Monday, June 18, 2012

Promenade! Art Walk Concert, 03/6/2013 @ 7pm

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Music Students

Vera Watson, coordinator

  • BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major "Quasi una fantasia," Op. 27, No. 1.
    -- I. Andante--Allegro--Andante
         Joshua Rentrope, piano
  • HAYDN: Sonata in G Major, Hob. XVI: 40.
    -- I. Allegro innocente
         Stephanie Bird, piano
  • CLEMENTI: Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 3.
    -- I. Spiritoso
         Kierstyn Granzow, piano
  • KABALEVSKY: A Short Story (30 Pieces for Children, Op. 27, No. 20)
         Matthew Cunningham, piano
  • BROWN: Soliloquy
         Noah Higgins, piano
  • SCHUMANN: Of Foreign Lands and Peoples (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 1)
         Emily Taylor, piano
  • CLEMENTI: Sonatina in G Major, Op. 36, No. 2.
    -- I. Allegretto
         Phillip Hess, piano
  • CHOPIN: Prelude in B minor, Op. 28, No. 6 "Tolling Bells"
         Remy Van Nostrand, piano
  • ROLLIN: Moonlight Nocturne
         Asia Strong, piano
  • DEBUSSY: En bateau ("Onboard boat," Petite suite, No. 1)
         Alyssa Jang & Miranda Caprio, piano 4-hands
  • MOZART: Sonata No. 12 in F Major, K. 332/300k.
    -- III. Allegro assai
         Viann Yu
  • DEBUSSY: Ballet (Petite suite, No. 4)
         Chloe Reynolds & Morgan Stark, piano 4-hands
  • BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Moonlight," Op. 27, No. 2.
    -- III. Presto
         Ryan Feeney, piano
  • CHOPIN: Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth.
         Sen Valeski, piano
  • CHOPIN: Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40, No. 1 "Military"
         Caleb Webber, piano
  • MAHLER: Piano Quartet in A minor (in one movement)
         Kara Swanson, violin; Benjamin Campbell, viola; Tara Reifnider, cello; Dylan Hewlett, piano
Recordings of most of these pieces may be heard on our event web page at InstantEncore 
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.
DASOTA Piano Program 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.
Pianist Vera WatsonVera Watson has been Chair of the Piano Department at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts since 1999. She received her Bachelor's degree and Master of Music with honors from the Russian Academy in Moscow, toured Russia as a recitalist, taught piano and conducting as a graduate assistant, and has published several works on science. Ms. Watson has served as the scholarship chairperson of the Jacksonville Music Teachers Association, as assistant to the president of the Jacksonville District of Federated Music Clubs of America, and has been an adjudicator for various piano competitions. During summer months she teaches at the North Florida Piano Camp held at UNF, and, as a member of the American Guild of Organists, serves as guest conductor at Palms Presbyterian Church. She has National Certification in Piano from the Music Teachers National Association, and is included in Who's Who in American Women and Who's Who in American Teachers.

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  Haydn, Clementi and Mozart, 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 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.
Beethoven composed both Sonata No. 13, Op. 27, No. 1, and Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No.2, in 1801, about the same time he began to lose his hearing, and he gave them both the same subtitle: Sonata quasi una fantasia ("Sonata in the manner of a fantasy"). This title is especially apt for Sonata No. 13, since its four, highly contrasted movements do not follow the "typical" ordering of Classic-period sonatas, and they are played without a break. Rather than being cast in an "expected" sonata-allegro form, the first-movement Andante-Allegro-Andante shapes up as an ABA song form. 

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. Known as both “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet,” 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.  Composed in 1784, Haydn's Sonata in G Major, H.XVI:40, is dedicated to Princess Marie Esterházy (1768-1845), and the Allegretto e innocente is first of the sonata's two movements.

At the end of the 18th Century, only Haydn was held in higher regard as a composer than was Muzio Clementi (1752-1832).  Clementi was born in Italy, but when he was a teenager he moved to England where he continued his musical education while working as a musician on the estate of the Lord Mayor of London. At age 21 Clementi began touring as one of the most-celebrated concert pianists in Europe, and he also became successful as a music publisher and piano manufacturer. Beethoven credited Clementi with providing the foundation upon which he built his own piano technique, and also touted Clementi as the best composer for the still-developing keyboard instrument.  Written in 1797, Clementi's six Sonatinas, Op. 36, are nicknamed "Progressive Sonatinas," indicating that the playing becomes more challenging as the pianist moves through the cycle.

Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was a leading composer and music educator of Soviet Russia.  He was one of the few Soviet composers who developed a following in the West, due in part to champions such as conductor Arturo Toscanini and pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Although Kabalevsky's concert music is sometimes dismissed by music critics for lacking many of the modernist mannerisms typical of composers of his generation, his accessible and often very energetic style has been a great favorite with audiences. Kabalevsky was especially dedicated to working with children and composing music for them, and he was elected the head of the U.S.S.R.'s Commission of Musical Esthetic Education of Children in 1962.  The collection entitled Thirty Pieces for Children, Op. 27, composed in 1937 and 1938, has achieved "classic" status among works specifically written for the training of young musicians. Short Story (also known as "Fairy Tale") is among the most popular pieces from the set.

American composer Timothy Brown is a fine arts specialist for the Public Schools in Dallas, Texas, where he also serves on the advisory board of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.  He has published over a hundred compositions, and his works, which are performed throughout North America and Europe, have been featured at the Spoleto Music Festival and in the Library of Congress Concert Series in Washington D.C., as well as on National Public Radio.  He has had numerous commissions, including from the Hattiesburg Composer Festival, and from the Dallas Ballet Foundation to write an orchestral score for The Happy Prince, a ballet based on Oscar Wilde's short story.  His elegiac Soliloquy in F# minor ((2009) was written “in memory of Anna Kronbauz.”

The hopes of the great German Romantic composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) to become a concert pianist were dashed in his early twenties when he permanently damaged his hand, so he redirected his energies to both composing and music criticism. From childhood he was torn between literature and music, but he managed to combine these two loves even in some of his purely instrumental music by using poetry and dramatic narrative to color and direct the musical discourse.
Composed in 1838, the 13 pieces that comprise Schumann's Kinderszenen ("Childhood Scenes") are not really intended  specifically for children, as one might suppose at first glance. Rather, they are nostalgic remembrances of youth filtered through the experience of adulthood. Nothing demonstrates this better than the first piece, Von fremden Länder und Menschen ("Of Foreign Lands and Peoples"). The simple, wistful tune perhaps suggests that the imagined distance is not of place, but of time--a happy remembrance of a carefree existence foreign to the often troubled circumstances adults face, such as the embittered court battle with his former teacher, and future father-in-law, that Schumann was then waging, fighting for the right to marry his beloved Clara Wieck (1819-1896).

The Polish-born pianist Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was the first composer to make full use of the expressive qualities and coloristic potential of the piano when it was a still-developing keyboard instrument, and he 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 (1811-1886) and Richard Wagner (1813-1883)--thus Chopin's importance in the development of the "Romantic" style in general can not be overestimated.
It comes as no surprise that Chopin held the keyboard works of J.S. Bach in very high regard, and Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, perhaps best can be viewed as a tribute to the Baroque master.  In each his two books called the Well-tempered Clavier, Bach uses a prelude-fugue pairing to explore all 24 major and minor keys. Chopin dispenses with the fugue, but his Preludes likewise traverse all 24 keys, although he organizes them by the "Circle of 5ths" rather than by ascending half-steps as Bach had done. The melancholy Prelude No. 6 was performed at Chopin's funeral, and is often nicknamed "Tolling Bells," but it also is sometimes called "Homesickness." 

American composer and pianist Catherine Rollin is an active teacher and clinician, and has given workshops and masterclasses in Japan, Canada, and throughout the United States. She has published over 200 pedagogic compositions for the piano, including works commissioned by Music Teachers National Association and Clavier magazine.  Her Romantically-inspired Moonlight Nocturne in C minor was published in 2007.

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. Debussy is universally identified as the chief proponent of musical Impressionism, but he did not approve of that label and the associations he felt it harbored. But since his death the term as applied to music has been redefined almost exclusively around the characteristics of some of Debussy's most famous pieces, such as Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and La mer ("The Sea"), so whatever negative connotations "Impressionism" once may have had have since evaporated.
Debussy's Petite suite ("Little Suite") for piano 4-hands, was composed in 1889, and most likely was intended originally for performances in private salons rather than the concert hall. The first of the four movements, En Bateau ("Onboard Boat"), was inspired by a poem of the same title by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), whereas the final movement, Ballet, is a jaunty dance. 

Austrian-born Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), unquestionably one of the greatest composers in history, began his career as a 6-year-old piano prodigy, and he absorbed and mastered all the contemporary musical trends he was exposed to along the way. The Sonata in F Major, K. 332, is the third of three sonatas (along with K. 330 and K. 331) that were published in 1784. It seems likely that Mozart had composed them for his students the previous year, but he and his publisher decided they could "cash in" on Mozart's growing fame as a pianist by offering them for sale to the public at large.

Beethoven's famous Moonlight Sonata did not receive it's nickname until after the composer's death, when a music critic reflected that the first movement conjured an image of moonbeams shimmering on the surface of a lake. By contrast, the stormy Presto finale is so vigorous that when Beethoven played it himself he reportedly snapped some of the piano strings.

The last three of Chopin's 21 Nocturnes were published posthumously, but the piece now known as Nocturne No. 20 was not actually named that by the composer. Written for his sister Ludwika in 1830 as a study to prepare for playing his 2nd Piano Concerto, it was first published in 1856 under its tempo indication, Lento con gran espressione ("Very slowly with much emotion"). But an 1870 editon called it "Nocturne" and the title stuck, although it sometimes also is called "Reminiscence." This Nocturne was featured in the World War II bio-pic, The Pianist (2002), and it played a major part in another real-life drama from the same dark period.  In 1943, the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp discovered that Polish pianist Natalia Weissman (1911-2007) was among his prisoners, and he ordered her to play for his birthday. She chose the Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, and so impressed her captors that they spared not only her life, but also the life of her sister. After the war she resumed her concert career, performing into her 90s as Natalia Karp, and she was known especially for her interpretation of the piece that had saved her life.
Among the five Polish national dances, the polonaise (stately 3/4 time) and mazurka (lively 3/4 time) are the best known, thanks to Chopin having written so many of them both. Chopin's earliest known compositions were two polonaises written when he was seven years old, probably before he could even reach the pedals, and his last work in the genre, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, was written three years before he died. Among Chopin's 18 (or so) polonaises, the "Military" Polonaise, Op. 40, no. 1 (1838), and the "Heroic" Polonaise, Op. 53 (1842), are the most-recognizable by the general public.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was born in Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia), and he achieved his greatest successes in Vienna. But it was more for his conducting rather than composing that he gained international fame, and during the last years of his life he accepted principal conducting appointments at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and to the New York Philharmonic. When Mahler died from a blood infection at age 50, he still had not received full acceptance from the Viennese musical establishment as a composer. Now, however, he is regarded as the last great Viennese symphonist, joining the ranks of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner and Brahms.
In his maturity as a composer Mahler produced only symphonies and orchestral songs, and his only existing chamber work is the early Piano Quartet in A minor, the manuscript of which was rediscovered in the eary 1960s by Mahler's widow, Alma (1879-1964). Its single movement was first performed in 1876 while Mahler was a student at the Vienna Conservatory, and the young composer toyed with the idea of expanding it into a multi-movement work, but abandoned the idea after sketching only two dozen measures of a scherzo movement.

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