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2012-04-28__134030__N367215

Santa Fe Pro Musica

Season Opening Chamber Music
OPUS ONE
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano – Ida Kavafian, violin
Steven Tenenbom, viola – Peter Wiley, cello

Friday, September 18, 2015 at 7:30pm
Lensic Performing Arts Center

Season Opening Orchestra
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
OPUS ONE, guest artists

Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 4pm
Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 3pm
Lensic Performing Arts Center

Santa Fe, NM — Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its 34th Season in September with guest artists from the innovative chamber music ensemble OPUS ONE. A truly special event, this year’s Season Opening features a chamber music concert and two concerts featuring the unique collaboration of chamber music ensemble with orchestra. Join Thomas O’Connor, conductor, the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra, and OPUS ONE in the Lensic Performing Arts Center for an unforgettable weekend of outstanding performances.

Experience the Music!

WHAT:
Season­ Opening Chamber Music
OPUS ONE
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Ida Kavafian, violin
Steven Tenenbom, viola
Peter Wiley, cello

WHEN:
Friday, September 18 at 7:30pm

WHERE:
Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

***

WHAT:
Season Opening Orchestra
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
OPUS ONE

WHEN:
Saturday, September 19 at 4pm
Sunday, September 20 at 3pm

WHERE:
Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

***

TICKETS:     $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, 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: Learn more about the music you love! Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, and special guest Beethoven scholar
John Clubbe will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each Orchestra concert at the Lensic – Free to ticket holders.

Artist Dinner with OPUS ONE: Sunday, September 20 at 5:30pm
Reservations are required through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office.

Media Partner:
NMPBS
Lodging Partner:

heritage

Artist Partner:

MFAF

About the Programs
Notes by Carol Redman

Season Opening Chamber Music

Photo by Jean Lehman

Photo by Jean Lehman

Beethoven Piano Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, WoO 36
Liebermann Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 114
Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Piano Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, WoO 36

Born in Bonn, Germany, then the capital of the Electoral Court of Cologne, Beethoven was taught music by his father Johann van Beethoven, a violinist, keyboard player and singer, and Christian Neefe, a respected opera composer and the court’s keyboard player.  Neefe was especially supportive in providing the young boy with performance opportunities and made sure that Beethoven’s first three piano sonatas were dedicated to the Elector who showed his appreciation by giving the boy a small allowance. In addition to these influences, the young Beethoven had access to published music, in particular a set of sonatas for violin and piano by Mozart.

It was during these early years (1785) that the teenaged Beethoven wrote a set of three quartets for piano, violin, viola and cello. Each of the three quartets WoO 36 (Werke ohne Opuszahl or works without opus number) draws on a specific violin sonata by Mozart, from the set published in 1781. Though Beethoven did not publish his early quartets, neither did he discard them, for ideas and tunes from them appear in later works. The three piano quartets were found amongst Beethoven’s papers after his death and were quickly published (1828).

The first of Beethoven’s quartets is modeled on Mozart’s Sonata K. 379. Beethoven’s flair for the dramatic is already evident in the extreme dynamic range (pianissimo to fortissimo), and the unusual key of Eb minor in the second movement imparts a distinct gravitas. “Even in his youth, Beethoven is already venturing out of the Classical mold in search of his inner-Romanticism” (Angela Hweitt and Daniel Müller-Schott).

Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961)
Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 114

Lowell Liebermann is one of the leading American composers today, receiving commissions by opera companies, orchestras, chamber music groups and soloists.  In addition to his stellar reputation as a composer, he is also an outstanding pianist and conductor.  His works have been widely recorded; the renowned Flute Sonata no less than twenty times.  Mr. Liebermann earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School and numerous awards, including a Charles Ives Fellowship and awards from ASCAP and BMI.

Mr. Liebermann’s Opus 114, a piano quartet written for OPUS ONE, was commissioned by and dedicated to the festival Music from Angel Fire (MFAF) with the support of the Bruce E. Howden, Jr. American Composers Project and Friends of MFAF.  The World Premiere took place in August of 2010, performed by OPUS ONE in Angel Fire, NM.  The work is in one continuous movement and contains two distinct tempos of contrasting character.  It begins with a mesmerizing repeated figure in the piano, upon which the violin introduces the tender melodic material, subsequently picked up by the cello, then the viola.  The cello and viola then take over the repeated figure to give the piano a turn at the melody.  This section eventually melts into a sublime timeless chorale by the strings.  After a short cadenza by the violin, the work breaks into the exciting Presto section, full of drive and rhythmic propulsion.  A dramatic sudden change of character brings the beautiful chorale back, then finally the opening melodic material, closing the piece quietly and completing the perfect circular form of this great work.

Notes by Ida Kavafian

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60 “Werther”

In 1853 Brahms met the composer Robert Schumann and his wife Clara, an acclaimed pianist. The Schumanns were impressed with the 20-year-old Brahms and mentored, promoted and even occasionally provided residence to the young composer. In 1855 Brahms began work on a quartet, drafting the first movement and a scherzo. Robert Schumann was now in the last throes of mental illness (he would die in 1856), and it was a turbulent time for the close friends. Brahms was torn between despair for his true friend and love for his friend’s wife (“I can do nothing but think of you”).

The composition of this quartet was fitful and sporadic. To help get through periods of writer’s block, Brahms organized reading sessions and sought feedback from colleagues, including the famous violinist Joseph Joachim (1831- 1907). However, Brahms was not confident in the quartet and shelved the project until the mid-1870s when he picked it up again and made thorough revisions, resulting in the current work. This older Brahms sarcastically confessed to his publisher: “On the cover you must have a picture, namely a head with a pistol to it. Now you can form some conception of the music! I’ll send you my photograph for the purpose.” Such was the black melodrama of the music that quartet was eventually nicknamed after Goethe’s young, suicidal Werther. Brahms and members of the Hellmesberg Quartet gave the premiere on November 18, 1875 at the Musikverein in Vienna.

The large-scale architecture of the Piano Quartet No. 3 is clear: two massive outer movements framing two shorter inner movements. The first movement is “a whirlpool of romantic tribulation” (Malcolm MacDonald, Brahms, 1990). The Scherzo freely transitions from densely overbearing to lightly meditative. The third movement Andante acts as an intermezzo between the vigor of the first two movements and the finale. It is the most beautiful music in the quartet, with purity and refinement that some say represents Brahms’ feelings for Clara Schumann.  In the last movement Brahms is at his romantic best, conveying both tragedy and survival, which Malcolm MacDonald considers “unsatisfied fatalism.”

Orchestra web2

Season Opening Orchestra

Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, Op. 90 “Italian”
Lowry Short Order
Beethoven Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 56
                                  “Triple Concerto”

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Symphony No. 4 in A Major “Italian”

Felix Mendelssohn was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Germany. He was a precocious child, profiting from the wide cultural and intellectual interests of his family and friends. In 1829, he began a three-year tour of Europe, visiting the British Isles, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy.

While in Italy Mendelssohn finished a sketch for a new symphony. After returning to Germany in the fall of 1832, and spurred on by a commission from the London Philharmonic Society, Mendelssohn filled in his sketches for what would become his Italian Symphony. Mendelssohn declared that all of Italy features in this work: its people, its landscapes and its art. The first movement Allegro vivace is a celebration of melody, rhythmic vitality and orchestral color.  The second movement Andante con moto features a solemn pilgrims’ march and was probably inspired by Mendelssohn’s experience of a religious procession in the streets of Naples. The third movement is a smooth-flowing minuet, Con moto moderato, graceful with an easy assurance and an unexpected fanfare-like theme that sounds at once solemn and tongue-in-cheek. The wild, whirling finale was inspired by two popular Italian folk dances: the saltarello, a lively and leaping 16th century country dance and the tarantella, named for the spider Lycose tarantula whose bite causes a hysterical condition resulting in wild whirling motions.

Despite its air of effortlessness, the symphony appears to have been hard work for him. He confessed that it had cost him “the bitterest moments I have ever endured.”  Even after its successful premiere by the London Philharmonic in 1833, Mendelssohn continued to fuss over it. Ultimately, it was not published until after his death. Mendelssohn left behind instructions for its improvement, but since many consider the Italian Symphony to be among the most perfectly crafted of all symphonies, no one has ever implemented them.

Douglas Lowry (1951-2013)
Short Order

Born in Spokane, Washington, Lowry earned degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California. He received commissions from the Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony, and was Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angel Fire in 2002 and 2003. Before becoming Dean at the Eastman School in 2007, he was Dean of Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and Associate Dean and Chair of the Conducting Department at the Thornton School of Music/University of Southern California.

Ida Kavafian describes the creation of Short Order: “It was written especially for OPUS ONE, Conductor/Music Director Robert Bernhardt and the Chattanooga Symphony, and was premiered in September of 2001.  The members of OPUS ONE and Bob Bernhardt have been longtime colleagues and friends. Since the Beethoven Triple Concerto, which was to be performed on the September 2001 concerts, only included three of the four members, it was Bob’s idea to commission his friend and school chum of many years, composer Douglas Lowry to write a special piece for this occasion.  Thus was written Short Order, a title and a work that showed Doug’s wit and covered several aspects of the commissioning circumstances as well.”

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 56

Beethoven’s early biographer Anton Schindler claimed that the Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 56 (now commonly known as the Triple Concerto) was written for Beethoven’s royal pupil, the Archduke Rudolf of Austria. The archduke was only 16 years old at this time, and it seems plausible that Beethoven’s strategy was to create a showy but relatively easy piano part that would be backed by two more mature and skilled soloists. However, Beethoven performed the piano part at the premiere in April 1808, and upon publication that same year it was dedicated to a different patron, Prince Lobkowitz.

This is the only concerto Beethoven wrote that used more than one solo instrument; in this case the typical piano trio (violin, cello and piano). This concerto looks back to the sinfonia concertante from the Classical period and the concerto grosso from the Baroque period, both forms featuring multiple soloists engaged in musical conversation with a larger ensemble or orchestra. In this music Beethoven is not throwing new ideas at us, but instead providing us with delightful entertainments. Surprisingly, he gave the most prominent solo role to the cello, and not as to the violin or piano, one might expect.

The first movement Allegro is in a moderate march tempo and is gracious and dignified.  The second movement Largo opens with a broad singing melody, falling into a recitative-like episode that leads directly into the finale Rondo alla Polacca. The polacca (polonaise) is a dignified, aristocratic dance, originally adopted by the Polish nobility as a formal march for the coronation of Henry of Anjou as King of Poland (1573). The rondo form features a recurring theme alternating with varied episodes. Beethoven’s friend and pupil Carl Czerny characterized the Triple Concerto as “grand, tranquil, harmonious and lively.”

Photo by William Wegman

Photo by William Wegman

About OPUS ONE

Veterans as well as present members of the world’s most prestigious chamber groups including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tashi, the Beaux Arts Trio and the Orion and Guarneri String Quartets, OPUS ONE is the result of a mutual love of music making between four extraordinary instrumentalists and friends. As soloists as well as chamber musicians, they are each familiar figures in concert halls throughout the world and have joined together to form one of the most exciting groups performing anywhere. Their dedication to the works of contemporary American composers is reflected in their programming, and the sheer, obvious joy they have in performing together communicates directly to their audiences.

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Santa Fe Pro Musica brings together outstanding musicians to inspire and educate audiences of all ages through the performance of great music.

Founded in 1980 by Thomas O’Connor (Music Director and Conductor) and Carol Redman (Associate Artistic Director and Principal Flute), Santa Fe Pro Musica offers a variety of classical music programs in historic Santa Fe venues, and presents professional musical performances for orchestra, string quartet, chamber ensemble, and performances on baroque instruments. The Santa Fe Pro Musica orchestra has been internationally recognized with a 2008 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Classical Album/Small Ensemble for its recording, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde/The Song of the Earth.

Since 1980, Santa Fe Pro Musica has been committed to a multi-faceted music education program for the people of northern New Mexico. This approach allows us to meet the needs of a wide range of students, from children who are attending a classical music event for the first time, to those whose music goals may be college and career oriented, and to adults who desire to know more about music. Pro Musica provides a variety of opportunities to help you develop a life-long relationship with the power of music!

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).

NMASFAC

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