Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Saturday Evening, January 25, 1992, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in A minor ................George Frideric Handel
for treble recorder and basso continuo (1685-1759)
Sonata in C major for descant recorder solo..........Anton Heberle
Allegro Menuetto (c. 1800)
Larghetto Andante con variazioni
Preludium, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat major, BWV 998......J. S. Bach
for guitar solo (arr. K. Yamashita) (1685-1750)
Introduction, Theme, and Variations, Op. 32.........Ernest Krahmer
for descant recorder and guitar (1795-1837)
Sonata in A minor ................Georg Philipp Telemann
for descant recorder and basso continuo (1681-1767)
Allegro con spirito Allegro vivace
Cancion y Danza for guitar solo................A. Ruia-Pipo
"The Blockbird" for treble recorder solo ......Olav Anton Thommessen
(dedicated to Michala Petri) (b. 1944)
Sonata in D major ..............Christian Gottlieb Scheidler
for recorder and basso continuo (1752-1815)
Allegro Romance Rondo
Michala Petri and Kazuhito Yamashita appear by arrangement with IMG Artists, New York City. The University Musical Society is a member of Chamber Music America.
Seventeenth Concert of the 113th Season Twenty-ninth Annual Chamber Arts Series
Program Note: "The Blockbird" -Olav Anton Thommessen was born in Oslo on May 16, 1946, and, as the son of a diplomat, acquired an international background. He spent eleven years in the United States, four of them (1965-69) studying piano, cello, and composition with Bernard Heiden and lannis Xenakis at Indiana University. In 1970-71, Thommessen was in Warsaw and next went to the Netherlands where he attended classes at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht. Returning to Norway in 1973, he began teaching at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo, where he remains today.
Thommessen's music is often characterized by dynamic contrasts and rhythmic vitality. In composing the work heard this evening, he was inspired by birds. The blockbird is an imaginary bird, the name being a play on words, since the Scandinavian word for recorder is "blokfl0jte." The work was written specially for Michala Petri, who has performed it throughout the world.
About the Artists
In an international career that spans four continents, Michala Petri is ac?claimed as one of the finest recorder players before the public today. Since her professional debut at the Tivoli Concert Hall in 1969, Ms. Petri has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and Japan and has appeared at many of the world's most presti?gious festivals. A frequent soloist in Europe with such ensembles as the English Chamber Orchestra and Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, she made her highly acclaimed New York debut in 1982 with the New York Chamber Symphony of the 92nd Street "Y." Subsequent New York appearances have been at the Mostly Mozart Festival with Pinchas Zukerman, Christopher Hogwood, and Claudio Scimone, and recitals at the Metro?politan Museum of Art and the 92nd Street "Y." At Weill Recital Hall, she gave the world premiere of a work by Malcolm Arnold for recorder and strings, commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its centennial season celebration. Recent and upcoming engage?ments include appearances with the Saint Paul and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ot?tawa, U.S. tours as soloist with I Solisti Icaliani and the Guildhall String Ensemble, as well as recitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Born in Copenhagen, Michala Petri studied at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater in Hannover. She has won the Danish Critics Prize of Honor, the Tagea Brandt Bursary, given annually to a Danish woman of outstanding achievement in her field, and she has twice been the recipient of the Jacob Gade Prize.
Ms. Petri's extensive discography in?cludes numerous recordings of the solo re-
corder repertoire and six concerto albums with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. She now records exclusively for RCA Victor Red Seal, which recently released "Albinoni: Eight Concertos" with Claudio Scimone and I Solisti Veneti. Other record?ings for the label include Vivaldi's Four Sea?sons with the Guildhall String Ensemble, "The Virtuoso Recorder," "The Modern Re?corder," "Noel! Noel! Noel!" with the West?minster Abbey Choir, "Vivaldi: Six Concertos," also with Scimone and I Solisti Veneti, an album of six Telemann sonatas for two treble recorders, and a unique recording of Handel's "Sonatas for Recorder and Harpsichord" with Keith Jarrett.
Michala Petri made her Ann Arbor debut in 1986 with the Michala Petri Trio, performing with her mother, harpsichordist Hanne Petri, and her brother, cellist David Petri.
Born in Nagasaki in 1961, Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita has already established himself as one of the world's foremost guitar vir?tuosos. His dazzling techniques and expressive artistry have brought acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and his recordings and performances of original tran?scriptions of such works as Mussorgsky's Pic?tures at an Exhibition, Stravinsky's Firebird, and Dvorak's New World Symphony have become legends in guitar circles.
Mr. Yamashita first began studying the guitar at the age of eight with his father and subsequently worked with Narcisco Yepes and Andres Segovia. At age sixteen, he won first prize in the Ramirez Competition in Spain, the Alessandria Competition in Italy, and the Nineteenth International Guitar Competi?tion in Paris.
In 1978, Mr. Yamashita performed throughout Japan, including recitals in Na?gasaki and Tokyo. One year later, he made his debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic Or?chestra, followed by a concert tour that took him to 20 Japanese cities. That same year, he made his European debut in Paris, where he was greeted as a major new discovery. In 1980, he appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and was immediately engaged for a six-recital tour throughout the Netherlands the following season. His Canadian debut came in 1984 with an appearance at the Toronto Guitar Festival, and his London recital debut came one year later, along with recitals in Austria and Germany.
Among Kazuhito Yamashita's fans is the superstar flutist James Galway, with whom he recently recorded an album entitled "Italian Serenade" for RCA Victor Red Seal. Mr. Galway invited him to make his debut appearances in the United States with him
on a tour in March 1987, and it was during this tour that Yamashita made his Ann Arbor debut. Their performances in Ann Arbor, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh were a triumph for the young Japanese virtuoso and resulted in two sold-out solo recital tours in cities across the country. Since that time, Mr. Yamashita has returned frequently to perform in the major concert series of those and other cities and has also appeared as a guest at the Mostly Mozart and Caramoor festivals. His 1992-93 season will include performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and another extensive tour with James Galway in the western and southern United States.
Mr. Yamashita records exclusively for RCA Victor Red Seal.
The guitarist now gives his third Ann Arbor performance, following a solo recital in 1989 and his debut appearance in 1987 with James Galway.
The Artists Share Their Insights
(excerpted from Keynote and Los Angeles Times)
by Michala Petri
I think that the reason so many people like to listen to the recorder -and also one of the reasons I like to play it -is that it is such a simple instrument. So what I find really interesting is to see how much I can get out of almost nothing. The ability of the player takes on some sort
of meaning again, precisely because of the limitations of the instrument and the chal?lenges presented to the player.
For example, it is very difficult to produce any dynamics on the recorder. When I want to make a diminuedo, I blow less -but as soon as I do that, the pitch changes.
This also happens on a flute, but on a flute one can compensate for the variation in pitch by adjusting the position of one's mouth on the mouthpiece. The recorder doesn't present this possibility, so I have to make the adjust?ment with my fingers. This is very difficult, and something for which there is no precedent in recorder literature or technique.
The recorder is unique among instru?ments in that it has a strange gap in its history. It was well known in Baroque times, but fell into disuse after the mid-1700s and wasn't rediscovered until about 1920. People who began to play it then didn't play very well compared to standards of today. They were amazed that any sound at all could be gotten out of the instrument and considered it rather simple and crude. Gradually, they began to experiment and consider it worthy of "serious" playing. But I have been discovering that it is possible to play more difficult things on a recorder than people ever realized, and I don't believe these possibilities have yet been exhausted.
Of course, I was taught to play the recorder in a certain way, and I do all the
things I've been taught. But there are also a lot of things that I have simply done without knowing I did them. For one thing, I've noticed that I changed the inside of my mouth for the high notes and for the low notes, and this is one thing that probably makes my sound different from that of other recorder players. I've also noticed the importance of keeping my finger movements much smaller, much closer to the instrument. This enables me to forget about my fingers and think of my breathing instead -which is what really makes the music.
I also learn about my own playing by listening to other instrumentalists. I admire the playing of those who have something personal behind their playing, like Menuhin. When 1 play my own instrument, I always try to imagine how this or that phrase would sound on a more complex instrument, such as a violin or an oboe, and then I try to capture that on the recorder. It's one of the things that stretches my playing and keeps me from feeling the recorder's limitations.
by Kazuhito Yamashita
Two things brought me to the guitar. From my first conscious?ness, I heard guitar music at home with my father, Tohoru Yamashita, and his friends. To ' me, it wasn't human not to play the guitar. Then, I heard Romanza. It was so beautiful, I wanted to possess it by playing it.
In high school, I was only an average student. I used the homework time for prac?tice -I didn't believe in homework anyway. I could have chosen other occupations, but the guitar was always such a part of me. People's expectations made me want to pur?sue and experience art. I never used any books on methodology. When I wanted to learn something, I listened, and if I had trouble, I asked my father. He's not a good performer, but he's a good teacher. Even now I'm learn?ing from him.
We are a very adaptable people. From olden times we brought in Chinese music. When we heard Western music, we adapted to that. We have sympathetic feelings for other cultures and like to reach out.
I've always wanted to be able to play whatever came to my ear, whether it was classical music, or a TV or movie score. I never believed in the separation of music, saying "This should be for the piano, or this for the orchestra." I always respond to mel?ody, but with Pictures [at an Exhibition] I always wanted to play the whole piece. The guitar has enormous possibilities for color and tone and symphonic expression. I also wanted to play a longer piece -to do one piece that lasted 40 minutes. That's a challenge. When I'm playing I'm in another dimension, where I'm so attracted to a piece that it feels like traveling. At the end, I feel I've arrived where I began.
Our scientific and economic develop?ment is such that I hope I can help through music to integrate spirituality into our way of life. The faith of art and music is very important in this age and for the world. The hope for peace in Nagasaki is very strong. It's a beautiful city, more like a country place. I know that if I lived in Tokyo, I'd only see the separate sides of things. If I stay in the country, I can see the world move.