For this season’s Classical Weekend, the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral,” and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 featuring charismatic virtuoso Per Tengstrand. Join us after Sunday’s concert for our Artist Dinner with Per Tengstrand at La Casa Sena.
Santa Fe Pro Musica
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor featuring Per Tengstrand, piano
Saturday, January 23 at 4pm
Sunday, January 24 at 3pm
WHAT | Classical Weekend featuring Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra, Thomas O’Connor, conductor and guest artist Per Tengstrand, piano
WHEN | Saturday, January 23 at 4pm & Sunday, January 24 at 3pm
WHERE | The Lensic Performing Arts Center at 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, New Mexico
TICKETS | $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, ext. 1000, Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic (505) 988-1234, or online at www.santafepromusica.com. Discounts for students, teachers, groups, and families are available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office.
Meet the Music | Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, presents a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music, one hour prior to each concert. Meet the Music is free to ticket holders. Learn more about the music you love!
Artist Dinner with Per Tengstrand | Following the concert on Sunday, January 24 at 5:30pm, we invite you to dine with Per Tengstrand as we celebrate his performance with Santa Fe Pro Musica. La Casa Sena is offering an exquisite menu especially selected for our guests. Tickets to the Artist Dinner are available through our Box Office for $85 a person, a portion of which is tax deductible. Seating is limited, so call no later than January 20 to reserve your seat. 505-988-4640 ext 1000. La Casa Sena is located at 125 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM.
About the Program
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”
Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”
Nearly every summer Beethoven left the bustling city of Vienna and retreated to the country: “How delighted I will be to ramble for awhile through the bushes and woods, under trees, through grass, and around rocks. No one can love the country as much as I do, for surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear.” W. Thayer (Life of Beethoven, 1964) recounts how Beethoven spent a typical summer day: “He got up at 5:30am, sat down to work, and went through the business of singing, stamping, shouting and writing. At 7:30am, Beethoven had breakfast, after which he went into the fields and roamed for miles, shouting and waving his arms, stopping at times to write in a notebook. At 12:30pm, he returned for lunch, after which he rested until 3pm. Then he resumed his walks until sunset. Dinner followed, then he worked until 10pm and then went to bed.”
The first sketches for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” appeared in 1802. The symphony was finished in the summer of 1808 in Heiligenstadt, a lovely village near Vienna, redolent with the perfume of gardens and vineyards. The first performance was in Vienna on December 22, 1808, as part of an all-Beethoven program.
The descriptive writing and pastoral subject matter of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony followed on a path already taken by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (1725), and Haydn’s two oratorios, The Creation (1798) and The Seasons (1801). In addition, Beethoven knew about Justin Heinrich Knecht’s newest musical creation, Le portrait musical de la nature (1785). The two compositions are remarkably similar: both are in five movements and include depictions of the peaceful countryside, the approach of a storm, and thanksgiving once the clouds had passed.
The first movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Awakening of Cheerful Feelings Upon Arriving in the Country, enters sleepily with four quiet measures that trail off, and then proceeds at a leisurely pace. The development section, often an opportunity for increased turbulence and activity, here sinks deeper into a country calm, savoring radiant changes of harmony.
The following Scene by the Brook unfolds with flowing grace and captures the meandering stream in the strings’ rocking triplet rhythm. The idyllic scene ends with a trio of birdcalls from the woodwinds, representing the nightingale, quail and cuckoo.
The final three movements are to be played without pause. For the scherzo, Merry Assembly of Country Folk, Beethoven summons a band of peasants for a cheerful group of dances, but the rollicking music halts unresolved and the Thunderstorm violently intrudes, depicting the fury of a summer squall. Fearful dissonances and thunderous timpani make for a convincing tempest, until it trails off in one last upward patter of raindrops.
The symphony’s opening mood of serenity is restored by the final, uplifting Shepherds’ Song of Thanksgiving. It begins with a chorale phrase “Herr, wir danken dir” (Lord, we thank thee). This tune, humble but confident, returns the symphony to its pastoral and warm-hearted calm.
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Edvard Grieg lived in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. Inspired by the town, its fish market, its countryside and its cultural life, he exclaimed, “I’m sure my music has a tang of codfish in it.” Grieg was most prolific in the smaller compositions for voice and piano or solo piano pieces. His only two major orchestral works are the Piano Concerto and the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.
It was his Piano Concerto that brought Grieg his first major success. Composed in 1868 and revised extensively five times, the concerto was modeled after the piano concerto of Robert Schumann, and with considerable influences from Franz Liszt. However, Grieg believed that his country’s musical future lay not in a continued reliance on Germanic models, but should instead be enlivened by tapping into the rich heritage of Norwegian folk music. Patterned on European models, Grieg’s piano concerto evokes Norwegian folk music, the character of its people, and the drama of its landscapes.
The first movement opens with a wonderfully exclamatory introduction and boasts one of the most familiar openings in the entire concerto repertoire. The movement is a blend of melancholy and warmth. The second movement, ushered in by muted strings, is a tender song, soft and pastoral. The finale follows directly, led by an insistent theme modeled on the springdans (leaping dance), a Norwegian folk step that requires exceptional athleticism. The second theme offers contrast, wistful and poetic, though it is transformed in the concluding pages into a grand and triumphant hymn.
Tchaikovsky described Grieg’s music: “There prevails a fascinating melancholy which seems to reflect in itself all the beauty of Norwegian scenery, grandiose and yet sublime in its vast expanse, now gray and dull, but always full of charm. It quickly finds its way into our hearts to evoke a warm and sympathetic response. If we add to this that rarest of qualities, a perfect simplicity, far removed from affectation and pretense, it is not surprising that everyone should delight in Grieg.”
About Per Tengstrand
Per Tengstrand has firmly established himself as one of today’s most exciting pianists. He has been described by The Washington Post as “technically resplendent, powerful, intuitively secure,” and by The New York Times as “a superb Swedish pianist” whose recital “was rewarding, both for its unusual programming and for his eloquent, technically polished performances.” He is the subject of a highly acclaimed Swedish documentary entitled Solisten (The Soloist) which was featured at the International Festival of Cinema and Technology in New York City. In 2005, he was decorated by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden with the Royal Medal Litteris et Artibus for outstanding service to the arts, the youngest recipient ever to be so honored. His busy 2014-15 season included concerts and recitals on both sides of the Atlantic. In Sweden he played Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2, Brahms’ Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky’s Piano Concerto; and the Tengstrand-Sun Piano Duo performed an adaptation of The Rite of Spring before returning to the US, where he continues his recital series at Scandinavia House in New York City. He was recently named artist-in-residence at the new Spira Concert House in Jönköping (Sweden).
Career highlights include performing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 during Neeme Järvi’s final subscription concerts with the New Jersey Philharmonic; performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap; the Residentie Orkest in den Haag, under Neeme Järvi; the Royal Philharmonic in Stockholm, under Leonard Slatkin; and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, under Edo de Waart. Tengstrand is in the process of performing and recording the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for his Mindfeel label.
Per Tengstrand regularly performs with orchestras in Gothenberg, Malmö, Helsingborg, Stockholm, Tapiola, with the Huarod Chamber Orchestra, and Swedish Radio Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with the Orchestre National de France, French Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra National de Lille, National Symphony of Taiwan, Singapore Symphony, New Japan, and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras. As recitalist, he has performed internationally in such venues as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Paris’s Salle Gaveau and the Nice Opera House, as well as in Geneva, Bordeaux, Bergen, Norway, the Montpellier Festival, Poland’s Chopin Festival and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Read, Watch and Listen
Per Tengstrand at Barrett Artists https://www.barrettartists.com/artist.php?id=ptengstrand
Per Tengstrand plays Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 27 No. 1, Part https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k_dnnTQNoE
Per Tengstrand plays Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 26, Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-hGT2gOL5Q
A 57-minute documentary of pianist Per Tengstrand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuSj4H6jYHQ
About Santa Fe Pro Musica
Santa Fe Pro Musica, founded in 1980, is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to inspiring and educating audiences of all ages through the performance of great music. Pro Musica performs a varied repertoire, covering four centuries of music on modern and baroque instruments, including works for chamber orchestra, small ensemble and large-scale works for orchestra and chorus. In 2008, Pro Musica’s recording of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (chamber arrangement by Schoenberg) was nominated for a GRAMMY® award in the classical category of Best Classical Album/Small Ensemble. In August of 2012, Santa Fe Pro Musica Recordings produced a CD of Conrad Tao, pianist, performing Mozart Piano Concertos No. 17 and No. 25 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 33 years for its artistry in performance, Santa Fe Pro Musica offers some of the most distinguished educational opportunities in northern New Mexico, reaching thousands of students every year with a Youth Concert series, a team-building, ensemble-training program, and a master class series featuring student ensembles working with world-class musicians.
For more information, please visit our website: www.santafepromusica.com
The 2015-2016 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).
Santa Fe Pro Musica sincerely thanks their concert sponsor and lodging partner for their support:
Concert Sponsor | Edith M. Timken Family Foundation
Lodging Partners | El Rey Inn, Inn of the Governors, La Fonda and Inn on the Alameda