Brentano String Quartet, March 8, 2015

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2015

 

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Baroque Holy Week 2015

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Santa Fe Pro Musica
Baroque Holy Week
Kathryn Mueller, soprano
Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano

Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble

Thursday, April 2 at 7:30pm
Friday, April 3 at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 4 at 6pm

Loretto Chapel

Santa Fe, NM — Santa Fe Pro Musica’s beloved Baroque Holy Week concerts return this April, featuring vocalists Kathryn Mueller and Deborah Domanski with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble in the historic Loretto Chapel.

baroque holy week

WHAT:
Baroque Holy Week
Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble
Kathryn Mueller, soprano
Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano

WHEN:
Thursday, April 2 at 7:30pm
Friday, April 3 at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 4 at 6pm

WHERE:
Loretto Chapel
207 Old Santa Fe Trail
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

Lodging Partners:

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The Program:

Pergolesi Concerto in G Major
Purcell Pavan and Chacony in G Minor
Pergolesi Stabat Mater

Notes by Carol Redman

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Concerto in G Major
Scored for flute and two violins, with cello and keyboard

Pergolesi was an Italian violinist, organist and composer. In 1734 he was appointed deputy music director for the city of Naples. In 1735 his already fragile health began to fail, and his employer, the Duke Maddaloni Carafa, granted him leave to convalesce at the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo. Pergolesi died there on March 16, 1736 at the age of 26, succumbing to the tuberculosis that had plagued him throughout his life. His musical career encompassed just 6 years.

Pergolesi achieved some artistic recognition during his lifetime, but it was after his death that his fame quickly spread throughout Europe, due to the popularity of his comic opera La serva padrona (1733). As Pergolesi’s reputation grew, the demand for his music increased, and works by other composers were sometimes printed under his name. Publishers rushed to convert his fame to their profit, circumventing the inconvenient fact that there was relatively little music by him. Indeed, the list of misattributed works (330) far exceeds the list of authenticated works (36).

Considering that there are so many unauthenticated pieces in Pergolesi’s library, might there lurk therein some gems? The Concerto in G Major is one of those works misattributed to Pergolesi but considered a gem in every flutist’s library. It is a charming concerto with energetic and inventive fast movements surrounding a remarkably lovely multi-themed slow movement.

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Pavan and Chacony in G Minor
Scored for three violins, cello and keyboard

Henry Purcell is widely regarded as the greatest English composer between the English Renaissance (late 15th to early 17th centuries) and the 20th century. He was the principal composer for Charles II, James II, and William and Mary, and held various other court positions including organist of Westminster Abbey, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and curator of the King’s musical instruments. He wrote music in all the genres of his day, including secular and sacred, vocal and instrumental, and music for the theater and the royal courts.

Purcell’s Pavan and Chacony was written in 1678 around the time he wrote two other sets of string music including Twelve Sonatas of III Parts and Ten Sonatas in Four Parts. Pavan (pavane) is a slow dance that was popular in 16th century Europe. In Thoinot Arbeau’s French dance manual (1589), it is described as a dance for many couples in procession, with the dancers at certain times performing ornamented steps. This style of step is still used today. We call them “hesitation steps,” a form of stately walking, most frequently used in weddings. The Chacony (chaconne) is a musical form that originated in 17th century Spain. The determining feature includes a repeating bass line melody that provides support for the upper lines, which are varied freely and extensively.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Stabat Mater
Scored for soprano, mezzo-soprano, two violins, viola, cello and keyboard

Pergolesi’s sacred music includes some 20 works, including masses and various liturgical pieces. His most celebrated sacred work is his Stabat Mater. This work was commissioned by the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo, a group of pious and charitable gentlemen that presented an annual Good Friday meditation in honor of the Virgin Mary. It was during his stay with the Confraternità when Pergolesi composed his musical setting of the Stabat Mater, which was to be his last work.

The Stabat Mater is a sequence of Latin verses, originally written by Jacobus de Benedictus (1230-1306) commemorating the sorrows of the Virgin Mary. Jacobus (Jacopone) descended from a noble family in Umbria, Italy, and for a time led a highly materialistic secular life. In 1268, after the violent death of his wife, he gave away all his possessions and lived as a wandering ascetic. During this period he gained a reputation as a madman acting out his spiritual visions. Archbishop Trench (1807-1886) described him as “playing the fool for Christ. The things he did, some morally striking, yet others of gross spiritual buffoonery leave one in doubt whether he was indeed perfectly sound of mind or a Christian Brutus, feigning folly that he might impress his wisdom the more deeply, and utter it with more freedom.” In 1278, after 10 years of wandering, Jacopone entered the Order of St. Francis, where he remained a lay brother till his death.

Jacobone’s Latin poem Stabat Mater is an unusually fine example of religious lyric poetry, a vivid expression of the 13th century’s ecstatic view of the world, and is still used in Catholic services today. More than 200 musical compositions have subsequently used this text, from the 18th century Pergolesi, to the 19th century composers Rossini and Verdi, and the 20th century’s award-winning Polish composer Penderecki.

Pergolesi’s operatic skills are evident in his musical setting of Stabat Mater and include highly dramatic text settings, frequent surprises, and a multitude of emotions. In striving to make it more accessible, Pergolesi also incorporated popular music. The work flows easily, none of the 12 sections are longer than 5 minutes, and some are only 1-2 minutes. Pergolesi is regarded as a genius for his musical portrayal of human emotions and concerns, and his music has been described as “a mirror of nature” (Francesco Degrada, Pergolesi, 1986).

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About Kathryn Mueller

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Described as a singer “who thoroughly captures the imagination” by the Albuquerque Journal, soprano Kathryn Mueller has also been praised by San Francisco Classical Voice for her “lovely tone and easy agility.” Her frequent solo concert engagements across the United States include appearances with American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Washington Bach Consort, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Phoenix Symphony, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Miami’s Firebird Orchestra, Atlanta’s New Trinity Baroque, and Chicago’s Ars Antigua. She has also sung operatic roles with companies including Arizona Opera and Bach Collegium San Diego.

Kathryn recorded two GRAMMY-nominated albums with Seraphic Fire, and is featured as a soloist on recordings by New Trinity Baroque, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Tucson Chamber Artists, and Seraphic Fire, including Seraphic Fire’s best-selling Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, which reached the top of the iTunes classical chart.

Please read Kathryn’s complete biography on her website: www.kathrynmueller.com

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

About Santa Fe Pro Musica

017

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 2015

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Beethoven, Kernis & Schumann. Oh, my!

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Midori (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Midori (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

WHAT:
Midori
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Midori, violin

WHEN:
Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 4pm
Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3pm

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

PROGRAM:
Beethoven Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
Kernis Musica Celestis
Schumann Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO23

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 one hour before each concert. Learn more about the music you love!

Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each concert at the Lensic Performing Arts Center – Free to ticket holders.

8f0e50e8-03fd-4446-b5a8-30e34ab2dc76© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2015

 

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Midori

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica

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Presenting the Szymanowski Quartet

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2015

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Santa Fe Pro Musica presents Midori


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Santa Fe Pro Musica
Midori
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Midori, violin

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 4pm
Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3pm
Lensic Performing Arts Center

Santa Fe, NM — The Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra presents a must-see concert featuring super star violinist Midori. The concert opens with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93, followed by Musica Celestis by Aaron Kernis. For the grand finale, Midori takes to the stage to perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D Minor.

The New York Times describes Midori: “There was a touching sense that much more was being implied than could be said, that here was someone smiling through tears – or weeping through laughter. The ambiguity was complete, and right.”

Midori (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Midori (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

WHAT:
Midori
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Midori, violin

WHEN:
Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 4pm
Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3pm

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

PROGRAM:
Beethoven Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
Kernis Musica Celestis
Schumann Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO23

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 one hour before each concert. Learn more about the music you love!

Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each concert at the Lensic Performing Arts Center – Free to ticket holders.

Dinner with Midori at Restaurant Martín
March 1, 2015 at 5:30pm, following Midori’s performance of Schumann’s Violin Concerto with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra and Thomas O’Connor, conductor.

$150.00 per person ($75.00 tax deductible) – Advanced reservations required.

Creative, Seasonal Four Course Menu, selected and prepared by award winning chef Martin Rios, paired with wines crafted by Bump Wine Cellars (winner of 10 best glasses: California Food and Wine Magazine, October 2014 for their 2009 Zinfandel).

RESERVATIONS: Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office, 505-988-4640, ext. 1000
Please reserve by Wednesday, February 18, 2015 as seating is limited for this exclusive event. Please include dietary requests with your reservation.

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Program notes by Carol Redman

Beethoven, Kernis, and Schumann

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93

Scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and trumpets, plus timpani and strings

Beethoven completed his 7th and 8th symphonies in quick succession in the spring and summer of 1812. Although his life was laden with difficulties (money, work, romance, family and health), 1812 was an especially hard year. He was involved in a love affair, probably with a married woman, and unleashed his despair in the famous “Immortal Beloved” letter. He then fled to the home of his brother Johann who threw him out after getting too much unsolicited advice about his choice of wife. And, finally, Beethoven realized he was truly and irrevocably deaf. And what evidence for all this turmoil is there in his Symphony No. 8? None at all! It is full of good cheer, musical jokes and lebensfreude.

The first movement (Allegro vivace con brio, very fast and fiery) is dominated by a buoyant theme, occasionally veering off into the “wrong” keys. For the second movement (Allegretto scherzando, a little fast, jokingly), he pokes fun at the newly invented metronome; a device that keeps a steady beat for rhythmically challenged musicians. The third movement (Tempo di Menuetto) spoofs its dainty and refined origin as a courtly dance, with displaced accents, false downbeats and mixed up meters sure to trip up anyone who attempts to dance to it. The last movement (Allegro vivace, very fast) is full of musical hi-jinks. The music goes to some very unusual places using some very inappropriate notes. The coda (literally “tail”) is also a joke. At 236 measures long, it doubles the length of the movement (here the tail wags the dog!). And, finally, Beethoven appears to lampoon composers who resort to pounding the last few chords as many times as needed to get the music to stop, by blowing up his own conclusion to laughable proportions. Once he steers us back to where we need to be (F Major), he then caricatures this construct by drawing out his own conclusion for 23 measures, during which that final F-major chord is repeated no fewer than 45 times, rather like kids asking “aren’t we there yet?”

Aaron Jay Kernis (b. 1960)
Musica Celestis

Scored for string orchestra

Kernis is an award winning American composer, winning three BMI Foundation Composer Awards, the Grawemeyer Award (2002), a Pulitzer Prize (1998), and a Grammy nomination. He is currently on the Yale School of Music faculty.

Kernis writes that his Musica Celestis was inspired by the medieval title’s reference to heavenly angels singing praises of God. Musica Celestis, originating as a movement of his first string quartet (1990), was arranged for string orchestra a year later. The music begins with a series of sustained chords whose ethereal sonorities recall the opening moments of the Prelude to Wagner’s Lohengrin. Then long strands of melody entwine in counterpoint and suggest another American composition for string orchestra, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Kernis’ music follows a simple, spacious melodic and harmonic pattern through a number of variations, and is framed by an introduction and coda. It begins very quietly, builds to an intense and impassioned climax, and subsides to a quiet conclusion.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO 23

Scored for solo violin, pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and trumpets, plus timpani and strings

“Although it is difficult to characterize succinctly Schumann’s large and varied output, it is fair to say that Romantic reverie, mercurial caprice, solemn grandeur, and ecstatic effusion all have their place in it” (Paul Schiavo, Seattle Symphony Orchestra).

Schumann came from a family that was plagued by mental illness. He struggled with it himself for most of his life, relentlessly writing music through bouts of contemplated suicide and months of depression. Finally, in February 1854, increasingly tortured by hallucinations, he asked to be taken to an asylum, where he died on July 29, 1856.

Schumann wrote his only violin concerto late in 1853, his last major work, and intended it for Joseph Joachim, one of the 19th century’s greatest violinists. Joachim played through the concerto for Schumann at an orchestra rehearsal, but never performed it. Instead, he ignored the piece, which he considered not up to Schumann’s usual standards, implying that he felt the concerto’s music reflected Schumann’s declining mental state.

In 1907, after Joachim’s death, the concerto was given to the Prussian State Library. Here it remained forgotten until 1937 when the Hungarian violinist Jelli d’Aranyi (1893-1966) claimed to have contacted Schumann’s spirit and was told the concerto’s whereabouts. It must be noted, however, that d’Aranyi was the grandniece of Joseph Joachim, so it is quite plausible that she had some insider’s information. The great violinist Yehudi Menuhin soon received a copy and declared it was “romantic, heroic, supplicating, and tender” and that “this concerto is the bridge between the Beethoven and the Brahms concertos.” He performed it in 1938. The next performance was 23 years later (1961) with Henryk Szeryng and the Boston Symphony. Another 42 years go by until the next performances by Leonidas Kavakos and the Philadelphia Orchestra (2003), Gidon Kremer with Staatskapelle Berlin (2004), and a recording with Joshua Bell and the Cleveland Orchestra (2010). Only now, more than 150 years later, Schumann’s Violin Concerto has entered the standard violin repertory and is recognized as one of his most moving works.

About Midori

Midori_press-12018 Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Midori is an extraordinary violinist, a devoted and gifted educator, and an innovative community activist. She presents a new model for artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career with hands-on investments in the power of music to change lives. Midori has maintained an international presence for almost three decades, performing about 100 concerts a year, leading varied community and charitable projects, and serving as Chair of the Strings Department and Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Performing as Midori (first name only), she has spent her life before the public in virtually every major international capital and cultural center. Her performing schedule is balanced between recitals, chamber music, and appearances with the world’s great orchestras. Her expansive discography culminates most recently in The Essential Midori, a compilation issued by Sony Masterworks.

Working as Midori Goto (full name), she has founded a series of successful non-profit organizations and youth-directed projects. Midori and Friends, created in New York City in 1992, brings musical education to underprivileged children in partnership with the city’s public schools. Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., and Music Sharing, formed in Japan, brings music making to smaller communities that are typically underserved by the arts. In recognition of such activities, the U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, named Midori a “Messenger of Peace” in 2007.

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan in 1971. Her mother Setsu Goto discovered her daughter’s innate musicality at the age of two when she heard Midori humming a Bach theme. Midori began playing the violin at the age of three. In 1982 she moved to New York City where she studied at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. Her audition piece was the fantastically formidable 13-minute Chaconne by J. S. Bach. When the great conductor Zubin Mehta first heard Midori play (1982), he invited her to make her celebrated debut (at the age of 11) at the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert. Three years later an extraordinary concert with Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony made front-page news in the New York Times, and her career was off and running. At 15, Midori left the Juilliard School and embarked on a major performance career. She returned to school in 2000, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Gender Studies, followed by a Master’s degree in Psychology from New York University. In 2001 she received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of classical music. In 2012 she received the prestigious Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University. In 2013 she was the Humanitas Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford in England. Midori is at the forefront of enriching people’s lives through widely diverse and creative endeavors.

 

“In that fine balance of acceptance of self and the mission to better oneself, compassion, humility, and discipline are nurtured.” – Midori Goto

About Santa Fe Pro Musica

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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 2015

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Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the Brentano String Quartet

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Brentano String Quartet
Mark Steinberg, violin
Serena Canin, violin
Misha Amory, viola
Nina Lee, cello

Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 3pm
St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art

Santa Fe, NM — Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the internationally acclaimed Brentano String Quartet in concert at the St. Francis Auditorium (New Mexico Museum of Art) performing works of Haydn, MacMillian and Schubert. Newly appointed Quartet-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music, this quartet takes its name from Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved.”

“The Brentano String Quartet is something special…Their music-making is private, delicate and fresh, but by its very intimacy and importance it seizes attention.”
The New York Times

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WHAT:
Brentano String Quartet
Mark Steinberg, violin
Serena Canin, violin
Misha Amory, viola
Nina Lee, cello

WHEN:
Sunday, March 8 at 3pm

WHERE:
St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art
107 West Palace Avenue
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.

Lodging Partner:
Hotel SF

 

 

 

Media Partner:

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Program:

Haydn String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
MacMillan String Quartet No. 3 (2007)
Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden”

Notes by Carol Redman

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1

The string quartet was one of Haydn’s favorite forms, and his work in this field evolved throughout his long career, resulting in almost 70 quartets.  In 1781, Haydn completed his Opus 33 set of six string quartets, the same year that Mozart moved to Vienna. While in Vienna, Haydn and Mozart became friends and played string quartets together in Mozart’s apartment, with Mozart playing the viola and Haydn playing violin.

An interesting interchange reflects the mutual influence and respect of these two Viennese masters. Inspired by Haydn’s Op. 33 quartets, Mozart composed a set of six quartets in 1785 and dedicated them to Haydn (“Receive them kindly, with the partiality of a father’s eye”); Haydn then returned the favor. Inspired by Mozart’s latest quartets written during 1785-86, Haydn wrote another set of quartets, his Opus 50 (1787). Ultimately however, Haydn dedicated this set to King Frederick William II of Prussia (1744-1797), an amateur cellist and an enthusiastic patron of the arts who was able to pay for them.

James MacMillan (b. 1959)
String Quartet No. 3

Born, raised and educated in Scotland, MacMillan is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation. He has received commissions from leading opera companies, orchestras, and soloists, including the great cellist Rostropovich, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Parliament, BBC Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Westminster Cathedral, the Welsh National Opera, and others. When the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999 (after 292 years of submission to the Parliament of Great Britten), MacMillan composed the fanfare to accompany the Queen into the chamber. In 2010 he wrote a new mass to be sung during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain. MacMillan’s Roman Catholic faith has inspired many of his works. Scottish traditional music also has a profound influence on his music. And he often uses familiar themes, even subliminally, which makes his music not only accessible but also hauntingly familiar.

Macmillan speaks of the melodic quality of his third string quartet, especially in the lyrical first movement. The second movement is a dark maelstrom of ominous figures, and one of MacMillan’s most fascinatingly strange creations. Lyricism returns in the final movement, which is the most conservative and reassuringly familiar of the three. “MacMillan’s String Quartet No. 3 operates at the boundary between the physical and the ethereal, between sounds and silence” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden”

Schubert began composing string quartets when he was thirteen, initially to play with his family. His two brothers were violinists, his father played the cello, and Schubert took the viola part. Over the course of his short life, he composed 15 string quartets. In Schubert’s early quartets, it is primarily the first violin that carries the melody with the other instruments playing supporting roles. In his later quartets, the part writing is more adventuresome, each instrument bringing its own character and presence to the music and creating a conversation among equals. The later quartets, were written neither as commissions, nor for home audiences, but as intimately personal expressions.  “The string quartet had become a vehicle for conveying to the world his inner struggles” (Walter Cobbett, Cobbett’s Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music, 1963).

Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 “Death and the Maiden” is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire. It was composed in 1824 after Schubert suffered through a serious illness and realized that he might be dying.  The quartet is named for a theme used in the second movement, but the essence of the theme is apparent in all four movements. Schubert borrowed this theme from a song he wrote in 1817, taking his text from a poem by Matthias Claudius (1740-1815), and transforming it into a death knell about the terror and comfort of death. Throughout the quartet, Schubert evokes Death in all its various guises, from harsh to gentle. Furthermore, he chooses the key of D minor, a key that he generally reserved for songs of death, penitence, shadowy dreams, and shrouded moonlight. The quartet was first played in 1826 in a private home and was not published until 1831, three years after Schubert’s death.

The poem recounts an old myth wherein Death demands a pre-nuptial night with a bride-to-be. If she declines, Death will take her betrothed on their wedding day.

The Maiden
Oh! Leave me! Please leave me!
You grisly man of bone!
Go! Leave me alone.
Leave me alone!

Death
Give me your hand, fair and tender maiden,
For I am a friend, and do not punish.
Take courage now, and very soon,
You shall sleep gently in my arms.

Watch and Listen:

About the Brentano String Quartet

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism”; the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture”; and the Times (London) opines, “the Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet…This was wonderful, selfless music-making.” Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award; and in 1996 the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited them to be the inaugural members of Chamber Music Society Two, a program which was to become a coveted distinction for chamber groups and individuals.

The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the intended recipient of his famous love confession.

Read more at brentanoquartet.com

About Santa Fe Pro Musica

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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 2015

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