Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, February 6, 1993: University Musical Society --

Download PDF
Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 114TH
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

University Musical Society
Horacio Gutierrez, Pianist
Saturday Evening, February 6, 1993, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50.................Haydn
Allegro Adagio Allegro molto
Fantasy in C major, Op. 17.................Schumann
Sonata in B minor....................... Liszt
Lento assai Allegro energico Andante sostenuto Allegro energico
Horacio Gutierrez is represented by Shaw Concerts, Inc., New York.
Mr. Gutierrez plays a Steinway piano available through Hammell Music, Inc., Livonia.
Recordings: Telarc, Chandos, AngelEMI
Program Notes
Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50
Joseph Haydn (17324809)
Haydn was not really a pianist, but in the course of his long life as a musician, he wrote more than fifty works that explore the varied forms that can be called piano sonatas. Some have two movements and some have four, and among those with the usual three, there is an enormous choice of structures for each. In general, the sonatas are music written for the pleasure of the performer, to be played at home in private music rooms rather than in the equivalent, at the time, of public concerts.
Especially in his late years, Haydn wrote many sonatas with specific perform?ers in mind, often highly gifted women whose influence on the art of music is a part of history not yet written. These late works show the composer's years of experi?ence as the most inventive symphonist of the period. They are not decorated pieces of light galanterie but big serious works that demand players with great technical skills and profound musical insights.
This is one of Haydn's last sonatas, written in 1794 or 1795 in London, at the time of his greatest symphonies, one of a group of three composed for Teresa Jansen, for whom he also wrote three trios. Jansen must have been a splendid artist and an accomplished performer, for all six are highly original, extremely difficult works. Although she never performed in public, Haydn listed her among the best pianists in London, and he knew her well enough to be a witness at her wedding there, to Gaetano Bartolozzi, whose father was his friend, the engraver Francesco Bartolozzi. She must have owned a fine instrument of advanced design, for Haydn takes the music he wrote for her up into a high range that would not be heard in Beethoven's piano music until ten years later.
The music is also extraordinary in the way its apparent simplicity masks its high level of complexity and fantasy. In the opening Allegro movement, Haydn blurs the lines of distinction between such small
formal elements as successive themes, and between such large ones as the sections conventionally devoted to the exposition and then to the development of ideas. Textures that at first glance look thin on the printed page turn out to be full of complex counterpoint and of finger-twist?ing technical difficulties. The specified pedalling too makes clear that this is mod?em piano music and has little to do with the harpsichord. The movement comes to an end with a coda like an abbreviated opera finale.
The second movement, Adagio, seems to have been written or at least sketched rather earlier than the rest. It is an affect?ing, three-part song, also somewhat oper?atic in quality, ornamented with almost improvisatory freedom. The closing Allegro molto is a relatively short movement some?thing like the finales in tempo di minuetto that had been fashionable when Haydn was younger, but it is here speeded up to "modern" scherzo tempo. Through quirky turns of phrase, Haydn invests the harmony and rhythm with great wit.
Fantasy in C major, Op. 17
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
"To understand the Fantasy," Schu?mann wrote to his beloved Clara, "think-back to the summer of 1836, when I was separated from you." It is in fact a freely shaped sonata that ends with a slow move?ment; it is also a confidential communica?tion from Robert to Clara, with a secret reference to their separation in a musical quotation from Beethoven's An die feme Geliebte. The first movement of the Fantasy starts almost abruptly, as though a door has been opened on a discourse already in progress. It is a work of "fantasy and passion throughout," say the instructions to the player, though the music shifts for a while to a style that is "legendary in tone," by which Schumann presumably meant that it is like a folk song. The second movement, which follows without pause, is to be played at a moderate tempo, but energetically or
vigorously. It is a great march in which powerful chords alternate with complex counterpoint. When Clara was learning it, she said that it made her "hot and cold all over." The Fantasy ends with a long and gentle poetic reverie that forges a historic link between the spacious calm of late-Bee?thoven and the intimate passion of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.
Sonata in B Minor
Fran Liszt (1811-1886)
Franz Liszt's position in music history is assured by the influence of his unmatched piano virtuosity, by his championing of such advanced composers of his time as Berlioz and Wagner, and especially by his "modernization" of music. He created a new style of piano-playing, invented the symphonic poem, established a place for folklore in art music, and reconstructed the symphony, the sonata and the concerto. His new ideas profoundly influenced several generations of composers and performers.
In 1848, Liszt renounced his great career as a touring virtuoso and settled down in Weimar as court music director, with a firm determination to begin com?posing in large forms and to use his powerful post for the support of the most advanced new music. He had already written many short pieces for piano, but he was not yet at ease with the problems of musical con?tinuity or with the orchestra.
Before long he had developed a new integrated structural plan that he used with great mastery in this Sonata and the First Piano Concerto, and with some differences in the Faust Symphony. Its essentials are, first, that the separate movements must blend together into a single, continuous whole without breaks; and, second, that this new whole must exhibit both the symmetry and the tension that are charac?teristic of the first movements in the classic sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
It is sometimes thought that his model was Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy, but the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony could also have served as a prototype. The brilliant pianist-scholar Charles Rosen, in his book, The Classical Style, makes this penetrating observation in a footnote about
the Beethoven: "[Its combination] of so?nata-allegro and four-movement form is one of the rare experiments of the last years of Beethoven's life to have a genuine re?percussion in the more original work of the first Romantic generation. The Liszt So?nata is an attempt to repeat this concep?tion__Liszt was the composer of his
generation who best understood Beetho?ven."
For years the Sonata was resisted and hated. Schumann was embarrassed when Liszt dedicated it to him, in 1853, for he, his wife and their young disciple, Johannes Brahms, then distrusted Liszt the man and disapproved of Liszt the musician. The performances that Hans von Bulow gave as early as 1857 and as late as 1881 moved critics to call the music affected, arbitrary and extravagant. When the Sonata was twenty-four years old, Brahms's friend Eduard Hanslick could still write that it was "a musical monstrosity of contrived inso?lence; in the end, irresistibly comic. Any?one who has heard it and finds it beautiful is beyond help. [Abridged]." Yet when Wagner heard it in 1854, he wrote to the composer, "It is beautiful beyond all belief; huge, lovable, profound, exalted, stately -like you. I have been stirred to the depths by it."
Liszt's basic procedure is the constant expansion of motives and transformation of melodies, a process of synthesis in place of the classicists' developmental analysis. There are several large, distinct sections, all based on four or five themes that make their entrances and departures in various guises at various times. The music begins with a few slow introductory measures Lento assai, whose descending figure is the Sonata's first thematic element. In the Allegro energico two themes that have more important roles to play in the work are heard: the first, vigorous and in a high register; the second, grumbling in the bass, with repeated notes that are later trans?formed into a lyric melody and into an?other, Grandioso. The middle section, Andante sostenuto, is like a slow movement, after which the Allegro energico tempo re?turns, and at the very end the entire cycle of themes is recalled in a coda.
Notes by Leonard Burkat
About The Artist
Considered by critics and au?diences as one of the outstanding pianists of the day, Horacio Gutierrez appears regularly with the world's greatest orches?tras and on its major recital series.
Since his professional debut in 1970, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Zubin Mehta, Horacio Gutierrez has appeared regularly with conductors Lorin Maazel, Andre Previn, and Mehta leading many of the world's leading orches?tras. Other maestros with whom Mr. Gutierrez has performed include Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, Klaus Tennstedt, David Zinman, Edo de Waart, Kurt Masur, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, and many more.
Highlights of the 1992-93 season in?clude performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Utah, Seattle and National Symphony Or?chestras, and recitals at Carnegie Hall, as well as in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Princeton and St. Louis. In the course of an equally busy schedule last season, he performed the Previn Piano Concerto with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony. Festival engagements included Ravinia, France's Roque d'Antheron, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Other re?cent performances have been with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; Bal-
timore, Indianapolis, Houston and Dallas Symphonies; and the Royal Con-certgebouw, Minnesota and Cleveland Or?chestras.
A favorite of New York concertgoers, Mr. Gutierrez is a frequent soloist at Lin?coln Center's "Mostly Mozart" Festival (in?cluding a "Live from Lincoln Center" telecast) and has performed many times at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, in recital and with orchestra. With the Y Chamber Orchestra he played William Schuman's Piano Concerto in honor of the composer's 75th birthday. As a chamber musician he has played with the Guarneri, Tokyo and Cleveland Quartets. In 1982 he received the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize.
Mr. Gutierrez's most recent Telarc re?cording features Rachmaninoff's Second and Third Piano Concertos (MaazelPitts-burgh). Also available on the label is the Brahms Second Concerto (PrevinRoyal Philharmonic). During the 1989-90 season alone Mr. Gutierrez recorded five concerti: Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with David Zinman and the Bal?timore Symphony, Prokofiev's Second and Third Concerti with Neeme Jarvi and the Royal Concertgebouw, and Brahms's First Concerto with Previn and the Royal Phil?harmonic.
His televised performances in Great Britain, the United States and France have been widely acclaimed. He won an Emmy Award for his fourth appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has also been welcomed by Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show." A great film and theater fan, he has performed in recital with Irene Worth and Mariette Hartley.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Horacio Gutierrez appeared at the age of eleven as guest soloist with the Havana Symphony. He became an American citizen in 1967. He graduated from the Juilliard School, and he is married to pianist Patricia Archer.
Tonight marks Mr. Gutierrez's second appearance in Ann Arbor. He last per?formed here in January 1988.

Download PDF