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SRS @ Home - November 15

 

This concert is no longer available for public viewing.
 

Season Ticket Subscribers please note:

On November 18, 2020, you will receive a special access link to watch the concert until December 15, 2020. So, if you missed the premiere, or just want to watch it again, look for an email with your special access link.

If you did not receive the email or have any questions, please contact Patron Serivces, M-F - 9 AM - 5 PM at (707) 546-8742 or by email.


CONCERT PROGRAM

This performance was recorded on November 7, 2020 at Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.

Conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong
 

Adelle-Akiko Kearns, cello
Jay Zhong, violin
Michelle Maruyama, violin

 
GABRIELA LENA FRANK: "Coqueteos" from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout
CHEN YI: Romance and Dance for Two Violins and String Orchestra
JOPLIN: The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag
BRUCH: Canzone for Cello and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 2



November Concert Program Flipbook

Click here to download the printable version


The Extras

  • Pre-concert talk with Francesco, live on YouTube one hour prior to the concert.

  • During the concert, you'll have a virtual backstage pass! The camera crew will take you backstage and you’ll hear commentary from musicians and Francesco. 

  • Stay tuned immediately after the performance for a Q & A with Francesco.
     

Exclusive Symphony Season Ticket Subscriber Benefits!

To acknowledge the support of Symphony season subscribers, please read below for some new benefits, available only to you.

Only Season Ticket Subscribers will have the opportunity to re-watch the above virtual concerts, whenever they want, up to 30 days after the Live Stream dates on YouTube.

Only Season Ticket Subscribers will receive exclusive access to guest artist recitals and concert conversations with Francesco on YouTube.

Exclusive access link to view the 2012 historic Orchestral Opening concert of Weill Hall  Soon, all season subscribers will receive an exclusive access link to watch the 2012 Orchestral Opening Concert of the Green Music Center on the Symphony’s YouTube Channel. This celebratory extravaganza featured Bruno Ferrandis and Corrick Brown conducting, plus Jeffrey Kahane performing on piano. The palpable excitement will move you to your feet. Relive that momentous event, or view it for the very first time. 

SUNDAY, November 22  @ 3 PM on YouTube—Season Ticket Subscriber Only Exclusive Access
Elina Vähälä, violin—in recital with interview by Francesco Lecce-Chong

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Allemande and Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Violin

 

Information for 2020-2021 Season Ticket Holders

We understand that you purchased tickets for live concerts, but we are very excited for you join us on this virtual journey, experiencing a season like no other. Your subscription tickets are your access to Santa Rosa Symphony orchestral virtual concerts, special virtual soloist recitals and more! If access to these virtual performances is not possible, the SRS kindly asks that you convert your tickets to a donation which will allow us to sustain our ability to bring great musical performances to our community and music education programs to 30,000 young people annually. Thank you for your support and commitment—we are truly grateful. Please contact SRS Patron Services at (707) 546-8742 or by email. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.


Ways to Watch

SRS @ Home Series will be available to watch on YouTube. With a little advance preparation, you can watch the virtual concerts on your TV, instead of the smaller screens of your laptops, phones and iPads. Visit our Ways to Watch page for specific guides for viewing on a variety of devices. We highly recommend doing all the prep work at least a few days in advance of the event or concert. That way, the day of, you'll be ready to watch. Click here for Ways to Watch.
 

Concert Sponsors

Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
SRS @ Home Series Lead Sponsor - Anderman Family Foundation
SRS @ Home Series Supporting Sponsor - The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard

Sponsored by The Peggy Anne Covington Fund
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Guest Artist Elina Vähälä underwritten by Linda Castiglioni
Pre-Concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media sponsor The Press Democrat


   
 

PROGRAM NOTES

November 2020 PROGRAM NOTES by Elizabeth Schwartz

Gabriela Lena Frank 
“Coqueteos” from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout

 
Composer: born September 26, 1972, Berkeley, CA
Work composed: commissioned by the Chiara String Quartet in 2001; arranged by Frank for string orchestra in 2003.
World premiere: The Chiara String Quartet gave the first performance in South Hadley, MA, in 2001.
Instrumentation: string orchestra
Estimated duration: 3 minutes

 
Cultural identity is central to Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Her mother’s forbears are Peruvian and Chinese, while her father is of Lithuanian/Jewish descent. Like Béla Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, both of whom Frank counts as a significant inspirations, she is also a musical anthropologist, traveling throughout South America to absorb folklore, poetry, mythology, and indigenous musical styles, which are reflected and refracted through her work.
 
In her program notes, Frank writes, “Leyendas … draws inspiration from the idea of mestizaje as envisioned by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas, where cultures can coexist without the subjugation of one by the other. As such, this piece mixes elements from western classical and Andean folk music traditions … ‘Coqueteos’ is a flirtatious love song sung by gallant men known as romanceros. As such, it is direct in its harmonic expression, bold and festive. The romanceros sing in harmony with one another against a backdrop of guitars, which I think of as a vendaval de guitarras (storm of guitars).


Chen Yi
Romance and Dance for Two Violins and String Orchestra

 
Composer: born April 4, 1953, Guangzhou, China
Work composed: Romance was written in 1995 as a gift for Yehudi Menuhin’s 80th birthday.
Dance, adapted from the third movement of Chen’s 1997 string quintet Fiddle Suite, was originally commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University for the Kronos Quartet and Chinese fiddles (huqin).
World premiere: Yehudi Menuhin led the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with violinists Shlomo Mintz and Elmar Oliveira at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on August 11, 1996 in the premiere of Romance. Dance, adapted from the third movement of Chen’s 1997 string quintet Fiddle Suite, was originally commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University for the Kronos Quartet and Chinese fiddles (huqin). The complete Romance and Dance were first premiered by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, led by Dennis Russell Davies, on December 12, 1998.
Instrumentation: 2 solo violins and string orchestra
Estimated duration: 9 minutes

 
Chen Yi’s music blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries, and her music has achieved international renown.
 
Chen writes, “Romance and Dance consists of two movements, which are two independent pieces written for two violins and string orchestra. … Romance, originally entitled Romance of Hsiao and Ch’in, is dedicated to Maestro Yehudi Menuhin and Edna Michell ... It’s written for Western instruments, which reproduce the sound and style of the Chinese traditional instruments hsiao and ch’in. The Hsiao, a vertical bamboo flute, carries lyrical melodies through delicate lines, grace notes and silence. The ch’in is a 2000-year-old Chinese seven-string zither, with a rich repertoire in the history of Chinese music and literature. In performance, the ch’in produces various articulations by … plucking and vibratos played with both hands. These two instruments are often played together, [creating] a good balance between sonority and timbre.
 
“In the Romance of Hsiao and Ch’in, the two violin solo parts … express the composer’s love for humanity, while the string orchestra part sounds like an enlarged ch’in symbolizing nature. In Dance, the leading violin solo part plays fast moving lines, while the string orchestra plays the supporting dissonant harmonic progressions. The images come from the dancing ink on paper in Chinese calligraphy and the fiery moving gestures of ancient Chinese women dancers. The pitch material is drawn from Beijing Opera tunes.”
 
Scott Joplin
The Entertainer (arr. Schuller)
Maple Leaf Rag (arr. Schuller)

 
Composer: b. circa 1867-68, Texarkana, TX – d. April 1, 1917, New York City
Work(s) composed: The Entertainer was published in 1902, and the Maple Leaf Rag in 1899.
World premiere: undocumented
Instrumentation: piccolo, flute, clarinet, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, bass drum, snare drum and piano
Estimated duration: 5 and 3 minutes, respectively

 
Scott Joplin, known as “The King of Ragtime,” transformed a popular American style of dance music into a timeless celebration of high-spirited energy.
 
In 1899, Joplin published his first piano rag, Original Rags, and soon followed with the Maple Leaf Rag, the most famous and most imitated rag of all time. Joplin cannily arranged favorable terms for royalty payments and made a comfortable income from the Maple Leaf Rag, whose continued sales supported him for the rest of his life. The advertising copy for Maple Leaf Rag boasted, “One million copies have been sold and no abatement of demand. There will be a temporary stop to its sale when every family in the civilized world has a copy.”
 
In 1902, Joplin published The Entertainer. Through the Oscar-winning film The Sting (1973), which featured The Entertainer in its score, this rag has achieved even greater recognition than the Maple Leaf. In 1903, a reviewer wrote, “probably the best and most euphonious of [Joplin’s] latter-day compositions is ‘The Entertainer’ … It … sets the foot in spontaneous action and leaves an indelible imprint upon the tympanum.” An ad for the sheet music declared, “All that we have ever said of ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ is true of ‘The Entertainer’ … Hear ‘The Entertainer’ well played, and if the harp of your affections don’t [sic] sound an aeolian chord, then we don’t want to know you.”
 
Max Bruch      
Canzone in B-flat major for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 55

 
Composer: b. January 6, 1838, Cologne – d. October 2, 1920, Friedenau, Berlin
Work composed: July 1890. Dedicated to cellist Robert Hausmann.
World premiere: undocumented
Instrumentation: solo cello and string orchestra
Estimated duration: 9 minutes

 
Max Bruch, a compositional prodigy, began writing music at age 11 and completed his first symphony at 14. Bruch was both successful and prolific during his lifetime, but today he is known primarily, if not exclusively, as the author of the G minor violin concerto.
 
Acclaimed cellist Robert Hausmann both admired and envied Bruch’s Violin Concerto and desired a work of similar lyricism and virtuosity for his own instrument. Accordingly, he approached Bruch, asking for a piece for solo cello and orchestra. In 1880, Bruch composed Kol Nidrei, the first of three works he eventually wrote for and dedicated to Hausmann. Nine years later, while on summer holiday in the woods of Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne, Bruch adapted an earlier unfinished vocal piece for Hausmann. The Canzone for Cello and Orchestra features lyrical, singing melodies that reveal its vocal origins, and the simple one-movement format showcases the cello’s expressiveness.
 
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

 
Composer: b. December 16, 1770, Bonn, Germany – d. March 26, 1827, Vienna
Work composed: 1802
World premiere: Beethoven conducted the premiere during Holy Week, on April 5, 1803, in Vienna.
Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.
Estimated duration: 34 minutes

 
Lovers of Ludwig van Beethoven’s music associate the word “heroic” with his Third Symphony, nicknamed “Eroica.” But Beethoven’s lesser-known Second Symphony displays another kind of heroism: the strength and determination of its composer. Beethoven brought this exuberant symphony to life while battling depression and thoughts of suicide.
 
Upon the advice of his doctor, Beethoven spent six months in the summer and fall of 1802 in Heiligenstadt, a village outside Vienna. Beethoven’s doctor believed the quiet life of the village and surrounding countryside would spare Beethoven’s hearing, which was rapidly deteriorating. Unfortunately, this enforced isolation plunged Beethoven into even greater despair, as he realized his hearing might never improve. On October 6, 1802, unable to contain his anguish any longer, Beethoven wrote a letter, known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, to his brothers Carl and Johann:
 
“… For six years now I have been hopelessly afflicted, made worse by senseless physicians, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady (whose cure will take years or, perhaps, be impossible) … If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it was impossible for me to say to people, ‘Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf.’ Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense that ought to be more perfect in me than in others? … If I approach near to people a hot terror seizes upon me, and I fear being exposed to the danger that my condition might be noticed … Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended my life — it was only my art that held me back. It seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt was within me.”
 
Beethoven never sent the letter, which was undiscovered until after his death in 1827.
The massive slow introduction to the first movement transitions in an instant to an intensely vibrant and almost aggressively cheerful Allegro, as if Beethoven were determined to shake off his dark state of mind. In the Larghetto, Beethoven treats the audience to a series of expressive melodies. The serenity in this music captures the beauty of the Viennese countryside and Beethoven’s abiding love of nature. The offbeat rhythms, fragmented melodies, surprises and humor of the Scherzo and its accompanying trio might have scandalized the Viennese audiences of Beethoven’s time, while today’s listeners know them as some of Beethoven’s most characteristic musical signatures. The sassy opening gesture of the Allegro molto, which serves as the thematic basis for the whole movement, is almost shockingly insolent. Perhaps this motif reflects Beethoven’s rebellion against his deafness. The surge of energy generated by this movement suggests a defiant reaffirmation of will, a determination to “produce all that I felt was within me.”
 
© 2020 Elizabeth Schwartz.
Elizabeth Schwartz is a writer and music historian based in the Portland area. She has been a program annotator for more than 20 years, and works with music festivals and ensembles around the country. Ms. Schwartz has also contributed to NPR’s “Performance Today,” (now heard on American Public Media).
 
NOTE: These program notes are published here by the Santa Rosa Symphony for its patrons and other interested readers. Any other use is forbidden without specific permission from the author, who may be contacted at www.classicalmusicprogramnotes.com.
 
 



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