Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Music @ Main 2014-2015 Season Opener : Concert & Reception

Tuesday, September 16 @ 7pm*
  • Max Huls, violin
  • Alexei Romanenko, cello
  • Christine Clark, piano
Chamber Music by Edward Lein

Sonatina for Violin & Piano
       I. Allegro moderato II. Nocturne - III. Scherzo (Finale)
[listen at InstantEncore [Score (PDF)]

Sonatina for Cello & Piano "Bygones" (Premiere)
       I. Prelude (Nostalgia) - II. Fugue (No Regrets) - III. Finale (Bygones)
[listen on InstantEncore]
[Score (PDF)]

Un Duclito: Suite for Violin & Cello (Premiere)
       I. Hoodoo (Samba) - II. Tangle (Tango) - III. La llarona - IV. Rumor (Rumba)
[listen on InstantEncore]
[Score (PDF]

Piano Trio (Premiere)
       I. Energetic - II. Minuet in Olden Style - III. Dark Eyes (Variations)
[listen on InstantEncore]
[Score (PDF]

* Please note the date change made to avoid a conflict with another City event


Originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, violinist Max Huls joined the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in 1993, and was introduced to the First Coast as soloist in Bartók’s Second Rhapsody for violin and orchestra. Mr. Huls is on the faculty of the Prelude Chamber Music Camp and is a violin coach for the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He appeared variously as concertmaster, soloist and conductor with the Savannah Symphony, and was concertmaster of the Coastal Symphony of Georgi, the Memphis Symphony and Opera Memphis. Max was on the faculty of the University of Memphis and Rhodes College, and while living in Tennessee was in demand as a studio musician, working with the rock group The Replacements and soul legends Patti LaBelle and Al Green, among many others. Max was second violin with the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin, and also has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Missouri Symphony Society, Eastern Music Festival, and Memphis Chamber Music Society. Since age 16, Max has shared the solo violin's celebrated masterpieces and forgotten treasures in recital, including Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas, the Six Sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe, and works by Bartók, Nielsen, Franck and Paganini. He appears frequently in local concerts and recitals, and has regularly contributed his time and talent to Jacksonville Public Library's  Music @ Main concert series. As a member of Duo Proto, Max plays alongside his son Victor Minke Huls, who in turn plays a number of instruments including flute, cello, mandolin and piano. His degrees include a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music and Philosophy from Stephens College, and a  Master of Music from University of Memphis

Alexei Romanenko has been the principal cellist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since the 2005-2006 season. Born in Russia, he began his cello studies at age six, and at twelve won First Prize in the Far-Eastern Competition. Mr. Romanenko studied at the Moscow Conservatory, and in 1993 became a Laureate of “New Names,” an international program with extensive touring throughout Russia; he also garnered top prize in the Gnesina College Cello Competition. Moving to the United States in 1998, he was awarded the Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Bernard Greenhouse and Laurence Lesser. Mr. Romanenko won First Prize at the 8th International Music Competition (Vienna, Austria) in 1999, and First Prize at the 2nd Web Concert Hall International Auditions in 2000. He has composed and arranged works for unaccompanied cello, and written cadenzas for numerous cello concerti. His versatility as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician has led to appearances with major orchestras and recital engagements worldwide, and he has been heard in national and international radio broadcasts. Alexei is also an organist and pianist, and holds artist residencies in colleges and universities across North America and abroad.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Christine Armington Clark began piano studies with James Crosland, and continued her professional training at Oberlin Conservatory. She received a master's degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois, and studied with Leon Fleisher in the Peabody Conservatory Artist Diploma Program upon the recommendation of legendary concert pianist Lorin Hollander. Ms. Clark was national finalist in the Collegiate Artist Competition sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association, and attended the Aspen Music Festival on a piano performance and accompanying scholarship. She competed in the Maryland International Piano Competition, and won the Boca Raton Piano Competition. A versatile musician, Ms. Clark played keyboard with Trap Door, a local rock group, and toured Europe under the aegis of Proclaim! International. She taught piano at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and her chamber music performances include an appearance at the Goethe Institute in San Francisco. Well known along the First Coast, Ms. Clark has appeared with the Jacksonville Starlight Symphonette and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared in numerous solo recitals and in collaboration with many of the areas finest instrumentalists and vocalists. She has served on the Boards of several arts organizations, is a past President of Friday Musicale, and is on the faculty of Prelude Chamber Music camp. While working as a law clerk in Washington, D.C., Christine gave perhaps her most unusual recital, performing in the United States Supreme Court at the request of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.


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 of pieces by the Jacksonville Symphony, including 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.  After 28 years as the Music Librarian for the City of Jacksonville, Ed retired from full-time employment in July 2014, but still produces Jacksonville Public Library's popular Music @ Main concert series.

PROGRAM NOTES, by the composer

Sonatina for Violin and Piano
The Sonatina for Violin and Piano was composed in the summer of 2007 for Max Huls and Christine Clark, who premiered the work the following June. As the title suggests, its direct, neoclassical style incorporates familiar formal patterns. The first movement is a sonata form, and the Nocturne presents a languid tune that alternates with a hymn-like chorale. The final Scherzo is an incisive transformation of the second movement theme, and its “trio” section further transforms the tune into a rather mundane parlor waltz that gains character as it progresses.

Sonatina for Cello & Piano ("Bygones”)
The initial inspiration for the Sonatina for Cello and Piano came in 2010 with a general call to composers from Alexei Romanenko for 5-minute pieces for cello and piano.  That resulted in what became the Trio's Finale, and the Prelude and Fugue movements were composed in 2012 as companion pieces. Subtitled “Nostalgia,” the first movement reflects a definite “Romantic” melodic sensibility. The second movement begins with a 12-tone fugal exposition, but the subject is then “transposed” into the movement’s home key of B minor;  in a further departure from traditional fugal technique, the episodes between statements of the subject are more lyrical than developmental. Although the sonata-form third movement was introduced in 2011 by cellist Boyan Bonev and pianist Hristo Birbochukov, tonight marks the premiere of the complete Sonatina.

Un Dulcito (“A Little Sweet”) : for Violin and Cello 
Un Dulcito is a suite of Latin-American dances. The second-movement, Tangle, was written in March 2009 at the request of Jacksonville Symphony players Piotr Szewczyk and Alexei Romanenko. The other movements were added soon after, and tunes used in both Hoodoo and Rumor are melodic transformations of the main Tangle theme. The third movement, La llorona (The Weeping Woman), combines the famous Latin-American folk-song (about a ghost who haunts waterways searching for her drowned children) with the Dies irae plainchant from the mass for the dead. Also arranged for string orchestra, the dances have been performed by a number of string ensembles, but this is the first complete performance of the original duo version of the suite.

Trio for Violin, Cello & Piano
The Trio for Violin, Cello & Piano was prepared especially for this concert, and draws on music spanning nearly four decades. The “Energetic” opening movement is adapted from the first instrumental piece I wrote. Dating from 1976, I originally planned it as the first movement of a sonata for clarinet and piano, and later re-worked it as a piece for unaccompanied violin, but neither earlier version has been performed publicly. The second movement is adapted from Sad Minuet in Olden Style, an orchestral piece I wrote in 2011 in memory of Edward Koehler. A beloved friend, Ed volunteered for the receptions that followed the Library's original Sunday concert series. During the 1970s he was principal flute with the Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and one of his favorite pieces to perform was Gluck’s minuet, Dance of the Blessed Spirits, which inspired this movement. The Trio's final movement was composed and first performed in 2010. Tongue-in-cheek and occasionally bordering on campy, these "Variations in the Form of a Sonatina" are based on Dark Eyes, Florian Hermann's 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 Dark Eyes transformed into a fughetta subject, and the movement ends with a restatement of its opening fanfare.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I can wait to see.