Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, October 29, 2017 - Sphinx Virtuosi

Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Sphinx Virtuosi Afa Dworkin Artistic Director Sunday Afternoon, October 29, 2017 at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium Ann Arbor 15th Performance of the 139th Annual Season
55th Annual Chamber Arts Series This afternoonÕs performance is sponsored by Michigan Medicine. Media partnership provided by Ann ArborÕs 107one, WGTE 91.3 FM, and WRCJ 90.9 FM. The Sphinx Virtuosi national tour is made possible with the generous support of JPMorgan Chase & Co. with additional support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Aetna, and National Endowment for the Arts/Art Works. In-kind support provided by MAC Cosmetics. The Sphinxi Virtuosi appear by arrangement with California Artists Management. In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance. The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited. PROGRAM Concerti per Venti Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra                               Intrada                                                   Burlesca Ostinata Sarabande     Scherzo March and Reprise Ludwig van Beethoven Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133   Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for Violin and Cello in B-flat Major, RV 547   Allegro Andante     Allegro Molto Annelle Gregory, violin; Thomas Mesa, cello     Intermission Jimmy L—pez Guardian of the Horizon: Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello, and Strings Riddle Crossing the Threshold     Into the Effulgent Light AdŽ Williams, violin; Gabriel Cabezas, cello                           Michael Abels Delights and Dances                                                         Rainel Joubert, violin I; Melissa White, violin II; Celia Hatton, viola; 
Thomas Mesa, cello   CONCERTO GROSSO FOR STRING ORCHESTRA (1950) Ralph Vaughan Williams Born October 12, 1872 in Down Ampney, England Died August 26, 1958 in London UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert. Snapshots of HistoryÉIn 1950: á The Korean War begins á Charles M. SchulzÕs comic strip Peanuts is first published in US newspapers á The Mattachine Society is founded in Los Angeles as the first gay liberation organization After a long, dreary period in EnglandÕs music history, a new school of interesting nationalist composers burgeoned in the early years of the 20th century. Vaughan Williams, the greatest of these composers, had a rigorous musical education; he studied in Berlin with Max Bruch and in Paris with Ravel. This workÕs rhythmic difficulties are daunting; some claim they have caused the work to be rarely performed. Overall, the work contains good spirits and humor. The five movements are not unlike a Tchaikovsky serenade, with a reprise at the end of the opening music. The first movement, ÒIntradaÓ (Introduction), is a sonorous slow-paced largo with a dramatic theme. It runs into the ÒBurlesca Ostinata,Ó an amusing, sprightly movement based on an ÒobstinatelyÓ repeated figure at a moderately fast pace, allegro moderato. Next comes the central ÒSarabande,Ó a dignified old slow dance, and then an energetic, lyrical, witty ÒScherzoÓ in the rhythm and tempo of a fast waltz (allegro). At the end, a ÒMarch,Ó lively and syncopated, precedes a reprise of the ÒIntrada.Ó GROSSE FUGE IN B-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 133 (1826) Ludwig van Beethoven Born December 16, 1770 in Bonn, Germany Died March 26, 1827 in Vienna UMS premiere: Budapest String Quartet; January 1950 in Rackham Auditorium. Snapshots of HistoryÉIn 1826: á Samuel Morey patents an internal combustion engine á The first railway tunnel is built en route between Liverpool and Manchester in England á Congress gives Fort Shelby, a military fort central to the War of 1812, to the city of Detroit, and it is dismantled the following year This gigantic movement is one of the most fiercely powerful pieces and forceful expressions of BeethovenÕs music. This masterpiece is a magnificent exploration of fugal writing: the structure is an important part of the weighty emotional charge of the music, not just its vehicle. Its structure is one of the chief features that makes the Grosse Fuge extraordinary and important among BeethovenÕs last incomparable masterpieces. The Grosse FugeÕs intricacy and greatness allow the listener to hear it in several different ways. It is an introduction followed by a long fugue, or by a series of fugues. It is a fugal theme with variations, each, in turn, built as a series of variations. It is also a large-scale sonata form movement, in which each of the principal components is a fugue. It is even a cyclical work of four movements condensed into one: introduction, allegro, slow movement, and finale, each part except the first a fugue. CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO IN B-FLAT MAJOR, RV 547   Antonio Vivaldi Born March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy Died July 28, 1741 in Vienna UMS premiere: Virtuosi di Roma; March 1956 in Hill Auditorium. VivaldiÕs Concerto for Violin and Cello, an example of a concerto grosso, is a spirited dialogue for the two solo instruments as colleagues and rivals for the spotlight. The first movement, ÒAllegro moderato,Ó opens energetically, with strong rhythms and straightforward ideas. The soloists develop a musical idea with a canonic imitation with the cello presenting a form of the ascending scale/descending arpeggio, and the violin playing the same music two octaves higher. The first idea is a descending arpeggio and the other a quickly ascending scale. The music develops harmonically, with great beauty. Vivaldi uses ritornello form in which the orchestral theme alternates with solo episodes in the fast outer movements. The second movement, a sensitive ÒAndante,Ó is short, with the orchestra playing a supporting role. The soloists showcase their imitative technique as they exchange calm and peaceful phrases. In the final movement, ÒAllegro molto,Ó the orchestral rhythm displays VivaldiÕs humor; the two instrumental soloists have offbeat accents and alternate virtuosic sections, sharing involved passagework between them. GUARDIAN OF THE HORIZON: CONCERTO GROSSO FOR VIOLIN, CELLO, AND STRINGS (2017) Jimmy L—pez Born October 21, 1978 in Lima, Peru Guardian of the Horizon: Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello, and Strings, was commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, with the support of Linda and Stuart Nelson, Carnegie Hall, and New World Center in honor of SphinxÕs 20th anniversary celebration. The composer writes: Guardian of the Horizon is a metaphor for Sphinx, which is associated with strength, wisdom, and resilience. It seemed to me like the most logical choice, albeit the most challenging, but as I was about to embark on the composition of this piece, tragedy struck me in a way which turned this into one of, if not the most personal pieces I have written to date. My father, Javier, a staunch supporter of my music since my early childhood, and the most loving and generous man one could ask for a father, passed away on December 4, 2016. In light of this enormous loss, the figure of the Sphinx gained an even greater significance. I began to think of Greek mythology and Oedipus (hence the title of the first movement) but then I started to think of it the way ancient Egyptians did, as a manifestation of Hathor, Goddess of birth and death, or as ÒHorus in the Horizon,Ó guarding the rising and setting sun, and finally, as holding the keys to the gates of wisdom. In my work, the Sphinx guards the passage to the afterlife, but the aspiring soul must first answer a ÒRiddle,Ó and only then can it be allowed into ÒCrossing the Threshold.Ó As I got to work, it felt more and more like I was writing a companion piece for my fatherÕs transcendental journey, a journey that we will all have to undertake someday. This piece is a labor of love. Few things in life have the power to touch us so deeply; the loss of a parent being one of them. But this piece is also meant to celebrate life, the life and talent of those young artists whom you will see on stage, because they represent the best and brightest, regardless of race or color. We must remember that no matter how dark the times may seem, our path will always lead us ÒInto the Effulgent Light.Ó DELIGHTS AND DANCES (2007) Michael Abels Born October 8, 1962 in Phoenix, Arizona UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert. Snapshots of HistoryÉIn 2007: á North KoreaÊagrees to shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon by April as a first step towards complete denuclearization á Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union á Former Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Michael Abels, an African-American composer best known for combining classical music with African-American jazz, blues, bluegrass, and ethnic genres, has gained widespread recognition for his orchestral music. Delights and Dances, commissioned by Sphinx, captivates listeners with witty, soulful, and infectiously rhythmic music. A New York Times review described the piece as Òan energetic arrangementÉwhich incorporates jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Latin dance elements.Ó Delights and Dances features quickly moving chord sequences and 16th-note runs for the solo quartet, which are rhythmically varied by the insertion of triplet patterns that relax and slow down the pace. The introductory section begins slowly, largo, molto rubato, with rhythmic freedom. The opening passage for solo cello sounds almost like a cadenza, then the solo viola plays the celloÕs ascending motive, and the two play a brief duet enjoined by the two solo violins. The orchestra enters, pizzicato, with short, detached, syncopated patterns. This section sounds like blues, but is very rhythmic and has an optimistic feel. Each player in the solo group plays its own riff. The final section, ÒBluegrassy,Ó begins with a solo viola theme; soon all four soloists join in a spirited hoedown. Finally, the solo quartet and the orchestral strings play together for the spirited conclusion. Program notes compiled by Susan Halpern, with contributions by Afa S. Dworkin, president and artistic director of The Sphinx Organization. ARTISTS The Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the nationÕs most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. Comprised of 18 of the nationÕs top Black and Latino classical soloists, these alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition come together each fall as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences. This unique ensemble earned rave reviews from 
the New York Times during its highly acclaimed debut at Carnegie Hall in December 2004. Allan Kozinn described their performance as Òfirst-rate in every wayÓ and Òthe ensemble produced a more beautiful, precise, and carefully shaped sound than some fully professional orchestras that come through Carnegie Hall in the course of the year.Ó The Sphinx Virtuosi have returned to Carnegie Hall annually since 2006 performing to sold-out halls and earning outstanding reviews from the New York Times each year. At once a bridge between minority communities and the classical music establishment, the Sphinx Virtuosi continue to garner critical acclaim during their annual national tours to many of the leading venues around the country. JPMorgan Chase has been a sponsor of the Sphinx Organization for more than 15 years and is proud to be the lead corporate sponsor of the 2017 Sphinx Virtuosi national tour. UMS ARCHIVES UMS has a long history with the Sphinx Organization which goes back to its founding in 1996. Over the years, UMS has co-presented the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in DetroitÕs Orchestra Hall, collaborated on annual youth performances tied to the annual Sphinx Competition, showcased Sphinx chamber ensembles such as the Sphinx Quartet at the 2005 Ford Honors Program celebrating the Guarneri Quartet, and shared a remarkable number of board leaders and volunteers. This afternoonÕs performance marks the Sphinx VirtuosiÕs second performance under UMS auspices, following its UMS debut in September 2015 at Rackham Auditorium. SPHINX VIRTUOSI Violin I Jessie Montgomery, Concertmaster Annelle Gregory. Melissa White. Meredith Riley Violin II Rainel Joubert, Principal Scott Jackson*. AdŽ Williams. Sheena Gutierrez Viola Celia Hatton, Principal Robert Switala*. Drew Forde. Caitlin Adamson Cello Thomas Mesa, Principal Gabriel Cabezas+. Erica Snowden*. Marza Wilks Double Bass Patricia Silva Weitzel, Principal Benjamin Harris * Principal on Abels + Principal on Vivaldi Additional support for the Sphinx Virtuosi provided by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Aetna, and MAC Cosmetics. 11 TONIGHTÕS VICTOR FOR UMS: Michigan Medicine Supporter of this afternoonÕs performance by the Sphinx Virtuosi. MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND... 11/7    China NCPA Orchestra 11/12    The Knights 11/17Ð19    New York Philharmonic Tickets available at ON THE EDUCATION HORIZONÉ 11/1     UMS 101: Zakir Hussain and Dave Holland     (Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Boulevard, 5:30 pm)     Paid registration required; please visit to register. 11/7    Panel: Unraveling the Arab Spring: Egypt Since 2011, with 
Bassem Youssef     (Weiser Hall 1010, 500 Church Street, 4:00 pm) 11/12    EXCEL Brunch with The Knights: Crossing Boundaries 
to Compelling Programming     (EXCEL Lab, 1279 Moore Building, 1100 Baits Drive, 11:00 am) 11/18    UMS 101: New York Philharmonic Young PeopleÕs Concert     (Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Boulevard, 12 noon)     Paid registration required; please visit to register. Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Download PDF