Transfigured Night, November 2014

Santa Fe Pro Musica
Transfigured Night
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano

Saturday, November 8 at 4pm
Sunday, November 9 at 3pm

St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art

St Francis Orchestra 3

Santa Fe, NM — Santa Fe Pro Musica is delighted to welcome back mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski, joining the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra (Thomas O’Connor, conductor) in a feast of Fin-de-siècle Viennese music.

The Scoop: Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Transfigured Night features Arnold Schoenberg’s transcendent Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4. If dodecaphony makes you nervous, never fear! This early work of Schoenberg, composed in 1899, followed the romantic traditions of Brahms and Wagner, and eventually set the musical style that was to be embraced by the movie industry during the 1930s when Los Angeles became the home of many émigrés escaping war-torn Europe, including Schoenberg himself.

Rounding out this concert is a chamber arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major, a glowing and sunny symphony that explores the road from experience to innocence, from complexity to simplicity, and from earthly life to heaven (Phillip Huscher, Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

The Program:

Arnold Schoenberg Transfigured Night (Verklärte Nacht), Op. 4
Gustav Mahler (arr. Klaus Simon, 2007) Symphony No. 4 in G Major

Program notes by Carol Redman

Schoenberg and Mahler

Program music, symphonic poems and tone poems are all terms defining an instrumental form of music that is inspired by or renders an extra-musical narrative, including depictions of nonmusical incidents, ideas, or images, such as those drawn from literature (Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet), works of art (Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition), or from nature (Holst’s The Planets). This concept was most fashionable during the Romantic period, but less so during the Classical period when music was expected to generate drama from its own internal resources (“abstract” music). Both pieces on today’s program can be called “program music,” as each was inspired by poetry. In Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, he faithfully follows a poem’s narrative. With Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, a poem initiates the creative process and becomes the source through which Mahler composes a large-scale symphony.

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Transfigured Night (Verklärte Nacht)

Originally scored for two violins, two violas and two cellos; arranged by Schoenberg, in 1917 for string orchestra

This early work, composed in 1899, followed the romantic traditions of Brahms and Wagner, and eventually set the musical style that was to be embraced by the movie industry during the 1930s when Los Angeles became the home of many émigrés escaping war-torn Europe, including Arnold Schoenberg and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. “Scoring film soundtracks became an art thanks to a small group of foreign-born, classically trained composers” (Piero Scaruffi, A History of Popular Music: Film Music, 2003).

Schoenberg found inspiration for his music from the 1896 poetry collection Weib und Welt (Woman and World) by Richard Dehmel (1863-1920). Schoenberg wrote to Dehmel, “Your poems have had a decisive influence on my development as a composer. They were what first made me try to find a new lyrical tone. Or rather, I found it even without looking, simply by reflecting in music what your poems stirred up in me.”

Dehmel’s poem chronicles a poignant conversation between a man and a woman as they walk through the moonlit woods on a cold winter night. Tormented by guilt, the woman confesses that she had become pregnant by another man before meeting and falling in love with her companion. As the woman falls into tears, the man considers the situation. He then assures her that because their love is so strong, the unborn child will become his. They embrace, “their breaths joined in the air as they kiss.” They continue their walk, but their lives have been transformed.

The music mirrors the five sections of the poem: an introduction, which sets the scene in the shadowy forest; the woman’s anguished confession; the man’s comforting forgiveness; the enraptured love duet; and the ethereal apotheosis, representing the “transfigured night” itself.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 4 in G Major

Originally written for 25 wind and percussion instruments, strings, harp and voice, we are performing the chamber version, arranged in 2007 for voice, seven winds and percussion, strings, piano, harmonium, and voice by Klaus Simon.

Gustav Mahler found the materials and inspiration for many of his songs, and the texts for three of his symphonies, including Symphony No. 4, from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The youth’s magic horn), the 19th century anthology of German folk poetry. In 1892 Mahler began work on a song, Das Himmlische Leber (The Heavenly Life), which would eventually become the last movement of his Symphony No. 4. Mahler then worked backwards, ensuring that this song would appear as the logical destination of the three preceding movements. “He conceived a symphony that would explore the road from experience to innocence, from complexity to simplicity, and from earthly life to heaven” (Phillip Huscher, Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

Mahler believed that with the transparent style of this symphony (“incredible light and air”) he had captured the simple faith and joy of children, “only a child can understand and explain it, and a child does explain it in the end.”

I. Bedächtig. Nicht eilen (Deliberately. Not rushed). One of the shortest of Mahler’s first movements, this is also one of the most complex. Schoenberg student and collaborator Erwin Stein commented that “sometimes he shuffles the motifs like a pack of cards and makes them yield new melodies.

II. In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast (Leisurely moving. Without haste) is a dance movement with a German folkdance (ländler) character. To suggest the rustic sound of a country fiddle, Mahler requires a violin soloist to play certain passages on a violin that is tuned a whole tone higher than usual, creating a tighter, more strident quality. He described this movement as “mysterious, intricate and sinister, this Scherzo will make your hair stand on end.”

III. Ruhevoll (Calmly). In this slow movement, Mahler felt he had achieved “the most complex mixtures of colors ever produced. The thousand little pieces of mosaic that make up the picture are shaken up; and it becomes unrecognizable, as in a kaleidoscope, as though a rainbow suddenly disintegrated into millions of dancing drops so that the whole edifice seems to vacillate and dissolve.

IV. Sehr behaglich (Very comfortably). Mahler called the finale the “tapering spire of the edifice.” It was a novel idea to end the symphony with a simple song, yet it was the seed from which the entire Fourth Symphony grew. Mahler expressed delight at the “roguishness and deep mysticism” of the poem, a folksong well known throughout Bavaria and Bohemia, and explicitly requests the vocal soloist to “assume joyous and childish tones, completely devoid of parody.”

 
Transfigured Night
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano

Saturday, November 8 at 4pm
Sunday, November 9 at 3pm

St. Francis Auditorium (New Mexico Museum of Art)
107 W Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501

TICKETS: $20, $35, $45, $65 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 John Clubbe will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each concert at the St. Francis Auditorium – Free to ticket holders.

About Deborah Domanski

Domanski 10 HIGHRESOLUTION

“Magnificent!” That’s the word former General Director Richard Gaddes used to describe Deborah Domanski’s performance in the role of Zenobia in the Santa Fe Opera’s 2008 Season production of Radamisto.

D.S. Crafts, reviewer for The Albuquerque Journal wrote, “Deborah Domanski as Radamisto’s wife Zenobia exudes sensuality both in voice and stage presence. Her clear, focused and radiant mezzo-soprano illuminates both her enthusiastic acceptance of death “Son contenta di morire” and her tender plea “Quando mai” (When cruel destiny). She and David Daniels are later reunited in a sparkling duet.”

Ms. Domanski’s solo concert engagements include Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen as the Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, The Laredo Symphony as alto soloist in Beethoven’s 9th, the Greenwich Choral Society’s performance of Rossini’s Petit Messe Solenelle, and with The Juilliard Choral Union in Vivaldi’s Gloria in Alice Tully Hall. As a Young Artist in the Juilliard Opera Center she was a participant in the prestigious 2002 Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital in Alice Tully Hall. As the 2002 competition winner at the Music Academy of the West, Miss Domanski became the Marilyn Horne Foundation Awardee and was presented in recital, and on national radio and in World Wide Web broadcast in October 2002. January 2005, Deborah made her Weill Concert Hall debut as part of the Horne Foundation’s The Song Continues… recital series at Carnegie Hall.

Please read Deborah’s complete biography on her website: http://deborahdomanski.com/biography/

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 Small Ensemble Performance. 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. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 32 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 for New Mexico School for the Arts students.

The 2014-2015 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).

For more information, please visit our website: www.santafepromusica.com

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in About the Composer, About the Music, About the Performers, Concert, Meet the Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Day with the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Master Class, Concert, and Artist Dinner) – October 5, 2014

507

505

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in E-mail, About the Music, About the Composer, Meet the Music, Concert | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet

501

498

 

The St. Lawrence String Quartet on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfkaWUohnoc

 

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in About the Performers, Concert, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing the Marvelous Melissa Marse

493

490

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in About the Performers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Music Preview: Beethoven’s 3rd and 5th

487

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in About the Composer, About the Music, Concert, Meet the Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Season Sampler 2014-2015

1

2

3

4

5

6

 

There it is – our season in a nutshell! We invite you to learn more on our website (www.santafepromusica.com) and the Santa Fe Pro Musica blog (http://santafepromusicablog.wordpress.com/), where we give you up-to-date concert coverage, including in-depth information and insight on pieces and composers.

Tickets and Subscriptions
Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office: 505-988-4640, ext. 1000
Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic: 505-988-1234
www.santafepromusica.com

 © Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

 

Posted in About the Composer, About the Music, About the Performers, Baroque Christmas, Concert, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October 5th: The World-class St. Lawrence String Quartet in Santa Fe

This October, the vivid colors of fall will mingle with the vivid colors of music as Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the world-class St. Lawrence String Quartet performing works of Haydn, Golijov, and Beethoven. The St. Lawrence String Quartet’s mission: bring every piece of music to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer.

St. Lawrence String Quartet (photo by Eric Cheng)

St. Lawrence String Quartet (photo by Eric Cheng)

WHAT:           
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Geoff Nuttall, violin
Mark Fewer, violin
Lesley Robertson, viola
Christopher Costanza, cello

WHEN:              
Sunday, October 5 at 3pm

WHERE:           
St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art
107 W Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501

TICKETS: $20, $35, $45, $65 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.

The Program:

Haydn String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Golijov Qohelet
Beethoven String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 “Razumovsky”

Notes by Carol Redman

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5 

In the mid-eighteenth century a literary movement developed in Germany known as Sturm und Drang (“storm and stress” or sometimes called “drama and trauma”), a reaction against the charming, courtly, lighter style of the preceding Rococo period with its clean lines and positive spirit. This new style exalted the primal characteristics of nature and emphasized man’s richly conflicted emotional life. The protagonist in a typical Sturm und Drang stage or literary work is driven neither by noble intentions nor by moral expectations, but by heart-felt emotions, including rapture, despair, greed, pain, torment, and hopeless love.

There is no evidence Haydn consciously used Sturm und Drang concepts as a compositional force in his music written during the mid to late 18th century, however one can perceive the influence of these trends on his music, including employment of the somber minor keys (more suitable for conveying difficult sentiments), angular and tortured melodic contours, exploration of darker subjects, and experimentation with dramatic and unexpected musical changes and contrasts. During these years, Haydn also became interested in writing fugues in the Baroque style, and three of his opus 20 quartets, including No. 5, end with fugues. Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940) describes Haydn’s use of counterpoint (fugues) as “the reconquest of the ancient kingdom of polyphony.” Whatever Haydn’s intent, the six opus 20 string quartets (1772) align with the artistic ideals of Sturm und Drang.

Osvaldo Golijov (b. 1960)
Qohelet 

Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. As a child he was surrounded by classical, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the tango music of Astor Piazzolla. In 1983 Golijov moved to Jerusalem where he immersed himself in the “colliding musical traditions of that city.” In 1986 he moved to the United States where he is currently Loyola Professor of Music, College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA). He has received many honors and awards including two Grammy awards, a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant,” a Guggenheim Fellowship and Musical America Composer of the Year (2006). He has also been composer in residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and others, and has collaborated with many internationally renowned artists, including writing film scores for Francis Ford Coppola.

Golijov’s string quartet Qohelet (2011) is inspired by one of the most frequently quoted phrases from the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet, in Hebrew): “What has been will be again/What has been done will be done again/There is nothing new under the sun.” For this string quartet Golijov deliberately makes use of musical materials that already exist, including folk songs, prayer melodies, lullabies, clips from his film scores, and a popular Brazilian Carioca tune. Golijov remarks about Qohelet: “The first movement is a meditation on motion and melancholy. Those seemingly contradictory states actually feed each other here. The second movement flows like two slow river currents. The merging and bifurcations of these currents are punctuated by cradling bells: reflection rather than action.”

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 “Razumovsky” 

“There are many things that can be expressed in the extremely private world of the quartet – to which the listener is, in a sense, a permitted interloper – that are not suited for the more public forms of the symphony or opera. This is why in string quartets there are thoughts that are at the same time intimate and daring” (H. C. Robbins Landon, 1926-2009).

Beethoven composed the three famous and much loved Razumovsky String Quartets, Op. 59 in 1805-1806 for the Russian ambassador to the Court of Vienna, Prince Andrei Razumovsky (1752-1836). Appearing only a few years after Beethoven’s earlier Opus 18 string quartets (1801), which still owe much to Haydn and Mozart, the three Razumovsky Quartets are works of a completely different nature; quartets with symphonic dimensions. In 1804 Beethoven had just completed his explosive Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” which marked the beginning of his immense expansions of classical form and opened the doors to the Romantic era. The Razumovsky Quartets continue on the same trajectory, leaving the living room (music for amateurs) and entering the concert hall (music for professionals).

The first movement begins dark and brooding (Andante con moto, flowing, with motion) that eventually launch the movement into a blazing C major Allegro vivace (fast, with life). The allegro is built, not on a melody or even so much as a theme, but on a two note motif and the simple flowing lines of scales and arpeggios, “mellifluous ribbons of light, simple motions turned to golden honey” (Earsense Chamber Music, online database). Both middle movements have a relaxed quality, poised and reserved. The second movement (Andante con moto quasi allegretto, flowing, with motion, and a bit fast) is the cool point in the quartet, delicate and veiled with melancholy. The third movement is a graceful minuet, moderate and suave, not a wild scherzo for which Beethoven was to become famous. The finale (Allegro molto, very fast) gloriously exudes bright energy and a driving perpetual motion.

About the St. Lawrence String Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. Its mission: bring every piece of music to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer. Since winning both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1992, the quartet has delighted audiences with its spontaneous, passionate, and dynamic performances. Alex Ross of The New Yorker magazine writes, “the St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.”

Whether playing Haydn or premiering a new work, the SLSQ has a rare ability to bring audiences to rapt attention. They reveal surprising nuances in familiar repertoire and illuminate the works of some of today’s most celebrated composers, often all in the course of one evening. John Adams was inspired to write works expressly for the quartet after hearing them in concert. His “String Quartet,” written for the SLSQ, was premiered by the quartet in January 2009.

In spring 2011, the quartet will premiere a new work by Osvaldo Golijov, also composed for them. This forthcoming work (co-commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts and Carnegie Hall) is expected to build on the success of their previous collaboration, which culminated in the twice-Grammy-nominated SLSQ recording of the composer’s Yiddishbbuk (EMI) in 2002.

SLSQ maintains a busy touring schedule. The 2010/11 season includes two trips to Europe with concerts in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Finland and Estonia. In North America, SLSQ returns to Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, New York and Philadelphia in addition to concerts in North Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Florida, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. During the summer season SLSQ is proud to continue its long association with the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the quartet’s founding in Canada, SLSQ in 2009 commissioned five Canadian composers and performed their work across the country. They also have active working relationships with numerous other composers, including R. Murray Schafer, Christos Hatzis, Ezequiel Viñao, Jonathan Berger, Ka Nin Chan, Roberto Sierra, and Mark Applebaum.

Since 1998 the SLSQ has held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. This residency includes working with music students as well as extensive collaborations with other faculty and departments using music to explore a myriad of topics. Recent collaborations have involved the School of Medicine, School of Education, and the Law School. In addition to their appointment at Stanford, the SLSQ are visiting artists at the University of Toronto. The foursome’s passion for opening up musical arenas to players and listeners alike is evident in their annual summer chamber music seminar at Stanford and their many forays into the depths of musical meaning with preeminent music educator Robert Kapilow.

Violist Lesley Robertson is a founding member of the group, and hails from Edmonton Alberta. Cellist Christopher Costanza is from Utica, NY and joined the quartet in 2003. Violinists Geoff Nuttall and Scott St. John both grew up in London Ontario; Geoff is a founding member and Scott joined in 2006. Depending on concert repertoire, the two alternate the role of first violin. All four members of the quartet live and teach at Stanford, in the Bay Area of California.

Please read more about the St. Lawrence String Quartet at http://www.slsq.com

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 Small Ensemble Performance. 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. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 32 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 for New Mexico School for the Arts students.

The 2014-2015 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).

For more information, please visit our website: www.santafepromusica.com

 © Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment