Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Joshua Bell, Violinist
Jonathan Feldman, Pianist
Tuesday Evening, April 5, 1994, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in D Major for Violin and Keyboard, Op. 1, No. 13 ......G.F.Handel
Adagio Allegro Larghetto Allegro
Sonata No. 9 in A Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 47, "Kreutzer" .... Beethoven Adagio sostenuto Presto Andante con variazione Finale: Presto
Sonata for Violin and Piano (1963) ...............John Corigliano
Allegro Andantino Lento Allegro
Melodie in E-flat, Op. 42, No. 3 .................Tchaikovsky
Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25 ...................Pablo de Sarasate
Joshua Bell records exclusively for the LondonDecca label. Mr. Bell appears by arrangement with IMG Artists.
Large print programs are available upon request from an usher.
The pre-concert carillon recital was performed by JanEl Gortmaker, doctoral student in organ performance. Fifty-second Concert of the 115th Season 31st Annual Chamber Arts Series
Sonata in D Major for Violin and Keyboard, Op. 1, No. 13
George Frideric Handel
Born February 23, 1685, in Halle, Germany; died April 14, 1759, in London.
The inexhaustible riches of Handel's genius gave the world dozens of operas, oratorios on Old and New Testament subjects, and instrumental works of every kind popular in his time, for he wrote not out of some romantic need for self-expression but, in the spirit of his time, to please his audiences and the musicians, both amateur and professional, who delighted in his music. Beethoven thought him the greatest composer of all time, and when during his last illness a wealthy friend sent him a collection of Handel's works, he said that it was a gift more precious than any he had received from a king.
Around 1730, Handel published a set of fifteen sonatas for various solo instruments with basso continuo, which is the Baroque musician's shorthand indication of a keyboard accompaniment. Some of them had probably been composed much earlier and were revised for publication then, and the violin sonatas among them may have been written for the Prince of Wales. This Sonata, the fourth of those for violin and one of the most popular of all, is in the old Italian style once deemed suitable for performance in church, with four movements in slow-fast-slow-fast sequence. The first pair is a slow introduction and a fugal Allegro, and the second is a Larghetto and Allegro like an aria and dance.
Sonata No. 9 in A Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 47, "Kreutzer"
Ludwig van Beethoven
Born December 16, 1770, in Bonn; died March 26, 1827, in Vienna.
In 1802, Beethoven wrote a set of three violin sonatas that he dedicated to Czar Alexander 1, but in preparing them for publication he found the finale of the first sonata disporportionately grand in scale and wrote a more modest one for it. In the spring of 1803, a splendid young violinist from London arrived in Vienna for a stay of a few months, and shortly after meeting him Beethoven decided that they should have a new sonata to play together. The visitor was young George Bridgetower (ca. 1780-1860), the son of a black African father and a European mother, on temporary leave from the service of the Prince of Wales. Bridgetower had been a member of Haydn's orchestra in London and a favorite of the royal family, and he was later to take a degree from Cambridge University and to have a fine career on the Continent. Beethoven quickly composed two movements to precede the grand finale originally written for Op. 30, No. 1, and on May 24, 1803, they gave the new sonata its first public performance.
Beethoven intended to publish it with a formal dedication to Bridgetower, but when summer came the two men quarreled over a young woman, and Beethoven dedicated it instead to Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831), a brilliant French violinist he had met in Vienna five years earlier. The switch in dedications is full of irony and perhaps spite, for Beethoven hardly knew Kreutzer. He wrote to him, he said, about once a year and his letters were unanswered. Kreutzer never played the Sonata in public, because, according to Berlioz, he found it unintelligible, and it is this dedication, rather than the hundreds of his own compositions, that has immortalized Kreutzer.
The Sonata is bold, original, large-scaled and difficult. The violin starts the first movement's slow introduction, Adagio sostenuto. When the Presto main section begins, it is in the key of A minor and the major does not return until the finale. The music is stormy and dramatic, pausing occasionally as though for a deep breath before renewing the attack on the emotions of the listeners and the strength of the performers. The slow movement is
Union, Europe, and the U.S. 1990 also featured his second tour of Asia, including his Korean debut and return engagements in Hong Kong and throughout Japan, where his 1987 Tokyo debut recital was televised nationwide on the NHK network. In the summer of 1992, Mr. Bell made his debut in Australia, featuring concerts with the symphonies of Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.
Equally active as a recitalist, Joshua Bell performs regularly in the major halls of New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington (D.C.), Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam and Tokyo. He is a frequent guest at summer music festivals worldwide, and most recently, he was a featured soloist for the opening concerts of the 1993 Mostly Mozart Festival which were telecast nationally on PBS' Live From Lincoln Center. Chamber music, a special passion of Mr. Bell's, takes him annually to the festivals of Marlboro, Spoleto USA, and Spoleto, Italy.
Joshua Bell's 1993-94 schedule includes appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the symphonies of Toronto, Dallas, Berlin and the City of Birmingham, among others. In recital, Mr. Bell will be heard in such cities as Boston, Washington, DC, Atlanta, London, Zurich, Milan, Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. Another seasonal highlight occurs in the fall 1993, when Mr. Bell will perform the premiere of a new violin concerto written for him by the British composer Nicholas Maw,
a long and beautiful Andante theme and variations. The Presto finale is a galloping sonata-form movement with a memorable, feather-light second theme. The forward motion of the steady beat is sometimes thrown off by a phrase in contrasting rhythm and even slows to Adagio for two brief moments before the forceful closing coda.
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Born February 16, 1938, in New York.
John Corigliano is a fertile composer who has also been an active participant in musical life. He studied composition at Columbia University with Otto Luening and privately with Paul Creston and Vittorio Giannini; worked in records, radio and television, taught in Washington and New York, composed music for broadcast commercials, and all the while worked on the concert music that began to make his reputation when he was only twenty years old. Corigliano has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a commission from the Metropolitan Opera. One of his most widely played works is his Clarinet Concerto, of 1977, which was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic. His father, John Corigliano, Sr., sat at the Philharmonic's first desk of first violins from 1935 to 1966 for the last twenty-three of those years as its concertmaster.
The Violin Sonata was written in 1962 and 1963, and in 1964, a distinguished jury that included Samuel Barber, Gian Carlo Menotti and Walter Piston among its members, unanimously chose it the prize winner over a hundred other entries in the Boston University-Spoleto Festival Creative Arts Competition, and its first performance was given at the Festival that year. The following description of the work is adapted, at the composer's suggestion, from the liner note of the CR1 recording of the Sonata.
This is for the most part a tonal work, although it has sections that are non-tonal and that use various other contemporary technical procedures. The music has an unconsciously achieved American quality, with meters changing in almost every measure and with the two instruments often independent of each other in their ryhthms. The level of virtuosity required of the two players is equal and high. The characteristic use of two dissonant intervals, the second and the seventh, unites the harmonic and melodic content of all four movements.
The first, Allegro, is a short introductory movement in which the germ-intervals expanded into musical ideas that soon become the opening theme of the second movement, Andantino. This is a modified sonata-form movement in which the second theme is an outgrowth of the first, and the two are combined to form a third theme. Next is a slow movement, Lento. Here the piano dramatically introduces a violin recitative that turns into an intensely expressive cadenza and then ends with the quiet return of the piano. The closing Allegro is a modification of the classic rondo-finale, with a perpetual-motion idea and a piano cadenza among its episodes.
Melodie in E-flat, Op. 42, No. 3
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Born May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk; died November 6, 1893, in Saint Petersburg.
For fourteen years, Tchaikovsky enjoyed the financial and artistic support of a woman of great wealth with whom he was on terms of great intimacy although they communicated only by letter, saw each other but once, and never spoke. The year of their first contact, 1877, was a fruitful one, in which Tchaikovsky wrote his Fourth Symphony and Eugene Onegin, the finest of his many operas. It was also a deeply troubled year, in which he married a woman he said he did not and could not love, he suffered a nervous breakdown and then
failed in an attempted suicide. His family and friends rallied to his support, and early in 1878 he went off for a lengthy stay at one of his benefactress's country estates. He immortalized that springtime country sojourn in a set of three short pieces to which he gave the title Souvenir of a Beloved Place. This Melody is the third piece in the set.
Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25
Pablo de Sarasate
Born March 10, 1844, in Pamplona, Spain; died September 20, 1908, in Biarritz, France.
Pablo Martin Meliton de Sarasate y Navascuez is the full name of the Spanish violinist who was one of the great virtuoso-composers of his time. When Queen Isabella of Spain first heard him play, as a ten-year-old boy, she generously presented him with a Stradivarius violin and subsidized his studies at the Paris Conservatory. He made his home in France for most of the rest of his life, but an annual visit to Spain was always part of the touring itineraries that took him almost everywhere in Europe and the Americas. Saint-Saens, Burch and Lalo were some of the composers who wrote for him, and it was Lalo's Symphonie espagnole that gave Tchaikovsky the idea for his intensely national Violin Concerto.
George Bernard Shaw, who was a music critic in London in the 1890's, said that Sarasate played with "a quiet and certain mastery" and with "exclusive attention to the absolutely musical side of his classical repertory." This is testimony enough to the serious, artistic aspect of Sarasate's career. In addition, he was a brilliant virtuoso with a repertoire of dazzling showpieces, many of which he composed and arranged himself. Among them were concert fantasies on themes from popular operas by Gounod, Weber and even Mozart, and, best of all, this incomparable treatment of Bizet's Carmen, which he devised around 1883.
Notes by Leonard Burkat
About The Artists
Joshua Bell's unique musical gifts have brought him to international attention and rapidly earned him a prominent position among the world's leading violinists. Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1967, he showed unusual musical promise at an early age; by the time he was 12, he was studying with the renowned Josef Gingold. His performance at the age of 14 with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra won him recognition as an emerging major violin talent and led to many highly acclaimed concerts, including his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony led by Leonard Slatkin. The following year, Mr. Bell was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1987, at the age of 19, he became the first violinist in ten years to be signed exclusively by LondonDecca Records.
Today, as an internationally established musician, Joshua Bell appears regularly in the U.S. with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. Recent and upcoming performances include collaborations with such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, John Eliot Gardiner, Gunther Herbig, Eliahu Inbal, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Roger Norrington, Andre Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas and David Zinman.
Abroad, Mr. Bell has won acclaim for performances with England's Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and London Symphony, as well as with the major orchestras of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Belgium. He was chosen as the featured American soloist for the 1990 world tour of the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra, performing throughout the Soviet
both with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at New York's Avery Fisher Hall and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
Since 1987, Mr. Bell has released nine recordings for the LondonDecca label, the latest of which features both violin concertos of Prokofiev, in collaboration with the Montreal Symphony and Charles Dutoit. This is added to an already impressive discography of orchestral recordings, including Mozart's Third and Fifth concertos (The English Chamber OrchestraPeter Maag); a collection of virtuoso pieces entitled Poeme, (Royal Philharmonic OrchestraAndrew Litton); the Tchaikovsky and Wieniawski D minor concertos (Cleveland OrchestraVladimir Ashkenazy); Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, along with Saint-Saens Con?certo No 3 (Montreal SymphonyDutoit;oit): and the Bruch and Mendelssohn concertos (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-FieldsSir Neville Marriner). Among his chamber music recordings are the Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet partnered by Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Takacs String Quartet, coupled with the Ravel Piano Trio with Mr. Thibaudet and cellist Steven Isserlis, as well as the Franck, Faure and Debussy sonatas (featuring Mr. Thibaudet, piano), and a disc of virtuoso cameos (with Samuel Sanders, piano). In addition, Mr. Bell has recently completed recording the two Prokofiev sonatas for violin and piano, with pianist Olli Mustonen (spring 1994 release).
Mr. Bell plays on an Antonio Stradivari violin dated 1732, which is know as the Tom Taylor.
Tonight's performance marks Mr. Bell's second UMS appearance.
Pianist Jonathan Feldman, recognized by colleagues and critics alike as an extremely accomplished ensemble player and accompa?nist, has performed on four continents with some of the world's greatest instrumentalists. Among these have been the legendary Nathan Milstein, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Zara Nelsova and Ani and Ida Kavafian. Mr. Feldman also enjoys an active solo career per?forming throughout the United States and Eu?rope. As a chamber musician, he appears in concert regularly with members of the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble con?certs during the orchestra's tours of the Far East, South America and Europe.
A renowned teacher, Mr. Feldman has given master classes throughout the United States. In the fall of 1989, Mr. Feldman joined the faculty of the Juilliard School where he now serves as chairman of the Accompanying de?partment. A graduate of Juilliard, his teachers have included Dorothy Taubman, Rosetta Goodkind and Irwin Freundlich. He has re-
corded for Columbia Masterworks, RCA Red Sea, Nonsuch and Summit records. His most recent recording is with young Korean violinist Sarah Chang for AngelEMI.
Jonathan Feldman began his collaboration with Joshua Bell in 1987 when both participated in the First International Violin Congress held at the University of Maryland in College Park. Since that time, they have toured throughout the United States and Europe.
Tonight's concert marks Mr. Feldman s third UMS appearance. Supported by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.