Vera Watson, Faculty Coordinator
HAYDN: Sonata in C, Hob XVI:1. I. Allegro
DEBUSSY: En Bateau
Daniel Nabert and Viann Yu
CLEMENTI: Sonatina in D, op. 36, no. 6. I. Allegro con spirito
HAYDN Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI:34. I. Presto
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No, 8 in C Minor, op. 13 "Pathétique." II. Adagio cantabile
CHOPIN: Nocturne No. 19 in E Minor, op. posth. 72, no. 1
MACDOWELL: Elfin Round
CHOPIN: Mazurka in F-sharp Minor, op. 6, no. 1
DEBUSSY: Page d'album (Album Leaf)
HOVHANESS: Macedonian Mountain Dance
CHOPIN: Prelude No. 6 in B minor, op. 28, no. 6
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 13 in E-flat, op. 27, no. 1 "Quasi una Fantasia." I. Andante-Allegro-Andante
ALBÉNIZ: Cataluña (from Suite española, op. 47)
CHOPIN: Waltz in D-flat Major, op. 64, no. 1 "Minute Waltz"
JOPLIN: Maple Leaf Rag
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 4 in E-flat, op. 7 "Grand Sonata." I. Allegro molto con brio
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts is a Duval County Public School for students grades 9 through 12 with a desire for intensive study in the arts. Established as an arts school in 1985, the school attracts students from all parts of North Florida and South Georgia who have talent in dance, instrumental or vocal music, performance or technical theater, film and video production, creative writing, and visual arts. A high academic standard, coupled with broad arts curriculum, offers students an opportunity to excel in a chosen discipline while preparing them for post-secondary education.
In 2000 DA’s Piano program was recognized as the best music program in Northeast Florida and was awarded the Jacksonville Symphony Association’s Harmony Grant. The Piano Department offers serious young pianists a unique opportunity to be in an intensive and varied program and to work with internationally acclaimed guest artists.
Vera Watson has been Chair of the Piano Department at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts since 1999. She holds National Certification in piano from the Music Teachers National Association and a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate. Under her leadership the DA piano program was recognized as the best music program in Northeast Florida by the Jacksonville Symphony Guild in 2001, for which Douglas Anderson received the Harmony Grant. In 2003, Ms. Watson received the Surdna Foundation Grant in New York City, in recognition of her achievements among the best arts teachers in the United States. In 2010, Friday Musicale presented Vera Watson with the Carolyn Day Pfohl Music Educator Award for Outstanding Achievements. She is especially proud of her many students who have been accepted into prestigious music conservatories, and have become successful artists.
PROGRAM NOTES by Edward Lein, Music Librarian
In Alphabetical Order by the Composers’ Last Names
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) is among the best-known proponents of Music Nationalism of Spain. He gave his first public concert when he was four years old and during his teens became known as the greatest prodigy from his homeland. In 1883, Albéniz settled in Barcelona where he met Felipe Pedrell (1841-1922), a musicologist and composer who convinced him that it was important for Spanish composers to write music based on the characteristic folk songs and dances of their homeland. This turned out to be very good advice—although Albéniz also continued to compose music in a cosmopolitan style, it is for his Spanish-flavored music that he is most remembered, such as Cataluña, from his Suite española, op. 47.
The Transcendent German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) started out imitating the styles and forms he inherited from Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and W.A Mozart (1756-1791), but during his "middle" period (ca. 1803-1815) Beethoven expanded and personalized this inheritance, creating works that have come to represent the culmination of the “Classical style” in general. During Beethoven's "late" period (ca. 1815-1827), he discovered new paths toward still more personal musical expression and forged the way beyond the Classical tradition into the Romantic. Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas are regarded among the most significant set of piano works ever composed, and along with his string quartets provide a testament to his compositional evolution. Nicknamed “Grand Sonata” at the time of its publication in 1797, Sonata No. 4 is said to reflect Beethoven’s love of nature, and later became known also as Verliebte (“Woman in Love”). Composed the following year, the “Pathétique” Sonata (No. 8) remains one of the best-loved of Beethoven’s works. Completed in 1801, Sonata No. 13 still falls within Beethoven’s “early” period, but contemporary critics were already commenting on the composer’s highly individual approach to musical discourse.
The Polish-born pianist Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was the first composer to make full use of the expressive qualities of the piano as we know it, and rightly has been called the "Poet of the Piano." Much of all piano music by subsequent composers shows his influence, and his revolutionary use of chromatic harmonies and unusual key relationships profoundly influenced composers of symphonic music and operas as well, such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner—thus Chopin's importance in the development of the "Romantic" style in general cannot be overestimated. Spanning two decades of Chopin’s short life, the Nocturne No. 19 (1827), Mazurka, op. 6 , no. 1 (1830), Prelude, op. 28, no. 6 (1839), and Waltz, op. 64, no. 1 (1847) not only provide examples of the forms for which the composer is best known (adding also the polonaise), they demonstrate that the 17-year-old composer already displayed characteristics that define the works of his maturity.
At the end of the 18th Century, only Haydn was held in higher regard as a composer than was Muzio Clementi 1752-1832), and Beethoven credited the Italian composer with providing the foundation upon which he built his own piano technique. Additionally, Clementi was one of the most-celebrated concert pianists in Europe, and became successful as a music publisher and piano manufacturer as well. His six Sonatinas, Op. 36 (1797) are nicknamed "Progressive Sonatinas," indicating the playing becomes more challenging as you go through them.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a quintessentially French composer, pianist and music critic whose own revolutionary music ushered in many of the stylistic changes of the 20th Century, and he is universally identified as the chief proponent of musical Impressionism. Just as Chopin's piano music has influenced many subsequent piano works, Debussy's body of piano music has had a similar effect on the works of his successors. The first movement in Petite suite ("Little Suite,” 1889) for piano 4-hands, En Bateau ("Onboard Boat") was inspired by a poem of the same title by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Debussy composed Page d'album (“Album Page”) in 1915 to help raise money for a WWI relief organization, Le Vêtement du Blessé (“The Dressing of the Wounded”).
Genial Austrian composer (Franz) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) is the musician most credited with establishing the “Classical” style that his two younger contemporaries Mozart and Beethoven built upon, and by the time of his death "Papa" Haydn had become the most widely-celebrated composer in Europe. Haydn started out as a choirboy and never developed into a keyboard virtuoso, so his 52-62 keyboard sonatas (depending on who's counting) were mostly composed in the early part of his career for the instruction and amusement of his noble patrons. Piano Sonata, H. XVI:1 (aka, No. 10 in the Robbins-Landon listing), was likely composed in the early 1770s (and perhaps by someone other than Haydn, according to the Grove Dictionary). Piano Sonata, H. XVI:34 (L. 54, ca. 1784) is one of only seven piano sonatas Haydn wrote in a minor key.
American composer Alan Hovhaness (born Alan Vaness Chakmakjian, 1911-2000) is perhaps best known for his early works that reflect his Armenian heritage, but his evolving, highly-original style eventually incorporated influences from a wide variety of ethnic music from around the world, especially from India and the Far East. With over 500 works to his credit, he was among the first composers to include aleatoric or “chance” passages in some of his works, and he has been credited with anticipating both the minimalist techniques of composers such asAmerican composer Alan Hovhaness (born Alan Vaness Chakmakjian, 1911-2000) is perhaps best known for his early works that reflect his Armenian heritage, but his evolving, highly-original style eventually incorporated influences from a wide variety of ethnic music from around the world, especially from India and the Far East. With over 500 works to his credit, he was among the first composers to include aleatoric or “chance” passages in some of his works, and he has been credited with anticipating both the minimalist techniques of composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and the mysticism of John Taverner, Arvo Pärt and Henryk Gorécki. Hovhaness wrote his Macedonian Mountain Dance for piano solo in 1937 (revised in 1962), and orchestrated it ca. 1964.
Texas-born composer Scott Joplin (1867 or 8-1917) began his career as a touring musician during his teens, and went on to become known as the “King of Ragtime” for his compositions. First published in 1897, The Maple Leaf Rag remains Joplin’s most famous piece and is frequently cited as the best-selling and most-influential composition in the history of ragtime music, placing its creator among the earliest African-American composers to gain international recognition. Hoping to find backing for Treemonisha, his second opera, Joplin moved from the Midwest to New York City in 1907. Completing and self-publishing the opera in 1911, Joplin was unable to secure a staged performance during his lifetime, but following the first full-scale production by the Houston Opera in 1975, Joplin was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to American music.
Although he was born and died in New York City, Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) studied piano and composition in Europe at the Paris and Frankfurt conservatories, and began his teaching career in Germany. He returned to the U.S. in 1888, and the following year appeared as soloist in the premiere of his enduringly-popular Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 23, considered his most successful large-scale work. In 1896, he founded the music department at Columbia University where he remained until 1904, the same year he was elected as one of the first seven members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a composer MacDowell is held in highest regard for his piano miniatures, including An Elfin Round, the last of his 6 Fancies, op. 7, first published in 1898.
SELECTED RELATED LIBRARY RESOURCES
786 G665h 1996
A history of keyboard literature : music for the piano and its forerunners / Stewart Gordon.
786.2193071 TUNSTALL 2008
Note by note : a celebration of the piano lesson / Tricia Tunstall.
M20 .F275 1996 [MUSIC SCORE]
Favorite piano classics : 83 best-loved works / edited by Ronald Herder.