Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hope / Music Director and Violin
Saturday Evening, November 16, 2019 at 8:00 Hill Auditorium
22nd Performance of the 141st Annual Season 57th Annual Chamber Arts Series
This evening’s performance is supported by Carl Cohen, whose bequest will establish an endowment to support a Chamber Arts performance in perpetuity.
Media partnership provided by WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM.
Special thanks to Patrick Harlin for his participation in events surrounding this evening’s performance.
Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra appear by arrangement with David Rowe Artists.
Daniel Hope records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon.
The Zurich Chamber Orchestra tour is sponsored by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council.
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.
The Four Seasons
from Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention)
Concerto No. 1 in E Major, Op. 8, RV 269, “Spring”
Concerto No. 2 in g minor, Op. 8, RV 315, “Summer”
Concerto No. 3 in F Major, Op. 8, RV 293, “Autumn”
Concerto No. 4 in f minor, Op. 8, RV 297, “Winter”
Allegro Largo Allegro
Allegro non molto Adagio
Allegro Adagio molto Allegro
Allegro non molto Largo
Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
I first experienced Vivaldi as a toddler at Yehudi Menuhin’s festival in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1975. One day I heard what I thought was birdsong coming from the stage. It was the opening
solo of “La Primavera” from The Four Seasons. It had such an electrifying effect that I still call it my “Vivaldi Spring.” How was it possible to conjure up so vivid, so natural a sound, with just a violin?
In 1723 Vivaldi set about writing a series of works he boldly titled
Il cimento dell’ crmonia e dell’invenzione (The Test of Harmony and Invention), Op. 8. It consists of 12 concerti, seven of which —”Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn” and “Winter” (which make up The Four Seasons), “Pleasure,” “The Hunt,” and “Storm at Sea” — paint astonishingly vivid, vibrant scenes. In“Storm at Sea,” Vivaldi reached a new level of virtuosity, pushing technical mastery to the limit as the violinist’s fingers leap and shriek across the fingerboard, recalling troubled waters.
In the score, each of the four seasons are prefaced by four sonnets, possibly Vivaldi’s own, that establish each concerto as a musical image of that season. At the top of every movement, Vivaldi gives us a written description of what we are about to hear. These range from “the blazing sun’s relentless
heat, men and flocks are sweltering” (“Summer”) to peasant celebrations (“Autumn”) in which “the cup of Bacchus flows freely, and many find their relief in deep slumber.” Images of warmth and wine are wonderfully intertwined. When the faithful hound “barks” in the slow movement of “Spring,” we experience it just as
clearly as the patter of raindrops on
the roof in the largo of “Winter.” No composer of the time got music to sing, speak, and depict quite like this.
Today, The Four Seasons, with more than 1,000 available recordings, are being reimagined. Astor Piazzolla, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, and others have all created their own versions. In spring 2012, I received an enigmatic call from the British composer Max Richter, who said he wanted to “recompose” The Four Seasons for me. His problem, he explained, was not with the music,
but how we have treated it. We are subjected to it in supermarkets, elevators, or when a caller puts you on hold. Like many of us, he was deeply fond of the Seasons but felt a degree of irritation at the music’s ubiquity.
He told me that because Vivaldi’s music is made up of regular patterns,
it has affinities with the seriality of contemporary postminimalism, one style in which he composes. Therefore, he said, the moment seemed ideal to reimagine a new way of hearing it.
I had always shied away from recording Vivaldi’s original. There are simply too many other versions already out there. But Mr. Richter’s reworking meant listening again to what is constantly new in a piece we think we are hearing when, really, we just blank it out. In fact, working with Vivaldi Recomposed since 2012 inspired me to finally record The Four Seasons last year! In this program, pairing Vivaldi’s original with Max Richter’s brilliant new take, I feel both works inform and reflect on each other to create fresh and exciting connections.
THE FOUR SEASONS (1725)
Born March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy Died July 28, 1741 in Vienna, Austria
UMS premiere: Violinist Piero Toso with I Solisti Veneti conducted by Claudio Scimone; March 1966 in Rackham Auditorium.
Snapshots of History...In 1725:
· Catherine I becomes Empress of Russia, after the death of her husband Peter the Great
· Freemasonry is established in France, as an English import
· The Black Watch is raised as a military company in the Scottish Highlands
Born in Venice in 1678, Antonio Vivaldi was ordained a priest in 1703 (he
was widely known as il prete rosso,
or “the red-haired priest”), but never actually served in any ecclesiastical capacity. He had studied the violin with his father, who played at St. Mark’s Cathedral, and in 1703 became maestro di violino at an institution named Ospedale della Pietà that was devoted to the musical education
of orphan girls. Many of the girls played at an extremely high level,
and Vivaldi was soon able to present performances at the Pietà, drawing large audiences from the ranks of Venetian nobility and also visitors from out of town. Many of Vivaldi’s instrumental works were written for the Pietà, but he started publishing them as early as 1705. In 1711, a foreign publisher, Etienne Roger ofAmsterdam, brought out 12 of Vivaldi’s concertos under the title L’Estro armonico (Harmonic Inspiration). From this time on, Vivaldi was famous all over Europe. In Germany, J.S. Bach transcribed several Vivaldi concertos for keyboard and Bach’s original
concertos often show the Italian composer’s influence.
Vivaldi did more than any composer to develop and codify the Baroque concerto. He established many of the concerto’s standard features, such as its three-movement (fast-slow-fast) structure, its orchestral ritornellos (returning melodies that punctuate that structure), lyrical (usually short) slow movements, and spirited finales (often using dance rhythms). These rules, however, left a lot of room for variety, and in fact, Vivaldi’s ingenuity in handling musical form and his melodic invention seem endless.
The most popular of Vivaldi’s concertos (which number more
than 500) are, without a doubt, the four for violin known as Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons). They were published in 1725 as part
of a collection entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention). If the concertos of The Four Seasons are not the earliest example of program music, they are definitely among
the boldest musical experiments of
the 18th century. Vivaldi, displaying no mean poetic gifts, composed
a sonnet about each season, and inscribed the poems into the score, indicating precisely where the events mentioned take place in the music. At the same time, despite all the storms, singing birds, barking dogs, and stumbling drunkards, Vivaldi managed to keep the concertos musically coherent and always preserve the basic ritornello-episode alternation characteristic of the genre.
POEMS ACCOMPANYING THE FOUR SEASONS (ANONYMOUS PROSE TRANSLATIONS)
Attributed to Antonio Vivaldi
(The theory that Vivaldi wrote the poems is supported by the fact that each sonnet is broken into three sections, each neatly corresponding to a moment in the concerto.)
Spring has come and joyfully the birds greet it with happy song,
and the brooks, while the streams flow along with gentle murmur as the zephyrs blow. There come, shrouding the air with a black cloak, lighting and thunder chosen to herald [the storm]; then, when these are
silent, the little birds return to their melodious incantations.
And now, in the pleasant, flowery meadow, to the soft murmur of leaves and plants, the goatherd sleeps with his faithful dog at his side.
To the festive sound of a pastoral bagpipe, nymphs and shepherds dance under their beloved roof, greeting the glittering arrival of the spring.
In the harsh season scorched by the sun, man and flock languish,
and the pine is on fire; the cuckoo begins to call and soon after, the turtledove and the goldfinch are heard singing. Zephyr [the west wind] gently blows, but Boreas [the north wind] suddenly enters into a contest with its neighbor, and the little shepherd weeps for he hears the awesome threatening storm and his fate.
To his tired limbs, rest is denied by the fear of lightning, awesome thunder, and the furious swarm of flies and hornets!
Alas, his fears are justified. The sky is filled with thunder and lightning and hail cuts down the proud grain.
The peasant celebrates the pleasure of the happy harvest with dances and songs; and inflamed by the liquor of Bacchus, many end their rejoicing with sleep.
The mild pleasant air makes all abandon dance and song; this is the season that invites all to the sweet delights of peaceful sleep.
The hunters, at the break of dawn, set forth with horns, guns, and hounds. The animal flees, and they follow its tracks. Already frightened and tired by the great noise of guns and hounds, the wounded animal makes a weak attempt at fleeing, but is overcome and dies.
Trembling with cold amidst the freezing snow, while a frightful wind harshly blows, running and stamping one’s feet every minute, and feeling one’s teeth chatter from the extreme cold;
Spending quiet contented days by the fires while the rain outside drenches people by the hundreds,
Walking on ice, and moving cautiously, with slow steps, for fear of falling, spinning around; slipping, falling down, again walking on ice and running fast until the ice cracks and splits; hearing Sirocco, Boreas, and all the winds at war burst forth from the bolted doors — this is winter, but it also brings joy!
RECOMPOSED: VIVALDI – THE FOUR SEASONS (2012)
Born March 22, 1966 in Hamelin, Germany
UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert.
Snapshots of History...In 2012:
· The Encyclopedia Britannica discontinues its print edition after 246 years of publication
· The Mars Science Laboratory mission’s rover Curiosity lands on Mars · Barack Obama is reelected as President of the United States
What Max Richter did with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons cannot be called
a transcription, an adaptation, or an arrangement. It is, rather, a creative reimagining of the familiar music,
or, actually, a few characteristic segments of it. The material is transformed, placed in surprising new lights, cut up, and pasted back together, with some motifs expanded upon, others shortened or eliminated altogether. Richter, a compatriot of the Pied Piper of Hamelin but long
a resident of London, released his updated Vivaldi in 2012 on Deutsche Grammophon, with members of the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and Daniel Hope as soloist.
For a musician who has performed the original concertos hundreds
of times, it must be exhilarating to “make it different for a change,”
and an audience, equally well- acquainted with what Vivaldi wrote, will be startled by the surprising twists Richter gave to one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire. One never knows what will happen next...
Program notes by Peter Laki.
“Mr. Richter’s reworking meant listening again to what
is constantly new in a piece we think we are hearing when, really, we just blank it out.” —Daniel Hope
This evening’s performance marks the Zurich Chamber Orchestra’s fourth appearance under UMS auspices, following its UMS debut in January 1964 in Rackham Auditorium under the baton of Edmond de Stoutz. The Orchestra most recently appeared at UMS in October 1987 with Edmond de Stoutz conducting and Zbigniew Czapczynski as violin soloist in Rackham Auditorium. Violinist Daniel Hope makes his second UMS appearance tonight following his UMS debut in January 2019 with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Rackham Auditorium.
Founded in 1945 by Edmond de Stoutz, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra is now one of the leading ensembles of its kind. Under the direction of Edmond de Stoutz and later Howard Griffiths and Muhai Tang, the Orchestra won international recognition. In the years of the world-acclaimed principal conductor Sir Roger Norrington, from 2011–2015, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra did much to establish and enhance its excellent reputation. Since the 2016–17 season the Orchestra is led by music director Daniel Hope.
Regular invitations to international festivals, performances in Europe’s leading centers of music, concert tours on almost all continents, and numerous critically acclaimed CD releases testify to the worldwide renown of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. In the 2019–20 season, the Orchestra will tour North America with programs featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Max Richter’s Recomposed, as well
as a program inspired by Yehudi Menuhin. Highlights include stops in Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan, California, and Toronto, Ontario. In 2017, two of the orchestra’s CD releases were honored with an Echo Klassik Award in the Classics Without Borders category.
The Orchestra’s repertoire is broadly based, extending from the Baroque (in historically informed performance on gut strings and with Baroque bows) through the Classical and Romantic eras to the present day. The Orchestra is also notable for its work with musicians from other fields such as jazz, folk music, and popular entertainment. The concerts for children of all ages, outreach work with children and young people, and encouragement of young instrumentalists are in every way as important to the Zurich Chamber Orchestra
as its close and continuing collaboration with world-renowned soloists. For more information, please visit zko.ch.
Daniel Hope (music director and violin)
has toured the world as a virtuoso
soloist for 25 years and is celebrated
for his musical versatility as well as his dedication to humanitarian causes. Winner of the 2015 European Cultural Prize for Music, whose previous recipients include Daniel Barenboim, Plácido Domingo, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Hope appears as soloist with the world’s major orchestras and conductors, also directing many ensembles from the violin. Since the start of the 2016–17 season,
Mr. Hope is music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra — an orchestra with whom he is closely associated since
his early childhood. In October 2017, the documentary film Daniel Hope — The Sound of Life was screened in European movie theaters.
Mr. Hope was raised in London and studied the violin with Zakhar Bron. The youngest-ever member of the Beaux Arts Trio during its final six seasons, today Mr. Hope performs at all the world’s greatest halls and festivals: from Carnegie Hall
to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, from Salzburg to Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (where he was artistic director from 2009–2013), and from Aspen to the BBC Proms and Tanglewood. He has worked with conductors including Kurt Masur, Thomas Hengelbrock, and Christian Thielemann, as well as with the world’s greatest symphony orchestras including Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. Devoted to contemporary music, Mr. Hope has commissioned over 30 works, enjoying
close contact with composers such as Alfred Schnittke, Toru Takemitsu, Harrison Birtwistle, Sofia Gubaidulina, György Kurtág, Peter Maxwell-Davies, and Mark- Anthony Turnage. Mr. Hope is one of the world’s most prolific classical recording artists, with over 25 albums to his name. His recordings have won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or of the Year, the Edison Classical Award, the Prix Caecilia, seven Echo Klassik Awards, and numerous Grammy nominations. His album of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Octet with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was named one of the best of the year by the New York Times. His recording of Alban Berg’s Concerto was voted Gramophone magazine’s “top choice of all available recordings.” His recording of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed, which reached No. 1 in over 22 countries is, with 160,000 copies sold, one of the most successful classical recordings of recent times. Mr. Hope has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2007.
Mr. Hope has penned four best-
selling books published in Germany
by the Rowohlt publishing company.
He contributes regularly to the Wall
Street Journal and has written scripts
for collaborative performances with the actors Klaus Maria Brandauer, Sebastian Koch, and Mia Farrow. In Germany he also presents a weekly radio show for the WDR3 Channel and curates, since the 2016–17 season his own series Hope@9pm, a music and discussion event with well- known guests from culture and politics
at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Since 2004 Mr. Hope has been associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival. In 2018–19 he began a new role as music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, having served as artistic partner since 2017, directing the ensemble
from the violin. In 2019 he will also start his new position as artistic director of the Frauenkirche Dresden. Mr. Hope plays the 1742 “ex-Lipiński” Guarneri del Gesù, placed generously at his disposal by
an anonymous family from Germany. He lives with his family in Berlin. For more information, please visit danielhope.com.
ZURICH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Daniel Hope / Music Director
Willi Zimmermann / Concertmaster
Donat Nussbaumer / Assistant Concertmaster Jana Karsko
Daria Zappa / Principal Silviya Savova-Hartkamp Anna Tchinaeva
Ryszard Groblewski / Principal Frauke Tometten Molino Janka Szomor-Mekis
Nicola Mosca / Principal Anna Tyka Nyffenegger Silvia Rohner Geiser
Seon-Deok Baik / Principal Ivo Schmid
Lena-Catharina Schneider / Co-Managing Director, Head of Artistic Administration & Planning Helene Eller / Co-Managing Director, Finance & Personnel
Valentina Anna De Marchi / Project Manager, Artistic Administration Silvan Hürlimann / Orchestra Manager
Matthias Kägi / Stage Manager
Ivo Schmid / Librarian and Double Bass Player
Simone Pflüger / Marketing
Melanie Hadam / Marketing
Michel Bumann / Graphic Designer
Gisela Stäheli / Ticketing and Friends of Zurich Chamber Orchestra Office Thomas Hunziker / Ticketing
Roberto Lehner / Finance
Office of Daniel Hope
Daniel Alexander Engstfeld / Artist Manager for Daniel Hope Christina Khosrowi / Assistant to Daniel Hope’s Management John Gilliland / North American Tour Producer
THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS OF THIS EVENING’S PERFORMANCE
Exclusive Presenting Sponsor
whose bequest will establish an endowment to support a Chamber Arts performance in perpetuity.
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ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
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Must have a ticket to the Orchestre Métropolitain performance to attend.
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Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.
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Must have a ticket to the Jazz at Lincoln Center performance to attend. Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
University Musical Society