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Vadim Gluzman, violin
- May 31-June 1, 2013 7:00 PM
- where: Dell Hall directions
- conductor: Peter Bay
Maestro Peter Bay and the ASO close the 102nd classical concert season by welcoming Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, violinist Vadim Gluzman to the ASO stage on Friday and Saturday, May 31st & June 1st at the Long Center for the Performing Arts’ Dell Hall.
Experience the rare chance to hear Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major on the instrument he composed it for, Vadim’s 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari!
Read Vadim Gluzman’s interview discussing the rare and beautiful 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari here.
|Bernstein||Overture to Candide|
|Hill||Symphony No. 4 in E-flat, Op. 47|
|Tchaikovsky||Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35|
|Rimsky-Korsakov||Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34|
b. August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts; d. October 14, 1990 in New York.
Overture to Candide. Premiered on Broadway on December 1, 1956.
Conductor, composer, pianist, author, broadcaster, humanitarian – Leonard Bernstein left indelible marks on an astonishing range of endeavours. He was the New York Philharmonic’s music director from 1958 to 1969, the first native-born conductor to take charge of a major American orchestra. In later years, his guest conducting engagements earned him as lofty an international reputation as the one he enjoyed in America.
He composed music throughout his career, ranging from witty, light-hearted songs and superb stage musicals to substantial operas, ballets, concertos and symphonies. What unites them is a strong sense of communication, reflecting his deep understanding and celebration of the human condition.
The Broadway musicals Candide and West Side Story came into being during the same period. He composed Candide between 1953 and 1956. It premiered on Broadway on December 1, 1956. West Side Story won success from its debut in 1957, but Candide has had a troubled history. The book for the original version, written by famed playwright Lillian Hellman, proved too dark and weighty for the show to find success in the popular theatre. Candide had a disastrous initial run of just 73 performances. Bernstein and several different collaborators created further versions, none entirely successful.
The plot comes from a satiric tale by the eighteenth-century French author Voltaire. Candide is a young man who believes in the philosophy set out by his teacher, that everything that happens must be for the best. His adventures take him around the world and involve him in a long series of catastrophes. In the end, he renounces his former outlook and resolves to build a new, honest and hopeful life.
Bernstein’s bright and witty music has always been Candide’s strong suit. It pays satiric homage to the play’s period setting, through take-offs on the classical dances and the empty-headed operatic conventions of the story’s period. The Overture weaves together snippets of the score’s themes into a bright, vivacious potpourri that makes it the perfect curtain-raiser for concerts of many kinds.
Edward Burlingame Hill
b. September 9, 1872 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; d. July 9, 1960 in Francestown, New Hampshire.
Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major, Op. 47. This is the world premiere performance.
Born the grandson of a President of Harvard and son of a chemistry professor at Harvard, it is no great surprise that Edward Burlingame Hill was himself, destined to become not only a student at Harvard but also one of its distinguished professors. When Hill became a student at Harvard the music department had but one teacher, John Knowles Paine. Paine taught classes in Harmony, Musical Form and Counterpoint, the academic disciplines of music. Music performance and composition were considered the more workmen-like disciplines in music, and not appropriate for study by a “Harvard Man.” To complete his studies, Hill travelled to Paris and worked with the great organist, composer and teacher Charles Marie Widor. Amongst the students of Widor, a former assistant to the great Saint-Saëns, one can find the names of Albert Schweitzer, Darius Milhaud on one extreme, and the futurist Edgard Varèse on the other.
Hill’s earliest compositions followed the trends of most of the American composers of his generation and were influence by late German Romanticism. His travels to France opened him to world of the music of Fauré, Roussel, and Ravel.
When Hill eventually returned to Harvard and joined the faculty, his classes included a survey of French Music, as well as the study of Orchestration. Hill’s students included some of the most famous names in American music including Leonard Bernstein, Randall Thompson, and Walter Piston, with all of them eventually teaching at Harvard as well.
Hill’s music always met with great critical success and was performed by some of the most significant musicians of his time, including Koussevitzky, Reiner, Stock, Munch, and even his student, Bernstein. One might then ask, “Why was his Fourth Symphony never performed and why did his music disappear from concert halls.” The work dates from 1941. It was a time of the rise of the more “American” sounding composers like Copland, Harris and Schuman. Quickly Hill’s music became “old hat.” Plus, composition was not a “proper” pursuit for a “Harvard Man.” Hill’s superiors saw no benefit to his composing. He continued writing into his retirement years and, as with the Fourth Symphony, he often didn’t make out the orchestral parts needed for performance. Composition was his outlet for his inner need for self-expression; performance would be the “icing on the cake.” And in his later years, he rarely got the icing.
I am writing these words since I was the one who introduced Maestro Bay to the music of Hill. Happily, Peter found all of those fine qualities in the music that I have, and has agreed to not only perform Hill’s music, but to make these performances into a commercial recording.
Is Hill an unjustly forgotten “Master Composer?” That is for you, the audience, to decide. For sure you will hear music imbued with sincere expression, a fine sense of proportion, evocative themes and rich orchestration.
© 2013 Karl Miller
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
b. May 7, 1840 in Kamsko-Votkinsk, Russia; d. November 6, 1893 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35. Premiered December 4, 1881 by the Vienna Philharmonic, Hans Richter conducting, Adolf Brodsky, soloist.
For a composer as immersed in lyricism as Tchaikovsky, it is surprising that he wrote so little music featuring that songful instrument, the violin (though he does make magnificent use of it in his orchestral scores). He created just four solo works; three with orchestra: Sérénade mélancolique (Melancholy Serenade, 1875); Valse-scherzo (1877); and this full-scale concerto (1878); plus the suite with piano, Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Souvenir of a Dear Place, also 1878).
He composed the concerto while visiting Clarens, Switzerland. Dissatisfied with the original slow movement (it ended up as the opening section, Meditation, of the Souvenir), he replaced it with the one known today. He sent the concerto to Leopold Auer, the distinguished Hungarian soloist who had commissioned the Sérénade, hoping that it, too, would enter his repertoire. To Tchaikovsky’s horror, Auer pronounced it “unplayable” and “too revolutionary.”
Crushed, Tchaikovsky shelved the concerto. Some time later, a German soloist, Adolf Brodsky, expressed an interest in it. He spent the better part of two years preparing to give the premiere. That took place at a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, Hans Richter conducting, on December 4, 1881. The audience loved Brodsky’s playing, but not the piece. The press, led by the arch conservative critic, Eduard Hanslick, heaped abuse upon it, too.
Despite this initial hostility, the concerto lost little time in establishing itself as a concert favorite. Brodsky’s continuing advocacy had much to do with this. In gratitude, Tchaikovsky changed his original dedication plan, switching it from Auer to Brodsky. Auer later changed his view, and became one of its most persuasive champions. He passed on his revised opinion to his pupils, including Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein, who became superb interpreters of the concerto, too.
It is considerably less dramatic and more lightly-scored than Tchaikovsky’s only previous full concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1. In breadth of conception and richness of contents, the opening movement is virtually a complete concerto in itself. Since both principal themes are lyrical rather than dramatic in character, Tchaikovsky achieves the necessary contrast by alternating lightly scored passages for violin and orchestra, with more forceful sections scored for orchestra alone.
Woodwinds introduce the wistful, elegant second movement. The soloist here plays with a mute, giving the instrument a veiled, restrained sound most appropriate to the music. The vivacious, folk-flavored dance rhythms of the finale burst in abruptly. Two warm contrasting ideas are subjected to elaborate presentation. The solo violin then leads off an exhilarating chase which brings the concerto to a dashing close.
© 2012 Don Anderson
b. March 18, 1844 in Tikhvin, Russia; d. June 21, 1908 in Liubensk, Russia.
Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34. Premiered October 31, 1887 in St. Petersburg with the composer at the podium.
Rimsky-Korsakov first drafted his popular Capriccio espagnol as a fantasy on Spanish themes for violin and orchestra, but in 1887 he completely revised his sketches and recast it in the form we know today. On October 31, 1887, the composer conducted the first performance of the Capriccio in St. Petersburg. In his autobiography, My Musical Life, he described the event: “At the first rehearsal, the first movement had scarcely been finished when the whole orchestra began to applaud. I asked the orchestra for the privilege of dedicating the work to them. There was general delight at this. The Capriccio sounded brilliant. At the concert itself it was performed with perfection of execution and enthusiasm such as never was given to it later. Despite its length, the work had to be repeated.” [Abridged]
In November, Tchaikovsky wrote to the composer, “I must add that your Spanish Capriccio is a colossal masterpiece of instrumentation, and you may regard yourself as the greatest master of the present day.” This, and similar observations by others, were not taken by the composer to be an unqualified compliment. He wrote, “The opinion that the Capriccio is a magnificent piece of orchestration is incorrect. The Capriccio is a brilliant composition for the orchestra. The change of timbres, the selection of melodic designs and figuration exactly adapted to each kind of instrument, the brief virtuoso cadenzas for solo instruments, the rhythm of the percussion instruments, all constitute the very essence of the composition, and not its garb or orchestration. The Spanish themes supplied me with rich material for the use of variegated orchestral effects. Taking it as a whole, the Capriccio is clearly a purely external work, but sparklingly brilliant for all that.” [Abridged]
The Capriccio espagnol is in five connected movements: Alborada (A Spanish morning song), Variations (five variations on a lyrical theme), Alborada (a repetition of the opening movement, but in a different key and with different instrumentation), Scene and Gypsy Song, and Fandango of the Asturias. At the conclusion, the theme of the Alborada returns as a coda.
© Burkat Program Notes
The Israeli violinist appears regularly around the world: with major orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and NHK Symphony; and with leading conductors including Neeme Järvi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andrew Litton, Marek Janowski, Itzhak Perlman, Tugan Sokhiev, Paavo Järvi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hannu Lintu and Peter Oundjian. Among his festival appearances are Verbier, Ravinia, Lockenhaus, Pablo Casals, Colmar, Jerusalem and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival in Northbrook, Illinois, founded by Gluzman with his wife and long-standing recital partner, pianist Angela Yoffe. In the season 2013/14 Vadim begins collaboration with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio, in the new position of Creative Partner and Principal Guest Artist.
His wide repertoire embraces contemporary music, and Gluzman has given live and recorded premieres of works by composers such as Giya Kancheli, Peteris Vasks, Lera Auerbach and Sofia Gubaidulina. In recent seasons he has given the UK premieres of Michael Daugherty’s Fire and Blood Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi, and of Balys Dvarionas’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Søndergård. Gluzman’s latest CD features the world premiere recording of Lera Auerbach’s par.ti.ta for violin solo as well as Partitas by Bach and Ysaÿe’s Sonata No.2. Accolades for his extensive discography under the exclusive contract with BIS Records include the Diapason d’Or of the Year, Choc de Classica, and Disc of the Month (ClassicFM, Strad and BBC Music Magazine).
Mr. Gluzman’s 2012/13 season begins with his debut at the BBC Proms in London, followed by appearances with, among others, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, St. Louis Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as Seattle, Atlanta and Vancouver Symphonies. Vadim Gluzman also gives recitals in New York City presented by the venerable People’s Symphony Concerts and in Paris at the Théâtre de la Ville. Vadim’s 2013 summer engagements include returns to Ireland’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival as well as Colmar and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals.
Born in the former Soviet Union in 1973, Vadim Gluzman began violin studies aged seven. Before moving in 1990 to Israel, where he was a student of Yair Kless, he studied with Roman Šnē in Latvia and Zakhar Bron in Russia. In the US his teachers were Arkady Fomin and, at the Juilliard School, the late Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. Early in his career, Mr. Gluzman enjoyed the encouragement and support of Isaac Stern, and in 1994 he received the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award. Vadim Gluzman plays the extraordinary 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari, on extended loan to him through the generosity of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
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