Chamber Music featuring UNF String Students
Dr. Simon Shiao, coordinator
- BEETHOVEN ~ Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, “Spring” : I. Allegro
Joseph Henderson, violin & Nanae Tsujimoto, piano
BRAHMS ~ Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78: I. Vivace ma non troppoSamantha Felber, violin & Machika Satone, piano
HANDEL / HALVORSEN ~ PassacagliaJoseph Henderson, violin & Saori Kazawa, viola
PROKOFIEV ~ Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op 94a: I. Moderato ; II. PrestoDayna Osan, violin & Machika Satone, piano
CORIGLIANO ~ The Red Violin CapricesSaori Kazawa, violin
DVORAK ~ Piano Trio, Op. 90 “Dumky”: VI. Lento maestosoSaori Kazawa, violin, Andre Washington, cello & Nanae Tsujimoto, piano
BEETHOVEN ~ String Quartet No. 5, Op. 18, No. 5: III. Andante cantabileSamantha Felber & Julia Sedloff, violins; Frank Capas, viola; Paul Lee, cello
GLASS ~ String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: III. 1934—Grandmother and KimitakeJoseph Henderson & Julia Sedloff, violins; Saori Kazawa, viola; Paul Lee, cello
Most of the pieces may be heard online at instantencore.com
PROGRAM NOTES by Ed Lein, Music Librarian
The Transcendent German-born composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) began his compositional career essentially imitating the styles and forms he inherited from Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and W.A Mozart (1756-1791), but he expanded and personalized this inheritance, creating works that have come to represent the culmination of the Classical style in much the same way that the works of J.S. Bach (1685-1750) represent the culmination of the Baroque. During Beethoven's "late" period (ca. 1815-1827), he discovered new paths toward still more personal, even intimate, musical expression, and, despite the gradual and eventually total degeneration of his hearing, he forged the way beyond the Classical tradition into the Romantic. Both the “Spring” Sonata and String Quartet no. 5 were published in 1801, placing them in Beethoven’s “early” period. Among Beethoven’s 10 sonatas for violin and piano, his “Spring” Sonata (No. 5) is second in popularity only to his “Kreutzer” Sonata (No.9). For his String Quartet No. 5 in F major, Op. 18, No. 5, Beethoven used Mozart’s String Quartet No. 18, K. 464 (one of Mozart’s “Haydn” Quartets), also in F major, as a model.
At a time when it was fashionable to write programmatic music that illustrated specific scenes, poems, or stories, the great German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was recognized by his admirers as “Beethoven’s true heir” (Grove Concise Dictionary of Music) by demonstrating that established abstract formal procedures could be used to organize musical discourse without sacrificing the passion and deeply individualistic expression that defines 19th-Century Romantic music. Thus, Brahms joined Bach and Beethoven as one of the great “Three B’s” of classical music. Brahms wrote his first Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 78, during the summers of 1878 and 1879 while vacationing in Italy. Among his most ingratiating works, it has been nicknamed the "Rain" Sonata because Brahms used thematic material drawn from his song, Regenlied ("Rain Song").
Along with J.S. Bach (1685-1750) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) is widely regarded as among the most significant composers of the Baroque era, and certainly his Messiah is one of the most-performed works of all time. Handel was born in Germany but became a British subject in 1727, and it was from his naturalized home in London that he gained fame as a composer, primarily for his operas and oratorios. The Passacaglia is drawn from the 7th of Handel’s 12 harpsichord suites, and it was arranged for violin and viola in 1894 by Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935), a Norwegian composer and conductor.
Admired as one of the finest composers of the 20th Century, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a great Russian composer, pianist and conductor, and his music, including the delightful Peter and the Wolf and the exuberant “Classical” Symphony, is widely performed and recorded. Prokofiev thought of himself primarily as an opera composer, and he started early: he wrote his first opera when he was only nine years old. Prokofiev's Sonata No. 2 in D major for Violin and Piano, Op. 94a (1943), is the composer's arrangement of his Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 94 (1942). The adaptation for violin was made at the request of a close friend of Prokofiev's, the legendary David Oistrakh (1908-1974), one of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century.
American composer John Corigliano (b.1938) more or less grew up with the New York Philharmonic providing the soundtrack for his formative years--his father, John, Sr., was the longtime Concertmaster, and John, Jr. worked on the production crew for Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts. At age 26, Corigliano achieved his first big success as a composer with his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963), and he gained wide-spread recognition with the release of the 1980 film, Altered States, for which he composed the musical score. In addition to winning the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his Symphony No. 2, and a 2009 Grammy Award for Mr. Tambourine Man, Corigliano won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Red Violin. Corigiliano provides the following note about his Red Violin Caprices:
These Caprices, composed in conjunction with the score for François Girard's film The Red Violin, take a spacious, troubadour-inspired theme and vary it both linearly and stylistically. These variations intentionally evoke Baroque, Gypsy, and arch-Romantic idioms as they examine the same materials (a dark, seven-chord chaconne as well as that principal theme) from differing aural viewpoints. The Caprices were created and ordered to reflect the structure of the film, in which Bussotti, a fictional 18th-century violin maker, crafts his greatest violin for his soon-to-be-born son. When tragedy claims his wife and child, the grief-stricken Bussotti, in a gesture both ardent and macabre, infuses the blood of his beloved into the varnish of the instrument. Their fates thus joined, the violin travels across three centuries through Vienna, London, Shanghai and Montreal, passing through the hands of a doomed child prodigy, a flamboyant virtuoso, a haunted Maoist commissar, and at last a willful Canadian expert, whose own plans for the violin finally complete the circle of parent and child united in art.
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) is an immensely popular Czech composer who fused melodic and rhythmic elements of Slavic folk music with classical forms. For his Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 ("Dumky"), Dvořák created a suite of six "dumky" (singular dumka), which alternate slow, often florid laments with lively dances. With its music thus patterned after Ukrainian folk ballads, the "Dumky" Trio is one of the best-known works of chamber music from the 19th Century.