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

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Beethoven! Santa Fe Pro Musica’s 33rd Season Opening

Season Opening web

Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its 33rd Season in grand fashion this September at the Lensic Performing Arts Center with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra performing Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and lyrical Piano Concerto No. 3 under the baton of Thomas O’Connor, featuring Steinway Artist Melissa Marse. There can be no better way to start off an exhilarating season of orchestral, chamber, and period music performance than with this famous musical quote: “Da da da DUM!”

WHAT:
Season Opening Orchestra Concert
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Melissa Marse, piano

WHEN:
Saturday, September 20 at 4pm
Sunday, September 21 at 3pm

WHERE:
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Santa Fe, New Mexcio

TICKETS: $20, $35, $45, $65 – Available through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic (505) 988-1234, or www.santafepromusica.com

Discounts (students, teachers, families, and groups) and subscriptions are available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office.

MEET THE MUSIC with Music Director Thomas O’Connor and special guest John Clubbe one hour before each concert at the Lensic (free to ticket holders). Learn more about the music you love!

The Program

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

Notes by Carol Redman

 

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) expanded the Classical tradition that he inherited from Mozart and Haydn into a revolutionary new style of “grandiose dimensions, profound utterances, and highly willful rhetoric of unprecedented power” (Robert Levin, Harvard University).

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37

“This C minor piano concerto is one of a handful of works in which the spirits of Mozart and Beethoven convene” (Phillip Huscher, Chicago Symphony Orchestra). It is particularly indebted to Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 491 (which Santa Fe Pro Musica will perform on Classical Weekend, January 24 and 25, 2015). During a rehearsal when Beethoven first heard Mozart’s revolutionary K. 491 concerto, he exclaimed to his colleague Herr Cramer, “Ah, we shall never be able to do anything like this!” That didn’t stop him, but instead provided inspiration and motivation. Beethoven’s third piano concerto shows a keen awareness of Mozart’s K. 491 concerto. Both are in the same unusual key of C minor and share themes, details, musical treatments and conceptions.

Beethoven worked on his Piano Concerto No. 3 from 1799 to 1802 and performed it on April 5, 1803. The instrumental parts were ready in time for the concert; however, he had not finished writing out the piano part for himself. Ignaz von Seyfried was the page turner for Beethoven during this performance and reported:

“In the playing of the concerto he asked me to turn the pages for him; but – heaven help me! I saw almost nothing but empty pages; at the most on one page or the other a few Egyptian hieroglyphs wholly unintelligible to me, scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all the solo part from memory, since, as was so often the case, he had not had time to put it all down on paper. He gave me a secret glance whenever he was at the end of one of the invisible passages and my acute anxiety not to miss the decisive moment amused him greatly and he laughed heartily afterwards when we ate a jovial supper together.”

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

Between the years 1804 and 1808, Beethoven composed an astonishing amount of great music including, symphonies 3, 4, 5 and 6, Piano Concerto No. 4, the Violin Concerto, the Appassionata Sonata, and the three Razumovsky String Quartets. His Symphony No. 5 was completed early in 1808, followed by his Symphony No. 6 later that same year. These two symphonies were premiered in Vienna on December 22, 1808.

Concerning the new “grandiose dimensions” of Beethoven’s symphonies, Charles Rosen writes (The Classical Style, 1971): “It is clear that such an increase in size without altering the fundamental classical proportions could not start from the long, regular and complete melodies of Mozart, but had to base itself on Haydn’s treatment of tiny motifs. Musical ideas that form a complete whole in themselves – tunes, in short – were rarely of any use to Beethoven in his dramatic expansions of Mozart’s form.” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is one of classical music’s most popular and recognizable works partly because of the famous four-note motif with which it opens; a tiny motif of great power! Ever since Beethoven composed the symphony, commentators have attempted to give that motif some extra-musical significance. Beethoven’s friend Anton Schindler, presumably quoting the composer, said it represented “Fate knocking at the door.” Carl Czerny, one of Beethoven’s students, claimed “the little pattern of notes had come to Beethoven from a little bird’s song [specifically, Picidae, Northern Flicker, or “yellowhammer”] heard as he walked in the Prater Park in Vienna.” One new theory is expressed in Matthew Guerrieri’s new book The First Four Notes (2012): “The rhythmic foot – short-short-short-long – was known in Classical antiquity as a quartus paeon.” Beethoven, who revered the Greek poet Homer, would have known of this particular paeon as a hymn to Apollo and also about its martial connotation, applied to songs sung by armies heading into battle or giving thanks for victory. Guerrieri continues, “The ancient Greeks would have appreciated the quartus paeon as a source of the Fifth Symphony’s oft-cited rhetorical power.” Whether it has a programmatic significance or not, the motif unquestionably has musical importance as it recurs throughout the entire symphony. Beethoven uses this four-note motif as a germinal idea that regenerates into new phrases, forms and guises.

This famous motif is the main subject of the opening movement, Allegro con brio (fast, with fire), a movement that has been called “a stirring, dogged and desperate struggle” (Hermann Kretzschmar, 1848-1924). The contrasting slow movement, Andante con moto (flowing, with motion), is constructed around a long two-part melody with a series of variations. The third movement is laid out in typical three-part scherzo form. In its outer sections, it makes use of the “Fate Theme.” The middle section is a ghostly fugue. After the Scherzo returns, the music intensifies and sweeps us along with a dramatic crescendo and a sudden brightening (C Major). Here Beethoven creates a dramatic and suspenseful transition directly into the noble Finale. Piccolo, contrabassoon and three trombones now make their first appearance.

About Melissa Marse

Melissa Marse

Melissa Marse

Pianist Melissa Marse performs extensively worldwide and in American venues including Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Pierpont Morgan Library, Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and the Gardner Museum. Her Carnegie Weill debut recital (with the Lincoln Piano trio) was presented by the late Isaac Stern in 2001. Additionally, she has been a returning guest artist for CarnegieKids, and was music director, coach, and pianist for the Metropolitan Opera’s Growing Up With Opera. She collaborates with members of the New York Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, London Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony, and for three years has played in the Mark O’Connor Piano Trio. Read more at http://www.melissamarse.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

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Christmas in July 2014

Christmas in July 1

Christmas in July 2

 

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

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A Special Benefit Featuring Lucille Chung

July 2014

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Venue Featurette

June 9, 2014

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Santa Fe Pro Musica – The 33rd Season

Santa Fe Pro Musica presents its 33rd Season

Lock Up

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Season Ticket Brochure and Subscription Order Form

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Baroque Holy Week 2014

Baroque Holy Week

 

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