Santa Fe Pro Musica Presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet

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Santa Fe Pro Musica proudly presents the St. Lawrence String Quartet in performance at the St. Francis Auditorium (New Mexico Museum of Art), performing Haydn’s String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5, John Adams’ Second String Quartet and Schumann’s String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3. Hailed as “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive (The Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” (LA Times). Come and experience the energy!

 

SLSQ_Dalby_LMascaroWHAT | St. Lawrence String Quartet
Geoff Nuttall, violin
Owen Dalby, violin
Lesley Robertson, viola
Christopher Costanza, cello

WHEN | Sunday, February 7 at 2pm

WHERE | St. Francis Auditorium, 107 W Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM

TICKETS | $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, ext. 1000, 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.

MASTER CLASS | Santa Fe Pro Musica provides free master classes for area music students, both younger and older, and the general public. The St. Lawrence String Quartet will present a 90-minute dynamic instruction for selected string ensembles in front of an actively engaged audience. This give-and-take between audience, students and masters is always lively and inspiring. The Master Class with the St. Lawrence String Quartet will be held at the St. Francis Auditorium at 10am on Sunday, February 7. Free admission. 

lroylance_05-10-14 15Photo Credit: L Roylance

About the Program

Franz Joseph Haydn | String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5
John Adams | Second String Quartet
Robert Schumann | String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3

About the Composers

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5
As the novelty of the mid-18th century rococo style dissipated, with its light textures, clean lines, and superficial charm, the ideals of the Sturm und Drang movement took its place. Often labeled proto-romantic, this was originally a literary movement that dealt with the struggle of the individual, an exploration of darker subjects, a fascination with emotional turbulence and difficult sentiments, and a keen interest in the drama of the natural world.

Haydn’s six string quartets Opus 20 (1772) illustrate his early foray into the concepts of the Sturm und Drang movement. The String Quartet Op. 20, No. 5 presents a synthesis of the charming rococo style and the more intense Sturm und Drang practices. Haydn includes predictable and symmetrical melodies, but also asymmetrical phrases, displaced rhythms, and awkward silences.

This quartet’s first movement is in typical sonata form (exposition – development ­ recapitulation), but Haydn adds impact through a calculated use of silence; breaking, suspending and delaying the music to great effect. The second movement Menuetto is a somber take on an elegant dance. Relief arrives with the slow movement Adagio, a wonder of refreshing charm featuring a delightful display of Haydn’s imaging of the variation form. For the last movement, Haydn digs back into the past and uses a fugue, an academically formal structure that is a clear rejection of the frothy decorative rococo style. Haydn’s use of this form adds new intellectual, textural and dramatic dimensions to the music. Within the context of chamber music, the contrapuntal demands of the fugue immediately renders all players equal as the music becomes not a melody with accompaniment, but a simultaneous progression of four independent melodies.

John Adams (b. 1947)
Second String Quartet

John AdamsBoth of John Adams’ string quartets were composed for the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Speaking of their working relationship, Adams says, “String quartet writing is one of the most difficult challenges a composer can take on… the demands of handling this extremely volatile and transparent instrumental medium can easily be humbling, if not downright humiliating. What I appreciate about my friends in the St. Lawrence is their willingness to let me literally ‘improvise’ on them as if they were a piano or a drum and I a crazy man beating away with only the roughest outlines of what I want. They will go the distance with me, allow me to try and fail, and they will indulge my seizures of doubt, frustration and indecision, all the while providing intuitions and brilliant suggestions of their own…”

The Second String Quartet is based on tiny fragments borrowed from Beethoven (“fractals” in the composer’s words). The first movement, for example, is based on two short phrases from the scherzo of Beethoven’s Opus 110 piano sonata. Like Adam’s First String Quartet, the second is organized into two movements. The first movement has a scherzo-like quality and should be played as fast as possible. The second movement begins with a gentle melody that is drawn from the opening movement of the same Opus 110 piano sonata. Like its original Beethoven model, the movement is characterized by emphatic gestures and a busy but friendly mood of activity among the four instruments.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No.3

Clara Schumann’s heart sank when her husband Robert announced in 1842 that he was working on a set of three string quartets. The quartet genre had never appealed to her. Nonetheless, she put on a brave face when he presented her with the scores as an anniversary present (along with a “sneak preview” performance) that September. “I cannot say anything about the quartets except that they delight me in even the finest detail,” Clara wrote in her diary. “Everything there is new, along with being clear, well worked out, and always appropriate for a quartet.”

Schumann wrote his three string quartets in a space of several weeks, with the third quartet dashed off in only a few days.  In his letters and journals, he writes about his methodical preparation by studying the string quartets of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He was also acquainted with the quartets by Mendelssohn and dedicated the Opus 41 string quartets to him. Schumann made two demands of himself as the composer of string quartets: “First, the proper quartet should avoid symphonic furor and aim rather for a conversational tone in which everyone has something to say. Second, the composer must possess an intimate knowledge of the genre’s history, but should strive to produce more than mere imitations of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.”

The first movement of the String Quartet No. 3 is in sonata form and is rather delicate and subtle, with tempo and character directions like “espressivo” and “molto moderato” (very moderate) and the “use of a falling perfect fifth like a sensuous sigh.” The second movement is a theme and variations, curiously arranged with three variations before the theme ever appears. The third movement Adagio is the longest and most profound movement of the quartet and reveals Schumann’s characteristic “lyricism and rhapsodic romanticism.” Typical for Schumann, the finale sweeps away all that has gone before in a surge of kinetic vitality with a grand conclusion (Earsense Chamber Base).

St. Lawrence String Quartet 2

Portrait: St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ), Bing Concert Hall, Stanford, California. Credit “Eric Cheng / echengphoto.com”.

About the St. Lawrence String Quartet

Geoff Nuttall, violin
Owen Dalby, violin
Lesley Robertson, viola
Christopher Costanza, cello

Established in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has developed an undisputed reputation as a truly world class chamber ensemble. The quartet performs internationally and has served as Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University since 1998.

The St. Lawrence continues to build its reputation for imaginative and spontaneous music-making, through an energetic commitment to the great established quartet literature as well as the championing of new works by such composers as John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Ezequiel Vinao, and Jonathan Berger.

In late summer 2015, the quartet toured Europe with the San Francisco Symphony, performing composer John Adams’ “Absolute Jest” under the baton of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas for audiences the UK, Germany, Romania and Switzerland. As a grand finale of their tour, they performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. During the summer season, SLSQ is proud to continue its long association with the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.

The Quartet’s residency at Stanford includes working with music students as well as extensive collaborations with other faculty and departments using music to explore myriad 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.

Lesley Robertson and Geoff Nuttall are founding members of the group, and hail from Edmonton, Alberta, and London, Ontario, respectively. Christopher Costanza is from Utica, NY, and joined the group in 2003. Owen Dalby, from the San Francisco Bay area, joined in 2015. All four members of the quartet live and teach at Stanford University in California.

For more information, please visit the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s website at http://www.slsq.com.

Read, Watch and Listen
David Rowe Artists | St. Lawrence String Quartet
http://www.davidroweartists.com/html/slsq/slsq_news.html

Pre-concert talk with St. Lawrence String Quartet | Library of Congress
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjQWwqsfOnw

The Humor of Hadyn | St. Lawrence String Quartet | TEDxStanford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVaqBtWu_u0

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 Classical Album/Small Ensemble. 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 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 33 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 featuring student ensembles working with world-class musicians.

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


Santa Fe Pro Musica is grateful for the support of our sponsors and partners.

Artist Sponsor

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Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Classical Weekend features Per Tengstrand

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For this season’s Classical Weekend, the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral, and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 featuring charismatic virtuoso Per Tengstrand. Join us after Sunday’s concert for our Artist Dinner with Per Tengstrand at La Casa Sena.

Santa Fe Pro Musica
Classical Weekend
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
featuring Per Tengstrand, piano

Saturday, January 23 at 4pm
Sunday, January 24 at 3pm

 

Per Tengstrand

WHAT | Classical Weekend featuring Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra, Thomas O’Connor, conductor and guest artist Per Tengstrand, piano

WHEN | Saturday, January 23 at 4pm & Sunday, January 24 at 3pm

WHERE | The Lensic Performing Arts Center at 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, New Mexico

 TICKETS | $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, ext. 1000, 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 | Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, presents a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music, one hour prior to each concert. Meet the Music is free to ticket holders. Learn more about the music you love!

Artist Dinner with Per Tengstrand | Following the concert on Sunday, January 24 at 5:30pm, we invite you to dine with Per Tengstrand as we celebrate his performance with Santa Fe Pro Musica. La Casa Sena is offering an exquisite menu especially selected for our guests. Tickets to the Artist Dinner are available through our Box Office for $85 a person, a portion of which is tax deductible. Seating is limited, so call no later than January 20 to reserve your seat. 505-988-4640 ext 1000. La Casa Sena is located at 125 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM. 

About the Program

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”
Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16

Beethoven

(Beethoven with the Missa solemnis, 1819, portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler – Photo public domain)

 

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”

Nearly every summer Beethoven left the bustling city of Vienna and retreated to the country:  “How delighted I will be to ramble for awhile through the bushes and woods, under trees, through grass, and around rocks. No one can love the country as much as I do, for surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear.” W. Thayer (Life of Beethoven, 1964) recounts how Beethoven spent a typical summer day: “He got up at 5:30am, sat down to work, and went through the business of singing, stamping, shouting and writing. At 7:30am, Beethoven had breakfast, after which he went into the fields and roamed for miles, shouting and waving his arms, stopping at times to write in a notebook. At 12:30pm, he returned for lunch, after which he rested until 3pm. Then he resumed his walks until sunset. Dinner followed, then he worked until 10pm and then went to bed.”

The first sketches for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” appeared in 1802. The symphony was finished in the summer of 1808 in Heiligenstadt, a lovely village near Vienna, redolent with the perfume of gardens and vineyards. The first performance was in Vienna on December 22, 1808, as part of an all-Beethoven program.

The descriptive writing and pastoral subject matter of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony followed on a path already taken by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (1725), and Haydn’s two oratorios, The Creation (1798) and The Seasons (1801). In addition, Beethoven knew about Justin Heinrich Knecht’s newest musical creation, Le portrait musical de la nature (1785). The two compositions are remarkably similar: both are in five movements and include depictions of the peaceful countryside, the approach of a storm, and thanksgiving once the clouds had passed.

The first movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Awakening of Cheerful Feelings Upon Arriving in the Country, enters sleepily with four quiet measures that trail off, and then proceeds at a leisurely pace. The development section, often an opportunity for increased turbulence and activity, here sinks deeper into a country calm, savoring radiant changes of harmony.

The following Scene by the Brook unfolds with flowing grace and captures the meandering stream in the strings’ rocking triplet rhythm. The idyllic scene ends with a trio of birdcalls from the woodwinds, representing the nightingale, quail and cuckoo.

The final three movements are to be played without pause. For the scherzo, Merry Assembly of Country Folk, Beethoven summons a band of peasants for a cheerful group of dances, but the rollicking music halts unresolved and the Thunderstorm violently intrudes, depicting the fury of a summer squall. Fearful dissonances and thunderous timpani make for a convincing tempest, until it trails off in one last upward patter of raindrops.

The symphony’s opening mood of serenity is restored by the final, uplifting Shepherds’ Song of Thanksgiving. It begins with a chorale phrase “Herr, wir danken dir” (Lord, we thank thee). This tune, humble but confident, returns the symphony to its pastoral and warm-hearted calm.

Edvard GriegEdvard Grieg (1843-1907)

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16

Edvard Grieg lived in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. Inspired by the town, its fish market, its countryside and its cultural life, he exclaimed, “I’m sure my music has a tang of codfish in it.” Grieg was most prolific in the smaller compositions for voice and piano or solo piano pieces. His only two major orchestral works are the Piano Concerto and the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.

It was his Piano Concerto that brought Grieg his first major success. Composed in 1868 and revised extensively five times, the concerto was modeled after the piano concerto of Robert Schumann, and with considerable influences from Franz Liszt. However, Grieg believed that his country’s musical future lay not in a continued reliance on Germanic models, but should instead be enlivened by tapping into the rich heritage of Norwegian folk music. Patterned on European models, Grieg’s piano concerto evokes Norwegian folk music, the character of its people, and the drama of its landscapes.

The first movement opens with a wonderfully exclamatory introduction and boasts one of the most familiar openings in the entire concerto repertoire. The movement is a blend of melancholy and warmth. The second movement, ushered in by muted strings, is a tender song, soft and pastoral. The finale follows directly, led by an insistent theme modeled on the springdans (leaping dance), a Norwegian folk step that requires exceptional athleticism. The second theme offers contrast, wistful and poetic, though it is transformed in the concluding pages into a grand and triumphant hymn.

Tchaikovsky described Grieg’s music: “There prevails a fascinating melancholy which seems to reflect in itself all the beauty of Norwegian scenery, grandiose and yet sublime in its vast expanse, now gray and dull, but always full of charm. It quickly finds its way into our hearts to evoke a warm and sympathetic response. If we add to this that rarest of qualities, a perfect simplicity, far removed from affectation and pretense, it is not surprising that everyone should delight in Grieg.”

 About Per Tengstrand

Per Tengstrand has firmly established himself as one of today’s most exciting pianists. He has been described by The Washington Post as “technically resplendent, powerful, intuitively secure,” and by The New York Times as “a superb Swedish pianist” whose recital “was rewarding, both for its unusual programming and for his eloquent, technically polished performances.” He is the subject of a highly acclaimed Swedish documentary entitled Solisten (The Soloist) which was featured at the International Festival of Cinema and Technology in New York City. In 2005, he was decorated by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden with the Royal Medal Litteris et Artibus for outstanding service to the arts, the youngest recipient ever to be so honored. His busy 2014-15 season included concerts and recitals on both sides of the Atlantic. In Sweden he played Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2, Brahms’ Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky’s Piano Concerto; and the Tengstrand-Sun Piano Duo performed an adaptation of The Rite of Spring before returning to the US, where he continues his recital series at Scandinavia House in New York City. He was recently named artist-in-residence at the new Spira Concert House in Jönköping (Sweden).

Career highlights include performing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 during Neeme Järvi’s final subscription concerts with the New Jersey Philharmonic; performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap; the Residentie Orkest in den Haag, under Neeme Järvi; the Royal Philharmonic in Stockholm, under Leonard Slatkin; and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, under Edo de Waart. Tengstrand is in the process of performing and recording the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for his Mindfeel label.

Per Tengstrand regularly performs with orchestras in Gothenberg, Malmö, Helsingborg, Stockholm, Tapiola, with the Huarod Chamber Orchestra, and Swedish Radio Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with the Orchestre National de France, French Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra National de Lille, National Symphony of Taiwan, Singapore Symphony, New Japan, and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras. As recitalist, he has performed internationally in such venues as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Paris’s Salle Gaveau and the Nice Opera House, as well as in Geneva, Bordeaux, Bergen, Norway, the Montpellier Festival, Poland’s Chopin Festival and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Read, Watch and Listen

Per Tengstrand at Barrett Artists http://www.barrettartists.com/artist.php?id=ptengstrand

Per Tengstrand plays Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 27 No. 1, Part https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k_dnnTQNoE

Per Tengstrand plays Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 26, Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-hGT2gOL5Q

A 57-minute documentary of pianist Per Tengstrand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuSj4H6jYHQ

20100128-N277963

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 Classical Album/Small Ensemble. 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 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 33 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 featuring student ensembles working with world-class musicians.

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

_________________________________

The 2015-2016 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).

Santa Fe Pro Musica sincerely thanks their concert sponsor and lodging partner for their support:

Concert Sponsor | Edith M. Timken Family Foundation 

Lodging Partners | El Rey Inn, Inn of the Governors, La Fonda and Inn on the Alameda

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Posted in About the Composer, About the Music, Concert, Meet the Music, The Lensic Performing Arts Center, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Pro Musica Performs the Brandenburg Concertos

 

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Santa Fe Pro Musica’s holiday celebration continues with Santa Fe Pro Musica’s presentation of The Brandenburg Concertos at the historic St. Francis Auditorium. Among the most performed of Bach’s compositions, the six Brandenburg Concertos have left a lasting influence on chamber music and on those who appreciate the playful side of Bach’s genius.

The Brandenburg Concertos
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra and Soloists
Thomas O’Connor, conductor

Performances are on Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30 at 6pm both evenings at the St. Francis Auditorium (inside the New Mexico Museum of Art).

Holiday Subscription Package: Save 10% when you buy tickets to both A Baroque Christmas and The Brandenburg Concertos. The Holiday Package is available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office: (505) 988-4640, (800) 960-6680 or online at www.santafepromusica.com. These go quickly, so call today!

Brandenburg Gate Image with tree

Santa Fe Pro Musica presents all six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos featuring the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra and Soloists on both Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30 at 6pm in the St. Francis Auditorium inside the New Mexico Museum of Art.

 

 

WHAT: The Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra & Soloists, Thomas O’Connor, conductor

WHEN: Tuesday, December 29 at 6pm Wednesday, December 30 at 6pm

WHERE: St. Francis Auditorium (at the New Mexico Museum of Art) 107 West Palace Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87501

TICKETS: $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, ext. 1000, Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic (505) 988-1234, or online at http://www.santafepromusica.com. Discounts for students, teachers, groups, and families are available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office.

Meet the Music: Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, presents a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music, one hour prior to each concert in the St. Francis Auditorium – Free to ticket holders. Learn more about the music you love!

About the Program

J. S. BACH’s Brandenburg Concertos, BWV 1046-1051, will be performed in the following order:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1049
Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F Major, BWV 1046
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-Flat Major, BWV 1051
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047

J. S. Bach

 

About the Composer

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

The Brandenburg Concertos are recognized as supreme examples of Baroque instrumental music; “a kaleidoscopic treasure.”

In 1721, J. S. Bach sent a set of six concertos to Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. The collection, neatly copied in Bach’s handwriting, was titled Concerts avec plusieurs instruments (Concertos with several instruments). The Margrave shelved them in his library where they remained untouched. The concertos were rediscovered in the Berlin Imperial Library during the 19th century and published in 1850. The popular name Brandenburg Concertos was bestowed in 1873 by Philipp Spitta from his biography J. S. Bach.

Presumably, Bach selected the six Brandenburg Concertos from concertos he had written earlier, predating his meeting with the Margrave. They probably do not reflect the specific instrumentation of the ensembles available either to the Margrave or Bach’s employer at that time, the Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen. 18th century protocol would have required Bach, while in the employ of Prince Leopold, to obtain formal permission for dedicating such a work to another sovereign. It’s hard to imagine Bach could have dedicated music to the Margrave that was originally written for the Prince, especially if the Prince considered the music his property! The selection criteria appear to favor extreme diversity. All the orchestral families are included: brass (trumpet and French horn), woodwinds (oboe, flute, bassoon), strings (violin, viola, cello, viola da gamba), and harpsichord. The only instrument lacking a solo role is the bass. The modest title, Concertos with several instruments, does not begin to suggest the degree of innovation exhibited. Every one of the six concertos remains unparalleled in its instrumental and musical creativity.

Brandenburg FacebookAbout the Music

The Brandenburg Concertos are in the style of the concerto grosso, one of the most popular instrumental forms of the Baroque period, featuring a group of solo instruments (concertino) supported by a larger group of string instruments (ripieno) with basso continuo (harpsichord and a bass instrument reinforcing the bass line).

In concert order:

Concerto No. 3 is scored for three violins, three violas, three cellos, plus continuo, but without ripieno. Throughout the two fast movements, Bach combines and recombines the three trios of instruments, having them echo and contrast with each other. The Adagio is a single measure connecting the two fast movements. It is conjectured that Bach’s intention was not the insertion of an additional contrasting movement, but an opportunity for the harpsichordist or first violinist to provide a brief improvisation.

Concerto No. 4 is scored for a trio of solo violin and two flutes, supported by the ripieno (string orchestra). Within the solo group, the violin is the most virtuosic participant, investing the music with the texture of a solo concerto. The flutes most often work in tandem, intoning their parallel motifs in consonant thirds and sixths, and can be considered a solo unit rather than separate soloists.

Concerto No. 1 features a rich array of instruments in an eleven-part score: two French horns, three oboes, one bassoon, solo violin and ripieno (string orchestra). Both Allegro movements are characterized by vigorous interplay among the solo instruments and the orchestra. The solo violin and oboe lead in the Adagio. In the closing dances, four repetitions of the Minuet surround a trio for woodwinds, a Polish dance for strings, and another trio for horns and oboes.

Concerto No. 6 is scored for two contrasting but low-register formations: two violas and cello (the “modern” four-string instruments) and two violas da gamba and violin (the “old-fashioned” six-string instruments), but without ripieno. The unusual sonority created by the exclusive use of middle and low register strings results in a dark and mellifluous sound. Concerto No. 5 consists of solo violin, flute, and harpsichord – the most fashionable chamber music combination at that time – and ripieno (string orchestra). As the concerto begins, all three soloists share equally, but the harpsichord becomes increasingly dominant and finally bursts into an extended solo cadenza, fully constructed by Bach. In the second movement, only the soloists play, with the violin and flute frequently paired in contrast to the harpsichord. Bach begins the third movement with only the soloists, gradually bringing in the ripieno one section at a time, reestablishing its concerto nature.

Concerto No. 2 is for high-voiced instruments: trumpet, flute, oboe and violin. In the outer movements, all four soloists share the same material with no idiosyncratic differentiation between instruments. The Andante is scored for solo flute, oboe, violin and continuo. The outer movements have the energy of Vivaldi, however the brilliant fugal writing of the last Allegro is distinctively Bach.

Season Opening web

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 Classical Album/Small Ensemble. 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 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams.

In addition to gaining national recognition over its 33 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 featuring student ensembles working with world-class musicians.

__________________________

Santa Fe Pro Musica sincerely thanks their media sponsor and lodging partners for their support of The Brandenburg Concertos:

Media Partner

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Lodging Partners

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The 2015-2016 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).

Posted in About the Composer, About the Music, Brandenburg Concertos, Concert, Meet the Music, Period Performance, Uncategorized, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Pro Musica Celebrates the Season

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Santa Fe Pro Musica celebrates the season with two musical offerings: the beloved Santa Fe tradition A Baroque Christmas in the festively decorated Loretto Chapel and The Brandenburg Concertos in the historic St. Francis Auditorium (inside the New Mexico Museum of Art).

Holiday Subscription Package: Save 10% when you buy tickets to both A Baroque Christmas and The Brandenburg Concertos. The Holiday Package is available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office: (505) 988-4640, (800) 960-6680 or online at www.santafepromusica.com. These go quickly, so call today!

A Baroque Christmas
Saturday, December 19th through Thursday, December 24th
6pm and 8pm each evening

Performances are held at the Loretto Chapel located at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM.

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Loretto Chapel (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

It’s Christmas in Santa Fe and that means it’s time once again for Santa Fe’s most beloved musical tradition. The historic Loretto Chapel will be dressed in holiday finery as Santa Fe Pro Musica presents A Baroque Christmas, featuring the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble with mezzo-sopranos Deborah Domanski and Drea Pressley (alternating performances – please see our website for a  complete soprano schedule in the festively decorated historic Loretto Chapel. Performances at 6pm and 8pm each evening from Saturday, December 19 through Thursday, December 24.

About the Program

Handel Concerto Grosso in D Major, Op. 6, No. 5
Vivaldi  Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, RV 629
J. C. Bach Adagio and Rondeaux

Traditional Carols Als I Lay on Yoolis Night, Patapan, Wexford Carol, Gloria in excelsis Deo, Ascende laeta

Tickets are available for $20, $35, $48, and $69. Tickets can be purchased through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640 ext 1000, Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic (505) 988-1234, or online at www.santafepromusica.com.

A holiday subscription discount of 10% is available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office when tickets for both A Baroque Christmas and The Brandenburg Concertos are purchased.

Pressley Drea[1]

 

About Drea Pressley

Drea Pressley, mezzo-soprano, performs with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has performed with New Orleans Opera Association and Operafestival di Roma. As a member of Los Angeles Master Chorale, Ms. Pressley toured Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, premiering John Adam’s new work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary.

Drea enjoys performing with several of New Mexico’s premiere arts organizations, including Santa Fe Pro Musica, and has performed with Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe New Music,  Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Canticum Novum and Sangre de Cristo Chorale.

Please read more on Ms. Pressley’s website: http://www.dreapressley.com

Deborah-Domanski-2

 

About Deborah Domanski

Known for her scintillating musicality and impeccable professionalism, Deborah’s career highlights thus far include leading roles with The Santa Fe Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, New Orleans Opera, Opera Naples, Tulsa Opera, and St Petersburg Opera. Ms. Domanski’s solo concert performance engagements include The American Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, The Santa Fe Pro Musica Contemporary & Baroque Ensembles, The Asheville Symphony, and The Grand Rapids Bach Festival and her Weill Concert Hall debut as part of the Horne Foundation’s The Song Continues recital series at Carnegie Hall.

After an intensive period of study and preparation, Deborah will be expressing her prowess as a Baroque specialist in upcoming performances with Santa Fe Pro Musica’s baroque ensemble for two concert sets this 2015-16 season, performing Vivaldi’s energetic motet Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, and then again in spring 2016 with several selections from Handel’s sacred oratorios. Please read more on Ms. Domanski’s website: http://deborahdomanski.com/biography/

SF Pro Musica Loretto 109

About the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble

Our soloists will be joined by the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble with Stephen Redfield and David Felberg, violin I; Karen Clarke and Justin Pollak, violin II; Gail Robertson, viola; Myron Lutzke, cello; Carol Redman, flute; Danny Bond, bassoon; and David Solem, organ.

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 Classical Album/Small Ensemble. 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 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 33 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 featuring student ensembles working with world-class musicians.

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Santa Fe Pro Musica is grateful for our sponsors and partners for A Baroque Christmas.

Concert Sponsors:

Thornburg                  Nakamichi FoundationNakamichi Foundation

Lodging Partner:

hotel sf

The 2015-2016 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).

 

Posted in About the Music, About the Performers, Baroque, Baroque Christmas, Brandenburg Concertos, Concert, Loretto Chapel, Period Performance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prince of Clouds

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Santa Fe Pro Musica
Prince of Clouds

Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Carmelo de los Santos, violin
Stephen Redfield, violin

Saturday, November 7 at 4pm
Sunday, November 8 at 3pm

The Lensic Performing Arts Center

Santa Fe, NM — Escape with your imagination to a world beyond the clouds in this magical concert for string orchestra. Brazilian-born violinist Cármelo de los Santos and Santa Fe Pro Musica concertmaster Stephen Redfield will join together to perform J.S. Bach’s beloved Concerto for Two Violins and Anna Clyne’s mystical Prince of Clouds with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra. The ensemble will provide even more color and contrast, performing British composer Edward Elgar’s warm and inviting Serenade for Strings and the dramatic Symphony for Strings, Op. 118a by Dmitri Shostakovich. Experience the visionary!

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WHAT:           Prince of Clouds

Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Cármelo de los Santos and Stephen Redfield, violinists

WHEN:           Saturday, November 7 at 4pm & Sunday, November 8 at 3pm

WHERE:        The Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM

TICKETS:      $20, $35, $48, $69 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic (505) 988-1234, or online at www.santafepromusica.com

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

Meet the Music: Learn more about the music you love! Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each concert at the Lensic before each Orchestra concert – Free to ticket holders.

Sponsors:

Media Sponsor

SF-New-Mexican-logo-770x239

Lodging Partner

Hotel SF

Read complete concert information on our blog: santafepromusicablog.wordpress.com

About the Program

Prince of Clouds

JS Bach Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043

Clyne Prince of Clouds

Elgar Serenade in E Minor, Op. 20

Shostakovich Chamber Symphony for Strings, Op. 118a (arr. Rudolf Barshai)

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New Orford String Quartet: Meet the Music

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New Orford String Quartet

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Santa Fe Pro Musica
New Orford String Quartet

Jonathan Crow, violin
Andrew Wan, violin
Eric Nowlin, viola
Brian Manker, cello

Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 4:00pm
St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art

 Santa Fe, NM — Experience the extraordinary.

On October 10th, experience the mesmerizing musicianship of the New Orford String Quartet in the intimate setting of St. Francis Auditorium, inside the New Mexico Museum of Art. Hailed for their “ravishingly beautiful tone” as well as their “extraordinary technical skills and musicianship,” the members of the New Orford String Quartet are all principal players in the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. The ensemble will perform a varied program of Schubert, Wolf, Beethoven, Hétu, and Debussy.

New Orford 1 photo Alain Lefort

WHAT:
New Orford String Quartet
Jonathan Crow, violin
Andrew Wan, violin
Eric Nowlin, viola
Brian Manker, cello

WHEN:
Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 4:00pm

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

TICKETS: $20, $35, $48, $69
Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640
Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic (505) 988-1234
www.santafepromusica.com

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

Artist Sponsor:

Westaf

Media Partner:

KUNM-Logo

About the Program

Notes by Carol Redman

Schubert Quartettsatz in C Minor, D. 703
Wolf Italian Serenade
Beethoven Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 “Serioso”
Hétu Scherzo
Debussy Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Quartettsatz in C Minor, D. 703

Although the amount of Schubert’s instrumental chamber music is small compared to his vocal compositions, they include some of his most beloved works, including the Trout Quintet, the string quartet Death and the Maiden, and the Quartettsatz (quartet movement). As its name suggests, the Quartettsatz is not a complete four- movement string quartet, but a single movement that was originally intended as the first movement of a multi-movement work. Like his most famous “unfinished” work, the Symphony No. 8, the Quartettsatz is now accepted as a complete work. This quartet marked a departure from his previous eleven string quartets and is considered his first mature quartet. The earlier quartets were written as “Hausmusik” (music performed in the home by amateur musicians) with Schubert’s brothers Ignaz and Ferdinand on violins, his father playing cello, and Franz on viola. Composing for amateurs, Schubert had written fairly easy parts. But with the Quartettsatz (and his last three quartets), Schubert followed his inspiration without concern for his performer’s proficiency. The Quartettsatz makes great technical demands and was clearly intended for professional musicians. Though composed in 1820, the Quartettsatz did not receive its first public performance until 1867 and was not published until 1870.

Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Italian Serenade

Hugo Wolf lived a short life marked by scandalous drama and prolific musical production. Known to his friends as “Wild Wolf,” he was expelled from the Vienna Conservatory, had affairs with married Viennese socialites, and at the age of 43 ended his days in an asylum following a mental breakdown, exacerbated by syphilis. Despite his tumultuous personal life, Wolf wrote an extraordinary collection of music; primarily art songs in the tradition of Schubert and Schumann.

His Italian Serenade is one of his rare string pieces. The word “serenade” historically implies music that is light and entertaining for relaxing social evenings. Wolf’s Serenade largely conforms to this character. “The music develops into a sharply articulated adventure with a bit more intrigue than one might expect of a ‘little night music,’ entirely consonant with an Italian evening, particularly the wild intrigue of a Venetian carnival. And just like a group of masked figures that approach, pass and disappear into the night, the intrigue evaporates and the music resumes its giddy serenade” (Earsense).

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 “Serioso”

“Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets round off in a burst of glory the great tradition begun and already carried to miraculous heights by Haydn and Mozart. Between the three composers we have more than 100 works, which represent some of the most sophisticated, intellectual and beautiful music ever written. 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 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).

The String Quartet Op. 95 “Serioso” is dedicated to Nikolaus Zmeskall, Beethoven’s life-long and devoted friend. The autograph score of the quartet, titled “Quartetto serioso,” is dated October 1810. The quartet is extremely compressed compared with most of Beethoven’s middle-period works, and its unusual key of F Minor recalls that of his Appassionata Sonata, the dungeon scene in his opera Fidelio, and his oppressive Egmont Overture. Echoes of the moods of these earlier works can clearly be heard here. Beethoven stated in a letter, “This Quartet is written for a small circle of connoisseurs and is never to be performed in public.” With this piece he seems to be experimenting with ideas that he would draw on later, including interesting use of silences, metric ambiguity, and seemingly unrelated outbursts.

Jacques Hétu (1938-2010)
Scherzo, Op. 54 (1992)

French-Canadian composer Jacques Hétu was one of his country’s most prominent musicians and an influential teacher. His catalogue includes some 70 works, most of them conceived for traditional ensembles (string quartet, wind quintet, symphony orchestra). He described his music as combining classical forms and romantic effects with 20th century techniques. The original Italian meaning of the word scherzo is to joke, jest, trick or frolic. In its musical form, it is a vigorous, playful and often humorous piece.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10

Reacting against the dominant influence of Germanic music with its logical rigors of form and development, Debussy sought a new musical language of color, sensation, fleeting moods and relaxed forms that is distinctively French. He believed that passion did not need to be measured in decibels and felt that “music must be supple enough to adapt itself to the lyrical effusions of the soul and the fantasy of dreams.”

In 1893 Debussy composed what was to be his first important work, the String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10. Outwardly, the quartet assumes the mold of a traditional string quartet with four movements: a first movement sonata, a rhythmic scherzo, a slow lyrical movement and an energetic finale. But within this standard template, the music sounds completely new “with swiftly changing tempi, a wealth of dazzling figurations, cross-rhythms and the special shimmering pulsations typical of his music” (Earsense). Critics at the first performance railed against its “orgies of modulation.” When one of his friends expressed reservations about this quartet, Debussy reassured him that he would try to write another more well-behaved quartet. Ultimately this was to be his only string quartet.

About the New Orford String Quartet

Hailed for their “ravishingly beautiful tone” as well as their “extraordinary technical skills and musicianship” the members of the New Orford String Quartet are all principal players in the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. In 2009, these like-minded musicians came together with a plan to revolutionize the concept of string quartet playing in Canada, bringing together four stars of the classical music field for a limited touring schedule on a project-by-project basis inspired by the success of modern chamber orchestras such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Rather than committing to a year-round schedule, the members of the quartet meet for residencies in various centres for short periods of time, providing a fresh perspective on interpretations of standard string quartet repertoire. The New Orford String Quartet is also dedicated to promoting Canadian works, both new commissions and neglected repertoire from the previous century.

Read more at: http://www.en.neworford.com/about.php

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

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The 2015-2016 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).

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