FSU Faculty Artists
- Corinne Stillwell, violin,
- Gregory Sauer, cello
- Read Gainsford, piano
I. Aggressive--II. Dark--III. Energetic
EDWARD LEIN: Dark Eyes Variations in the form of a Sonatina
FRANZ SCHUBERT: Piano Trio No. 1, op. 99, D. 898
1. Allegro moderato—2. Andante un poco mosso
3. Scherzo. Allegro—4. Rondo. Allegro vivace
PROGRAM NOTES, by Edward Lein, Music Librarian
Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk recently completed his doctorate at The Florida State University in Violin Performance, and holds the B.M. and double M.M. in violin and composition from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 2007, and was Composer-In-Residence at the Florida Chamber Music Project in Ponte Vedra for the 2013-2014 season. In addition to multiple awards as violinist, Dr. Szewczyk has won numerous local, national and international awards and competitions for for his compositions, including the Theme Song contest for WJCT's First Coast Connect show with Melissa Ross, and the Jacksonville Symphony's 2008 Fresh Ink competition. His music has been featured on NPR Performance Today and the CBS Early Show, and has been performed by numerous ensembles including the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Alias Ensemble, Dover Quartet, Sybarite 5, Juventas Ensemble, Atlanta Chamber Players, New Music Raleigh and many others. His Apparitions for Violin, Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Percussion, released on Navona records NOVA CD, was called “magical” by Gramophone Magazine. Dr. Szewczyk's Piano Trio No. 1, composed in 2010, won the The American Prize in Composition--Chamber Music (Professional Division) in 2014. The three-movement work exhibits something of a cinematic quality, with the first "Aggressive" movement bustling with nervous excitement interrupted by moments of jazzy, lyric reflection; the second "Dark" movement perhaps suggesting a "film noir" atmosphere; and the final "Energetic" movement seemingly battling through the darkness into an expansive, triumphant dawn.
Florida native Edward Lein (b. 1955) holds master's degrees in Music and Library Science from Florida State University. Early in his career he appeared throughout his home state as tenor soloist in recitals, oratorios and dramatic works, and drawing on this performance experience the majority of his early compositions are vocal and choral works. Following performances by the Jacksonville Symphony of Meditation for cello, oboe and orchestra (premiered June 2006) and In the Bleak Midwinter (premiered December 2007), his instrumental catalog has grown largely due to requests from Symphony players for new pieces. His translations of songs and song cycles are frequently published in music program guides in North America and Great Britain, ranging from student recitals to concerts by major orchestras, including Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Utah Symphony; he also contributes articles to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Encore magazine. Composed and first performed in 2010, the tongue-in-cheek Dark Eyes (Variations in the Form of a Sonatina) is based on Florian Hermann's famous waltz tune popularized by Russian gypsies. Following a fiery introduction, the dancing rhythms of the Polish polonaise and the Cuban havanaise characterize the sonatina’s primary and secondary thematic groups respectively; the coda begins with the Dark Eyes tune transformed into a fughetta subject, and the movement ends with a restatement of its opening fanfare.
“One glance at Schubert’s Trio and the troubles of our human existence disappear and all the world is fresh and bright again.” This is how composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) extolled the ebullient Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, op. 99 (D. 898) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), the Austrian composer whose tragically short life nonetheless saw the creation of over 600 songs in addition to his numerous symphonies, chamber works, masses, and solo piano music. Likely completed during Schubert's final year, the Piano Trio No. 1 (composed along with his Piano Trio No. 2 and the song cycle Winterreise) became the first piano trio of significance written since Beethoven finished the "Archduke" Trio in 1811. Like Beethoven's famous model, Schubert's trio has four movements. The sparkling first movement includes a paraphrase of the song, Des Sängers Habe (The Singer's Possessions), with a text that reflects Schubert's own circumstances: “Shatter my good fortune to pieces, Take all my possessions from me, But allow me yet my zither And I shall remain happy and rich!” Whereas Beethoven's "Archduke" has the Scherzo second and then a slow movement, Schubert switches the order, placing his lyrical Andante after the opening, followed by a thoroughly Austrian Scherzo that pairs a folksy Ländler with a waltz. Schubert's sunny "Rondo" finale incorporates developmental techniques of a sonata-form, and paraphrases another of his songs, Skolie (Drinking Song, 1815), D. 306: "Let us in the morning light of May Enjoy the flowers of life Before its fragrance fades!"