Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Christopher Parkening, Guitarist
David Brandon, Assisting Guitarist
Wednesday Evening, November 3, 1993 at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Suite in D major ...........................Michael Praetorius
Allemande .................................John Dowland
Queen Elizabeth's Galliard
Fantasia No. 7
Four Renaissance Pieces ..........................Anonymous
Drewries Accordes Le Rossignol La Volta Watkins Ale
Prelude from The Well'Tempered Clavier ..........Johann Sebastian Bach
Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1 arr. Andres Segovia
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, from Cantata 147
Variations on a Theme of Handel, Op. 107.............Mauro Giuliani
Suite in Modo Polonico......................Alexandre Tansman
Entree Polonaise Kolysanka Alia polacca Oberek
Leyenda ...............................Isaac Albeniz
transcribed by Segovia
E1 Pano moruno ...............................Traditional
'Danza del molinero ..........................Manuel de Falla
'Evening Dance...............................Andrew York
' Prelude and Fugue....................Mario CastelnuovoTedesco
Mr. Parkening and Mr. Brandon are represented by Columbia Artists Management, Inc. New York, NY.
Mr. Parkening plays a Ramirez guitarSherryBrenner Ltd. of Chicago
Large print programs are available from your usher.
Fourteenth Concert of the 115th Season 23rd Annual Choice Series
Suite in D major
Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
A leading music scholar and composer from Germany, Michael Praetorius wrote one of the most important musical documents of the seventeenth century, Syntagma miisicum ("Musical Treatise"). This immense work contains not less than 51 volumes of history, theory, instrumental, and vocal practices as well as voluminous reams of music. In the nine volumes of secular works marked Musa Aonia ("Resort of the Muses") are found two volumes marked Terpsichore ("Goddess of Dancing"), from which the Suite in D major derives.
The Suite begins with a Courante. Arbeau says: "It is a dance in duple time with jumping and running movements." The courtly dance, Ballet, follows and moves right into the Gavotte, a mixlerate dance in 44 w'ith a two-beat uplift denoting a particular dance step at the beginning of each phrase. This is followed by the stately dance Spagnoleta, and moves into a variation form of the gavotte, Bransle double. The "double" signifies the doubling of note values, i.e., quarter-note motion to eighth-note motion, eighth to sixteenth, etc. The Courante reappears and the Suite ends in a quick, leaping Volte in 68 meter.
Queen Elizabeth's Galliard
Fantasia No. 7
John Dowland (U563-1626)
An English composer and lutenist, John Dowland traveled to Paris in 1580 as "servant" to the ambassador to the King of France, and returned in 1584 a converted Catholic. In 1588 he "went down" to Oxford for a "Bacheler of Musick" (sic), and in 1592 performed before Queen Elizabeth herself, when the masque of Daphne and Apollo was presented for her entertainment at Sudeley Castle.
Unfortunately, this opportunity did not pay off, for when one of the Queen's lutenists died in 1594, Dowland applied for the post and was rejected. Dowland speculated bitterly that it was his Catholicism which had caused the refusal, but since he had never officially proclaimed his conversion, this was probably not the reason. In frustration, he left England for continental Europe, travelling through Germany and Italy. When he reached Florence, he encountered a group of exiled English Catholics who were plotting the assassination of Queen Elizabeth, at which point the frightened Dowland retreated to Nuremberg and disclosed the plot in a letter to Sir Robert Cecil.
In 1597 Dowland returned to England at the request of one of the Queen's favorite courtiers, who had the bad form to die before Dowland could be secured as one of the queen's musicians. Instead, Dowland began collecting his songs and instrumental composi?tions, and issued them in the volume The First Books of Songes or Ayres of Foure Panes with Tabletwe for the Lute. The collection enjoyed enormous popularity and rewarded Dowland with a post as lutenist at the court of Christian IV of Denmark by 1598, where he was salaried handsomely.
Four more volumes of songs, translations, and books on lute pedagogy followed in the next decade, which saw an unhappy accumulation of debt despite his generous court paycheck. Penniless by 1606, Dowland was dismissed from his post in Denmark, and he returned to England to serve as lutenist for a prominent courtier. Prestigious post notwithstanding, Dowland complained of neglect and misuse by the musical community: nearly every collection from this period features Dowland's works, but often the composer was not acknowledged. At the time, his Lachrymae was recognized from the court down to the common people, but this wide audience and sustained popularity did not satisfy Dowland.
When he was finally appointed to a position in the English court in 1612, Dowland seemed to lose his creative inspiration. Most of his surviving pieces date from an earlier period, the most famous being In darknesse let mee dwell, a strange and beautiful vocal melody with biting lute accompaniment. His lute music is founded in contemporary polyphony, most obvious in the Fantasia, which passes the opening theme from voice to voice throughout the composition. Dowland's works in dance forms, such as the Galliards and AUemandes, vary greatly among the surviving folios of his compositions, suggesting that his performance may have been largely improvisatory.
Four Renaissance Pieces
The lute, predecessor of the guitar and the favorite instrument of the Renaissance, was often built oi costly materials and with exquisite workmanship, rendering it a plaything of the aristocracy. The gut strings were so temperamental that one 17th-century commentator remarked, "It is said of the lutenist that he spends fifty years of his lifetime just tuning the instrument, five years actually playing it, and the remainder getting it repaired."
These anonymous works were drawn from Jane Pickering's collection of 1616, Music far Lute.
Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Bach's Das Wohltempierte Klavier ("The Well-Tempered Clavier"), comprising 48 preludes and fugues in two volumes, remains unsurpassed in its comprehensive exploration of the keyboard's potential. Book I, completed in 1722, contains a prelude and fugue pair in each of the twelve major and minor keys, ranging in musical device from the traditional ricercare to a highly ornamented Italianate style. "Equal temperament" refers to the division of the octave into twelve equal half-steps.
The C Major Prelude, the first piece in Book I, initially appeared in the Little Clavier Book for Wilhelm Friedmann Bach, and again in 1725, in the second notebook of Anna Magdaler.a. Although originally written for the keyboard, the broken chords of this Prelude invoke the lute or guitar.
Prelude from Suite No. 1 in G major for Unaccompanied Cello, BMV 1007 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
In the year 1717, Johann Sebastian Bach, then thirty-two years old, was employed as Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen. Prince Leopold was an excellent musician who, on account of his love for orchestral music, maintained a chamber orchestra of eighteen players. The court belonged to the Reformed Church and, conse?quently, Bach was not required to compose church music or play the organ. Hence, for the following six years of his tenure at the court, he devoted himself largely to the composition of instrumental music, including chamber music, keyboard music (particularly for instruc?tional purposes), concertos, and all of his compositions for unaccompanied strings, of which there are six Suites for Violoncello, three Sonatas and three Partitas for violin. The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Violoncello were composed circa 1720. It is surmised that Bach composed them with the court cellist, Christian Berhard Linigke, in mind. The Prince had secured Linigke from the Berlin Hofkapelle and his tenure at the court of Anhalt-Cothen coincided with Bach's position there.
The Six Violoncello Suites are secular in nature albeit their immediate function was to be performed during the Communion service in church. The germ of the suite form lies in the idea of joining different dance-types together to make an artistic balance and contrast. He used the utmost freedom and transformed these dances, essentially stylizing them into purely instrumental specimens of absolute music. Bach begins each of the Suites with a Prelude and follows with a Sarabande; a pair of popular dances such as a Menuet, Bouree, or Gavotte; and ends with a Gigue.
This Prelude was transcribed by the legendary Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia, who almost single-handedly fueled the renaissance of the classical guitar with his exquisite transcriptions of works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin and Schumann.
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, from Cantata 147 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Bach was employed as court organist, and later Kapellmeister, by the Duke of Weimar between 1708 and 1717. Much of Bach's music for the organ was written for the Duke, who is said to have greatly admired Bach's playing. Several cantatas were written during the Weimar years, including Cantata 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben ("Heart and mouth and deeds and life,") which was first presented on December 13, 1716, the Fourth Sunday of Advent; the text is by Salomo Franck (1659-1725), the Weimar court poet. Years later in 1723, Bach revised the work while he was Kantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Cantatas were performed only on the First Sunday of Advent in Leipzig churches. Bach
adapted the Advent text of Cantata 147 by adding texts appropriate to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the cantata was performed in its revised form on July 2, 1723. The revised version of the cantata was divided into two parts, each of which ends with the familiar chorale, ]esu, Joy of Man's Desiring.
-program note copyright Todd Sullivan 1987
Variations on a Theme of Handel, Op. 107 Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
Giuliani was a composer and performer who, as a cellist, played in the premiere of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in 1813 and, as a guitarist, was the most important Italian virtuoso of the 19th century. Born in the small village of Bisceglie, on the southeastern coast of Italy, Giuliani first studied cello and counterpoint before making the six-string guitar his primary instrument. Journeying to Vienna in 1807, Giuliani appeared in recitals with pianists Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Ignaz Moscheles, and the violinist Joseph Mayseder. Many of his own compositions for guitar were performed for the first time during his stay in Vienna. Among the numerous works for his favorite instrument are twelve sets of variations, three concertos, duos for guitar and violin or flute, a trio for guitar, violin, and cello; and a quintet for guitar and string quartet. In 1819, Giuliani returned to Italy, settling first in Rome and then in Naples, where he died in 1829. One of the earliest journals devoted to the guitar, the Giulianiad, was established in 1833 a tribute to Giuliani's prominence as a guitarist.
Giuliani's Opus 107 is a set of five variations based on the Air from Handel's Keyboard Suite in A Major.
--program note copyright Todd Sullivan 1987
Enrique Granados (1867-1916)
Although Granados composed many stage, vocal, orchestral, and chamber works, he is remembered primarily as a pianist and a composer of music for the piano. His first collection of piano pieces, the Danza espanolas, was written between 1892 and 1900, and contains ten dances in a characteristic Spanish idiom. The fourth dance, graceful and mesmerizing, is entitled Villanesca. Although "villanesca" is the term used for a popular form of vocal music in Italy in the 16th century, Granados probably intended the Spanish meaning of the word, "rustic." In this transcription for the guitar by Patrick Russ, the Villanesca's bell-like harmonics and pendular rhythm irresistibly envelop the listener.
Suite in Modo Polonico Alexandra Tansman (b. 1897)
Composed for Andres Segovia, this suite was inspired by the ancient court dances of Tansman's native Poland. Some movements of the suite, the Entree, for example, have counterparts elsewhere in Europe; others are typically Polish (the Polonaise). The composer commented: "The subject has been treated in a language which seems to me most suited for a work based on national or traditional forms, that is, I have avoided any voluntary stylization or modernization which, if adapted to the pure melodic lines, the popular harmonic style, and rhythmic meters, would result in something artificial and hybrid."
There is a variety of moods in these dances, form the grave Entree to the slow, melancholy lullaby which is the Kolysanka, to the vigorous, accented Polonaise, to the fast-stepping Oberek.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Heitor Villa-Lobos has made probably more impact than any other composer on twentieth-century guitar music. A cellist and guitarist who played popular music, Villa-Lobos spent his lifetime collecting popular tunes of Brazil; the characteristic rhythms and melodic shapes of Brazilian music permeate his compositions. His first work for the guitar was the Suite populaire bresilienne, composed between 1908 and 1912 during the period when the composer was travelling in the countryside collecting folk music. The set of twelve Etudes was published in 1929 and the five Preludes in 1940. His preludes each depict the nostalgic folk feeling which Brazilians call "saudosismo."
Leyenda (Asturias) Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
Isaac Albeniz was born in Camprodon. His exuberant talent as a pianist was obvious almost from his infancy. He gave his first concert when he was four years old. At six he studied in Paris with Marmontel for a few months. His concert was eagerly awaited and some newspapers called him the "Spanish Rubinstein." By petition of Debussy, Faure and other distinguished composers, the French government presented Albeniz the medal of the Legion of Honor.
As a composer, he is best known for the Tango in D Major and a set of piano pieces, Iberia. Originally a work for piano, Leyenda is the composer's tribute to the Asturias region of northwest Spain: Leyenda, or "The Legend," is actually a subtitle. Like a traveling troubadour Albeniz sings of his beautiful native land, its scenery and its changing moods. The Leyenda is part of the Suite Espagnole for piano with the transcription by Segovia.
El pano moruno (The Moorish Cloth) Traditional
This Spanish folk song was transcribed and embellished by Manuel de Falla in his Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas. In the traditional version for voice, lyrics lament the fate of the cloth of the title:
That Moorish cloth on the counter, A stain has fallen upon it; Now it will sell for a lower price Because it has lost its value. Ay!
Danza del Molinero (The Miller's Dance) Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), the ballet from which this dance is taken, has a slender plot. It concerns a happy couple, the miller and his wife, and an amorous Corregidor, or governor (who wears a three-cornered hat), who is enamored of the wife. The Corregidor orders the miller's arrest to clear the way for a pleasant little flirtation, if nothing else, with the captivating wife. Dansa del Molinero describes his character -proud, fiery and virile.
Evening Dance Andrew York
Evening Dance was written for Christopher Parkening and David Brandon by composer Andrew York during the Christmas season of 1989. York remarked: "I've always loved the form of theme and variations. Writing for two guitars, with the extended possibilities of harmonic and textural complexity, seemed a perfect opportunity to explore this form. Christopher and David's performance beautifully captures the spirit of the piece, what a joy to hear such a sensitive and compelling performance!"
About The Artists
Christopher Parkening ranks as one of the world's preeminent classical guitar vir?tuosos. For more than two decades, his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. His former teacher, the legendary Andres Segovia, pro?claimed that "Christopher Parkening is a great artist, he is one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world."
Today, Christopher Parkening is the recognized heir to the Segovia tradition. His rare combination of dramatic virtuosity and eloquent musicianship has captivated audi?ences from New York, Boston, Washington, and Chicago to London, Vienna, Paris, and Tokyo. Parkening has also performed at the White House at the request of the President. His recordings on the AngelEMI label place high on the record industry sales charts, and he has received two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording, including a nomination for The Pleasures of
Their Company (CDC-47196), a collaboration with Soprano Kathleen Battle. His latest release on the EMI classics label features an orchestral recording of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un gentilhombre, as well as the world premiere recording of William Walton's Five Bagatelles for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Parkening's critically acclaimed 1991 release, A Tribute to Segovia (CDC-49404), was dedicated to the great Spanish guitarist and was recorded on one of the Maestro's own concert guitars.
Also in 1991, Christopher Parkening performed in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration season. He has also performed twice in the televised Grammy Awards, and with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center. Parkening has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs, including The Today Show, The Tonight Show, 2020, and CBS Sunday Morning. Performances during the 199293 season include appearances at Lincoln Center in New York, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, and recitals with the Celebrity Series of Boston and under the auspices of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. A tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will culminate in a recording for EMI.
Parkening's commitment to his instrument extends beyond his demanding performance schedule. Each summer, he teaches a master class at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He has also authored The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, basic pedagogy book published by Sherry-Brener, Ltd. of Chicago. At the heart of his dedication to performance, recording, and teaching is a deep commitment to his Christian faith.
Christopher and his wife Barbara, an avid equestrian, and their Australian shepherd dog named Toby, reside in Southern California. As in music, Christopher possesses "world class" talents in the sport of fly-fishing, having won the Western United States ail-Around Casting championship and first place in the International Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament (the Wimbledon of fly-fishing) held in Islamorada, Florida.
Parkening has received commendations honoring his dedication and artistry: an honorary Doctorate of Music from Montana State University and the Outstanding Alumnus Award of 1987 from the University of Southern California "in recognition of his outstanding international achievement and in tribute to his stature throughout the world as America's preeminent virtuoso of the classical guitar." In 1989, 1990, and 1991, Parkening was voted "Best Classical Guitarist" in a nationwide readers' poll of Guitar Player magazine.
Other recent recording releases include Virtuoso Duets (CDC-49406) with assisting artist David Brandon and Julie Andrews' The Sounds of Christmas with the London Symphony Orchestra on the Hallmark label. His discography for the EMIAngel label includes: In the Classic Style (4XS-36019): Romanza (4XS-36021); Parkening and the Guitar (4XS-36013); The Christopher Parkening Album (4XS-36069); Parkening Plays Bach (CDC-47191); In the Spanish Style (CDC-47194); A Bach Celebration (CDC-47195) and Simple Gifts (CDC-47525).
This is Mr. Parkening's fifth UMS appearance.
David Brandon has performed numerous concert and television appearances throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Since 1984 he has toured extensively with Christopher Parkening and performed with him on an album entitled Virtuoso Duets released by AngelEMI. Brandon also appeared with Parkening on the 1990 Julie Andrews Hallmark Christmas album.
David began playing guitar at age eight with instruction from his father. At thirteen he attended master classes under Michael Lorimer as the youngest member of the class. After a year of study and performances in Spain and England, David returned to the United States to study with Christopher Parkening on scholarship at Montana State University. He later studied with the legendary Andres Segovia at the University of Southern California in his 1981 Master Class.
A solo artist in his own right, David's recent solo debut at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California was praised by Gregg Wager of the Los Angeles Times: "Brandon is an outstanding technician whose precise control of details is stunning to experience."
David has given master classes and lectures at many colleges and universities across the nation and is the guitar advisor the for National Federation of Music Clubs. He lives with his wife and two sons in Lubbock, Texas where he operates a private studio for guitar.
Tonight's concert marks Mr. Brandon's second appearance under UMS auspices.