white and black, after all, represent the absence of light; color becomes ‘unreal’ within them).

“As such, three trinities unfold: the sound of the quartet and its two recorded hypostases; the real form and its two recorded satellites; and the creative reality of the play of light and its two unreal protagonists of complete light and complete darkness.

“All the details of the piece—both its material essence and its compositional design—are derived from the basic idea that ‘real genuine’ is born of the ‘unreal artificial’ (and not the reverse). For me, this idea was best expressed in T. S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets.’ I would be pleased if my composition were to be heard and perceived as a musical response to the creative world of that great poet.”

Sofia Gubaidulina’s String Quartet No. 4 was commissioned for Kronos by Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman, the Barbican (London), and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris). Kronos’ recording of String Quartet No. 4 can be found on the Nonesuch recordings Night Prayers and Kronos Quartet: 25 Years.

Satellites

GARTH KNOX
Born 1956, Dublin, Ireland

Garth Knox is one of today’s leading performers of contemporary music, and his formative experience as a member of Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain and then as violist of the Arditti Quartet has given him a very comprehensive grasp of new music. Stimulated by the practical experience of working on a personal level with composers such as Boulez, Ligeti, Berio, Xenakis, and many others, he channels and expands this energy when writing his own music.

Tonight’s performance features the first and third movements of Satellites, about which Knox writes:

“In space, the seemingly simple idea of standing still becomes a complex notion, demanding great precision and enormous effort, and is achievable only by travelling at great speed. In ‘Geostationary’, I wanted to capture this paradox in music, with always at least one instrument (usually the viola) in perpetual mechanical motion while the violins try to float their static melody, which never succeeds in leaving the starting note behind and falls back each time into the vacuum. At regular intervals their stationary orbit sweeps our four astronauts through a meteor shower where they are bombarded by high-energy micro-particles scattering in every direction.

“‘Dimensions’ deals with the many possible dimensions which surround us, represented by the physical movements of the bow through space. In the first dimension, only vertical movement is possible. In the second, only horizontal movement along the string is possible. Then only circular motion, then alternating between the two sides of the bow (the stick and the hair). The fun really starts when we begin to mix the dimensions, slipping from one to another, and the piece builds to a climax of spectacular bow techniques including the ‘whip’ and the ‘helicopter’, producing a huge range of otherworldly sounds.”

Four Chinese Paintings (arr. Danny Clay)

WU MAN
Born 1963, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy® Award– nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music.

Tonight’s performance features two final movements of Four Chinese Paintings, about which Wu Man writes:

“After two decades of collaborating with the Kronos Quartet, I am finally beginning to understand Western string instruments. With the group’s encouragement and support, I was able to write this—my first composition for string quartet.

Four Chinese Paintings is a suite consisting of four short pieces. In traditional Chinese music, there is often a poetic title that serves as a prompt foundation for musical content and style. I decided to continue this traditional form in this piece by presenting four traditional Chinese paintings.

“The inspiration for these paintings came from several styles of Chinese folk music, including Uyghur music (western China, border of Central Asia) and tea-house music from my hometown of Hangzhou. My wish is for the audience to experience—to ‘see’—the Chinese landscapes, and to hear each of the four stories in their local dialects. More important, listeners will experience Chinese culture.

“Writing a piece for string quartet was a great challenge for me. Though I have written and improvised countless works for the pipa, composing for Western string instruments was a brand new experience. My creative process began with improvising on the pipa, building layer upon layer until I had all four instrumental parts composed. I then worked with Danny Clay to arrange the piece.

“I’d like to thank Kronos for their trust and encouragement, for letting me be a part of their Fifty for the Future project, and for giving me this opportunity to share my musical culture with young string quartets around the world!”

My Desert, My Rose

ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV
Born 1970, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Aleksandra Vrebalov, a native of the former Yugoslavia, left Serbia in 1995 and now lives in New York City. She has written more than 60 works, ranging from concert music, to opera and modern dance, to music for film. Her works have been commissioned and/or performed by the Kronos Quartet, Serbian National Theater, Carnegie Hall, Moravian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic and Providence Festival Ballet.

About My Desert, My Rose, Vrebalov writes:

My Desert, My Rose consists of a series of patterns open in length, meter, tempo, and dynamics, different for each performer. The unfolding of the piece is almost entirely left to each performer’s sensibility and responsiveness to the parts of other members of the group. Instinct and precision are each equally important in the performance of the piece. The patterns are (notated as) suggested rather than fixed musical lines, so the flow and the length of the piece are unique to each performance. The lines merge and align to separate and then meet again, each time in a more concrete and tighter way. The piece ends in a metric unison, like a seemingly coincidental meeting of the lines predestined to reunite. It is like a journey of four characters that start in distinctly different places, who, after long searching and occasional, brief meeting points, end up in the same space, time, language.

“The writing of this piece, in a form as open and as tightly coordinated at the same time, was possible thanks to 20 years of exposure to rehearsal and performance habits of the Kronos Quartet, a group for which I have written 13 out of 14 of my pieces involving string quartet.”


FOR THE KRONOS QUARTET/KRONOS PERFORMING ARTS ASSOCIATION:
Managing Director Janet Cowperthwaite
Artistic Administrator Sidney Chen
Development Manager Mason Dille
Production & Tour Associate Sarah Donahue
Development Associate Lauren Frankel
Sound Designer Scott Fraser
Communications Manager Sasha Hnatkovich
Production & Artistic Services Director Gregory T. Kuhn
Communications & Marketing Associate Reshena Liao
Office Manager Nikolás McConnie-Saad
Strategic Initiatives Director Kären Nagy
Business Operations Manager Lucinda Toy

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by James Chute
It’s hard to think of a greater contrast to the Takács Quartet’s series-opening all-Beethoven concert than this extraordinary program by the Kronos Quartet. Encompassing nine works by composers from Ireland to Azerbaijan to China (by way of Escondido), many of them women, all living in the 21st century, using sources ranging from folk song (composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh) to “MTV videos, rave culture, Hitchcock…” (composer Nicole Lizée), this program promises a journey in every sense of the word. We’ll explore some of the common elements between these diverse composers, and in the process confront a more basic question: What makes music, music?

Kronos QuartetFor more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 850 works and arrangements for string quartet. A Grammy winner, Kronos is also the only recipient of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize.

Since 1973, Kronos has built a compellingly eclectic repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Webern, Schnittke), contemporary composers (John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Aleksandra Vrebalov), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Maria Schneider, Thelonious Monk), rock artists (guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Brazilian electronica artist Amon Tobin, Icelandic group Sigur Rós), and artists who defy genre (performance artist Laurie Anderson, composer/sound sculptor/inventor Trimpin, and singer-songwriter/poet Patti Smith).

Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including: “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley, on projects such as the NASA-commissioned Sun Rings (2002) and The Serquent Risadome (2014); Philip Glass, including an all-Glass CD in 1995 and the premiere of String Quartet No. 6 in 2013; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, featured on the 2005 CD Mugam Sayagi; Steve Reich, including Kronos’ recording of the Grammy-winning composition Different Trains (1989) and WTC 9/11 (2011); and many more.

Kronos has also collaborated with performers from around the world, including the Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, legendary Bollywood “playback singer” Asha Bhosle; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; and the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks. Kronos has also performed live and/or recorded with artists such as Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, Rhiannon Giddens, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, David Bowie, and rock bands The National, Nine Inch Nails, and Sigur Rós. In dance, the famed choreographers Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Eiko & Koma, and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León (Nederlands Dans Theater) have created pieces with Kronos’ music.

Kronos’ work has been featured prominently in film, including two recent Academy Award–nominated documentaries: the AIDS-themed How to Survive a Plague (2012) and Dirty Wars (2013), an exposé of covert warfare. Kronos also recorded full scores by Philip Glass (for Mishima and Dracula) and by Clint Mansell (Noah, The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream) and has contributed music to 21 Grams, Heat, and other films.

The quartet tours extensively each year, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Big Ears, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Barbican in London, WOMAD, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including the Nonesuch releases Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers that simultaneously topped Billboard’s Classical and World Music lists; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2004 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite, featuring renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. Among the group’s recent releases are Aheym: Kronos Quartet Plays Music by Bryce Dessner (Anti-, 2013) and two 2014 Nonesuch releases: Kronos Explorer Series, a five-CD retrospective boxed set; and the single-disc A Thousand Thoughts, featuring mostly unreleased recordings from throughout Kronos’ career. 2015 brought the release of Tundra Songs by Derek Charke as well as a boxed set of Terry Riley’s music written for and performed by Kronos. Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos have released two editions of Kronos Collection sheet music: Volume 1 (2006) and the new Volume 2 (2014), featuring six Kronos-commissioned arrangements by composer Osvaldo Golijov.

With a staff of 11 based in San Francisco, the non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert toursand home-season performances, and educational program. KPAA’s Kronos: Under 30 Project, features a unique commissioning and residency program for composers under age 30. KRONOS PRESENTS is a new presenting program showcasing Kronos’ commissioned works, artistic projects, and musical collaborations through an annual festival, education and community activities, and other events in the Bay Area and beyond.

In 2015 KPAA launched a new commissioning and education initiative – Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. With Carnegie Hall as lead partner, KPAA is commissioning 50 new works – by 5 women and 5 men each year for five years – devoted to contemporary approaches to the quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The quartet will premiere each piece and create companion materials, including scores and parts, recordings, videos, performance notes, and composer interviews, to be distributed online for free. Through this model, Kronos’ Fifty for the Future will providing young musicians with both an indispensable library of learning and a blueprint for their own future collaborations with composers. Kronos, Carnegie Hall, and an adventurous list of project partners that includes presenters, academic institutions, foundations and individuals, have joined forces to support this exciting new initiative of unprecedented scope and potential impact.

This performance marks Kronos Quartet's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Jan
22
Sun
EDGAR MOREAU, cello
Jan 22 @ 3:00 pm
EDGAR MOREAU, cello @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Edgar Moreau, cello

2009 Young Soloist Prize Winner at Rostropovich Cello Competition

Edgar Moreau performs a program of works cello by J.S. Bach, Franck,
Schnittke and Chopin. Edgar Moreau will be joined by Jessica Xylina Osborne on piano.

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Edgar Moreau, cello
Jessica Xylina Osborne, piano

J.S. BACHSonata No. 3 in G Minor for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard, BWV 1029
FRANCKSonata in A Major for Cello and Piano
SCHNITTKESonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano
CHOPINIntroduction and Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Edgar Moreau, cello

by Eric Bromberger

Sonata No. 3 in G Minor for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard, BWV 1029

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig
Approximate Duration: 15 minutes

A viola da gamba was–and still is, for that matter–a viol held between the legs when it is played. It is the counterpart of the viola da braccia, which was held beneath the chin or against the chest. Eventually the viola da braccia grew somewhat smaller and became the modern viola (its original name survives in the German word for viola: Bratsche). As a performing instrument, the viola da gamba essentially disappeared, to be kept alive only by enthusiasts for performances on original instruments, and most modern performances of Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord are given by either viola or cello with piano accompaniment.

It has been difficult to date the three sonatas Bach wrote for this combination of instruments. Are they from his years as Kapellmeister at the court of Anhalt-Cöthen (1717-1723), when he wrote the greater part of his secular music and served a prince who played the viola da gamba? Or do they come from his tenure as cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig? No one is sure. Perhaps sensibly, the editors of The New Grove Dictionary throw up their hands and play it safe, noting that these sonatas were written sometime between 1720 and 1739. These sonatas are notable for the liberation of the keyboard part: no longer is it relegated to providing a simple bass line beneath the melodic instrument, and here the two instruments become equal partners in the musical enterprise.

In the first two sonatas, Bach adopted the sequence of movements of the Italian sonata di chiesa, or church sonata: slow-fast-slow-fast. But the Sonata in G Minor is the only one without an opening slow movement: Bach opts for a threemovement form opening with a vigorous Vivace–the firmlyaccented main theme here is somewhat reminiscent of the opening of his Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The other two sonatas have an Andante slow movement, but here Bach sets the middle movement at a slower tempo: this Adagio attains a sort of nobility on its long-spanned melodic lines and the steady accompaniment in the piano. The concluding Allegro seems at first to promise a fugue, but this is in fact very accomplished imitative writing, with the melodic line slipping smoothly between the stringed instrument and keyboard as each has the principal part, then steps back to echo the other.

Sonata in A Major for Cello and Piano

CÉSAR FRANCK
Born December 10, 1822, Liege
Died November 8, 1890, Paris
Approximate Duration: 28 minutes

This cello sonata is an arrangement, made shortly after Franck’s death, of his Violin Sonata in A Major, originally composed in 1886. This sonata is one of the finest examples of Franck’s use of cyclic form, a technique he had adapted from his friend Franz Liszt, in which themes from one movement are transformed and used over subsequent movements. The Sonata in A Major is a particularly ingenious instance of this technique: virtually the entire work is derived from the quiet and unassuming opening of the first movement, which then evolves endlessly across the sonata. Even when a new theme seems to arrive, it will gradually be revealed as a subtle variant of one already heard.

The piano’s quiet fragmented chords at the beginning of the Allegretto ben moderato suggest a theme-shape that the cello takes over as it enters: this will be the thematic cell of the entire sonata. The piano has a more animated second subject, but the gently-rocking cello figure from the opening dominates this movement, and Franck reminds the performers constantly to play molto dolce, sempre dolce, dolcissimo.

The mood changes completely at the fiery second movement, marked passionato, and some critics have gone so far as to claim that this Allegro is the true first movement and that the opening Allegretto should be regarded as an introduction to this movement. In any case, this movement contrasts its blazing opening with more lyric episodes, and listeners will detect the original theme-shape flowing through some of these.

The Recitativo–Fantasia is the most original movement in the sonata. The piano’s quiet introduction seems at first a re-visiting of the germinal theme, though it is–ingeniously–a variant of the passionato opening of the second movement. The cello makes its entrance with an improvisation-like passage (this is the fantasia of the title), and the entire movement is quite free in both structure and expression: moments of whimsy alternate with passionate outbursts.

After the expressive freedom of the third movement, the finale restores order with pristine clarity: it is a canon in octaves, with one voice following the other at the interval of a measure. As this movement proceeds it recalls thematic material from earlier movements. Gradually, the music takes on unexpected power and drives to a massive (perhaps too massive) coda and a thunderous close.

Franck wrote this sonata for his fellow Belgian, the great violinist Eugene Ysaÿe, who gave the première in Brussels in November 1886. The composer Vincent D’Indy recalled that première: “The violin and piano sonata was performed . . . in one of the rooms of the Museum of Modern Painting at Brussels. The seance, which began at three o’clock, had been very long, and it was rapidly growing dark. After the first Allegretto of the sonata, the performers could scarcely read the music. Now the official regulations forbade any light whatever in rooms which contained paintings. Even the striking of a match would have been matter for offense. The public was about to be asked to leave, but the audience, already full of enthusiasm, refused to budge. Then Ysaÿe was heard to strike his music stand with his bow, exclaiming [to the pianist], “Allons! Allons!” [“Let’s go!”] And then, unheard-of marvel, the two artists, plunged in gloom . . . performed the last three movements from memory, with a fire and passion the more astounding to the listeners in that there was an absence of all externals which could enhance the performance. Music, wondrous and alone, held sovereign sway in the darkness of night.”

Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano

ALFRED SCHNITTKE
Born November 24, 1934, Engels
Died August 3, 1998, Hamburg
Approximate Duration: 22 minutes

Alfred Schnittke’s Cello Sonata No. 1 dates from 1978, when the composer–then 44–was still living in Moscow. This was a particularly productive period for Schnittke. In 1976 he completed the moving and impressive Piano Quintet and the following year he composed the two works that suddenly established his name in the West: the Concerto Grosso No. 1 and his notorious cadenza for the Beethoven Violin Concerto, which brought him equal measures of fame and excoriation. Schnittke had always been regarded as a part of what little avant-garde the Soviet Union had, and the Cello Sonata No. 1–bleak and dark–flew in the face of every canon of Social Realism; one Western critic has gone so far as to describe this sonata as “a grim portrait of Brezhnev gloom.”

The Cello Sonata No. 1 is in the traditional three movements, but Schnittke reverses expectations with a slowfast- slow sequence of movements. The opening Largo is quite brief. Cello and piano seem to inhabit different worlds here, so dissimilar is their music. The cello sings a brooding and melancholy meditation into which the piano makes the briefest of intrusions. But those intrusions bring whiffs of order into this bleak world, tiny glimpses of consonance and clarity amid the darkness.

By complete contrast, the Presto is a phantasmagoric rush, a perpetual-motion movement that is broken by abrasive, assaultive episodes. The cello opens with seemingly-endless ostinato-figures, and into this rush the piano explodes like a series of pistol shots; along the way the music is driven by almost mindless little tunes full of manic energy. Yet there are some wonderful sounds in this percussive movement, and it drives to a sonorous climax.

Longer than the first two movements combined, the concluding Largo incorporates some of the spirit (and the music) of both those movements. It opens with the cello’s jagged song of grief, and over the long span of this movement Schnittke spins music of a bleak but somber beauty. At the end, its energy spent, the sonata drifts into silence.

Introduction and Polonaise Brillante, Opus 3

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN
Born February 22, 1810, Z• elazowa Wola, Poland
Died October 17, 1849, Paris
Approximate Duration: 9 minutes

In the fall of 1829, Chopin–nineteen years old, restless, dissatisfied with his career, and upset by the political troubles in Poland–was sent by his father to spend some time as a guest at the estate of Prince Radziwiłł in Antonin. Radziwiłł was a cellist, a composer, and a generous man. More to the point, he had two beautiful teenaged daughters, Wanda and Elise, and Chopin made a happy visit with the Radziwiłł family. Wanda was a pianist, and–as a gift to Wanda and her father Chopin composed a polonaise for the two of them to play together. Chopin made his motives clear in a letter to a friend: “I have written an alla Polacca for the violoncello with accompaniment. It is nothing more than a glittering trifle for the salon, for ladies. I wanted Princess Wanda, the daughter of the cello-playing Prince, to learn it. She is still very young– perhaps seventeen–and beautiful.” Presumably father and daughter did play this music that fall, and Chopin wrote a slow introduction for it the following year; the music was published in 1831 under the title Introduction and Polonaise Brillante.

Despite Chopin’s disparagement of this music as “a glittering trifle,” it is considerably more difficult than he makes it sound, and in fact Wanda and her father must have been first-rate musicians if they could manage this piece. As its name implies, a polonaise is of Polish origin. In its original form, it was in triple time and at a moderate tempo, and it could be sung or danced as part of ceremonial processions. By the eighteenth century it had become a dance form, and in his thirteen polonaises for piano Chopin transformed it into a brilliant and fast dance fired by his intense national feelings. Here he makes it a pleasing display piece for cello and piano. A lengthy introduction, full of long runs for the piano, eventually grows quite animated and leads into the Alla Polacca, which Chopin marks Allegro con spirito. Chopin may mark the piano part elegantamente near the start, but soon he is reminding the duo to play con forza and brillante. This is exciting music, and it drives to a grand close.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Young artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

Edgar Moreau“The rising star of the French cello,” 21-year-old cellist Edgar Moreau consistently captivates audiences with his effortless virtuosity and dynamic performances (Le Figaro Magazine). He won First Prize in the 2014 Young Concert Artists International Auditions after capturing, at the age of 17, Second Prize and the Prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work at the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition under the chairmanship of Valery Gergiev. In 2013, he was named “New Talent of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique in France, and in 2015, he was named “Solo Instrumentalist of the Year.” As recipient of the 2015 Arthur Waser Award, he receives a grant of CHF 25,000 and makes his debut with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Moreau has been selected as one of the European Concert Hall Organization’s 2016-2017 Rising Stars, and will embark upon a European tour of more than a dozen major concert halls including Barbican, Concertgebouw and Musikverein. He was awarded six concert prizes at the YCA Auditions and is recipient of the Florence Gould Foundation Fellowship of YCA. His album of Baroque concertos was released earlier this season on the Warner Classics label.

Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as concerto performances abroad with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National de France. Mr. Moreau makes his recital debuts in the Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center on January 26 and in New York at Merkin Concert Hall in the Peter Jay Sharp Concert on February 2. He gives recitals at the Harriman-Jewel Series, Missouri State University, the Center for Arts in Natick, the Port Washington Library, Congregation Rodef Shalom, the Levine School of Music, the Embassy Series, and Festival Bach de Montréal. This season, he appears in chamber music concerts in France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan.

He has soloed with the Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra in Poland (Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor), the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France (Myung-Whun Chung, conductor), the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra in Toulouse (under Valery Gergiev), the Orchestre National de France in Paris, the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (under Jean-Claude Casadesus), the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Switzerland, and in Asia with the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Mr. Moreau is in frequent demand as a chamber musician and has worked with the Talich, Prazak, Modigliani and Ebene Quartets, and pianists Nicholas Angelich and Jean-Frederic Neuburger. He has performed at Poland’s Easter Festival in Warsaw, the Radio France Montpellier Festival, the Colmar Festival, the Evian Festival, La Folle Journée in Nantes and Tokyo, the Verbier Festival, Edinburgh Festival, and at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Born in 1994 in Paris, Edgar Moreau began playing the cello at the age of four and the piano at six. He studied with Philippe Muller at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, and currently works with Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy. His first CD, “Play,” a collection of short pieces, is available on Warner Classics label. He plays a David Tecchler cello, dated 1711.

This performance marks Edgar Moreaus's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Emerson String QuartetHailed by The Washington Post as a pianist “with a refreshing mellowness and poetic touch” after her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, Jessica Xylina Osborne is one of the most intensely expressive and passionate artists of her generation. An avid soloist, collaborator, chamber musician, and teacher, Ms. Osborne has collaborated with some of the world’s most distinguished performing musicians and has performed widely in the United States, Europe, and Far East, including performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Seoul Arts Center. Radio broadcasts include NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR in New York, and WGMS in Washington, D.C., among others.

This season, Ms. Osborne embarks on a recital project presenting works by women composers, both past and present. She holds degrees in solo piano performance from Indiana University and Rice University, and recently fulfilled the requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance at Yale University. Her major teachers and mentors include Claude Frank, Emile Naoumoff, Jon Kimura Parker, Seymour Lipkin, Marjorie Lee, and her mother, Patricia Osborne. This performance marks Jessica Xylina Osborne's La Jolla Music Society debut

Feb
10
Fri
BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET
Feb 10 @ 8:00 pm
BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Branford Marsalis Quartet
with Special Guest Kurt Elling

The Branford Marsalis Quartet will be joined by guest-vocalist Kurt Elling in a singular collaboration of musical forces. The tight-knit working band featuring Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums rarely invites other musicians into the folds of their nearly telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways. Energized by the artistic promise of this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new arrangements to perform with this special line-up and will be looking beyond the Great American Songbook. Although following the format of a standard jazz quartet with vocals, the collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singers should prove to be anything but standard.

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RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The Westgate Hotel.


Branford MarsalisBranford Marsalis has stayed the course. From his early acclaim as a saxophonist bringing new energy and new audiences to the jazz art, he has refined and expanded his talents and his horizons as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator – a 21st Century mainstay of artistic excellence.

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands. A growing fascination with jazz as he entered college gave him the basic tools to obtain his first major jobs, with trumpet legend Clark Terry and alongside Wynton in Art Blakey’s legendary Jazz Messengers. When the brothers left to form the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, the world of uncompromising acoustic jazz was invigorated. Branford formed his own quartet in 1986 and, with a few minor interruptions in the early years, has sustained the unit as his primary means of expression. Known for the telepathic communication among its uncommonly consistent personnel, its deep book of original music replete with expressive melodies and provocative forms, and an unrivaled spirit in both live and recorded performances, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard to which other ensembles of its kind must be measured. Its most recent recording, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes, was named Best Instrumental Jazz Album in 2012 by iTunes.

Branford has not confined his music to the quartet context. In addition to guest turns with a legion of giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, he has excelled in duets with several major pianists, including his boyhood friend Harry Connick, Jr. and the longtime pianist in his quartet, Joey Calderazzo. Branford’s first solo concert, at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, is documented on his latest recording, In My Solitude.

Classical music inhabits a growing portion of Branford’s musical universe. With a repertoire including works by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams, Villa-Lobos and Sally Beamish (who reconceived a work in progress, “Under the Wing of the Rock,” to feature Branford’s saxophone after hearing him perform one of her earlier pieces), Branford is frequently heard with leading symphony orchestras including those in Chicago, Detroit, Dusseldorf and North Carolina as well as the New York Philharmonic. He also served as Creative Director for the Cincinnati Symphony’s Ascent series in 2012-13.

Broadway has also welcomed Branford’s contributions. His initial effort, original music for a revival of August Wilson’s Fences, garnered a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play and a Tony nomination for Best Original Score Written for the Theater.

Branford also provided music for The Mountaintop, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, and served as musical curator for the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Branford’s screen credits include the original music for Mo’ Better Blues and acting roles in School Daze and Throw Momma from the Train.

ranford formed the Marsalis Music label in 2002, and under his direction it has documented his own music, talented new stars such as Miguel Zenón, and un-heralded older masters including one of Branford’s teachers, the late Alvin Batiste. Branford has also shared his knowledge as an educator, forming extended teaching relationships at Michigan State, San Francisco State and North Carolina Central Universities and conducting workshops at sites throughout the United States and the world.

As for other public stages, Branford spent a period touring with Sting, collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby, served as Musical Director of The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and hosted National Public Radio’s widely syndicated Jazz Set. The range and quality of these diverse activities established Branford as a familiar presence beyond the worlds of jazz and classical music, while his efforts to help heal and rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina mark him as an artist with an uncommonly effective social vision. Together with Harry Connick, Jr. and New Orleans Habitat for Humanity, Branford conceived and helped to realize The Musicians’ Village, a community in the Upper Ninth Ward that provides homes to the displaced families of musicians and other local residents. At the heart of The Musicians’ Village stands the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a community center dedicated to preserving the rich New Orleans musical legacy containing state-of-the art spaces for performance, instruction and recording.

Some might gauge Branford Marsalis’s success by his numerous awards, including three Grammys and (together with his father and brothers) his citation as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. To Branford, however, these are only way stations along what continues to be one of the most fascinating and rewarding journeys in the world of music. Brandord Marsalis last performed for La Jolla Music Society as a Special Event in October, 2014.

For more information visit www.branfordmarsalis.net


Kurt EllingGrammy® winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last fourteen years and has been named "Male Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An interntional jazz award winner, he has also been GRAMMY nominated a dozen times.

Elling's rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.

The New York Times declared, "Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time." The Washington Post added, "Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz." Elling was the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore and Monterey Jazz Festivals. He has also written multi-disciplinary works for The Steppenwolf Theatre and the City of Chicago. The Obama Administration's first state dinner featured Elling in a command performance.

Elling is a renowned artist of vocalese—the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling has set his own lyrics to the improvised solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. He often incorporates images and references from writers such as Rilke, Rumi, Neruda and Proust into his work. The late poet and Bollingen Prize winner Robert Creeley wrote, "Kurt Elling takes us into a world of sacred particulars. His words are informed by a powerful poetic spirit." Said Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, "In Kurt Elling's art, the voice of jazz gives a new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music."

Kurt Elling has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences throughout the world. In that time he has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world's finest orchestras. Passion World, Kurt Elling's latest recording, culminates nearly five years of collecting and honing songs – and in some cases writing new lyrics – that express love, romance and heartbreak around the world. Throughout his travels, Elling has observed how deeply-felt passions are shaped in countless ways be each unique culture. Those insights hve guided the creation of Passion World, a tour-de-force project that is vibrant with diversity, celebrating what makes us all human. In concert Elling tells rich stories about exotic places, cultures and times. Passion World is a musical magic carpet taking you on a fascinating journey through the realms of romance.

Feb
26
Sun
SEONG-JIN CHO, piano
Feb 26 @ 3:00 pm
SEONG-JIN CHO, piano  @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Seong-Jin Cho, piano

2015 First Prize Winner 17th international Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition

Award-winning pianist Seong-Jin performs works by Berg, Schubert and Chopin

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Seong-Jin Cho, piano

BERGPiano Sonata, Op. 1
SCHUBERTPiano Sonata in C Minor, D.958
CHOPIN24 Preludes, Op. 28

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Seong-Jin Cho, piano

by Eric Bromberger

Piano Sonata, Opus 1

ALBAN BERG
Born February 9, 1885, Vienna
Died December 24, 1935, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 12 minutes

In the fall of 1904, Alban Berg–nineteen years old– appeared on the doorstep of Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna with a portfolio of youthful compositions. He was answering Schoenberg’s newspaper advertisement for composition students, and that fall the older composer accepted Berg and another young man named Anton Webern as private students. Berg would remain a student of Schoenberg for the next six years, and the music he composed under Schoenberg’s guidance during the first decade of the century shows a steady growth in assurance and sophistication. Yet these first efforts–the Seven Early Songs, the Piano Sonata, and the String Quartet–are in some measure all transitional works: they show signs of Berg’s future direction (particularly in their motivic concentration), yet all three works remain firmly anchored in the late-romantic idiom of the turn of the century.

Berg’s Piano Sonata is very much a transitional work. He began it in the summer of 1907, after three years of study with Schoenberg, and completed it the following summer. The sonata is only one movement long, though Berg’s original plan had been to compose a piano sonata in traditional threemovement form. Having completed what was to be the first movement of that sonata, Berg found that he could make no headway on the second and third movements, and Schoenberg suggested that the young composer should regard the work as complete in its one-movement form. Berg felt satisfied enough with this music to consider it his Opus 1, and it was published by Universal Edition in 1910. The first public performance took place in Vienna on April 24, 1911.

Listeners may be struck by just how traditional this movement is, for it conforms in many ways to the form of the classical piano sonata. While it is written with a great deal of harmonic freedom, it has a home key and even a key signature (B minor), and Berg honors classical form to the extent of offering a repeat of the exposition. The remarkable thing about this music is Berg’s ability to generate an entire structure out of tiny motivic fragments, most of which are presented in the opening measures. These are expanded into a full sonata-form structure, recapitulated, and brought to a quiet–and emotionally-satisfying–close in unequivocal B minor. Berg notates this music with scrupulous care, with tempo fluctuations and dynamic gradations registered quite precisely. This is wide-ranging music in many senses: the writing spans almost the entire width of the keyboard, and its dynamic compass stretches from triple forte to triple piano.

Piano Sonata in C Minor, D.958

FRANZ SCHUBERT
Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 31 minutes

The year 1828 was both a miracle and a disaster for Schubert. The miracle lay in the level of his creativity: he completed his “Great” Symphony in C Major and several works for piano duet during the winter and spring, the Mass in E-flat Major over the summer, three piano sonatas in September, and the Cello Quintet in October. The disaster, of course, was his health. Never fully well after a year-long illness during 1822-23, Schubert went into sudden decline in the fall and died suddenly in November at age 31. Yet even at that age (an age at which Beethoven and Haydn were virtually unknown), Schubert had achieved an artistic maturity that makes the works of his final year among the most remarkable and moving in all of music.

Schubert began work on the Piano Sonata in C Minor on September 1, though evidence suggests that he was working from sketches made as long as a year earlier. Everyone feels the influence of Beethoven on this sonata; Schubert’s biographer John Reed believes that he was consciously trying to assume the mantle of Beethoven (who had died the previous year), and certainly the choice of key, the dramatic gestures, and the character of the thematic material suggest the older composer.

The beginning of the Allegro resounds with echoes of Beethoven, both in the emphatic opening chords and in the muttering, nervous main theme. Yet quickly this theme turns serene and flowing, reminding us to value this sonata as the music of Schubert rather than searching for resemblances to other composers. The chordal second subject is pure Schubert, and the extended development–built around the collision of these quite different kinds of music–brings a great deal of emotional variety. It also takes the pianist to the extreme ends of the keyboard before the (quite Beethovenian) close on a quiet C minor chord.

The Adagio, with its elegant, measured main theme, has also reminded many of that earlier master. Schubert marks the opening sempre ligato, yet with its fermatas and pauses and pounding triplets this movement too brings a range of expression. The Menuetto seems at first more conventional: the initial statement of the main theme is in octaves in the right hand, and soon Schubert is inserting one-measure rests that catch us by surprise as they break the music’s flow. The finale begins as what seems a conventional tarantella, yet it is remarkable for its rhythmic and harmonic variety. Throughout this extended movement, Schubert maintains the expected 6/8 meter of the tarantella, yet he accents that meter with such variety that the pulse sometimes feels completely different. Similarly, he moves with graceful freedom through a range of unexpected keys, including B major and C-sharp minor, so that this movement–while long–seems to be constantly evolving, right up to the two thunderous concluding chords.

Preludes, Opus 28

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN
Born February 22, 1810, Z• elazowa Wola, Poland
Died October 17, 1849, Paris
Approximate Duration: 30 minutes

As a small boy in Poland, Chopin fell in love with the keyboard music of Bach. Like Beethoven before him (and Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich after him), Chopin was particularly drawn to The Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach’s two sets of 24 preludes and fugues in all the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. Haunted by Bach’s achievement, Chopin wished to try something similar, and in 1836, shortly after completing his Études, Opus 25, he began to compose a series of short preludes, but it would take him three years to complete the entire set of 24. In the fall of 1838, Chopin sailed with George Sand to Mallorca, taking with him a number of Bach scores. On the island, living in an abandoned monastery high in a mountain village that was alternately bathed in Mediterranean sunlight and torn by freezing rainstorms, he completed the Preludes in January 1839; they were published in Paris later that year.

While certain scholars have heard echoes of Bach in the Preludes, this is very much the music of Chopin. And while these preludes do proceed through all the major and minor keys, Chopin does not write accompanying fugues, as Bach did: these are not preludes to anything larger, but are complete works in themselves. The entire set of 24 preludes lasts about 45 minutes, so these are concise essays in all the keys, and they encompass an enormous variety of technique, ranging from very easy preludes (played by every amateur pianist on the planet) to numbingly difficult ones, playable by only the most gifted performers. They cover an unusual expressive range as well, from the cheerful sunlight of some to the uneasy darkness of others.

Each prelude exists as an independent work and may be played separately, or the entire cycle may be played at once, revealing a full world of sharply contrasted moods and music. Rather than describing each prelude in detail, it may be best to let listeners discover each for themselves. Some of the best-known preludes are of course those accessible to non-professionals. These include No. 20 in C Minor, inevitably nicknamed “Funeral March” (Chopin despised all such subjective titles and the effort to attach programs to pieces he wished to have considered solely as music). Also in this category are the graceful No. 7 in A Major (only sixteen measures long) and No. 4 in E Minor, which however over familiar it has become–remains some of the most expressive music ever written. At the other extreme are such preludes as No. 8 in F-sharp Minor, with its nervous, driven quality, and No. 24 in D Minor, full of bravura brilliance. Many have noted Chopin’s unusual use of repeated chords or notes throughout the set: the tolling sound of these chords is used for quite different expressive purposes in No. 15 in D-flat Major (nicknamed the “Raindrop” by George Sand, to Chopin’s exasperation), in No. 17 in A-flat Major, and in many others.

One of the particular pleasures of a performance of the complete Preludes is not just to hear each individual prelude, some of which pass by in a matter of seconds, but to experience the totality of the world Chopin creates in this set. It is a world of the most dazzling variety, by turns cheerful, dark, lyric, dramatic, friendly, and terrifying, all superbly disciplined within the tight compass of the 24 keys. Bach would have found much of this music strange, but he would instantly have understood Chopin’s achievement in it.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Erica Hwang, a young violinist from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

SAINT-SAËNSIntroduction et rondo capriccioso, Op. 28 Erica Hwang , violin
Dr. Cho Hyun Park, piano
MENDELSSOHNAllegro molto appassionato from Violin Concerto, Op. 64 Erica Hwang , violin
Dr. Cho Hyun Park, piano

Yeawon (Erica) Hwang is a junior at Torrey Pines High School. She began playing the violin at the age of six and currently studies with Peichun Tsai. This is Erica’s sixth season as a violinist in the San Diego Youth Symphony, and she is currently the Jeffrey Dan Sollender Co-Concertmaster. As the winner of the 2016-17 SDYS Concerto Competition, Erica will perform the Barber Concerto with the Youth Symphony at Copley Hall in June. Erica has won awards such as the Chet and June Schmidt 1st Prize Award in the Helen B. Goodlin Scholarship Competition (2016), 1st in the VOCE State Finals for both Solo and Chamber (2015), 2nd in the MTAC Concerto Competition (2015), and 2nd in SDYS’s Ovation Concerto Competition (2015). She was also a finalist in the San Diego Symphony’s Young Artists Competition (2015). Erica has spent her summers at Le Domaine Forget Académie (2016), the International Youth Symphony (2014, 2015), and Idyllwild ChamberFest (2014). She also participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary China Tour in 2015, playing in the Oriental Arts Centre, the Polygrand Theatre, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. Erica has participated in masterclasses with Rachel Barton Pine, Régis Pasquier, Glenn Dicterow, Martin Chaulifour, and Kevork Mardirossian. Erica also engages in community service through music. This is her third year participating in SDYS’s Mentor Program at Casa de Amistad, where she teaches the violin and viola to children who cannot afford music lessons. She is also Regional Director for Back to BACH, a project which introduces classical music to young audiences.

Seong-Jin ChoSeong-Jin Cho was brought to the world’s attention in October 2015 when he won First Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Four years before he had won Third Prize at the Tchaikovsky competition, aged only 17. With his overwhelming talent and natural musicality, Seong-Jin Cho is rapidly embarking on a world-class career and is considered one of the most distinctive artists of his generation.

In January 2016, Seong-Jin Cho signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.

Born in 1994 in Seoul, Seong-Jin started studying the piano at 6 and gave his first public recital five years later. In September, 2008 at the age of 14, he won the First prize at the sixth Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition. In November, 2009 he won the First prize at the seventh Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan (youngest winner in its history).

Seong-Jin has performed with some of the world’s major orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Radio France Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, under renowned conductors such as Myung-Whun Chung, Lorin Maazel, Marek Janowski, Mikhail Pletnev, Valery Gergiev, and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Future engagements in 2016 and 2017 include concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Yuri Temirkanov, Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma and Valery Gergiev, Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev, Tokyo Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung, Orchestre de Paris and Tomás Netopil. Seong-Jin will play debut recitals at the Concertgebouw Recital Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, London International Piano series, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Prague Spring Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, and Carnegie Hall’s main hall.

Since 2012, Seong-Jin has been living in Paris. After studying with Prof. S.R. Park, S.J. Shin in Seoul, he studied with Michel Béroff at Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique.

This performance marks Seong-Jin Cho's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar
3
Fri
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mar 3 @ 8:00 pm
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SDYS Chamber Orchestra

Jeff Edmons, music director & conductor
Caroline Goulding, violin

La Jolla Music Society showcases the incredibly talented young musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra featuring Discovery Series Artist violinist Caroline Goulding playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.1 in B-flat Major.

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There are two opportunities to enhance your evening and enjoyment of this performance, both before and after the program:
HAPPY HOUR:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The LOT.


MOZARTOverture to Così Fan Tutte, K.588
MOZARTViolin Concerto No.1 in B-flat Major, K.207
BEETHOVENSymphony No.4 in B-flat Major, Op.60

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: SDYS Chamber Orchestra with Caroline Goulding, violin

by Eric Bromberger

Overture to Così fan tutte, K.588

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

Così fan tutte has always been Mozart’s “other” great opera, the one people remember after they have thought of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. Commissioned by Emperor Joseph II, Così fan tutte was premièred in Vienna on January 26, 1790 (the day before the composer’s 34th birthday) and was a great success, being produced ten times in that year alone. But the subject of the opera–the constancy (or, more accurately, the inconstancy) of women– has proven troublesome. The title Così fan tutte translates rather lasciviously “They all do it” (the article is feminine), and nineteenth-century audiences thought the whole thing immoral. Soon after its première, Così fell into a long obscurity from which it was rescued a century later by the young Richard Strauss, who recognized the sparkle and wit behind the at times acid-edged story.

Some of Mozart’s opera overtures have become staples of the concert hall, but the overture to Così has never become a particular favorite with audiences, who find it energetic and polished, but a trifle cool and detached. The brief overture opens with an Andante introduction, then rushes ahead at the Presto: rustling strings and chains of woodwind lines flow smoothly together, alternating with sections built on resounding chords for full orchestra. None of the music from the overture reappears in the opera, with one crucial exception: at the end of the Andante introduction, lower strings sound a solemn descending line that resolves into the huge chords that introduce the Presto. This music, which returns at the close of the overture, is taken from Don Alfonso’s aria near the end of the opera: “Tutti accusan le donne, ed io le scuso”: “All accuse women, and I excuse them.” That line becomes, in a sense, the moral of the opera, and Don Alfonso’s ringing words “Così fan tutte!” are set to the same chords that mark the end of the overture’s Andante introduction. Mozart clearly composed the overture after the opera was complete, and the one bit of music he included from the opera encapsulates the meaning of all that follows.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, K.207

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Approximate Duration: 21 minutes

Mozart wrote all five of his violin concertos in 1775, when he was 19, and they were probably first played by the court concertmaster in Salzburg, the Italian virtuoso Antonio Brunetti. The First dates from April, and another followed every few months thereafter until the series culminated in December with the magnificent “Turkish” Concerto. Scholars have been unanimous in recognizing a steady improvement with each successive installment of this series, and their praise for the Fifth has been lavish indeed: Alfred Einstein describes it “unsurpassed for brilliance, tenderness, and wit.”

So what–by implication–does such a progression say about the Violin Concerto No. 1? That it must be inferior? Not necessarily, but it is important to remember that this was a transition period in Mozart’s creative career–only a handful of the 200 works he had written to this date remain in the active repertory. When he wrote this concerto, in fact, Mozart had virtually no experience writing concertos: he had written only five piano concertos (and four of these were arrangements of music by other composers, made when he was 11) and the Bassoon Concerto. The mastery of Mozart’s mature piano concertos–in which concerto form provides the setting for the most acute opposition of soloist and orchestra, subtle development of musical material, and careful integration of virtuosity into the symphonic argument–was still some years in the future. In fact, many have noted an element of serenade style in Mozart’s violin concertos: they breathe an atmosphere of easy charm, tunefulness, and relaxed spirits well-suited to their goal of providing pleasing entertainment.

Certainly the Violin Concerto No. 1 is memorable for its profusion of cheerful themes, and so fertile is Mozart’s imagination here that no theme ever seems to come back literally; rather they are always in the process of evolving, growing, becoming ever more melodic. The Allegro moderato opens with a brief but crisp orchestral introduction, and the soloist quickly enters on the orchestra’s opening gesture. This movement is full of non-stop energy: there is no episode at a slower speed or of more lyrical character. Instead, this movement sparkles along with a sort of breathless impetuosity. By contrast, the Adagio brings an unending flow of melody. The orchestra lays out the silky main idea, and when the violin enters it is at first only to accompany a repetition of this theme; soon the violin takes wing with its own soaring material, and this movement sings gracefully throughout. The finale, aptly marked Presto, offers the greatest wealth of themes: one hears new ideas all the way through, as if each turn of phrase sets off Mozart’s imagination with new possibilities. Mozart’s use of material borders on the prodigal here: certain themes flash past and then vanish (one wishes, for example, that the orchestra’s slashing 32nd-note snaps from the very opening might return, but they never do). With its blazing passagework and wide melodic skips, this is the most overtly virtuosic of the three movements, yet it too dances and sings happily all the way to the close. Mozart offers the opportunity for cadenzas at the end of all three movements.

Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Opus 60

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 33 minutes

Over the second half of 1803, Beethoven composed his Third Symphony, the Eroica, and that white-hot symphony redefined what music might be. No longer was it a polite entertainment form–now it became a vehicle for the most serious and dramatic expression. Even as he was revising the Eroica, Beethoven began to have ideas for a new symphony, of similar scope and set in C minor, and he made some sketches for it. But he set these plans aside to take on another musical project based on the idea of heroism, the opera Leonore (later renamed Fidelio). Leonore occupied Beethoven for nearly two years, and it was not until 1806 that he had seen the opera through its première and revision.

In the summer of 1806 Beethoven accompanied his patron Prince Karl Lichnowsky to the prince’s summer palace at Troppau in Silesia. That September, composer and prince paid a visit to the nearby castle of another nobleman, Coun Franz von Oppersdorff. The count was a musical enthusiast almost without equal: he maintained a private orchestra at his castle and would hire new staff for the castle only if they played an instrument and could also play in his orchestra. During that visit, the orchestra performed Beethoven’s Second Symphony, and the count commissioned a new symphony from the composer: Beethoven would receive 500 florins, and in return Oppersdorff would get the dedication, the first performance, and exclusive rights to the music for six months. Beethoven returned to Lichnowsky’s palace and set to work on the symphony, but he did not use his sketches for a symphony in C minor. Instead, he composed his Fourth Symphony from completely new material.

Beethoven’s business dealings could sometimes be slippery, and so they were now. The composer got his 500 florins, but all Oppersdorff got in return was the dedication– Beethoven went ahead and had the Fourth Symphony premièred in Vienna on March 7, 1807, at a private concert that also saw the première of the Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Piano Concerto. Only after the Fourth Symphony had been premièred did Beethoven return to the sketches for a symphony in C minor he had made right after completing the Eroica. We know it today as the Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, begun before but completed after the Fourth Symphony.

The Fourth Symphony has inevitably been overshadowed by the titanic symphonies on either side of it, a relationship best captured in Schumann’s oft-quoted description of the Fourth as “a slender Greek maiden between two Nordic giants.” The Fourth does seem at first a relaxation, a retreat from the path blazed by the Eroica. Some have been ready to consider the Fourth a regression, and others have specifically identified the influence of Haydn on it: the symphony opens with the sort of slow introduction Haydn often used, and it employs the smallest orchestra of any Beethoven symphony (it has only one flute part). But Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is only superficially Haydnesque, and we need to be careful not to underestimate this music–the Fourth has a concentrated structure and enough energy that it achieves some of the same things as the Fifth, though without the darkness at the heart of that mighty symphony.

The originality of the Fourth Symphony is evident from its first instant–the key signature may say B-flat major, but the symphony opens in B-flat minor. Everything about this Adagio introduction feels strange. Not only is it in the wron key, but soon it seems to be in no clear key at all. It is hard to make out any thematic material or direction. And the pace of this uncertainty is very slow–in his study of Beethoven’s symphonies, Richard Osborne quotes Carl Maria von Weber’s derisive review of this opening: “Every quarter of an hour we hear three or four notes. It is exciting!” Yet Beethoven knows what he’s about, and he does the same thing in the introduction to his String Quartet in C Major, Opus 59, No. 3, written at exactly the same time: both works begin in a tonal fog, but those mists blow away with the arrival of the main body of the movement, marked Allegro vivace in both symphony and quartet.

That transition is done beautifully in the Fourth Symphony. As the music approaches the Allegro vivace, huge chords lash it forward, and when the main theme leaps out brightly, we recognize it as simply a speeded-up version of the slow introduction. That shape, so tentative at the very beginning, takes a variety of hard-edged forms in the main body of the movement: it becomes the second theme as well, presented by bassoon and other solo woodwinds, and it also forms an accompaniment figure, chirping along happily in the background. This is a substantial movement (much longer than the first movement of the Fifth), and it drives to a powerful close.

The Adagio may be just as original. It opens not with a theme but with an accompaniment: the second violins’ dotted rhythms (outlining the interval of a fourth) will tap into our consciousness all the way through this movement. First violins sing the main theme, which Beethoven takes care to mark cantabile. Hector Berlioz’s comments on this melody may seem a little over the top, but they do speak to its air of great calm: “the being who wrote such a marvel of inspiration as this movement was not a man. Such must be the song of the Archangel Michael as he contemplates the world’s uprising to the threshold of the empyrean.” The second subject, of Italianate ease, arrives in the solo clarinet and preserves some of this same atmosphere. Throughout, Beethoven continually reminds the orchestra to play not just cantabile but also espressivo, dolce, and legato. At the close, solo timpani very quietly taps out the movement’s accompaniment rhythm one final time before the movement concludes on two surprisingly fierce chords.

Beethoven marked the third movement Allegro vivace, and this is in every way a scherzo: its outer sections are full of rough edges and blistering energy, and its witty trio is built on a rustic woodwind tune spiced with saucy interjections from the violins. This movement has an unusual structure: Beethoven brings the trio back for a second appearance (the structure is ABABA) and drives it to a fun close–two horns attempt a fanfare of their own but are cut off when Beethoven brings down the guillotine blade of the full orchestra.

Out of that emphatic ending, the finale bursts to life, and it goes like a rocket. This movement may be in sonata form, but it feels like a perpetual-motion with a basic pulse of racing sixteenth-notes that hardly ever lets up. There is some relaxed secondary material along the way, but even this is at high speed, and finally the movement races to a grand pause. Out of that silence Beethoven slows the movement almost to a crawl (the perpetual-motion theme feels as if it has become stuck in glue), then suddenly releases it, and lower strings rush the symphony to its powerful concluding chords.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for an interview with Caroline Goulding hosted by Allison Boles.

SDYSChamber3Under the leadership of President and CEO Dalouge Smith and Music Director Jeff Edmons, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students ages 8 to 23 through rigorous and inspiring musical training experiences. Since 1945, SDYS has given thousands of musicians the opportunity to study and perform classical repertoire at a highly advanced level. SDYS attracts student musicians from throughout San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties and serves over 600 students annually through its 12 ensembles.

The organization’s preeminent ensemble, the SDYS Chamber Orchestra is comprised of the principal and assistant principal musicians from the advanced level Ovation Program and rehearses at an extraordinarily proficient level for a youth program. Provided the finest training, the Chamber Orchestra is given the opportunity to perform professional level repertoire from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra on a national and international stage. Most recently, select students of the San Diego Youth Symphony participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary tour to China and performed in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, San Diego’s sister city Yantai’s Poly Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai in June 2015.

SDYS Chamber Orchestra last performed at La Jolla Music Society in the San Diego Youth Symphony Series on December, 11 2015 San Diego Youth Symphony enjoys a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit www.sdys.org


Jeff-EdmondUnder Jeff Edmons' direction, the Youth Symphony has experienced tremendous growth, both in enrollment and in level of musical achievement. Performing the most difficult works in classical repertoire, SDYS achieves the highest standard attainable by a youth orchestra. SDYS' exemplary standards of skill and musicianship have afforded it the opportunity to participate in the most prestigious international festivals and perform with eminent guest artists and musicians from around the world.

Under Mr. Edmons direction, the Youth Symphony boasts a strong international presence as well as setting a benchmark for excellence in the United States. San Diego Magazine named Jeff Edmons as "50 People to Watch in 1997."

Mr. Edmons has dedicated himself to promoting youth music and youth education. He has led youth, collegiate and professional orchestras in critically acclaimed performances throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland. He has received numerous local and national invitations and awards for his achievements in music education. Mr. Edmons has also been featured in articles and journals honoring his work and has been the subject of documentaries on CNN, Fox Television, National Public Radio and many more.

He studied violin performance with Michael Davis, former Concertmaster of the Scottish National Orchestra, String Pedagogy with renown Pedagogue Dr. Robert Gillespie, and he studied Wind, Brass,Percussion Pedagogy and Wind Ensemble conducting with Craig Kirchoff, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Wind Orchestra and past President and Chair of the National College Band Director's Association.

Jeff Edmons and the San Diego Youth Symphony enjoy a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit www.sdys.org


Caroline GouldingNamed “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The 2015-2016 season brings forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony. Her upcoming recital CD release with pianist Danae Dörken including works by Schumann, Enescu, and Dvořák.

Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label and has appeared on NBC’s Today, MARTHA hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Caroline splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

This performance marks Caroline Goulding's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar
5
Sun
CAROLINE GOULDING, violin
Mar 5 @ 3:00 pm
CAROLINE GOULDING, violin  @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Caroline Goulding, violin

Recipient of the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant

Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, violinist Caroline Goulding performs a program entitled, “Storytelling” featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Szymanowski and Enescu. Ms. Goulding will be joined on stage by pianist Dina Vainshtein.

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Caroline Goulding, violin
Dina Vainshtein, piano<

MOZARTSonata for Piano and Violin in B-flat Major, K.454 (1784)
RAVELSonata in G Major for Violin and Piano (1923-1927)
SZYMANOWSKIMyths, Opus 30 (1915)
ENESCU Impressions d’enfance, Opus 28 (1940)

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Caroline Goulding, violin

by Eric Bromberger

Sonata for Piano and Violin in B-flat Major, K.454

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 19 minutes

Mozart wrote this sonata in Vienna in April 1784 for a series of concerts given by the violinist Regina Strinasacchi, a twenty-year-old Italian woman. Mozart played the piano at the first performance, which was attended by the emperor, and that occasion produced one of those unbelievable–but apparently quite true–Mozart anecdotes. Rushed for time, Mozart wrote out just the violin part and at the concert set only a blank sheet of paper before him; he then proceeded to play the entire piano part from memory. The manuscript shows the violin part written out in ink. Beneath it, the piano part–written in a different color ink–has been squeezed in later to fit the violin part. Even given Mozart’s extraordinary memory, playing a première from out of thin air is an act of stunning bravado.

It is all the more impressive when one sees how intricate and difficult this score is. Mozart’s early sonatas had been largely piano sonatas with violin accompaniment, and the violin could almost be eliminated with no loss of musical content. But Mozart gradually began to give more of the musical interest to the violin, and one of the glories of the Sonata in B-flat Major is the equal partnership of the two instruments, particularly in their easy exchange of phrases.

The first movement opens with an elegant Largo introduction, and the Allegro erupts after the slow introduction reaches a moment of repose; the development grows easily out of the cadence that ends the exposition. By contrast, the Andante is a long flow of melody. Mozart did not mark this movement cantabile, but he might well have, for it sounds like a long aria for the two instruments, which again share duties evenly. An ornate development leads to the quiet close. The concluding Allegretto opens with one of those seemingly never-ending themes, but almost instantly a melodic second idea occurs, and only when it has passed does one realize that Mozart has derived that idea from the opening. This movement is full of vigor and sweep, much of it propelled by powerful triplet rhythms. Together, the two instruments stamp out the powerful concluding cadence.

One wonders what was going through Mozart’s mind as he stood–before his blank sheet of paper–to acknowledge the applause at that first performance.

Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano

MAURICE RAVEL
Born March 7, 1875, Ciboure, France
Died December 28, 1937, Paris
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

Ravel began making sketches for his Violin Sonata in 1923, the year after he completed his orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He was composing a number of works for violin during these years, including Tzigane, but the Violin Sonata proved extremely difficult for him, and he did not complete it until 1927. The first performance, by violinist George Enesco and the composer, took place on May 30, 1927, in Paris while that city was still in a dither over the landing of Charles Lindbergh the week before.

In the Violin Sonata, Ravel wrestled with a problem that has plagued all who compose violin sonatas–the clash between the resonant, sustained sound of the violin and the percussive sound of the piano–and he chose to accentuate these differences: “It was this independence I was aiming at when I wrote a Sonata for violin and piano, two incompatible instruments whose incompatibility is emphasized here, without any attempt being made to reconcile their contrasted characters.” The most distinctive feature of the sonata, however, is Ravel’s use of jazz elements in the slow movement.

The opening Allegretto is marked by emotional restraint. The piano alone announces the cool first theme, which is quickly picked up by the violin. A sharply rhythmic figure, much like a drum tattoo, contrasts with the rocking, flowing character of the rest of this movement, which closes on a quietly soaring restatement of the main theme.

Ravel called the second movement Blues, but he insisted that this is jazz as seen by a Frenchman. In a lecture during his American tour of 1928, he said of this movement: “while I adopted this popular form of your music, I venture to say that nevertheless it is French music, Ravel’s music, that I have written.” He sets out to make violin and piano sound like a saxophone and guitar, specifying that the steady accompanying chords must be played strictly in time so that the melodic line can sound “bluesy” in contrast. The “twang” of this movement is accentuated by Ravel’s setting the violin in G major and the piano in A-flat major at the opening.

Thematic fragments at the very beginning of the finale slowly accelerate to become a virtuoso perpetual motion. Ravel brings back themes from the first two movements before the music rushes to its brilliant close, which features complex string-crossings for the violinist.

Myths, Opus 30

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI
Born October 6, 1882, Tymoszówka, Ukraine
Died March 29, 1937, Lausanne, Switzerland
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

World War I forced Szymanowski to remain in his native city of Tymoszówka in Poland, and there he composed prodigiously: the Symphony No. 3, Violin Concerto No. 1, and numerous songs, cantatas, and piano pieces all date from the first years of the war. Now in his early thirties, Szymanowski had only recently thrown off the influence of Wagner and Strauss to forge his own style, a style that grew in large measure from his exploration of Sicily and North Africa and from his new awareness of ancient cultures. Musically, this meant a style characterized by great attention to instrumental color, busy textures, and an expressionism that can verge on intoxicated ecstasy.

Szymanowski composed several works for violin and piano during this period, among them his three Myths, Opus 30 in 1915. Szymanowski had fallen in love with classical antiquity, and each of the three movements–The Fountain of Arethusa, Narcissus, and Dryads and Pan–is based on a different Greek myth. Arethusa was a nymph loved by both Artemis and the river god Alpheus. Bathing in a river, she was forced to flee underwater to the island Ortygia to escape Alpheus; on that island, Artemis transformed her into a fountain, but Alpheus followed, was himself transformed into a river, and so was united with Arethusa at last. Szymanowski makes no attempt to cast this myth in a “classical” style but instead sets The Fountain of Arethusa in a shimmering, postimpressionistic musical language. This is a display-piece for both instruments, from the delicate piano introduction (clearly the sound of the fountain) through the writing for violin, which has a sort of fantastic tonal opulence, soaring high in its range, slipping into passages played entirely in harmonics, and leaping between an extroverted brilliance and a reflective lyricism. The Fountain of Arethusa has become one of Szymanowski’s most popular works.

Narcissus was loved by Echo, but he was so consumed with himself that he rejected her; she in turn caused him to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool, where he withered away and was transformed into a flower. Szymanowski casts his Narcissus in a rondo-like form, with the violin’s principal melody returning in different keys and guises.

Dryads were tree-nymphs (the most famous of them was Eurydice, wife of Orpheus), and Pan the god of fields, forests, and flocks. Pan pursued the nymph Syrinx, who fled to the river Ladon and prayed to be turned into a reed; her prayer was granted, and Pan cut the reed and from it made his pipes. Szymanowski’s setting of this tale is notable for its brilliant writing for violin: Dryads and Pan offers the violinist a cadenza (rare in chamber music) and features quartertones and harmonics used to imitate the sound of Pan’s flute. Szymanowski wrote Myths for the Polish violin virtuoso Paul Kochanski and dedicated it to Kochanksi’s wife Sofia.

Impressions d’enfance, Opus 28

GEORGE ENESCU
Born August 19, 1881, Liveni Vîrnav, Romania
Died May 3/4, 1955, Paris
Approximate Duration: 23 minutes

George Enescu composed his Impressions d’enfance (“Memories of Childhood”) in Paris in 1940. This was early in World War II, the Germans had occupied Paris, and the 59-year-old composer may have been all too happy to flee the grim present reality and retreat to a more innocent time in his life. The Impressions d’enfance, which spans about twenty minutes, is in ten interconnected movements, each of them a specific memory from Enescu’s childhood. Given the circumstances of its creation, one might expect the Impressions d’enfance to be a nostalgic score, full of innocence and nursery tunes. Instead, this is music of extraordinary complexity, scaldingly difficult for both violinist and pianist and playable by only the most accomplished virtuosos. Yet somehow, in the midst of all its fierce technical challenges, the Impressions d’enfance manages to preserve some of the innocence and beauty of the composer’s memories of his childhood.

Impressions d’enfance is a scrupulously notated score. On the first page Enescu provides a list of detailed instructions for both performers, explaining exactly how he wants passages pedaled, dynamics observed, the weight of the bow distributed, and attacks made. The rhythmic complexity of this music is particularly noteworthy, and performers must take care to control the subtle ebb and flow of tempo throughout every movement. The subject of this music may be innocent–the technique is not.

Impressions d’enfance opens with a long passage (three minutes) for violin alone, titled Minstrel and full of Enescu’s childhood memories of the sound of gypsy violinists in his native Romania. The piano enters at the Old Beggar, and Enescu marks passages in this dark music malinconico and patetico. In Stream at the Bottom of the Garden, Enescu provides swirls, trills, and Chopin-like rhythmic sprays that give us some of the sound\ of that water. One of the most impressive movements in Impressions d’enfance is The Bird in the Cage and the Cuckoo on the Wall. Few composers ever have been able to create such convincing bird-songs as we hear from the two birds in this movement. The caged bird sings and chitters in the violin’s high register, while the sound of the cuckoo comes from hollow-sounding harmonics. One of the simplest movements, Lullaby sings gently; violin and piano play in unison throughout much of this cradle song. Cricket brings another amazing depiction of animal sounds. Enescu marks the violin part saltando (“jumping”) as the cricket sings its striking song. Moonlight through the Window brings not luminous calm, but complex glissandos, harmonics and grace-noted; Enescu instructs his players here to make their performance sognando (“dreaming”) and pensieroso (“thoughtful”). Wind in the Chimney belongs entirely to the violin, which creates these frightening sounds with ponticello (bowing right on top of the bridge to produce a grainy sound) and flautando bowing (bowing out over the fingerboard to produce a hollow, disembodied sound). These winds gradually build to a storm outside in the night, the piano returns, and the music drives to a great climax, then proceeds directly into the final movement, Sunrise. After all the spookiness and\ storminess of the preceding movements, Impressions d’enfance ends in a great blaze of D-major sunlight.

This is a very unusual piece of music, and it is almost unknown. Enescu, one of the great violinists of all time and a profound musical intelligence, reaches back across fifty years to recreate a series of memories from his childhood. This music, so difficult for its performers, somehow manages to transcend those difficulties and to charm its listeners.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Young artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

Caroline GouldingNamed “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The 2015-2016 season brings forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony. Her upcoming recital CD release with pianist Danae Dörken including works by Schumann, Enescu, and Dvořák.

Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label and has appeared on NBC’s Today, MARTHA hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Caroline splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

This performance marks Caroline Goulding's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Boston-based pianist Dina Vainshtein is known for her sensitive and virtuosic collaborations with some of the most promising musicians of recent years. Dina, a longtime Faculty Pianist for the Heifetz Institute, is the daughter of two pianists, and studied with Boris Berlin at the prestigious Gnessin Academy in Moscow. While there she received the Special Prize for the Best Collaborative Pianist at the 1998 Tchaikovsky International Competition. She came to the United States in 2000 to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she worked with Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, and her husband, Donald Weilerstein.

Her talents vaunted her to numerous performing opportunities, from Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York City, to the Caramoor Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Music Academy in the West at Santa Barbara, not to mention tours of Japan, China, Europe and Russia. To this day, Donald Weilerstein regards her as “an extraordinary collaborator. She is an extremely fine musician and one of the most empathetic, dynamic and supportive chamber players I know.” For nearly a decade Dina has been affiliated with the New England Conservatory and the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts.

This performance marks Dina Vainshtein's La Jolla Music Society debut

Mar
9
Thu
BRAD MEHLDAU
Mar 9 @ 8:00 pm

BRAD MEHLDAU, piano

American Jazz pianist and composer Brad Mehldau makes a welcome addition to the line-up for this season’s Piano Series. With a program structured around his own work, Three Pieces After Bach (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Mr. Mehldau juxtaposes several canonical pieces from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. This innovative exploration balances Mehldau’s own jazz style with the Bach masterpieces – a rarity of expression by this masterful improviser.

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RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at Whisknladle.


SoundsOfTheBaroqueLogo
 
 
 
 
La Jolla Music Society, Bach Collegium San Diego and the San Diego Early Music Society collectively celebrate J.S. Bach and his contemporaries in honor of Early Music Month with Sounds of the Baroque


J.S. BACHPrelude No. 3 in C-sharp Major, BWV 848 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach
          After Bach 1: Rondo
J.S. BACHPrelude No. 16 in C Major, BWV 870 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
Improvisation on Bach I
J.S. BACH Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885 from , Book II (ca. 1740)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach (2015)
          After Bach 2: Ostinato
J.S. BACHPrelude No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 851 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach (2015)
          After Bach 3: Toccata
J.S. BACHAllemande from Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828 (1728)
Improvisation on Bach II
J.S. BACHPrelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 851 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
Improvisation on Bach III

Works to be announced from stage

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Brad Mehldau, piano

by Brad Mehldau

Three Pieces After Bach Approximate Duration: 2 sets, 50 minutes each

J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier is the point of departure for the three solo piano pieces I’ve composed. That work, written for keyboard instrument, contains a prelude and a fugue in all twelve keys, major and minor. He left us with two sets of these, Books I and II.

Bach’s music was a game-changer, yet it adhered largely to the rules of a tradition and was even perceived as old-fashioned in his own time. When we hear his music and we’re not really engaged, we may have the impression of hearing the status quo. When we listen further, we realize how radical his music is – how far he went with the musical principles he employed. Those principles, though, were older ones that he inherited. Bach’s music was a fulcrum – the culmination and endpoint of one tradition, pointing toward the future.

Well temperament appeared in a climate that could be compared to the early days of the internet, before Google took over as the search engine. The various mean tone temperaments – methods of tuning the keyboard instruments Bach wrote for – were pleasing to the ear only in a limited context, for music without much modulation or accidentals. Well temperament made a bid for a tuning that would work in every key, and was an evolutionary step towards the standardized equal temperament in use today.

It is a common error to think that the well temperament for which Bach composed his preludes and fugues is synonymous, more or less, with our equal temperament. We cannot know exactly how Bach tuned his instrument an what he heard as he composed, but based on the descriptions of various well temperaments that are left to us, the timbre of C-sharp Major on his instrument would have been very different than that of C Major. By contrast, the key of C-sharp major on a modern piano tuned in equal temperament, in terms of the relationship between its intervals – and thus all of the implications of the harmonic progressions – is fundamentally the same as the key of C Major, except that it is a higher pitch. This is a given for most listeners today, but some would argue that the move to equal temperament was a sad turn of events in musical history – that it erased the inherent differences of different keys that the composers intended.

Even if we do not regularly use some version Bach’s well temperament today, his music nevertheless sounds radical. In these pieces, he exploited the harmonic possibilities he had with a temperament in which none of the twelve tones of the scale were off limits. This meant not only that all the different preludes and fugues in keys remote from each other could be played with the same tuning; it also meant, more interestingly, that within a single piece or even a single phrase, Bach could compose progressions that would move much farther distances from their starting point, and employ dissonances that would have sounded so out of tune as to be unintelligible in an earlier, more limited meantone temperament. The well-tempered tuning acted as a catalyst for Bach’s imagination. The music has a spirit that a limited number of great works of art have – it is the spirit of someone being the first one to open a brand new box of crayons and start drawing.

Although there is plenty of respect and awe for The Well-Tempered Clavier, particularly among musicians, they’re definitely not on the warm and fuzzy side of Bach’s oeuvre, if such a thing exists. The reason why some of the fugues in particular sound “difficult” to some ears – even on our modern, equally tempered instruments – might be because of the sometimes willful nature of his harmonic exploitation. Bach adhered to rules of writing a fugue, yet, with the new temperament, used a densely chromatic musical language. The subject and its countersubject inevitably collide against each other in sharp dissonances. The result is bracing music that is so dense at times as to be almost opaque. In this sense, Bach foreshadows a modernist tendency we identify with late Beethoven or Schoenberg, by placing a higher premium on adhering to musical principles than what’s pleasing or even digestible to the listener’s ear.

Who had and still has more influence over music – Bach the harmonist or Bach the melodist? In the fugues, they’re inseparable. Simultaneous melodies are what generate harmony, so in the chicken-egg question, melody comes first in one sense – harmony is merely its result. The individual line is never sacrificed for the benefit of the larger texture; each voice stands, integrally, on its own. Furthermore, each voice taken on its own already implies harmonic movement in its line, so in a way harmony is the great goal or subject hovering over all that melody, asserting a more global precedence. Harmonic implication within a strong melody is something you hear in the jazz genius, Charlie Parker, or one of his descendants, Sonny Rollins. The harmonic accompaniment is already in their lines; the rhythm section is almost extraneous.

We can hear Bach’s fugues horizontally as intertwining melodies or vertically as harmonic progressions (and, depending on how he or she interprets the pieces, keyboardist can have a lot of fun drawing us into hearing the music one or the other way throughout a performance). There are no weak links, and melody and harmony melt into each other seamlessly. This is surely why the fugue held Bach’s obsessive imagination to the end and yielded some of his most personal music. It represented the resolution of a duality, perfection – something higher than human.

If the fugues, ruled by an abstract concept, must be forged with toil and sweat to live and breathe, the preludes, not constrained by the rules of a musical form, are alive at once and even move into the realm of fantasy. They brim with playfulness and show us the uncharacteristically humorous side of Bach, or can be tragic and passionate like a spurned lover. Each one has a fascinatingly individual keyboard texture. The C-sharp Major Prelude from Book I inspired my first piece, Rondo. I started with Bach’s arpeggiated motif and then truncated the meter, reducing it by one sixteenth note to 5/16. We find Bach the rhythmicist in the preludes, and many of them like this one have a dance like character. Another feature of many of the up-tempo preludes is a perpetuum mobile texture – once they start, they never really stop until they end. Both the dance element and the perpetual motion texture inspire my piece, which is an inverted Rondo: Instead of the usual A-1-A-2-A-3 etc. form, I return to the same material in the second theme of each pair: 1-A-2-A-3-A.

Ostinato is inspired by the G-Minor Fugue from Book II. Bach’s Fugue is full of cycles – harmonic progressions that skip in a stepwise pattern – often, as is here, in cycles of fourths. We hear Bach’s legacy in the melancholy cycle that makes up the jazz standard Autumn Leaves, and other sad French songs from Michel Legrand. Cycles create drama because there is not only rapid movement in the melody and figuration, but the ground itself is moving – the tonal center, where we hear the root of the harmony, changes quickly as well. For my Ostinato, I elected to switch it up, and keep a pedal point on the G root for the duration of the piece. The harmony shifts above it constantly, often cyclically, but it is all underpinned by G, G, and more G. Pedal points are big for me, and they rubbed off from Brahms’ music as much as Bach, but also popular music that uses guitar open strings – The Beatles’ classic Blackbird, with its open G string that runs through all those beautiful chords, is in this piece as well, obliquely.

While most of Bach’s preludes here do not employ fugal methods, they nevertheless seam together melody and harmony in a less overt fashion. A favorite method of his is to “trace” a melody across a series of arpeggios, as in the Prelude in D Minor from Book I. There, the listener hears groups of 3-note arpeggios that generate varied harmonic movement. At the same time, the top note of each one pops out in relief, forming a staccato, pointillistic melody. This top note is not on the downbeat, though; it comes right before, which adds an appealing syncopated bounce. Again, there is a feeling of dance. The dancing rhythmic displacement of Bach’s traced melody inspired my final piece, Toccata. It is the most venturesome of the three, with several shifts in meter and key. Near the end, the melody traces itself over arpeggios which form rhythmically asymmetrical groups and gradually expand in length; the dance feeling vanishes. At the climax, the groups of three return, prevailing, and the piece closes by cyclically returning to the opening material inspired by Bach’s prelude.

For my performance, I will play Bach’s piece directly before the piece of mine it inspired; in this way, the listener can hear the connections in real time.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by Steven Cassedy

Brad MehldauJazz pianist Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s. Mehldau’s most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1996, his group released a series of five records on Warner Bros. entitled The Art of the Trio (recently re-packaged and re-released as a 5-Disc box set by Nonesuch in late 2011). During that same period, Mehldau also released a solo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Places that included both solo piano and trio songs. Elegiac Cycle and Places might be called “concept” albums made up exclusively of original material with central themes that hover over the compositions. Other Mehldau recordings include Largo, a collaborative effort with the innovative musician and producer Jon Brion, and Anything Goes —a trio outing with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy.

His first record for Nonesuch, Brad Mehldau Live in Tokyo, was released in September 2004. After ten rewarding years with Rossy playing in Mehldau’s regular trio, drummer Jeff Ballard joined the band in 2005. The label released its first album from the Brad Mehldau Trio—Day is Done —on September 27, 2005. An exciting double live trio recording entitled Brad Mehldau Trio Live was released on March 25th, 2008 (Nonesuch) to critical acclaim. On March 16, 2010 Nonesuch released a double-disc of original work entitled Highway Rider, the highly anticipated follow up to Largo. The album was Mehldau’s second collaboration with renowned producer Jon Brion and featured performances by Mehldau’s trio—drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier—as well as percussionist Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a chamber orchestra led by Dan Coleman. In 2011 Nonesuch released Live in Marciac – a two CD release with a companion DVD of the 2006 performance, and Modern Music, a collaboration between pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli. In 2012 Nonesuch released an album of original songs from the Brad Mehldau Trio –Ode- the first from the trio since 2008’s live Village Vanguard disc and the first studio trio recording since 2005’s Day is Done. Ode went on to garner a Grammy-Nomination. Nonesuch released the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Where Do You Start, a companion disc to the critically acclaimed Ode, in the fall of 2012. Whereas Ode featured 11 songs composed by Mehldau, Where Do You Start comprises the Trio’s interpretations of 10 tunes by other composers, along with one Mehldau original. In 2013 Mehldau produced and performed on Walking Shadows, the acclaimed Nonesuch release from Joshua Redman. 2013 also saw a number of collaborative tours including a duo tour with mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, piano duets with Kevin Hays and a new electric project with drummer Mark Guiliana entitled Mehliana which had its debut release in 2014.

Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he also has a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informs everything he plays. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expressive device. As he plays, he listens to how ideas unwind, and the order in which they reveal themselves. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative arch, whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Mehldau’s personality—the improviser and the formalist—play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos. Mehldau has performed around the world at a steady pace since the mid-1990s, with his trio and as a solo pianist. His performances convey a wide range of expression. There is often an intellectual rigor to the continuous process of abstraction that may take place on a given tune, and a certain density of information. That could be followed by a stripped down, emotionally direct ballad. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes. He has attracted a sizeable following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.

In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including a rewarding gig with saxophonist Joshua Redman’s band for two years, recordings and concerts with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Lee Konitz, and recording as a sideman with the likes of Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. For more than a decade, he has collaborated with several musicians and peers whom he respects greatly, including the guitarists Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. Mehldau also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like Willie Nelson’s Teatro and singer-songwriter Joe Henry’s Scar. His music has appeared in several movies, including Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and Wim Wender’s Million Dollar Hotel. He also composed an original soundtrack for the French film, Ma Femme Est Une Actrice. Mehldau composed two new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall for voice and piano, The Blue Estuaries and The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, which were performed in the spring of 2005 with the acclaimed classical soprano, Renee Fleming. These songs were recorded with Fleming and released in 2006 on the Love Sublime record; simultaneously, Nonesuch released an album of Mehldau’s jazz compositions for trio entitled House on Hill. A 2008 Carnegie Hall commission for a cycle of seven love songs for Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter premiered in 2010. Love Songs, a double album that paired the newly commissioned song cycle, with a selection of French, American, English, and Swedish songs that Mehldau and von Otter performed together, was released in late 2010 (on the Naïve label) to unanimous praise.

Mehldau was appointed as curator of an annual four-concert jazz series at London's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts. In late January 2010 Carnegie Hall announced the 2010-11 season-long residency by Mehldau as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall—the first jazz artist to hold this position since it was established in 1995. Previous holders include Louis Andriessen (2009–2010), Elliott Carter (2008–2009), and John Adams (2003–2007).

This performance marks Brad Mehldau's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar
10
Fri
TAFELMUSIK BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
Mar 10 @ 8:00 pm

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Jeanne Lamon, chief artistic director

J.S. BACH: The Circle of Creation
La Jolla Music Society welcomes the return of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. They bring J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation — a celebration of the genius of Bach and the latest multi-media creation by Alison Mackay – which combines text, music, and stunning projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans (papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers) who helped Bach realize his musical genius, blending 21st-century technology with an exploration of the tradition and skill of old world craftspeople and artisans.

“In these hands, Bach’s music feels more alive than ever.” The Globe and Mail

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SoundsOfTheBaroqueLogo
 
 
 
 
La Jolla Music Society, Bach Collegium San Diego and the San Diego Early Music Society collectively celebrate J.S. Bach and his contemporaries in honor of Early Music Month with Sounds of the Baroque


J.S. BACH: The Circle of Creation



J.S. BACH Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G Major, BWV 1048
Sonata for Three Violins in C Major, BWV 1005
Wachet auf from Cantata, BWV 140
Excerpts from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Excerpts from Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

by Alison Mackay

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is a celebration of the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach, with an emphasis on the instrumental music which he created for his family, his students and his colleagues. Using words and images, the performance also honors the artisans and tradespeople whose labor and expertise made the performances of Bach’s music possible, both in his own time and in the 21st century.

The concert begins and ends with poetry about the honorary patrons of Bach’s city of Leipzig — the Roman god of music, Apollo, and his brother Mercury, who made a glorious musical instrument from the shell of a tortoise and seven strings of sheep gut.

Two millennia later, the instrument makers of the eighteenth century still used materials from the natural world — bird feathers for the quills that pluck harpsichord strings, maple and spruce for the bodies of stringed instruments, and boxwood for oboes. Sheep intestines were still used to create strings for Bach’s instruments, and brass strings were made by hand for his harpsichords.

Centuries-old methods are still used today for the making of historical strings for period instruments. Because the guild members of early modern Europe were obliged to guard their trade secrets, modern makers have had to be detectives, using forensic evidence from scraps of old strings and sources such as Diderot’s eighteen-century encyclopedias to determine the materials and techniques that would have been used for Bach’s instruments.

The images seen in the concert portray artisans from Bach’s time as well as modern instrument builders who use historical techniques to create instruments for the Tafelmusik Orchestra. Film footage and still photographs created especially for this performance feature Toronto builder and restorer Quentin Playfair, who made a cello inspired by an instrument from the Stradivarius workshop in 1726; the English harpsichord and string maker Malcolm Rose; the American oboe maker Harry vas Dias; German bassoon maker Pater Wolf; Toronto bow maker Stephen Marvin; and the artisans of the Aquila String factory in Italy. A special contribution has also been made by Dr. Daniel Geiger of the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara, California, who has created a set of stunning magnified images of the materials described in the concert.

Much of the music on the program is typical of the works which would have been performed at Zimmerman’s Coffeehouse in the center of Leipzig. In 1695, the merchants’ guild of Leipzig had petitioned the town council for “street lanterns that would, as in Vienna and Berlin, burn all night to prevent incessant nocturnal crime.” On Christmas Eve of 1701, 700 oil-fuelled streetlights were installed in the city, making it safe for the first time for all citizens to walk freely at night, transforming coffeehouses into venues for recreation and music.

Bach directed an ensemble which performed on Friday nights at the cafe for which the owner, Georg Zimmerman, acquired a set of musical instruments. The orchestral suites BWV 1066 and 1068, the third Brandenburg concerto, the Trio Sonata BWV 1039, the Goldberg Variations, and the shorter solos for harpsichord, violin, or cello are typical of music which Bach would have performed with members of his family, university students, and amateur players of the ensemble known as the Collegium Musicum. Professional players from the Leipzig town band also participated in these performances.

These municipal musicians had responsibilities for outdoor performances from balconies at City Hall or one of the church steeples in town. Gloria laus et honour and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme are well-known hymn tunes which would have been played instrumentally by these performers. They were given salaries, clothing, music, instruments, and housing for themselves and their families in the Stadtpfeiffer Gässchen (City Pipers’ Lane), which was also the traditional street for the city’s midwives.

In 1746, the Dresden official court painter Elias Gottlob Haussmann painted a portrait of the 61-year-old Bach holding, as was customary, an emblem of his art. Rather than being pictured with a keyboard, the famous virtuoso chose instead to hold a small piece of paper with three short lines of music — the first eight notes of the bass line of the Goldberg Variations with a six-part canon written in code. It was a powerful symbol of Bach’s roles as composer, performer, and teacher. Like the instrument makers who made his violins and harpsichords, Bach regarded himself as a craftsman who had inherited much from the guild musicians who were his forebears.

In June of 2014, the members of Tafelmusik were invited to live in the city of Leipzig for two weeks as orchestra-in residence at the annual festival which celebrates his legacy. Immersed in the atmosphere of Bach’s hometown, we were able to explore the craft of Bach’s own artisans, guided by our generous partners and advisors at the Bach Museum, who have provided many of the images for this project. The concert ends with a reflection on human hands and the thousands of hours it takes to master the use of a violin bow or a chisel. In the long hours of labor, musicians, and artisans are sustained by the beauty of materials, the artistry of their tools, the guidance of inspiring mentors, and the exhilaration of exploring the art of a great genius. We share with our audiences around the world an abiding love for the music of J.S. Bach, and it is a privilege to be able to perform it in celebration of his art and in recognition of the artisans, scholar, tradespeople, and music lovers who have made our performing lives possible.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Jean-Marc St. Pierre of maj productions in Montreal for permission to use his footage of the Aquila factory. Timothy Barrett, Director of the Iowa Centre of the Book, and filmmaker Avi Michael, creator of the film Chancery Papermaking, for the footage of paper being made as in the time of Bach. Dr. Daniel Geiger of the Museum of Natural History, Santa Monica, California for his magnified images of materials from Bach’s world. The Bach Museum, Leipzig, for permission to use images from the museum. Production designer Glenn Davidson for creating the photo sequences of hands and Saxon sheep.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by James Chute

Tafelmusik Baroque OrchestraTafelmusik, Canada’s award-winning period instrument orchestra, has become an internationally recognized ensemble lauded by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras.” Founded in 1979 by Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves and composed of a group of seventeen permanent members, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra has been under the inspired leadership of Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981. With its artist-focused mandate and commitment to excellence and innovation, Tafelmusik is actively creating new contexts for the performance of baroque and classical music.

This season, Tafelmusik embarks on a U.S. tour of House of Dreams, an imaginative multi-media concert program exploring the intersection of baroque art and music. The orchestra will perform House of Dreams for Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Yale School of Music, the University of Washington’s Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Music Society, and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among other dates.

In recent seasons, the orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall with sold-out performances that were praised by The New York Times for “stately, buoyant and crisply etched playing … elegant phrasing and lithe clarity.” Tafelmusik returned to Italy’s Reate Festival by invitation from the Festival’s Artistic Director Kent Nagano. In September 2011, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir appeared with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at the inaugural concerts in its new hall, La Maison symphonique de Montréal.

The orchestra has toured in Asia since 1990, performing in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. Tafelmusik took The Galileo Project on the road to the Beijing Music Festival and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2010 and debuted the project in Australia and New Zealand in March 2012 to critical acclaim.

Tafelmusik has been invited to perform in Europe’s leading concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and the Barbican Centre in London. The Orchestra has also performed in Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and from coast to coast in the United States and Canada. The only Canadian orchestra to have held an annual international residency, Tafelmusik was orchestra-in-residence at the Klang und Raum Festival in Germany for 19 years, through the festival’s final edition in September 2011.

An integral part of Tafelmusik’s success worldwide has been its recordings, with a discography of more than 76 baroque and classical albums on the Sony Classical, Collegium, Hyperion, Analekta, CBC Records, and BMG Classics label. In 2012, Tafelmusik established its own record label, Tafelmusik Media, which recently released a DVD of its acclaimed concert program, The Galileo Project. The label will also issue re-releases of previous recordings from SONY Classical and CBC Records, and new digital live performance and studio CD and DVD recordings.

At home in Toronto, Tafelmusik performs over 50 concerts each season at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, as well as a series of performances at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, at Koerner Hall, and at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Selected concerts at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre are recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio Two programs, and are also heard on National Public Radio in the United States.

The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, which specializes in baroque and classical performance practice and vocal technique, was formed in 1981 to complement the orchestra. Under the direction of Ivars Taurins, the choir has been praised for its clarity and brilliance and has been described as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world”(The Globe and Mail).Tafelmusik’s annual performances of Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah have become an established part of Toronto's holiday tradition.

Tafelmusik’s long and celebrated collaboration with Opera Atelier has helped establish Toronto as an important North American center for baroque and classical opera performance. The two organizations collaborate on two productions per season, including 12/13performances of Der Freischütz and The Magic Flute.

In keeping with its vision of becoming an international center of musical excellence, Tafelmusik has invested in ongoing music education and outreach programs for music-lovers of all ages. In 2000, the orchestra and choir founded the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, held at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, where Tafelmusik is the baroque orchestra-in-residence. The program offers advanced students, pre-professional and professional musicians an in-depth course of study of baroque repertoire and performance practice through masterclasses, lectures, orchestral and choral training, and chamber ensembles.

Tafelmusik offers free outreach concerts, multi-disciplinary projects with area schools, university residencies and education events on tour as part of its ongoing commitment to music education. The orchestra provides music-education classroom materials to the school groups, including access to Tafelmusik’s online learning centre, curriculum-based study guides, and Tafelmusik’s JUNO Award-winning TafelKIDS™ Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax CD, and the Four Season Mosaic DVD with Inuit, Chinese and South Asian musicians.

Tafelmusik last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on March 9, 2013.

Mar
18
Sat
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Mar 18 @ 8:00 pm
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST @ Civic Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

WinterFest Gala 2017

Malandain Ballet Biarritz
Beauty and the Beast

Malandain Ballet Biarritz returns to San Diego with a new full-length ballet. Choreographer Thierry Malandain was inspired by the rich and complex symbolism of this well-known fairytale.

Set to music by Tchaikovsky, Malandain’s Beauty and the Beast tells a rite-of-passage story aimed at resolving the duality of humanity: Beauty, representing the soul; and the Beast, the vital force and instincts.

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GALA AFTER PARTY
After the ballet performance, mingle with gala attendees and the Beauty and the Beast, sip champagne and cocktails, dance to the music, enjoy decadent French desserts, visit the candy “barre” and capture the evening’s festivities with ballet-inspired props in the photo booth!
JOIN THE PARTY>>>


Click here to view the complete March-May 2017 Program Book


PROGRAM NOTES:
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: Beauty & The Beast

Without revisiting all of the tale’s interpretations, a coming-of-age story can be detected and designed to resolve the duality of being, with Belle embodying the human soul and the Beast being its life force and instincts. With Jean Cocteau, whose film appeared in cinemas in 1946, the focus is on the portrayal of the artist’s inner demons through the Beast’s duality. Whether it is lost unity or human nature torn apart, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s symphonic works, our version of the Beast, freed from his inner demons, marries Belle under a blazing sun. – Thierry Malandain

SYNOPSIS

I. Interval and Waltz from Eugene Onegin, Op. 24

An artist with body and soul, a man with his joy, pain and hopes tells the following story: Once upon a time there was a wealthy merchant who had two sons and three daughters. The youngest was so lovely and so much admired that everyone called her Belle which made her sisters very jealous. The two eldest were arrogant because of their wealth and attended balls every evening. The merchant suddenly lost all his wealth and all he had left was a small farmhouse far from the city.

II. Adagio – Allegro non troppo from Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

While her sisters snivel and whine, missing high society and beautiful clothes, Belle gets used to her new situation. There are even gentlemen courters who wish to marry her, but she cannot imagine leaving her father. The family has been living simply for a year when the merchant hears that one of the ships on which he had merchandise is back in port. This news starts the two eldest daughters thinking, and just as their father is about to leave, they ask him to bring back dresses and all kinds of things for them while Belle only asks for a rose. On his way back home, the merchant gets lost. The wind is so strong that it knocks him off his horse. Shortly after, he see a light coming from a castle. He goes inside where a table is laden with food and drink. The next morning as the merchant is about to leave, he remembers that Belle had asked him for a rose and picks the whitest one he can find.

III. Hamlet, Op. 67

At that very moment, he hears a loud noise, and is confronted with a Beast so hideous, that he almost passes out. “You’re so ungrateful,” says the Beast. “I saved your life by welcoming you inside my castle, and in return for my hospitality, you steal my roses that I love more than anything in the world. You must die for this misdeed. However, I’m willing to forgive you if you send one of your daughters to die instead of you.”

All alone, like the Artist facing his inner demons, the Beast who suffers from his ugliness summons the things which symbolize his metamorphosis – a key, a horse, a looking glass, a glove and the love which will save him. A few hours later, the merchant arrives home and tells his children the tale of what happened to him. Hearing his story, they start shouting and insult Belle who was not weeping. “Why should I weep because my father is going to die? He will not die since the Beast is willing to accept one of his daughters. I will let him unleash all his rage on me.” Belle then goes to the Beast’s castle.

IV. Andante cantabile from Symphony No. 5

Terrified at first, Belle did not suffer the fate she so dreaded. She is is welcomed graciously by the Beast and lavished in luxury. But every evening he asks her the same question, “Will you be my wife?” Belle refuses. Her only desire is to see her father again who she sees sick with grief in the looking-glass. The Beast finally lets her go home and Belle promises that she will return in one week.

V. Waltz from Symphony No. 5

When Belle sees her father again, they embrace each other for over a quarter of an hour. Her sisters almost die of jealousy when they see her dressed like a queen. But very quickly, she feels sad about having abandoned the Beast when she sees him lying half-dead in the looking-glass.

VI. Finale. Adagio lamentoso from Symphony No.6 “Pathétique”

When Belle returns to the castle and finds the Beast lying on the ground, she goes to him and says, “You shall not die. You shall live and be my husband.” Upon uttering these words, she sees the castle shine brightly and the Beast turns into a Prince.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with Artistic Director and Founder Thierry Malandain along with members of the company, hosted by Marcus Overton

Malandain-Ballet-BiarritzCreated in 1998 in Biarritz on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture & Communication, and the Town of Biarritz with the support of Aquitaine Region and the Atlantic Pyrenees General Council, Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of 19 National Choreographic Centres (NCC) in France today.

The particularity of Malandain Ballet Biarritz is that it is made up of 22 permanent dancers trained in classical technique and whose expression in Thierry Malandain’s choreographies is contemporary.

Today Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of Europe’s most widely seen companies with 80 000 spectators per season and almost 100 performances per year, including a third abroad.

As a National Choreographic Centre, Malandain Ballet Biarritz also works intensely in terms of public awareness of dance – with on average over 450 events per year – and support to artists and companies thanks to the ‘‘Accueil Studio’’ programme.

Its local presence has led it to forge fertile partnerships with numerous cultural players in the Euro-region. It has thus constructed the ‘‘Ballet T’’ project, a partnership between Malandain Ballet Biarritz and San Sebastian’s Teatro Victoria Eugenia, with support from Europe and the Aquitaine Euskadi fund. Its aim is to spread choreographic art in the Basque Country, by co-producing and disseminating choreographic works, and also through awareness campaigns and audience mobility within the Euro-region.

Malandain Ballet Biarritz last performed with La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on May 3, 2015.

For more information visit malandainballet.com


Thierry-MalandainAuthor of a repertoire of 80 choreographies, Thierry Malandain has developed a very personal vision of dance, closely linked to “Ballet,” where priority is given to the dancing body, its power, virtuosity, humanity and sensuality.

The search for meaning and aesthetics guide a powerful and sober style, which can be both serious and insolent, based on the pursuit of harmony between history and today’s world. Thierry Malandain’s troupe is comprised of dancers with classical dance training who express themselves in a contemporary way via Thierry Malandain’s choreography.

“My culture is that of classical ballet and I confidently remain attached to it. Because while I readily admit that its artistic and social codes are from another time, I also think that this heritage from four centuries represents invaluable resources for dancers. A classical choreographer for some, a contemporary one for others, I play with it, simply trying to find a dance I like. A dance that will not only leave a lasting impression of joy, but that will also restore the essence of the sacred things and serve as a response to the difficulty of being.”

THIERRY MALANDAIN IN A FEW DATES

1959 Born in Le Petit-Quevilly (Seine-Maritime)
Received the training of Monique Le Dily, René Bon, Daniel Franck, Gilbert Mayer et Raymond Franchetti.
1977 Dancer at the Paris National Opera, the Ballet of the Rhine and the French Ballet Theatre in Nancy
1986 Foundation of the compagny « Temps Présent » (Elancourt and Saint-Etienne)
1992 Settled in the Opera of Saint-Étienne as an «Associated company»
1998 Director of the new Centre Chorégraphique National in Biarritz
2006 Received his second nomination for the prize at the Benois de la danse with L’Envol d’Icare created for the Ballet of the Paris National Opera
2009 Artistic director of the Dance Festival in Biarritz «Le Temps d’Aimer la Danse»
2012 Award for Une Dernière chanson (A Last song) by the «Syndicat de la critique»
2014 Taglioni European Ballet Award «best choregrapher» in Berlin for the ballet Cinderella

© Johan Morin

Apr
8
Sat
BLACK GRACE
Apr 8 @ 8:00 pm
BLACK GRACE @ Spreckels Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Black Grace

Choreography by Neil Ieremia

New Zealand’s foremost contemporary dance company Black Grace brings a striking performance of five short works choreographed by founder Neil Ieremia.

Drawing on Māori and Pacific Islander indigenous dance, as well as modern dance, his work also often incorporates a traditional Samoan dance style known as Fa’ataupati (or “slap dance”) and Samoan Sasa (“seated dance”) that utilizes body percussion.

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Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Black Grace


MINOI
Premièred 1999
Approximate Duration: 4:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Minoi Minoi (traditional), arranged by Neil Ieremia

Lighting Design: Mark Burlace

Minoi fuses a traditional Samoan dance style known as Fa’ataupati (slap dance) and western contemporary dance. It also utilises live singing and vocalisations based on an old Samoan nursery rhyme.


PATI PATI
Premièred 2009
Approximate Duration: 9:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Original music from Surface (2003),Neil Ieremia and Juse

Lighting Design: Nik Janiurek, adapted by Bonnie Burrill

Pati Pati is a ritualistic dance made from the bones of older works dating back to the beginning of Black Grace and drawing on elements of traditional Pacific dance.


CRYING MEN – EXCERPT
Premièred 2017
Approximate Duration: 17 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Redaction, Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett & Jeff Henderson
Material Instinct, Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett & Jeff Henderson
Two Minds, Richard Nunns & Mark Lockett
Bully, Trinity Roots

Lighting Design: Bonnie Burrill

Filtered through a Pacific lens, this excerpt is the beginning of what will become a new full-length work exploring some of the challenges we face as males living in today’s world, struggling with the expectations of what it means to be a “real man”.


MOTHER MOTHER
Premièred 2013
Approximate Duration: 8:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Mother Mother (radio version), Fat Freddy’s Drop
Lighting Design: Mark Burlace

Mother Mother was originally choreographed for a music video, on request of popular New Zealand band Fatreddy’s Drop.“Mother Mother is a tribute to my mother who is often the unsung hero in my family. Even to this day she helps to prop me up when things get tough, knocks me back when I get ahead of myself, reminds me to never forget where I come from and to always be grateful for what I have.”
– Neil Ieremia


AS NIGHT FALLS – ABRIDGED
Premièred 2016
Approximate Duration: 40 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia

Music: Concerto in G Minor for 2 Cellos, Strings and Basso continuo, RV 531: I. Allegro, Ton Koopman, Yo-Yo Ma, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Jonathan Manson
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: I. Allegro, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy
Concerto in G Minor for 2 Cellos, Strings and Basso continuo, RV 531: III. Allegro, Ton Koopman, Yo-Yo Ma, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Jonathan Manson
Nisi Dominus, RV 608: IV. Cum Dederit, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Ensemble Matheus & Philippe Jaroussky
Little Sea Gongs, JPC Percussion Museum & Gareth Farr
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, RV 315, Op. 8 No. 2 “Summer”: I. Allegro non molto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, RV 315, Op. 8 No. 2 “Summer”: III. Presto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 4 in F Minor, RV 297, Op. 8 No. 4 “Winter”: I. Allegro non molto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: II. Larghetto e Spiritoso, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy
The Lord’s Prayer (In Samoan), Choir of Western Samoa Teachers’ Training College, Apia
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: III. Allegro, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy

Lighting Design: Bonnie Burrill

While the creative process started with news stories from around the world, often dark and at times overwhelming, As Night Falls is essentially a dance about hope. The raw material included images of broken bodies littering the streets of war torn countries, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians, protests against police brutality and the aftermath of more natural disasters. It was an image of a father shielding his son, buried beneath the rubble of a collapsed building after another airstrike that simultaneously captured the best and worst of us, and it was at that moment I decided I needed to try and create some light from the darkness. I created the movement vocabulary based on this imagery and formed the overall compositional structures much like the layout of a broadsheet newspaper. I’m not sure exactly why I chose the music I did in the end; suffice to say that much to my surprise Vivaldi stuck when all the others fell away. While listening to some old gospel records I was reminded of a verse from a hymn I used to sing as a kid. As Night Falls is my very small exchange of “beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.


Founding Artistic Director/CEO Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Choreographer Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Company Manager/Tour Manager James Wasmer
Creative Assistant/Stage Manager Siaosi Mulipola
Tour Administrator Abby Ieremia
Rehearsal Assistant/Company Teacher Zoë Visvanathan
Dancers Sean MacDonald, Zoë Visvanathan, Sarah Baron, Callum Sefo, Brydie Colquhoun, Otis Herring, Demi-Jo Manalo, Shane Tofaeono, Paige Shand, Rodney Tyrell, Zildjian Robinson (Apprentice Dancer)
Technical Manager Jax Messenger
The Black Grace Trust Haydn Wong (Chair), Sam Sefuiva, Bernice Mene, Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Cultural Advisors Mr Siufaitotoa Simanu and Mrs Kionasina Ieremia

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with company Artistic Director and Founder Neil Ieremia, hosted by Marcus Overton

Black GraceNew Zealand’s leading contemporary dance group - Black Grace.

Founded by Neil Ieremia in 1995, Neil draws from his Samoan and New Zealand roots to create innovative dance works that reach across social, cultural and generational barriers.

The work itself is highly physical, rich in the story telling traditions of the South Pacific and expressed with raw finesse, unique beauty and power.

The Company features some of New Zealand’s finest dancers and has toured internationally to Europe, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia and New Caledonia. In 2004 Black Grace made its USA debut performing a sold out season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with a subsequent return to the Festival in 2005. Since then the Company has performed regularly throughout North America earning audience acclaim.


Founding Artistic Director Neil Ieremia is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished choreographers, a creative entrepreneur and inspirational leader.

Born in Wellington and of Samoan heritage, Mr Ieremia was raised in a tough working class neighborhood in a country focused more on sporting prowess and agriculture rather than creative expression. At the age of nineteen and with no formal training, Mr Ieremia resigned from his banking job, left home, enrolled in a fulltime dance programme and broke his parents’ hearts.

In his final year of training he was invited to join the prestigious Douglas Wright Dance Company whom he worked for until 1996. As a freelance professional dancer Mr Ieremia also worked with many other leading New Zealand choreographers as well as creating a number of commissioned works.

Motivated to provide a different perspective and a fresh voice in the dance scene, Mr Ieremia founded his own Company, Black Grace in 1995, with ten male dancers of Pacific, Maori and New Zealand heritage. Since then he has changed the face of contemporary dance in New Zealand and turned Black Grace into one of the most recognizable and iconic cultural brands. His Company tours the length and breadth of New Zealand developing new audiences and a new appreciation for dance. Internationally his work has been presented in Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Caledonia, South Korea, Scotland, Switzerland and the United States of America.

Numerous ‘firsts’ for a New Zealand choreographer include sell-out performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (USA debut 2004 and 2005), a four-week season on New York City’s 42nd Street, performances at the renowned Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver.

Among his many other achievements, Mr Ieremia has received a 2005 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award, and the 2009 Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in the Arts from The Banff Centre, Canada. In 2009 Black Grace was presented with a resolution passed by the Guam Legislator in recognition of their work with local communities, and 2010 saw the Mayor of Honolulu officially proclaim the 6th February 2010 as “Black Grace Day”. Black Grace received a Herald Angel Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Most recently, Mr Ieremia received a City of Porirua Anniversary Award and the 2015 Senior Pacific Artist Award from Creative New Zealand.

Apr
22
Sat
EMERSON STRING QUARTET
Apr 22 @ 7:30 pm
EMERSON STRING QUARTET @ La Jolla Presbyterian Church | San Diego | California | United States

Emerson String Quartet

The Emerson String Quartet stands apart in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements: more than 30 acclaimed recordings, nine Grammy® Awards (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”, and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. Celebrating their 40th year, they return to La Jolla Music Society with Mozart’s String Quartet in D Minor, Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 4 and Dvo?ák’s String Quartet No. 11, Op. 61, works displaying the ensembles’ breadth and versatility.

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*Please note that the venue and time of this performance has been updated.

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The LOT.


MOZARTString Quartet in D Minor, K.421
SHOSTAKOVICHString Quartet No. 4 in D Major , Op. 83
DVOŘÁK String Quartet in C Major, Op. 61

Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Emerson String Quartet

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in D Minor, K.421

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 28 minutes

Mozart’s move to Vienna in 1781 opened new musical vistas for him, and these must have seemed all the more exciting after so many years in provincial Salzburg. Among the attractions of his adopted city were the string quartets of Haydn, whose Opus 33 quartets were published in Vienna in 1782. Mozart had written no string quartets since 1773, but now–impressed by what Haydn had achieved with this most demanding of forms–Mozart wrote a set of six quartets and dedicated them to Haydn. In that dedication, Mozart noted that these quartets were the product of “long and laborious study,” and there is evidence that Mozart–usually a fast worker–took a long time indeed with these quartets, revising each carefully.

It is a magnificent cycle. Each of the six is distinctive in its own way, and certain moments stay to haunt the mind: the fugal finale of K.387, which looks ahead to the “Jupiter” Symphony; K.464, which so impressed Beethoven that he modeled one of his own quartets on it; and K.465, the “Dissonant,” with its enigmatic beginning. Yet even in such distinguished company, the Quartet in D Minor, K.421, composed in June 1783, stands out as radically different. The only one of the cycle in a minor key, it is one of the most serious and powerful works that Mozart ever wrote. A minorkey quartet was not by itself unusual, and Haydn (who usually published his quartets in groups of six) would often include one minor-key quartet in a set. But no Haydn quartet–great a master as he was of that form–ever matched the expressive power of Mozart’s Quartet in D Minor. Individual keys had specific meanings for Mozart, and D minor, the key of the Piano Concerto No. 20 and of the Requiem, was the key he sometimes associated with revenge in his operas. This quartet is by no means program music, but the mood here partakes of that dark spirit–this is somber and unrelenting music.

The Allegro opens with the first violin’s falling octave on D, and there follows a long and intense melody–marked sotto voce–for that instrument over unobtrusive accompaniment from the other voices. A more flowing second subject makes brief appearances, but the dark first theme dominates this movement. Mozart asks for the standard exposition retreat, but then offers performers the opportunity to repeat the entire development. The recapitulation continues to develop the movement’s material, and finally the cello leads the way into the brief coda with a dark and expressive idea of its own.

The Andante, in F major, affords relief with its gentle main theme. Mozart had originally intended a somewhat simpler melodic idea here; his manuscript shows that he recognized the limits of that theme and replaced it. While this is not a variation movement, the lyric main idea undergoes a process of continuous evolution, sometimes with the most delicate shading, before Mozart brings back a reprise of the opening and rounds things off with a quiet coda. By sharp contrast, the Menuetto is fierce, almost clenched in its chromatic intensity. And then Mozart springs one of his most effective surprises: the trio eases into D major, and–over pizzicato accompaniment–the first violin sings an elegant, soaring melody built on Lombard rhythms (dotted rhythms with the short note coming first). The viola joins the second statement before the return to the driven minuet.

The finale is a theme-and-variation movement. Mozart’s dancing main theme bears more than a passing resemblance to the main theme of the finale of Haydn’s Quartet in G Major, Opus 33, No. 5. Perhaps this was intended as an act of homage, but Mozart’s version of this theme is quite subtle: it tints the home key of D minor with hints of D major, and the harmonic tension of this beginning will energize the entire movement. Four variations follow: the second brings a famous syncopated accompaniment from the second violin, the third features the tawny sound of the viola, the fourth moves into D major. At the very end, Mozart brings back his original theme but now marks it Più Allegro, and the music rushes ahead on tense chromatic lines to the sudden end, where the first violin’s falling octave D rounds off this glorious quartet with the same gesture that began it.

String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Opus 83

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg
Died August 9, 1975, Moscow
Approximate Duration: 25 minutes

The Soviet crackdown on composers in February 1948 remains, nearly seventy years later, one of the most devastating examples of government interference and censorship in history. Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Myaskovsky, and others were excoriated for their “formalistic distortions and anti-democratic tendencies” and for writing “confused, neuropathological combinations which transform music into cacophony.” These composers were forced to make public apologies, and–in those frosty early days of the Cold War–they promised to write more “progressive” music, in tune with the ideals of the Revolution.

Shostakovich, who had met with government disfavor in 1936 during the period of Stalin’s “Great Terror,” began to write two kinds of music. The “public” Shostakovich wrote what would now be described as politically-correct scores, intended to satisfy Soviet officials with their ideological purity: the oratorio Song of the Forests, the cantata The Sun Shines over Our Motherland, the film score The Fall of Berlin, and a choral cycle with the numbing title Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary Poets. The “private” Shostakovich, however, wrote the music he wanted to, but held it back, waiting for a more receptive climate. The death of Stalin in March 1953 brought a slight political and artistic thaw, and Shostakovich could bring out these scores: the First Violin Concerto, composed in 1947, but not premièred until 1955; the song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, written in 1948 and first performed in 1955; and the Fourth and Fifth String Quartets, written respectively in 1949 and 1952, but not played until 1953.

Shostakovich’s Fourth String Quartet is almost as interesting for what it is not as for what it actually is. This music is remarkable for its restraint. All four movements are at a moderate tempo (three Allegrettos and one Andantino), and the work is marked by an emotional reserve as well. There are no dramatic extremes here–this music is spare, understated, lean, at times almost bleak. Harmonically, it varies moments of simple diatonic melodies (even unisons) with episodes of grinding dissonance. And at the end it fades into silence on the same note of emotional restraint that has marked the entire quartet.

The opening Allegretto is quite brief (only three minutes), just long enough to lay out two themes but not long enough to develop them in a significant way. The music moves from the quiet beginning, built on constantly-changing meters, to a full-throated restatement; more lyric secondary material leads to a quiet close on a unison D three octaves deep. The Andantino at first feels somewhat more settled. Its wistful opening, which belongs largely to the first violin, is in straightforward F minor, but again the music grows more turbulent as the movement proceeds; it closes with a quiet reprise of the opening material, now played muted.

The third movement, muted throughout, is scherzo-like in its fusion of quick-paced themes, from the cello’s propulsive opening to a more animated second subject; in the course of the movement, each of the four instruments takes a turn with this second melody. Unmuted solo viola leads the way into the finale over pizzicato accompaniment from the other voices. The first violin’s main theme here has a pronounced “Jewish” character–it is a lamenting tune, built on tight intervals, sharp accents, and fleeting dissonances. This movement, longest in the quartet, rises to an almost orchestral climax full of tremolos, unisons, and huge chords, then fades away on a haunting coda as the two violins in fourths restate the main theme. Over a sustained cello harmonic the upper voices lapse into silence on quiet pizzicatos.

Small wonder that Shostakovich kept this music hidden during the Stalin years. It is far from the “progressive” and popular music the Soviet government wanted, and while this quartet has been admired for its lucidity, it is nevertheless troubling music, remarkable for its leanness, its restraint–and its bleakness.

String Quartet in C Major, Opus 61

ANTONIN DVOŘÁK
Born September 8, 1841, Mühlhausen, Bohemia
Died May 1, 1904, Prague
Approximate Duration: 38 minutes

Throughout his creative life, Dvořák was caught between two conflicting artistic impulses. He wrote in the great German classical forms, yet in his heart he was a devout Czech nationalist, happiest when he could infuse his music with the characteristic rhythms and sounds of his homeland. Usually he could balance these claims, but at times they came into conflict.

Such a collision occurred in 1881, when Joseph Hellmesberger commissioned a string quartet from Dvořák. Hellmesberger, a violinist and conductor, must have seemed to Dvořák the symbol of Vienna: he was director of the Vienna Conservatory, he was the founder and first violinist of his own string quartet, and for forty years he conducted the concerts of the Vienna Gesellschaft. It was Hellmesberger who had championed the young Brahms after the latter’s arrival in Vienna twenty years earlier, and Dvořák recognized how great a compliment it was to have a work commissioned by Hellmesberger. But such a commission raised uncomfortable artistic problems for Dvořák. Should he remain true to his own impulses and write the kind of music he wanted, full of Czech melodies, rhythms, and dances? Or should he write in a more classical–a more Viennese– manner? Viennese audiences, he knew, tended to sneer at local color (particularly foreign local color) in music. Critics have been unanimous in their belief that Dvořák–faced with an important commission from Vienna–capitulated, erasing Czech elements from this quartet and attempting to write in the style of the Viennese masters. One critic hears echoes of Beethoven in the first movement, another hears Schubert in the scherzo, and so on.

Actually, this quartet sounds like Dvořák throughout. True, one does not hear the rhythms and national dances typical of much of Dvořák’s Czech music, but no one would guess that the Quartet in C Major is the work of any composer but Dvořák. He creates memorable themes, the music is full of harmonic adventures, there are surprising thematic links between movements, and this quartet bristles with energy–for this exciting music to make its full effect, it needs a real virtuoso performance.

The extended first movement is in sonata form; Dvořák supplies an extremely dramatic coda which–surprisingly–gives way to a gentle close. The marking for the second movement–Poco adagio e molto cantabile–is crucial, for this intense music sings throughout. The haunting main theme grows more florid and ornate as it develops, and the music is full of chromatic figurations and spiky accompaniment figures. The main theme of the Scherzo is derived from the main theme of the opening movement, and suddenly we are back in that same world of furious energy, with the music racing along on triplet rhythms; the scherzo section itself is in the expected 3/4 meter, but Dvořák sets the trio in 2/4. The rondo-like finale, marked Vivace, is the most impressive movement of the quartet: the main theme sounds unmistakably like a Czech dance, and it is on the energy of this music that Dvořák brings his most “Viennese” composition to a sparkling close.

Emerson String QuartetThe Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s "Ensemble of the Year" and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. The arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world. “The Emerson brought the requisite virtuosity to every phrase. But this music is equally demanding emotionally and intellectually, and the group’s powers of concentration and sustained intensity were at least as impressive." The New York Times The 2016-17 season marks the Emerson Quartet’s 40th Anniversary, and highlights of this milestone year reflect all aspects of the Quartet’s venerable artistry with high-profile projects and collaborations, commissions and recordings. Universal Music Group has reissued their entire Deutsche Grammophon discography in a 52-CD boxed set. After recent engagements together at the Kennedy Center and Tanglewood, illustrious soprano Renée Fleming joins the Emerson at Walt Disney Concert Hall, performing works by Alban Berg and Egon Wellesz from their first collaborative recording, released by Decca in fall of 2015. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has programmed celebratory concerts at Alice Tully Hall, as well as in Chicago and Purchase, NY, in October: the Calidore Quartet teams up with the Emerson for the Mendelssohn Octet, and the Emerson gives the New York premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Shroud (co-commissioned by CMS). Former Emerson cellist David Finckel appears as a special guest for Schubert’s Quintet in C Major. In May 2017, legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini will join the Quartet for a performance of the Brahms Quintet at Carnegie Hall. Additional highlights include a concert with clarinetist David Shifrin as part of the Quartet’s season-long residency at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, as well as a collaboration with cellist Clive Greensmith for the Schubert Quintet at the Soka Performing Arts Center in California. The Emerson continues its series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC for its 38th season, and the quartet members have been selected as Artistic Advisors for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at The Barns in Virginia, curating the series in celebration of its 20th season. Multiple tours of Europe comprise dates in Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom (including Wigmore Hall for a 40th Anniversary Gala); the Quartet also visits Mexico for the Festival Internacional Cervantino. Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. In 2002, the Quartet began to stand for most of its concerts, with the cellist seated on a riser. The Emerson Quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. During the spring of 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor. In January 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field.

The Emerson String Quartet last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on October 23, 1999

May
12
Fri
JEREMY DENK
May 12 @ 7:30 pm
JEREMY DENK @ La Jolla Presbyterian Church | San Diego | California | United States

JEREMY DENK, piano

“What Mr. Denk’s playing conveys most is an inclusive consideration of where each piece came from, what it reflects about its composer and how music connects to a life’s broader concerns … Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear, no matter what he performs” – The New York Times

The stunning pianist, erudite writer, and MacArthur Fellow returns to La Jolla Music Society for what will be a fascinating recital.

Jeremy Denk’s exceptionally eclectic program ranges from Renaissance and contemporary classical music to ragtime and jazz. In juxtaposing works that represent a wide array of styles and idioms, it reminds us that J. S. Bach and Paul Hindemith were no less attuned to the popular music of their time than Scott Joplin.

Franz Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat Major transports the listener into a rarefied realm where one idea flows into another and time seems almost suspended. Like the other two piano sonatas that Schubert wrote in the months leading up to his untimely death, D. 960 is notable for the grandeur of its conception.

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*Please note that the venue and time of this performance has been updated.

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at Catania.


J.S. BACH English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808
BYRDThe Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music
BOLCOMGraceful Ghost Rag
JOPLIN/HAYDENSunflower Slow Drag
HINDEMITHRagtime from Suite: "1922"
STRAVINSKYPiano-Rag-Music
IVESRagtime Dance Nos. 3 and 4 from Four Ragtime Dances
NANCARROWCanon
LAMBERT"Pilgrim’s Chorus" from Tannhäuser (after Wagner)
SCHUBERTPiano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960


Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Jeremy Denk, piano

by Eric Bromberger

English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig, Germany
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

Among Bach’s works for keyboard are two sets bearing national titles: French Suites and English Suites. Neither of these titles appears to have originated with Bach himself, and scholars have for two centuries debated their source and meaning. The situation with the English Suites is particularly confusing, for there is nothing specifically “English” about this music. Some have attempted to find similarities between these suites and contemporary English music, while others point to a manuscript in the possession of one of Bach’s sons that is reportedly inscribed “fait pour les anglais.” The one conclusion that can be drawn is that no one knows the significance of the title–it serves as a convenient handle rather than as a name that tells us anything about the music itself.

The six English Suites date from about 1715. Bach, then 30, was still living in Weimar, where he was organist for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. All six suites are in the same sequence of six movements: an opening Prelude followed by five dance movements. The only variation comes in the fifth movement, where Bach uses a variety of dance forms. Bach launches each of these suites with an animated Prelude, and the Suite in G Minor bursts to life with a Prelude that rushes along its propulsive 3/8 meter. The second movement is an Allemande, which–as its name suggests–is of German origin; this one, delicate and poised, is in binary form and not especially fast. The third movement, a Courante, is faster (that title means “running” in French) and sometimes combines duple and triple meters, though in this case the movement dances along the generous span of its 3/2 meter. The fourth movement is a Sarabande, a slow dance in triple time and of Latin origin. The Sarabande of the Suite in G Minor is remarkable music, stark and sometimes dissonant. Bach follows it with a movement called Les agréments de la même Sarabande; that title suggests that it is an “embellishment” of the Sarabande, and in fact it is a double, a highly-embellished second version of the same movement. The fifth movements of the English Suites vary, for Bach uses a variety of short dance forms here; in the Suite No. 3, he employs a pair of Gavottes. Gavotte I dances lightly, while Gavotte II is a musette, a movement that dances above a constantly-held drone; listeners will recognize this as the most-familiar music of the Suite in G Minor, for it is often heard in arrangements. The sixth and concluding movement of each suite is a Gigue, a quick dance related–as its title suggests–to the jig. This one, in 12/8, is fugal in construction, and Bach inverts its principal theme in the second half.

The Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music

WILLIAM BYRD
Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig, Germany
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

One of the first great English composers, William Byrd lived a remarkable life that spanned more than eighty years–born two decades before Shakespeare, he outlived the playwright by almost another decade. Byrd’s life was eventful: he was a devout Roman Catholic at a moment when it was dangerous to be Catholic in England, and though he was under suspicion by the police, he enjoyed the personal protection of Elizabeth I, who granted him the sole right to publish music in London. Byrd trained originally as an organist in Lincoln, but spent much of his career in London, eventually retiring to Essex, where he was involved in a good deal of litigation–he was apparently not a man to walk away from a fight.

Byrd is remembered today primarily for his sacred music–he wrote with equanimity for both Anglican and Catholic services–and for his keyboard music. The keyboard music was probably composed for virginal, a type of small harpsichord with one keyboard and strings running parallel to that keyboard (rather than away from it). Byrd’s most famous keyboard works were collected under the curious title My Ladye Nevells Booke. This collection has a complex history, but it appears to date from 1591, when John Baldwin of Windsor gathered 42 virginal pieces that Byrd had written over the previous decade and had them bound for a “Ladye Nevell.” Her identity has been debated, but evidence suggests that she was Rachel, wife of Sir Edward Nevill, a member of parliament from Windsor.

This music was intended for the enjoyment of skilled amateur performers, and the pieces in My Ladye Nevells Booke take many forms: most are dances, some are descriptive battle pieces (perhaps inspired by Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada three years earlier), and some are arrangements of songs. This program offers The Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from Lady Nevell’s Book in its original form, a pavane was a stately dance of Italian origin This music carries us back across more than three centuries–as we listen to this pavane, we hear music that the young Shakespeare (still in his twenties and unknown) might have heard as worked on Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew.

RAGS
Works by

WILIAM BOLCOM
SCOTT JOPLIN/SCOTT HAYDEN
PAUL HINDEMITH
IGOR STRAVINSKY
CHARLES IVES
CONLON NANCARROW
DONALD LAMBERT
Approximate Duration: 22 minutes

Antonín Dvořák said that American “classical” music would develop out of African-American music and the music of Native American tribes, and the music Dvořák himself wrote in this country shows both those influences. But it was Afro-American music that became the more powerful force in American–and European–music. Near the end of the nineteenth century, while Dvořák was still active in New York City, Afro-American pianists developed a style of piano music based on a sharply-syncopated melody in the right hand over steady accompaniment in the left. The syncopated (hence, “ragged”) right-hand rhythm earned this style the name “ragtime,” and in the hands of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, and others ragtime became a popular feature of American musical life (Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag of 1899 sold a million copies). The style remained popular until about World War I, when it was supplanted by jazz. Ragtime influenced composers on both sides of the Atlantic (Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk is an example), and on this program Jeremy Denk offers a selection of ragtime pieces– and pieces influenced by ragtime–composed over the last century by American and European composers.

The set opens with one of the most popular recent examples, the Graceful Ghost Rag, composed in 1970 by WILLIAM BOLCOM (b. 1938). Bolcom has been a powerful advocate of music from the ragtime era, not only piano music but also popular songs of that period. The Graceful Ghost Rag offers the best possible introduction to ragtime music: Bolcom marks the opening both cantabile and smoothly, and this evocative music sings a wistful song that is enlivened by its sunnier central episode.

SCOTT HAYDEN (1882-1915) was related by marriage to SCOTT JOPLIN (1867/8-1917), and they collaborated on four rags, though the Sunflower Slow Drag appears to be primarily the work of Hayden. This quintessentially “happy” music dates from 1901.

F. Scott Fitzgerald called the 1920’s “the Jazz Era,” and in the years after the war jazz elements began to appear in the music of European composers. PAUL HINDEMITH (1895- 1963) composed his Suite: “1922,” during the difficult years of the Weimar Republic, and many have detected a bitter tone in this five-movement suite based largely on dance forms. The last movement is titled Ragtime, though this furious music lacks the steady left-hand accompaniment we associate with the form. Hindemith’s quite specific performance instructions for this movement set the mood. He instructs the pianist: “Play this piece very wildly but always strictly in time, like a machine” and further specifies that the performer should “regard the piano here as an interesting percussion instrument.”

Always keenly attuned to new developments in music, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) became aware of ragtime and jazz during World War I: in 1918 he included a Ragtime movement in his L’histoire du soldat and also composed a Ragtime for Eleven Instruments. The following year Stravinsky composed a short work that he titled Piano-Rag- Music, dedicating it to Artur Rubinstein (who never played it). Piano-Rag-Music is not in the steady duple meter of most ragtime, and the most remarkable thing about this music is Stravinsky’s metric freedom: he changes meter constantly, and long passages are without any bar-lines at all. The composer’s performance instruction is succinct: trés fort (“very strong”).

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954) knew ragtime long before Stravinsky: he heard it in the theaters and clubs of New York City as it was being created. Ives was unsure about ragtime. He wrote: “Ragtime has its possibilities . . . Perhaps we know it now as an ore before it has been refined into a product. It may be one of nature’s ways of giving art new material.” But he was willing to mine this ore, and ragtime elements appear in a number of his works. In 1902 he composed Four Ragtime Dances, scoring them first for small orchestra and later for piano. Both Nos. 3 and 4 are marked Allegro, both feature complex textures through which the characteristic syncopated rhythms can be heard, and both incorporate snatches of the popular melodies Ives heard around him at the turn of the century.

CONLON NANCARROW (1912-1997) studied with Sessions, Piston, and Slonimsky, then joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Returning to the United States after the Loyalist defeat, Nancarrow–who had joined the Communist Party in 1934–faced the loss of his visa because of his political affiliations, and so he moved to Mexico City, where he lived for the rest of his life. Before his departure, Nancarrow had become fascinated with complex rhythms, and this led him to an unusual musical decision: he composed almost exclusively for player piano, on which he could achieve a level of rhythmic complexity and accuracy impossible with mortal performers. Nancarrow once said that “ever since I’d been writing music I was dreaming of getting rid of the performers.”

Nancarrow’s rhythmic complexity fascinated other musicians (Copland commented: “You have to hear it to believe it”), and there have been a handful of pianists willing to master the complexities of music originally conceived for a mechanical player. Late in his long life, Nancarrow began once again to write for live performers: in 1988–when he was 76–Nancarrow composed a set of three canons for piano for Ursula Oppens, and Jeremy Denk performs one of these on the present recital.

DONALD LAMBERT (1904-1962) was a jazz stride pianist. The term “stride” refers to the wide leaps required from the pianist’s left hand (thus, “stride”), while the right hand has the melody. Lambert was active largely in the 1920s and 1930s. The present piece, perhaps his most famous work, uses the “Pilgrims Chorus” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser as its starting point. Lambert offers a brief statement of the theme of that chorus (though one already slightly squared-off), then proceeds into a virtuoso piano piece based on that theme. Part of the fun of this piece is watching the pianist’s left hand, but the right has an absolutely exhilarating romp, through which the chorus of Wagner’s pilgrims can occasionally be heard. Those interested in this music should know that Lambert himself made a terrific recording in 1941.

Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960

FRANZ SCHUBERT
Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 44 minutes

Schubert’s final year was dreadful. Ill for years, he went into steady decline in 1828 and died in November at 31. Yet from those last months came a steady stream of masterpieces, and few of the achievements of that miraculous, agonizing year seem more remarkable than the composition of three large-scale piano sonatas in the month of September, barely eight weeks before his death. In the years following Schubert’s death, many of the works from this final year were recognized as the masterpieces they are, but the three piano sonatas made their way much more slowly. When they appeared in 1838, a decade after Schubert’s death, the publisher dedicated them to Schumann, one of Schubert’s greatest admirers, but even Schumann confessed mystification, noting with a kind of dismayed condescension that “Always musical and rich in songlike themes, these pieces ripple on, page after page . . .” Even as late as 1949, Schubert’s adoring biographer Robert Haven Schauffler could rate them “considerably below the level of the last symphonies and quartets, the String Quintet, and the best songs.” It took Artur Schnabel’s championing these sonatas to rescue them from obscurity, and today the last of them, the Sonata in B-flat Major, has become one of the best-loved of all piano sonatas: the current catalog lists over forty recordings.

It is dangerous to assume that a composer’s final works must be haunted–as were Mahler’s and Shostakovich’s–by premonitions of death. And in fact, Schubert’s final works do not agonize in the way the Mahler Tenth or Shostakovich Fourteenth Symphonies do. But it remains true that as Schubert’s condition worsened across the span of that final year, his music took on a depth and poignance rare in his works. And it is hard not to hear in the beginning of the Sonata in B-flat Major a direct premonition of mortality. The Molto moderato begins simply with a flowing chordal melody of unusual expressiveness. But in the eighth measure comes a discordant trill deep in the left hand, and the music glides to a complete stop. The silence that follows–Schubert marks it with a fermata to be sure that it is prolonged–is one of the few genuinely terrifying moments in music. It is as if a moment of freezing terror has crept into this flow of gentle song. Out of the silence the theme resumes. Again the deep trill intrudes, but this time the music rides over it and continues. Claudio Arrau has spoken of this movement as one written “in the proximity of death,” and while this music is never tortured, it is some of the most expressive Schubert ever wrote. This is a long movement, full of the harmonic freedom that marks Schubert’s best music; it ends quietly in B-flat major with a chorale-like restatement of the main theme.

The Andante sostenuto is as moving as the first movement. The somber opening melody, in the unexpected key of C-sharp minor, proceeds darkly in the right hand, while the left hand offers an unusual accompaniment that skips–almost dances–through a four-octave range, reaching up above the right hand’s melody. The middle section is of a nobility that might almost be called Brahmsian, were that not absurd; perhaps it suggests why, a half-century later, Brahms admired Schubert’s music so much. By contrast, the quicksilvery Scherzo flashes across the keyboard with a main theme that moves easily between the pianist’s hands; at times the rhythms and easy flow make this seem more like a waltz than a scherzo. Schubert specifies that it should be played con delicatezza, and certainly its smooth modulations between A major and B-flat major are accomplished most delicately; the brief trio is enlivened by off-the-beat accents. The finale– Allegro, ma non troppo–dances along its two main ideas. The writing is brilliant and once again full of harmonic surprises, but in the midst of all this sparkle one hears a wistfulness, an expressive depth that stays to haunt the mind long after the music has ended.


Jeremy DenkJeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – an artist The New York Times hails as someone ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’. Winner of a 2013 MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award, he has recently appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London.

Last season, he launched a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and performed Bach concertos with Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and on tour throughout the US. He also appeared with the New York Philharmonic and LA Philharmonic, conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen, and made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the BBC Proms, both in recital and with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. Following the release of his disc of the Golberg Variations--which reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart--he performed the piece throughout Europe, including his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at London’s LSO St. Luke’s.

Denk’s 2015-16 engagements include a fourteen-city recital tour of the US - including performances in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco, and Miami - and culminating in his return to Carnegie Hall. He will return to the Chicago Symphony performing Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto, and to the San Diego, Detroit, and Baltimore Symphonies in performances of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto. He makes his debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony, and in the UK, appears on tour in recital, including a return to the Wigmore Hall, and on tour with the Britten Sinfonia in Cambridge, Norwich, Southampton and London. In a specially curated program of the Ives Violin Sonatas, he also performs in North America with Stefan Jackiw and vocal ensemble New York Polyphony. In 2014 Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was presented by Carnegie Hall last season. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives. In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists. In March 2012, the pianist was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to appear as soloist in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks festival, and he recorded Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Having cultivated relationships with many living composers, he currently has several commissioning projects in progress.

Denk has toured frequently with violinist Joshua Bell, and their recently released Sony Classical album, French Impressions, won the 2012 Echo Klassik award. He also collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis, and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Italian and American Spoleto Festivals, and the Verbier, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen Music, and Mostly Mozart Festivals. Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

Jeremy Denk last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2012.

Aug
2
Wed
SUMMERFEST OUTDOOR CONCERT & MOVIE
Aug 2 @ 6:30 pm
SUMMERFEST OUTDOOR CONCERT & MOVIE @ Ellen Browning Scripps Park | San Diego | California | United States

Free to the Public
SUMMERFEST OUTDOOR CONCERT & MOVIE

The ever-popular Outdoor Concert returns.
Join SummerFest Music Director Cho-Liang Lin, festival artists and special guests for an extraordinary evening of music set against a stunning ocean backdrop.

We invite you to pack a picnic and join us for this wonderful, family-friendly SummerFest tradition. Stay after the concert and enjoy the movie LA LA LAND sponsored by THE LOT.


PROGRAM

SCHUBERTQuartettsatz
Ulysses Quartet
  Christina Bouey, Rhiannon Banerdt, violins;
  Colin Brookes, viola; Grace Ho, cello
MASSENET/MILONEMeditation from Thais for Two Violins
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, violins
MOZART/MILONEDon Giovanni for Four Violins and Bass
Cho-Liang Lin,David Chan, Philip Marten, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
PIAZZOLLA/MILONE Oblivion for Four Violins and Bass
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Marten, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
JOPLIN/MILONEThree Rags for Four Violins and Bass
David Chan, Philip Marten, Cho-Liang Lin, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang,bass
TCHAIKOVSKYPolonaise from Eugene Onegin
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony;
Jeff Edmons, conductor
KABALEVSKYSelections from The Comedians, Opus 26
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony;
Jeff Edmons, conductor
J.S. BACH Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Marten, violins;
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony
MOVIE SCREENING La La Land
Sponsored by THE LOT
Aug
4
Fri
OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos
Aug 4 @ 8:00 pm
OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2017

OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 at 8 PM
UC SAN DIEGO DEPT. OF MUSIC’S CONRAD PREBYS CONCERT HALL

An evening of musical fireworks and spectacular artistry as world-renowned violinists and celebrated pianists strut their stuff. Will there be a winner?

Be there to find out!

Buy Tickets


PROKOFIEV Sonata in C Major for Two Violins, Opus 56
Chee-Yun, David Chan, violins
SARASATENavarra, Opus 33
Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; Scott Cuellar, piano
SHOSTAKOVICH Galop from Moskva,Cheryomushki , Opus 105
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
BIZET/MILONEFantasy on Bizet's Carmen for Four Violins and Doublebass
David Chan, Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
SCHOENFIELD Boogie for Piano, Four-Hands
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, piano
MENDELSSOHNAndante et Allegro Brillant for Piano, Four-Hands, Opus 92
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, piano
RACHMANINOFFSuite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Opus 17
Olga Kern, Inon Barnatan, pianos
Program Notes

WATCH!

BIZET/MILONE: Carmen Fantasy for Four Violins and Double Bass


PRELUDE 7 PM

Conversation with SummerFest Music Director,Cho-Liang Lin, hosted by Scholar-in-Residence Eric Bromberger
This year brings the 32nd SummerFest, and it also marks Jimmy Lin’s 16th summer as Music Director. SummerFest as come a long way since 1986, evolving from what was a tentative experiment into one of the leading chamber music festivals in the country. Join Lin and program annotator Eric Bromberger as they discuss the current state of the festival and how it might develop over the next few years.

Festival Roster

Aug
5
Sat
FROM PRAGUE WITH LOVE
Aug 5 @ 8:00 pm
FROM PRAGUE WITH LOVE @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States