Autumn Notes

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

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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

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

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

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Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet

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

 

© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

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Introducing the Marvelous Melissa Marse

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

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2014

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Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Season Sampler 2014-2015

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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