ECCO, East Coast Chamber Orchestra

The East Coast Chamber Orchestra, ECCO, performs works by Joaquín Turina, Claudio Monteverdi, Pierre Jalbert, Witold Lutoslawski, and Antonín Dvořák.

Our 111th year of free concerts at the historic Naumburg Bandshell (directions). No tickets issued– 1,200 seats provided on a first come first serve basis. Benches around concert ground also available. The concert is weather dependent– no rain dates, no rain location. Thank you to our donors who generously support our series.

WQXR will broadcast every concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream on their website.

Program Details

ECCO

Joaquín Turina, (1882-1949), La Oración del Torero, “The Bullfighter’s Prayer” (1925)

Claudio Monteverdi, (1567-1643), Selection of Madrigals

Pierre Jalbert, (1967-), String Theory, (written for ECCO)

I. Partials
II. Timeless
III. Rhythmus

INTERMISSION

Witold Lutoslawski, (1913-94), Five Folk Melodies (1952)

Antonín Dvořák, (1841-1904), Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22 (1875)

I. Moderato
II. Menuetto): Allegro con moto
III. Scherzo: Vivace
IV. Larghetto
V. Finále: Allegro vivace

WQXR HOST: Terrance McKnight

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Additional Information

ECCO  – East Coast Chamber Orchestra

Some of the most enjoyable and revelatory musical experiences happen when musicians get together for fun rather than work. That’s exactly what you can expect at every ECCO concert—music played with total involvement and passion from musicians who thrive on the pure joy and camaraderie of classical music making. The members of this democratically‐run, self-conducted chamber orchestra are colleagues and friends from leading conservatories and music festivals across the country. They are soloists, chamber musicians, principals of major American orchestras, and GRAMMY award winners who play with the symphony orchestras of Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Boston among others. Members also play with the Enso, Jasper, Jupiter, and Parker Quartets, as well as the Horszowski Trio, Trio Cavatina, Sejong Soloists, Time for Three, and Chamber Music Society II.

This dynamic collective of some of today’s most vibrant and gifted young string players combines the strength and power of a great orchestral ensemble with the personal involvement and sensitivity of superb chamber music. For a few concentrated periods of time each year, the members of ECCO meet for rehearsal and musical exploration. Cooking, eating, enjoying close friendships and now sharing tips for raising the next generation of ECCO are important aspects of the ensemble’s gatherings. Along with musical exploration, there is always an intense discussion to be had about the joys and challenges of maintaining a truly communal creative organization.

They only schedule a handful of their unique concerts annually, which makes them rare and joyous events.

See: eccorchestra.org

String Theory was written for the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in celebration of its 30th anniversary season, through support from the William Penn Foundation. The work is in three movements and was inspired by the idea of dynamic vibrating strings, referring to both the musical instruments and the theory of quantum gravity. In terms of the string instruments, the idea of dividing a string in various ways to produce harmonics (Partials), sustaining long held tones (Timeless), and rapidly moving the bow back and forth along the string (Rhythmus) all played a part in the work, as did the idea of vibrating strings propagating through space-time and interacting with each other in various ways.

The first movement, Partials, contains pulsating music and exploits both natural and artificial harmonics on each of the instruments. The second movement, Timeless, is a more lyrical, floating movement marked “with a sense of cosmic time.” The third movement, Rhythmus, is fast-paced and syncopated. It contains virtuosic rhythmic figures for the entire ensemble, but also features solo first and second violin parts, echoing and dueling with each other, leading to the entire ensemble merging for the final push to the end.

 

The Knights

The Knights, with artistic directors, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, and conducted by Eric Jacobsen, perform works by Bartók, Busoni, Dvořák, Boccherini, Shawn Conley, Johann Strauss II, and Taraf De Haïdouks.

Our 111th year of free concerts at the historic Naumburg Bandshell (directions). No tickets issued– 1,200 seats provided on a first come first serve basis. Benches around concert ground also available. The concert is weather dependent– no rain dates, no rain location. Thank you to our donors who generously support our series.

WQXR will broadcast every concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream on their website.**

Program Details

The Knights

Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Directors

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Béla Bartók, (1881-1945), (arr. Paul Arma) Suite Paysanne Hongroise for flute and string orchestra (1914-18)

Chants populaires tristes, nos. I-IV
Scherzo
Vieilles danses, nos. I-IX

Ferruccio Busoni, (1866–1924) (arr. Arnold Schoenberg), Berceuse élégiaque (1909)

Antonín Dvořák, (1841-1904), Bagatelles, Op. 47 (1878)

I. Allegretto scherzando
II. Tempo di minuetto. Grazioso
III. Allegretto scherzando
IV. Canon. Andante con moto
V. Poco allegro

INTERMISSION

Luigi Boccherini, (1743-1805), Quintet for flute and strings in G Minor, Op. 19 (1774)

Shawn Conley, (b. 1983), Yann’s Flight (2013)  (World Premiere, as arranged)

Johann Strauss II, (1825-1899) (arr. Arnold Schoenberg) Kaiser-Walzer (1889)

Taraf De Haïdouks, (Est. 1991) (arr. Ljova, 2016), A Stork Crosses the Danube, in the Company of a Raven

WQXR HOST: Paul Cavalconte

**WQXR will not broadcast this concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream at www.wqxr.org

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Additional Information

THE KNIGHTS
The Knights are an orchestral collective, flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights have “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products.” (New Yorker).

The Knights’ 2015-16 season kicked off at Caramoor, with a performance featuring cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma. The group is in residence at Brooklyn’s BRIC House, as part of a series of New York City residencies undertaken with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This winter, The Knights teamed up with violinist Gil Shaham on a North American tour and appeared on Shaham’s 1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2, released in February, joining the master violinist on Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. Recent highlights include The Knights’ debut at Carnegie Hall in the New York premiere of the Steven Stucky/Jeremy Denk opera The Classical Style; a U.S. tour with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck; a European tour with soprano Dawn Upshaw, including the group’s debut at Vienna’s Musikverein; frequent festival appearances at Ravinia and Tanglewood; and seven years of free summer performances at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.

The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsens, who serve as artistic directors of The Knights, were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship in 2012. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.

Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Director

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. Jacobsen is the founder and Artistic Director of The Knights and a founding member of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider. As conductor of The Knights, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at New York venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Central Park, and at renowned international halls such as the Vienna Musikverein and Cologne Philharmonie. In the 2015-16 season, Jacobsen celebrates his inaugural season as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic and his second season as both Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has recently led the Camerata Bern, the Detroit Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

Colin Jacobsen, Artistic Director

As the Washington Post observes, violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene.” A founding member of two game-changing, audience-expanding ensembles – the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights – he is also a touring member of Yo-Yo Ma’s venerated Silk Road Project and an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning violinist. Jacobsen’s work as a composer developed as a natural outgrowth of his chamber and orchestral collaborations. Jointly inspired by encounters with leading exponents of non-western traditions and by his own classical heritage, his most recent compositions for Brooklyn Rider include “Three Miniatures” – “vivacious, deftly drawn sketches” (New York Times) – which were written for the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art galleries. Jacobsen collaborated with Iran’s Siamak Aghaei to write a Persian folk-inflected composition, “Ascending Bird,” which he performed as soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, in a concert that was streamed live by millions of viewers worldwide. His work for dance and theater includes Chalk and Soot, a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham, and music for Compagnia de’ Colombari’s theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.

 Learn more at theknightsnyc.com.

Support for The Knights’ performance has been provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

See Also: We Are The Knights – a Channel 13 Special on them.

The Knights

The Knights, with artistic directors, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, and conducted by Eric Jacobsen, perform works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Gabriel Kahane, Franz Schubert, Bob Haggart, Ray Bauduc, and Bob Dylan.

Our 111th year of free concerts at the historic Naumburg Bandshell (directions). No tickets issued– 1,200 seats provided on a first come first serve basis. Benches around concert ground also available. The concert is weather dependent– no rain dates, no rain location. Thank you to our donors who generously support our series.

WQXR will broadcast every concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream on their website.

Program Details

The Knights

Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Directors

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Gabriel Kahane, vocalist

Franz Joseph Haydn, (1732-1809), Symphony No. 64 in A Major, “Tempora Mutantor”, Hob/ I/64 (1773-75)

I. Allegro con spirito
II. Largo
III. Menuetto and Trio: Allegretto
IV. Finale: Presto

Gabriel Kahane, (1981-), Crane Palimpsest (2012), (New York Premiere)

1. How many dawns…
a. Vinegar Hill
II. I think of cinemas…
b. BMT
III. Out of some subway scuttle…
c. The Navy Yard
IV. O harp and altar…
d. Hicks Street
V. Again the traffic lights…
Gabriel Kahane, vocalist

INTERMISSION

Franz Schubert, (1797-1828), Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485 (1816)

I. Allegro
II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto. Allegro molto
IV. Allegro vivace

Bob Haggart (1914-98)/Ray Bauduc (1906-88) (arr. The Knights), “The Big Noise from Winnetka” (1938)

Bob Dylan (1941) (arr. The Knights), “The Times They Are A-Changin” (1938)
Christina Courtin and Gabriel Kahane, vocalists

**This performance by The Knights has been made possible by a generous grant from Andrea and Guillaume Cuvelier.**

WQXR HOST: Elliott Forrest

 

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Additional Information

THE KNIGHTS
The Knights are an orchestral collective, flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights have “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products.” (New Yorker).

The Knights’ 2015-16 season kicked off at Caramoor, with a performance featuring cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma. The group is in residence at Brooklyn’s BRIC House, as part of a series of New York City residencies undertaken with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This winter, The Knights teamed up with violinist Gil Shaham on a North American tour and appeared on Shaham’s 1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2, released in February, joining the master violinist on Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. Recent highlights include The Knights’ debut at Carnegie Hall in the New York premiere of the Steven Stucky/Jeremy Denk opera The Classical Style; a U.S. tour with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck; a European tour with soprano Dawn Upshaw, including the group’s debut at Vienna’s Musikverein; frequent festival appearances at Ravinia and Tanglewood; and seven years of free summer performances at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.

The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsens, who serve as artistic directors of The Knights, were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship in 2012. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.

Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Director

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. Jacobsen is the founder and Artistic Director of The Knights and a founding member of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider. As conductor of The Knights, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at New York venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Central Park, and at renowned international halls such as the Vienna Musikverein and Cologne Philharmonie. In the 2015-16 season, Jacobsen celebrates his inaugural season as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic and his second season as both Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has recently led the Camerata Bern, the Detroit Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

Colin Jacobsen, Artistic Director

As the Washington Post observes, violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene.” A founding member of two game-changing, audience-expanding ensembles – the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights – he is also a touring member of Yo-Yo Ma’s venerated Silk Road Project and an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning violinist. Jacobsen’s work as a composer developed as a natural outgrowth of his chamber and orchestral collaborations. Jointly inspired by encounters with leading exponents of non-western traditions and by his own classical heritage, his most recent compositions for Brooklyn Rider include “Three Miniatures” – “vivacious, deftly drawn sketches” (New York Times) – which were written for the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art galleries. Jacobsen collaborated with Iran’s Siamak Aghaei to write a Persian folk-inflected composition, “Ascending Bird,” which he performed as soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, in a concert that was streamed live by millions of viewers worldwide. His work for dance and theater includes Chalk and Soot, a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham, and music for Compagnia de’ Colombari’s theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.

 Learn more at theknightsnyc.com.

Support for The Knights’ performance has been provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

See Also: We Are The Knights – a Channel 13 Special on them.


NOTES ON THIS PROGRAM’S MUSIC:

      Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. Quo modo? Fit semper tempore peior homo.

These words are from an epigram by Elizabethan-era poet John Owens, and Haydn used them as a subtitle to his wondrously inventive Symphony No. 64. They translate roughly to:

      The times change, and in them changed are we. How so? As times get worse, so does man.

While this statement may seem a bit pessimistic for the music Haydn wrote in his 64th symphony, the musicologist Elaine Sisman has further pointed to the line, “Time is out of joint” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the origin point specifically for the strange, disjunct, rhetorical Largo movement. (Haydn had been working extensively with a theater troupe led by famed actor Carl Wahr at the time of this symphony’s composition).

Perhaps one of music’s greatest powers is the way it allows us to experience time: lulling us with repetitive phrases; setting up expectations and then either fulfilling them or taking us in unexpected directions; expanding time with cosmic stillness; making our heart race as we sense things coming to a climax, or trailing off in unfulfilled longing. Music can encapsulate the time and place it was written either in a very premeditated way or seemingly by accident. Today’s program has examples of both, as we shuttle back and forth between symphonies of the classical era to folk, popular and art songs from the more recent past.

In Gabriel Kahane’s Crane Palimpsest we experience another form of time displacement, as he sets up a shifting musical ground that goes between a rigorous/formal setting of the words of Hart Crane in the Depression-era poem To Brooklyn Bridge and his own original songs and lyrics of a more vernacular and pop-leaning nature.

On the second half, following Schubert, (the great songwriter of his time,) we will hear another relic of Depression-era America by Bob Haggart and Ray Haugart (members of Bob Crosby’s orchestra the Bob-Cats) as reimagined by Knights bassist Shawn Conley (who lives his own slightly disjunct musical life, spending half of his time in jazz and the other half in the classical world).

The program concludes with another take on times changing- in the form of Bob Dylan’s iconic anthem to a time and place, America in the 1960’s, in an arrangement I recently made of The Times, They Are A-Changin’.

You could argue over whether the times (and human beings) have gotten worse or better since Haydn worked in the employ of the Esterhazy court, or Hart Crane saluted the Brooklyn Bridge as the Great Depression had just cast its long shadow, or Dylan penned his challenge to a divided nation. We do know that in music, we enter a shared space where the disjunct and continuous can merge, step out of their own times and into a temporary ideal world held by all those present, including musicians and audience.

The Knights Play Haydn, Kahane, Schubert and Dylan

The Knights perform at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. (Kim Nowacki/WQXR)

On Tuesday, July 12, WQXR’s Elliott Forrest hosted a live broadcast of The Knights from the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. This eclectic program included symphonies by Haydn (No. 64) and Schubert (No. 5), Gabriel Kahane’s Crane Palimpsest (featuring the composer as vocalist) and arrangements of Bob Dylan and Bob Haggart. Read more at WQXR

 

 

Program

Haydn: Symphony No. 64 in A Major, “Tempora Mutantor”

Kahane: Crane Palimpsest,
Gabriel Kahane, vocalist

Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485

Haggart/Bauduc: “The Big Noise from Winnetka” (arr. The Knights)

Dylan: “The Times They Are A-Changin” (arr. The Knights)
Christina Courtin and Gabriel Kahane, vocalists

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, featuring Nobuyuki Tsujii on piano, performs works by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Our 111th year of free concerts at the historic Naumburg Bandshell (directions). No tickets issued– 1,200 seats provided on a first come first serve basis. Benches around concert ground also available. The concert is weather dependent– no rain dates, no rain location. Thank you to our donors who generously support our series.

WQXR will broadcast every concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream on their website.


Program Details

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Coriolan Overture, Opus 62 (1807)

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, “Emperor Concerto”, Opus 73 (1809-1811)

I. Allegro
II. Adagio un poco mosso
III. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo

Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano

INTERMISSION

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Symphony No. 5 in C minor, “Fate”, Opus 67 (1804-08)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo. Allegro
IV. Allegro

WQXR HOST: Annie Bergen

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Additional Information

ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. Julian Fifer and a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble to the richness of an orchestra founded Orpheus in 1972.  With 71 albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, and 42 commissioned and premiered original works, Orpheus rotates musical leadership roles for each work and strives to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue.

Performing without a conductor, Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues. The 2016-17 Season is the first in Orpheus history to welcome back four celebrated soloists including pianists Christian Zacharias and Fazil Say, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and cellist Alisa Weilerstein. The season also features cutting-edge new works by American composers Jessie Montgomery and Michael Hersch, and thrilling symphonies by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Bizet.

Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process™, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard and of leadership seminars at Morgan Stanley and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Two unique education and engagement programs, Access Orpheus and Orpheus Institute, aim to bring this approach to students of all ages.

Access Orpheus, Orpheus’ educational initiative, shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. Because of declining resources for arts education, many public schools do not have access to fulltime arts teachers to provide music instruction and exposure to art and culture. Access Orpheus helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, attendance at working rehearsals, and free tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.

Orpheus Institute brings the Orpheus Process™ and the orchestra’s musicians to select colleges, universities, conservatories, and businesses to work directly with leaders of tomorrow. Corporate employees and students in all fields of study learn from Orpheus’ creative process and in areas of collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and shared leadership. In the coming seasons, Orpheus will continue to share its leadership methods and performance practices as the ensemble provides audiences with the highest level of musicianship and programming.

MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) is proud to support Orpheus’ collaboration with Nobuyuki Tsujii. The Japan-United States Friendship Commission also supports this collaboration.
Nobuyuki Tsujii’s international tours are supported by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and he is grateful for their assistance.

This concert is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Orpheus is represented in North America exclusively by Baker Artists, LLC, and in Europe by Konzertdirektion Schmid. Orpheus has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, EMI Classics, BMG/RCA Red Seal, Decca, Nonesuch, Verve, Avex Classics, and its own label Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Records.

Nobuyuki Tsujii
As the joint Gold Medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Nobuyuki Tsujii has earned international recognition for the passion and excitement he brings to his live performances with his formidable technique and natural gift for pianistic colour. His recent debuts include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium in New York, at the BBC Proms / Royal Albert Hall in London, and at Musikverein in Vienna.

Nobu’s recent German tour with the Dresden Philharmonic and Michael Sanderling, with whom he performed Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 and made his debut at Berliner Philihamonie, received great critical acclaim. Other highlights in the 2015/16 season include his debut with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, a Wigmore Hall debut, and recitals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Stuttgart and Basel.

Nobu records exclusively for Avex Classics International and has made a number of best-selling recordings in recent years, receiving two Japan Gold Disc Awards. The live DVD recording of his 2011 Carnegie Hall recital has been named “DVD of the Month” by Gramophone magazine as was his latest DVD release, ”Touching the Sound – The Improbable Journey of Nobuyuki Tsujii”, a documentary film by Peter Rosen.

 

See also for Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/proms/10182751/Nobuyuki-Tsujii-The-piano-is-an-extension-of-my-own-body.html
&
https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=Nobuyuki+Tsujii%2C+piano&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

and for performances:
Nobuyuki Tsujii – Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18


Notes on the Program:
Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 [1807]LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, (Born December, 1770 in Bonn, Germany, Died March 26, 1827 in Vienna, Austria)
Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s play Coriolan—not to be confused with Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, based on the same story from Plutarch—debuted in Vienna in 1802. The drama follows a Roman general who defects to the enemy camp and raises an army against Rome, reaching the gates of the city before his mother convinces him to stop. The play was dormant by the time Beethoven wrote his overture in 1807, and his motivation for undertaking the project remains unclear. (It may have been meant to draw the attention of the new managers of Vienna’s main theater, or it was also possible that Beethoven was courting the playwright for an opera collaboration.) Beethoven’s overture appeared in conjunction with the play for one single performance in 1807, and since then it has lived on as a concert work.

The choice of key, C minor, foreshadows the fateful Fifth Symphony, composed the following year. Like that symphony, the Coriolan Overture generates powerful emotions from elemental material. The signature motive is a drawn-out C bursting into a short, explosive chord. The unresolved harmonies, like hanging questions, suggest a battle waging within the protagonist’s own conscience. After a developmental sequence of brittle motives over a running bass line and a return of the opening material, a final whiff of the sweet counter-theme gives way to even more brutal chords and pauses. The last phrases bow out quietly, ending with barren plucks on the keynote.

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”) [1809]LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
In the summer of 1809, Napoleon’s army occupied Vienna for the second time in four years. Beethoven, unlike most of his friends and patrons, remained in the city, and he passed the miserable season with little contact with the outside world. He spent some of that time finishing the Fifth Piano Concerto, his final and most substantial work in the genre. It would also be the only concerto he did not perform himself, given the deteriorated state of his hearing by the time of the 1811 premiere in Leipzig.

Beethoven’s early symphonies and concertos built upon the classical traditions of Haydn and Mozart. The work with which Beethoven eclipsed all symphonic precedents (at least in terms of sheer size) was the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, from 1803, nicknamed “Eroica” (Italian for “heroic”). The Piano Concerto No. 5, also in the key of E-flat, is in many ways a sibling to the “Eroica” Symphony. In the case of the concerto, Beethoven had no part in the nickname—“Emperor” came later from an English publisher—but both works share a monumental posture and a triumphant spirit. Beethoven dedicated the concerto to the Archduke Rudolph, the youngest brother of the Austrian emperor Franz. More than just a patron, Rudolph was a piano student of Beethoven’s, and the two maintained a warm friendship until the composer’s death.

The “Emperor” Concerto begins at a climax: the orchestra proclaims the home key with a single chord, and the piano leaps in with a virtuosic cadenza. The ensemble holds back its traditional exposition of the thematic arguments until the pianist completes three of these fanciful solo flights, the last connecting directly to the start of the movement’s primary theme. It is a remarkable structure for a concerto, with an assurance of victory, as it were, before the battle lines have been drawn. Even once the piano returns, the movement continues in a symphonic demeanor, forgoing a standalone cadenza in favor of solo escapades that integrate deftly into the forward progress of the form.

The slow movement enters in the radiant and unexpected key of B major with a simple theme, first stated as a chorale for muted strings. The piano plays a decorated version over pizzicato accompaniment, and woodwinds later intone the same theme, supported by piano filigree and off-beat string pulses.

The transition back to the home key for the finale is brilliantly understated: the held note B drops to B-flat, providing a smooth lead-in for the piano to introduce the principal theme of the Rondo. The motive’s upward arpeggio generates extra propulsion through its unexpected climax on an accented off-beat, adding a dash of Haydn’s humor to a score that has all the power and majesty of Beethoven in his prime.

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 [1808]LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Beethoven made his first sketches for the Fifth Symphony in 1804. He composed the bulk of the symphony in 1807-08 while working concurrently on the Sixth Symphony, and he introduced both works during a four-hour marathon concert in Vienna on December 22, 1808, at which the frigid temperatures and under-rehearsed orchestra made more of an impression than the immortal music heard there for the first time.

The Fifth Symphony begins with the most famous musical cell from all of Beethoven’s ouevre—perhaps the most recognizable motive ever penned by a composer. Beginning in the tragic key of C minor, the orchestra delivers four unadorned notes: three short repetitions of G dropping to a sustained E-flat. The legend that Beethoven described this opening motive as “fate knocking on the door” is apocryphal, but the description has stuck as a fitting metaphor for the tense foreboding contained within those four notes. This one motive fuels the entire first movement, and traces of it return later in the symphony.

(As a sidenote, the Fifth Symphony reached what may have been its height of popularity during World War II, when it became associated with the Allied “V for Victory” media campaign. The morse code for the letter V is three dots and a dash, just like Beethoven’s motive, so the BBC adopted the start of the symphony as its call sign for broadcasts to occupied Europe.)

The Andante con moto second movement features a double set of variations, alternating the development of two contrasting themes. Some of the accompanying rhythms echo the short-short-short-long rhythmic pattern from the first movement, contributing to the symphony’s organic cohesion.

The Scherzo retreads the central tonal conflict of the work, juxtaposing a moody first theme in C minor and a spry fugato section in C major. A coda builds tension that releases directly into the concluding Allegro, which adds piccolo and trombones to the scoring for extra orchestral brilliance. With this grand finale—the longest movement of the symphony—Beethoven’s Fifth completes its epic journey to a triumphant resolution in C major.
© 2016 Aaron Grad

 

Orpheus and Nobuyuki Tsujii in Central Park

Twilight in Central Park as Orpheus performs Mozart's Symphony No. 29. (Kim Nowacki/WQXR)

Listen to the archived broadcast of WQXR host Annie Bergen presenting an all-Beethoven concert by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii from the 111th season of free concerts in Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell on June 28. Read more at WQXR

 

 

For more information about Nobuyuki Tsujii, listen to the interview with and performance by Tsujii from his 2014 appearance at The Greene Space:

 

Program

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Coriolan Overture, Opus 62 (1807)

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, “Emperor Concerto”, Opus 73 (1809-1811)

I. Allegro
II. Adagio un poco mosso
III. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo

Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano

INTERMISSION

Ludwig Van Beethoven, (1770-1827), Symphony No. 5 in C minor, “Fate”, Opus 67 (1804-08)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo. Allegro
IV. Allegro

Ensemble LPR – Opening Concert 2016

Ensemble LPR, featuring Vasko Dukovski on clarinet, performs works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, Julia Wolfe, and Charles Ives.

Our 111th year of free concerts at the historic Naumburg Bandshell (directions). No tickets issued– 1,200 seats provided on a first come first serve basis. Benches around concert ground also available. The concert is weather dependent– no rain dates, no rain location. Thank you to our donors who generously support our series.

WQXR will broadcast every concert in this series live on 105.9 FM and via live stream on their website.

Program Details

Ensemble LPR

David Handler, Artistic Director

Vasko Dukovski, clarinet

Ralph Vaughan Williams, (1872-1958), Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910)

Aaron Copland, (1900-90), Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp (1947-49)

I. Slowly and expressively – Cadenza
II. Rather fast

Vasko Dukovski, clarinet

INTERMISSION

Julia Wolfe, (1958-), Cruel Sister (2004)

Charles Ives (1874-1954), The Unanswered Question (Revised Version ca. 1934)

**This performance by Ensemble LPR has been made possible by a generous grant from the MacDonald Peterson Foundation.**

WQXR HOST: Jeff Spurgeon

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Additional Information

Ensemble LPR

Named after and headquartered at the acclaimed New York City venue Le Poisson Rouge, Ensemble LPR is an assemblage of New York’s finest musicians. The group personifies the venue’s commitment to aesthetic diversity and artistic excellence.

Ensemble LPR performs an eclectic spectrum of music—from works by the finest living composers, to compelling interpretations of the standard repertoire—and collaborates with distinguished artists from classical and non-classical backgrounds: Timo Andres, Simone Dinnerstein, San Fermin, Daniel Hope, Taka Kigawa, Jennifer Koh, Mica Levi, David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors), John Lurie, Ursula Oppens, Max Richter, André de Ridder, Christopher Rountree and Fred Sherry, to name a few.

In January of last year Ensemble LPR made its Deutsche Grammophon debut with Follow, Poet, featuring the music of Mohammed Fairouz and the words of Seamus Heaney and John F. Kennedy. Ensemble LPR’s acclaimed Central Park perormance followed in June, part of the 110th Anniversary of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.

In 2008 Le Poisson Rouge changed the classical music landscape, creating a new environment in which to experience art music. In doing so, Le Poisson Rouge expanded classical music listenership. The New York Times has heralded Le Poisson Rouge as “[a] forward-thinking venue that seeks to showcase disparate musical styles under one roof” and “[the] coolest place to hear contemporary music.” The Los Angeles Times raves, “[The] place isn’t merely cool…the venue is a downright musical marvel.” Le Poisson Rouge Co-Founder David Handler brings this same ethos to Ensemble LPR, of which he is Founding Executive & Artistic Director.

Julia Wolfe

For more information on Julia Wolfe, the composer of Cruel Sister [2004], who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in music, see either the Pulitzer Prize or the Composer’s own websites.


PROGRAM NOTES

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is based on a hymn by Tallis published in 1567 in the Metrical Psalter. The melody sets the text, “Why fumeth in sight: the Gentiles spite, in fury raging stout?” and is written in the Phrygian mode (the scale you hear if you play the white keys on the piano starting on the note “E”). Three and a half centuries later, when asked to write a new piece for the Three Choirs Festival at Gloucester Cathedral, Vaughan Williams took this theme for inspiration. Opening with five of what Vaughan Williams called “magic chords” the theme is introduced in its entirety shortly thereafter in the lower strings. The score calls for three groups – a large string orchestra, a smaller and separate string orchestra and a solo string quartet – that perform together and separately as they echo and respond to one another. The open voicing (spacing of the notes harmonically) characteristic of English music, as well as the antiphonal writing are inherently suited to expansive spaces – once the Gloucester Cathedral, now the Naumburg Bandshell.

 In 1947, renowned jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman commissioned Aaron Copland to compose a work for him. “I made no demands on what Copland should write. He had completely free rein, except that I should have a two-year exclusivity on playing the work”, said Goodman. The result was Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, a two-movement work connected by a through-composed cadenza. The first movement is considered one of the composer’s most lyrical and melodious creations; the second is noticeably inspired by North American jazz and Brazilian popular styles, punctuated by a glissando or jazz “smear” at the end.

Cruel Sister is a stirring and fantastic Old English ballad. The tale is of two sisters — one bright as the sun, and the other cold and dark. One day, so that she can have the love of a young man who has come courting, the dark sister pushes the bright sister into the sea. Two minstrels find the dead sister washed up on the shore and shape her breastbone into a fine harp strung with her yellow hair. They come to play at the cold dark sister’s wedding. As the sound of the harp reaches the bride’s ears, the ballad concludes “and surely now her tears will flow.” While my piece references no words and quotes no music from the original tune, it does follow the dramatic arc of the ballad — the music reflecting an argument that builds, a body floating on the sea, the mad harp. —  Julia Wolfe

Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, despite its brevity, is one of the most remarkable and progressive works of the twentieth century. It deals with the metaphysical through what the composer called a “cosmic landscape”, consisting (like the Vaughan Williams) of three instrument groups. Above the “silence of the druids” – represented by an ethereal, barely audible suspension of strings (unaffected, unheeded) – the solo trumpet asks seven times “the perennial question of existence”, responded to by the wind quartet only six times, each with greater agitation. The question left unanswered is of course a question unto itself. While there is a precedent for the use of off-stage music, experimentation with spatial parameters, even the assignment of characters or dialogue to instruments, doing so in an un-staged concert work in order to express an abstract concept such as this makes the piece, in some ways, the first philosophical music.

Program Notes by David Handler