Boyan Bonev, cello
Mimi Noda, piano
* SARASATE: Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1
* LEIN: Nocturne
* PIAZZOLLA: Libertango
* POPPER: Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68
* BRAHMS: Piano Trio No.1 in B Major Op.8
- Allegro con brio
- Scherzo - Allegro molto
Korean violinist Ji Won Hwang earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul, Korea, where she also taught, in addition to conducting the Soongsil Boy's Orchestra. After moving to the United States she became a teaching assistant at The Florida State University while working on her Doctor of Music degree under the guidance of violinist Eliot Chapo. She has performed as a solo artist and with a variety of ensembles in the Big Bend area, including as violinist with the Eppes String Quartet under the sponsorship of Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Ellen Taafe Zwilich. Winner of the top prize of the Korea Germany Brahms Association Competition in 2004, Dr. Hwang has performed throughout Asia, Europe and North America, and recently gave a concert entitled "Russia in New York" at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her solo engagements, she plays for symphony orchestras in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.
Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) was a popular virtuoso whose light touch and flawless tone inspired several of the Romantic period's enduring showpieces, including Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, Saint-Saens' Introduction & Rondo Capriccio and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, not to mention concertos by these and other composers. As an eight-year old Sarasate already was giving concerts, and after winning the Paris Conservatory's top performance prize at age 17, he began an international solo career that continued unabated for four decades--his star shone so brightly that even Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went to hear him play! Composed in 1879, Romanza Andaluza (op. 22, no. 1) is the third of Sarasate's eight "Spanish Dances" for violin and piano. Paying obvious tribute to the music of his homeland, Sarasate capitalizes on the violin's low register while introducing his folk-like original tunes, then harmonizes them with persistent double-stops that enhance the music's dancing lyricism with virtuosic flair.
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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 most of his early compositions feature voices. Following performances by the Jacksonville Symphony of his 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. The Nocturne is the second movement from his Sonatina (2007). It presents a languid tune that alternates with a hymn-like chorale, perhaps suggesting a quiet boat ride down the St. John's River at dusk.
SCORE (pdf)[Beginning at p.8]
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With an estimated catalog of over 3,000 compositions, Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) pretty much single-handedly reinvented the tango. Born in Argentina, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood in New York, where he developed a fondness for jazz and classical music. His father taught him to play the bandoneón, a concertina common to Argentine tango ensembles, and when he returned to Buenos Aires in 1937 he played with some of the leading bands. He also began composition studies with Alberto Ginastera and won a grant in 1953 to study in Paris with legendary composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. Returning to Argentina in 1955, Piazzolla infused the traditional national dance with characteristics of jazz and formal elements from his classical studies. Although this nuevo tango ("new tango") style was met with resistance in his homeland, it captivated Europeans and North Americans and his international career blossomed. Libertango reflects his "liberation of the tango," and has been recorded over 500 times since originally recorded and published in 1974.
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Called "the Rostropovich of the 19th century," David Popper (1843-1913) was born in the Jewish ghetto of Prague and became one of Europe's most celebrated cellists. In addition to holding prestigious orchestral positions, Popper was well-known as both solo virtuoso and chamber musician, partnering with a number of high-profile pianists, including his wife Sophie Menter (whom Liszt cited as the world's greatest woman pianist), Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Also a highly respected teacher, Popper joined the faculty of the Budapest royal conservatory in 1896, and his influence continues to this day through the High School of Cello Playing, Op. 78 (1901-05), something of a bible for advanced cello students. A gifted melodist, most of Popper's compositions showcase the expressive and technical capabilities of his instrument, amply demonstrated in the Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68 (1894), likely his best-known work.
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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. Originally composed in 1854, Brahms revised his Piano Trio No. 1, op. 8 in 1889, but, remarkably, he allowed both versions to remain in print (although, not surprisingly, it's the revision that's almost always performed). Another remarkable thing about the Trio is that it's one of very few multi-movement instrumental works composed during the 400 or so years comprising the Baroque through Romantic periods that begin in a major key and end in a minor one.
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SELECTED RELATED LIBRARY RESOURCES
- CD VIOLIN S525 R758 DG
Romances [sound recording] / Gil Shaham, violin (featuring Sarasate : Romanza andaluza).
- CD P584 I59se SONY
Soul of the tango [sound recording] : the music of Astor Piazzolla.
- 780.92 P584Az, 2000
Le grand tango : the life and music of Astor Piazzolla / by María Susana Azzi.
- CD STRING P831 I59se NAXOS
Romantic cello showpieces [sound recording] / David Popper.
- 780.92 NEUNZIG
Brahms / by Hans A. Neunzig.
- CD B813 T834 TELDEC
The piano trios [sound recording] / Brahms (Trio Fontenay).