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  • Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66, FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)

    FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 December 4, 2022 – The Sitkovetsky Trio On January 21, 1832, Mendelssohn wrote from Paris to his sister Fanny, “I should like to compose a couple of good trios.” Over a decade earlier he had written a trio for piano, violin, and viola that he never published, but he did not compose a “good trio”—one he thought worthy of publication—until 1839. Published in 1840, the D minor Trio, for the more conventional combination of piano, violin, and cello, was hailed by Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift as “the master Trio of the age, as were the B-flat and D major trios of Beethoven and the E-flat Trio of Schubert in their time.” Mendelssohn finally made good on his 1832 wish when in 1845 he composed a second piano trio—his last—the present C minor. Owing to its strong outer sonata-form movements, the characteristic songfulness in the second movement, and the fleet-footed scherzo, the C minor Trio easily merits a place alongside the D minor. Mendelssohn dedicated the C minor Trio to violinist and composer Louis Spohr—along with playing much of Spohr’s chamber music, Mendelssohn had conducted and continued to perform many of his works with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Mendelssohn wrote to him on February 14, 1846: Do not be angry with me for having been so bold as to dedicate the enclosed Trio to you without consulting you in advance. Hauptmann assures me that you would receive it well nevertheless, and so I hope he is not mistaken. I would like to have saved the honor for a somewhat longer piece; but then I should have had to put it off, as I so often have had to of late. . . . I no longer wished to delay expressing for once the heartfelt gratitude for so many pleasures, for so much instruction, for which I am indebted to you! Indeed Spohr received the C minor Trio well—he himself played the piece with the composer on several occasions. The main theme of the first movement is flexible and well suited for thematic and contrapuntal development; the restless theme, combined with the sustained low pedal tone (C, the cello’s lowest note), contributes a sense of dramatic anticipation to the opening. A particularly effective detail is Mendelssohn’s use of this theme in the coda where the strings play a broader version against the original version in the piano. The expansive second theme is also given an appearance just before the end of the coda, but this time strikingly in a new key (F minor). The gentle Andante espressivo, in a basic ternary pattern, is reminiscent of the composer’s Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words). It is followed by a scherzo that stems from the fairy-world atmosphere of the Octet, but is slightly more agitated and aggressive. Mendelssohn toyed successfully with the form by incorporating the trio theme in the reprise of the scherzo. The main theme of Mendelssohn’s Finale, with its quick ascent and more prolonged descent, exerted its influence on Brahms, who used it almost literally as the theme of the Scherzo of his F minor Piano Sonata. Another feature of Mendelssohn’s Finale—the inclusion of a contrasting choralelike melody—also found its way into Brahms’s Sonata Finale. Mendelssohn’s characteristic spiritual gesture—similar to the fifteenth-century “Herr Gott, Dich loben alle wir” (common Doxology), which Bach had used in his Cantata 130—creates a solemn mood at its first appearance and returns majestically in the coda to crown the entire work. Return to Parlance Program Notes


    CLARA NEUBAUER, VIOLIN 18-year old violinist Clara Neubauer attends The Juilliard School as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship in the studios of Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin. She has participated in the Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island and the PMP Winter Residency in Sarasota, Florida since 2017. Winner and silver medalist of the 2020 National YoungArts competition, Clara was the first prize winner in the 2019 Symphony of Westchester Competition, and the 2017 Adelphi Young Artist Competition. Clara made her concerto debut with the National Repertory Orchestra at the age of 10 and her Lincoln Center debut at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Ensembles Concert in 2013. Concerts this past season included concerto performances with the Symphony of Westchester and the Little Orchestra Society, as well as performances at Bravo! Vail, the Mostly Music Series, Neue Galerie, Great Performers Series in Palm Beach, Tenri Cultural Institute, and the Union Club. An avid chamber musician, Clara was a winner of the 2017 Young Musicians Competition at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a Young Performer at the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute for five years. She has participated in masterclasses with Ani Kavafian, Gilbert Kalish, Peter Wiley, Soovin Kim, Clive Greensmith, and others. This past season she collaborated with artists including the Dover Quartet, the Ulysses Quartet, Fred Sherry, and Anne-Marie McDermott. Born on 9/11/2001, Clara shared the stage with Bernadette Peters and Robert DeNiro hosting a 9/11 Memorial benefit and can be heard leading the audio tour guide “for children and families” at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, available as a free app at the App Store. In her free time, Clara loves to read, cook, and play ping-pong.


    PAUL NEUBAUER, VIOLA (2021) Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led the New York Times to call him “a master musician”. He is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey. This season he will be featured in a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and will premiere a new work for viola and piano by Liliya Ugay written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carson McCullers’s birth. He also appears with his trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, and as soloist with orchestra. His recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, a work he premiered with the St. Paul Chamber, Los Angeles Chamber, and Idyllwild Arts orchestras and the Chautauqua Symphony will be released on Signum Records. A two-time Grammy nominee, in 2016, Mr. Neubauer released a solo album of music recorded at Music@Menlo. His recording of piano quartets with Daniel Hope, David Finckel and Wu Han was recently released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Joan Tower’s Purple Rhapsody with Timothy Russsell and the Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, commissioned for him by seven orchestras and the Koussevitsky Foundation, was released by Summit Records. Other recorded works that were written for him include: Wild Purple for solo viola by Joan Tower for Naxos; Viola Rhapsody a concerto by Henri Lazarof on Centaur Records; and Soul Garden for viola and chamber ensemble by Derek Bermel on CRI. His recording of the Walton Viola Concerto was recently re-released on Decca and his Schumann recital album with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott was recorded for Image Recordings. During his six year tenure with the New York Philharmonic, Paul Neubauer appeared as soloist with that orchestra in over twenty performances. One particularly memorable performance was the New York premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Viola Concerto with Penderecki conducting. He has appeared with over 100 orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the San Francisco, National, St. Louis, Dallas, Indianapolis, Puerto Rico and Cincinnati symphonies, the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn (with whom he performed the world premiere of the newly revised version of Bartók’s Viola Concerto), the Kansas City Symphony (premiering Tobias Picker’s Viola Concerto), the English Chamber Orchestra (performing the world premiere of Gordon Jacob’s Viola Concerto no. 2), and the Knoxville Symphony (premiering David Ott’s Viola Concerto). Mr. Neubauer made his Carnegie Hall Debut playing the first performance of Joel Philip Friedman’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the National Orchestral Association. He has also appeared with the Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ensemble orchestral de Paris, Orquesta Filharmonica de Buenos Aires, Bournemouth Symphony, and the Taipei National Symphony. In Rome, he has performed with violinist Vladimir Spivakov and the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecelia. Other collaborations include performances with Andre Watts and Vladimir Feltsman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis at London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Hall’s; and with Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Vladimir Spivakov and Alicia de Larrocha at the Mostly Mozart Festival. He has also collaborated with the Emerson, Shanghai, Juilliard, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Orion, Borromeo, Miami, and Brentano quartets. Mr. Neubauer’s musical activities are consistently creative. In a pair of highly acclaimed New York premieres, he performed Bartók’s Viola Concerto (which he helped to revise along with Bartók’s son, Peter and composer Nelson Dellamaggiore), and Max Bruch’s Double Concerto for Clarinet and Viola with clarinetist David Shifrin. He also gave the North American premiere of the Detlev Müller-Siemens Viola Concerto and Richard Suter’s Three Nocturnes for Viola and Orchestra. He has been featured as a special guest artist of the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center in performances of Viola Alone, and on the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was very successful as the director of Voilà Viola, a viola festival held at Merkin Hall in New York, and has toured the United States with pianist Christopher O’Riley, violinist Pamela Frank, and cellist Carter Brey. In addition to his innumerable orchestral, recital, and festival appearances, Paul Neubauer is accessible to a broad range of television and radio audiences through Live from Lincoln Center telecasts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning; in recital on PBS’s Front Row Center and In Concert; on Argentinean, Brazilian, and Mexican television as soloist with orchestras; on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and Morning Edition, on St. Paul Sunday Morning, as well as on international radio performances throughout the world. Among Mr. Neubauer’s numerous awards are First Prize in the Mae M. Whitaker International Competition, the D’Angelo International Competition, and the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He has been the recipient of a Solo Recitalist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a special prize from the Naumburg Foundation, which awarded him an Alice Tully Hall recital debut. Moreover, the Epstein Young Artists Program has sponsored him and he was the first violist chosen to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Born in Los Angeles and currently residing in New York City, Mr. Neubauer studied with Alan de Veritch, Paul Doktor, and William Primrose. He holds a Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School where he is now a member of the faculty. He also teaches at Mannes College.

  • Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32, ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906)

    ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32 January 27, 2019: Pinchas Zukerman Trio Arensky was influenced by some of the greatest figures of Russian music: Rimsky-Korsakov, his composition teacher at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and Tchaikovsky, his colleague at the Moscow Conservatory, where Arensky taught upon his graduation. In turn he instructed other great Russians in Moscow, notably Rachmaninoff, Skryabin, and Glière. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1895, Arensky become director of the Imperial Chapel on Balakirev’s recommendation. From 1901 on, receiving a pension from the chapel, Arensky devoted himself to composing and to appearances as a conductor and pianist. Having been addicted to alcohol and gambling for some time, his life became more and more disorganized, according to Rimsky-Korsakov. He spent his final years in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Finland, where he died in 1906. Of his three operas, the first, Son na Volge (A dream on the Volga) achieved the greatest success, but his reputation generally rests on a few shorter works, such as the present D minor Trio, and short piano pieces at which he excelled. Arensky composed his D minor Piano Trio in 1894 and dedicated it to Karl Davïdov (1838–1889), who had been principal cellist of the St. Petersburg opera and later director of the conservatory there. The work might be classified in the “chestnut” category because of its familiarity, but this is a familiarity that is sensed even by one who is hearing the piece for the first time. The work evokes other composers in certain places—the trio of the Scherzo, for example, brings Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto to mind and the opening theme of the Finale suggests the “Polonaise” in the last movement of Tchaikovsky’s Third Orchestral Suite. Despite these influences, Arensky’s Trio could not have withstood the test of time without its own distinct identity. The first movement, in the tradition of late German Romanticism, unfolds in a grand sonata form, with the striking feature of an adagio statement of the opening theme to close the movement. The imaginative Scherzo, placed second, frames a trio that shows the Russian-Slavic-German fondness for an idealized kind of waltz. The slow Elegia, its somber mood enhanced by muted strings, is the movement that particularly pays tribute to the memory of Davïdov. It follows ternary form with a varied return of the “A” section. The Finale, a real tour de force, immediately dispels the mood with its exuberant polonaise-like main theme. The coda unifies the entire work, recalling the theme of the middle section of the Elegia and the first theme of the first movement in its adagio setting before the fast-paced conclusion. © Jane Vial Jaffe Return to Parlance Program Notes


    EDWARD ARRON, CELLO Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The 2018-19 season marks Mr. Arron’s tenth anniversary season as the artistic director and host of the acclaimed Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He is also the artistic director of the Festival Series in Beaufort, South Carolina, and is the co-artistic director with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. With violinists James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti, and violist Richard O’Neill, Mr. Arron tours as a member of the renowned Ehnes Quartet. He appears regularly at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where he has been a resident performer and curator of chamber music concerts for over a quarter of a century. In 2013, he completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Bravo! Vail, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Kuhmo, PyeongChang, Evian, Charlottesville, Telluride Musicfest, Seoul Spring, Lake Champlain Chamber Music, Chesapeake Chamber Music, La Jolla Summerfest, and Bard Music Festival. He has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project as well as Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron’s performances are frequently broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today. Edward Arron began playing the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and continued his studies in New York with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. In 2016, Mr. Arron joined the faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst, after having served on the faculty of New York University from 2009 to 2016.


    RICHARD STOLTZMAN, CLARINET Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today’s most sought-after concert artists. As soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, as a captivating recitalist and chamber music performer, as an innovative jazz artist, and as a prolific recording artist, two-time Grammy® Award winner Stoltzman has defied categorization, dazzling critics and audiences alike throughout many musical genres. Stoltzman graduated from Ohio State University with a double major in music and mathematics. He earned his Master of Music degree at Yale University while studying with Keith Wilson, and later worked toward a doctoral degree with Kalmen Opperman at Columbia University. As a ten-year participant in the Marlboro Music Festival, Stoltzman gained extensive chamber music experience, and subsequently became a founding member of the noted ensemble TASHI, which made its debut in 1973. Since then, Stoltzman’s unique style of playing the clarinet has earned him an international reputation as he has opened up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and in 1986, he became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Sanford Medal by the Yale School of Music. His talents as a jazz performer as well as a classical artist have been heard far beyond his annual tours. He has performed or recorded with such jazz and pop greats as Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall and Kazumi Watanabe. His commitment to new music has resulted in the commissioning and premiere of numerous new works for the clarinet, including “Fantasma/Cantos” by Toru Takemitsu, the 1994 winner of Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, “Landscapes with Blues” by Stephen Hartke, a concerto by Einojuhani Rautavaara which premiered with conductor Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and “TRIO 2009” written for him, cellist Lynn Harrell and pianist Robert Levin by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Yehudi Wyner. Richard Stoltzman has a discography numbering over 60 releases on BMG/RCA, SONY Classical, MMC, BIS, Albany and other labels, including a Grammy-winning recording of Brahms Sonatas with Richard Goode. Among Stoltzman’s most beloved releases are “Amber Waves”, a CD of American works, and the Trios of Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, which won Stoltzman his second Grammy® Award. Recent releases include the acclaimed recordings of Hartke’s “Landscapes with Blues” with IRIS, conducted by Michael Stern (Naxos), a New York Times “Best of 2003”, Rautavaara’s Clarinet Concerto recorded with Leif Segerstam and the Helsinki Philharmonic, released on Ondine, an All-Bach recording, “Vibrations and Fantasies”(BMG Japan, 2008), as well as works of Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Weber (Navona Records, 2008), among others. His newest orchestral recording features William Bolcom’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra” and Clare Fischer’s “The Duke, Swee’pea and Me” (Marquis Classics, 2009). Richard Stoltzman continues to be a trailblazer for his instrument and his arrangement and performance of Debussy’s “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”(Navona Records, 2009) was chosen as one of only three tracks to be pre-loaded on the new Microsoft’s Windows® System 7 release. Bach’s “Chromatic Fantasy in D minor,” “performed so persuasively and exquisitely”(Baltimore Sun), as well as his reflections on the composer, that appear in the Michael Lawrence’s Documentary Film, “Bach & friends” have been singled out as “brilliant” (Huffington Post). Live performances have accompanied screenings at the official launch at the January 2010 EG conference in Carmel, CA and World Premiere at Symphony Space in New York City (May 2010). Mr. Stoltzman’s Summer 2010 includes an eclectic mix of performances, such as a duo recital with guitarist Eliot Fisk at Boston’s Jordan Hall, a return to the Norfolk Festival in Connecticut for Mozart Serenade, and helps to open the new venue for the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Cape Ann with Jazz and Classics. The 10-11 Season includes collaborative performances with the New York Chamber Soloists at UCLA Live! in Los Angeles, CA, UA Presents in Tucson, AZ and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; several of these performances also reprise his collaboration with renowned pianist Menahem Pressler. Other collaborations include a partnership with the Klezmatics at the University of Texas, Austin, a residency and tour with the University of Northern Florida Jazz Ensemble, and Bach and Brahms in recital with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Orchestral performances include works of Copland, Corigliano, Mozart, and Rossini. Throughout the season, Stoltzman will also continue his commitment to help bring music to children of all ages as an active Board Member of Young Audiences. Past season highlights have featured Stoltzman’s performances of Toru Takemitsu’s Fantasma Cantos with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as at the composers official 75th birthday memorial tribute in Japan, Mozart Concerto performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia and at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, marking Stoltzman’s 25th appearance at the Lincoln Center festival. Performances throughout the US, Canada and Europe of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Clarinet Concerto, Duo recitals with pianists Lukas Foss and Emanuel Ax, with whom he premiered Yehudi Wyner’s “Commedia,”, as well as performances and tours with the American, Borromeo, Emerson, Orion, Takacs, and Tokyo String Quartets are also highlights. Extended residencies have taken Stoltzman to numerous orchestras including and major universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Especially memorable are concerts of jazz and classics with his son, pianist Peter John Stoltzman. Father and Son have performed together around the globe and were recently featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “Weekend Edition” as well as “Voice of America” radio. For their extraordinary talent on the stage, in the classroom, and throughout the community, WGBH radio in Boston called the Stoltzmans “New England’s First Family of Classical Music”. Over the years, Stoltzman has received numerous requests for the music to the enchanting arrangements and original works that can be heard on his recordings and in live performance. Amateur and professional clarinetists alike are now in luck as they can finally enjoy this music published in two appealing volumes entitled “ARIA,” which features the music from the BMG recording of the same name, and “The Richard Stoltzman Songbook,” a collection of jazz and classics, both published by Carl Fischer. Richard Stoltzman, resides in Massachusetts and is a passionate Boston Red Sox baseball fan. He is also a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef.


    ELAINE DOUVAS, OBOE Elaine Douvas has been principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera since 1977 and was principal oboe of the Atlanta Symphony for four years prior. Her career highlights include the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, James Levine conducting. In 2017, Douvas was invited to serve as Chairman of the Jury for the Munich ARD International Oboe Competition. She has recorded several solo CDs on Boston Records, Oboe Classics, Music Minus One, and one with her quartet “Pleasure is the Law”: flute, oboe, cello, and piano. Equally devoted to her career as a teacher, Ms. Douvas has served on the oboe faculty of The Juilliard School since 1982, The Mannes College of Music since 1981, and the Bard College Conservatory since 2009. In her capacity as Chairman of the Woodwind Department at Juilliard, she teaches career development and attitudes for career longevity! Her students hold positions in numerous orchestras and university faculties. In the summers she is a long-time artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and she has given master classes and week-long seminars across the USA, as well as Canada, England, and China. Douvas lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband Robert Sirinek, former trumpeter with the Met and Orchestra Manager since 1986. They have two grown daughters, Portia and Margot, both pursuing careers in medicine. For over twenty years she has devoted her spare time to figure skating and has passed eleven USFSA tests in free-style and “moves in the field”.

  • Suite No. 2 in C minor, op. 17, SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873–1943)

    SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873–1943) Suite No. 2 in C minor, op. 17 December 19, 2017: Alessio Bax, piano; Lucille Chung, piano Following the disastrous failure of his First Symphony in 1897 Rachmaninoff sank into such a deep depression that he could not compose, yet he knew he must produce another piano concerto for an upcoming engagement. Relatives persuaded him to see Dr. Nicolai Dahl, who had been specializing for some years in a method that involved his patients learning a kind of self-hypnosis (which in the early 1930s became known as the Coué method). Rachmaninoff described his treatment and emergence from his creative slump with enough material not only for the concerto but a two-piano suite: I heard the same hypnotic formula repeated day after day, while I lay half asleep in an armchair in Dahl’s study. “You will begin to write your concerto. . . . You will work with great facility. . . . The concerto will be of excellent quality. . . .” It was always the same, without interruption. Although it may sound incredible, this cure really helped me. Already at the beginning of the summer I began to compose. The material grew in bulk, and new musical ideas began to stir in me—far more than I needed for my concerto. By the autumn I had finished two movements of the concerto: the Andante [his generic term for any slow movement, in this case the Adagio sostenuto] and the finale—and a sketch of a suite for two pianos. Rachmaninoff saw Dr. Dahl daily from January to April 1900. Whether the method worked, or whether he came out of his depression by his extended conversations with Dahl, who was also an amateur musician, Rachmaninoff was soon able to complete both the Second Piano Concerto and the Suite. He sent three of the four movements of the Suite to his friend, pianist and teacher Alexander Goldenweiser, on February 17, 1901. By April 23, the complete work was ready for the two to play through at Goldenweiser’s apartment. Dedicated to Goldenweiser, the Suite was published that October as Opus 17—before the Second Piano Concerto, op. 18, which accounts for the seeming reverse in the order of the opus numbers. In November the composer and his cousin Alexander Siloti gave the first public performance in Moscow. The Suite begins with a lively march, which reaches a grand climax before fading away in the distance. In the lovely waltz Rachmaninoff plays with the expected 3/4 meter, sometimes stretching his themes into what sounds like 6/4, or two-measure instead of one-measure units. At the beginning of the second of two calmer sections, Rachmaninoff makes a brief reference to the Dies irae theme (four notes only) from the Catholic Mass for the Dead, which would play a significant role in a number of his later works. Rachmaninoff fashioned the Romance around one of his ravishing melodies, which he embroiders ingeniously and builds to a fortissimo climax. In his comprehensive study of Rachmaninoff, Barrie Martyn notes that just before the final appearance of the theme, the composer used material from his six-hand Romance, written for in 1891 for three sisters. According to a footnote in the score, Rachmaninoff based the final Tarantella on an Italian folk song, but the tune has yet to be identified. In any case, the fast, whirling dance makes a dazzling conclusion. © Jane Vial Jaffe Return to Parlance Program Notes

  • SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2022 AT 3 PM | PCC

    SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2022 AT 3 PM MEETING MOZART BUY TICKETS MICHAEL PARLOFF ARNAUD SUSSMANN, VIOLIN “Beauty of sound and elegance.” — Nice Matin PAUL NEUBAUER, VIOLA “A master musician.” — The New York Times FRED SHERRY, CELLO “The cellist Fred Sherry has been central to New York music for a half century, and no wonder: a dynamic, ebullient, and magnanimous artist and teacher.” — The New Yorker ANNA POLONSKY, PIANO “Her clear and transparent touch, her dynamic and finely persuasive play, revealed the temperament and the sensibility of a true Mozartian…” — Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace FEATURING ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE BUY TICKETS Artistic Director Michael Parloff will illuminate three of Mozart’s most dazzling works for strings and piano. This special multimedia events will connect the biographical facts of Mozart’s life with the musical facts of three magnificent works. The G-major violin sonata was composed when Mozart was a young man eager to spread his creative wings and escape from the confining world of his despised employer, the Archduke of Salzburg. His valedictory violin sonata, K. 526, is a product of his full maturity, composed concurrently with his most dramatic opera, Don Giovanni. The concluding work, the searing Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, is universally regarded as one of Mozart’s greatest chamber masterpieces. Four master musicians will perform the works in their entirety. PROGRAM W.A. Mozart Violin Sonata in G, K. 379 Program Notes W.A. Mozart Violin Sonata in A, K. 526 Program Notes W.A. Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478 Program Notes Watch Arnaud Sussmann perform Mozart’s Violin Sonata in E minor, K. 309 (1st Movement): Watch Anna Polonsky and violinist Stefan Jackiw perform Mozart’s Violin Sonata in G, K. 379:


    ABOUT PARLANCE CHAMBER CONCERTS MISSION STATEMENT The Mission of Parlance Chamber Concerts is to: Promote the appreciation and understanding of classical chamber music in Northern New Jersey by presenting the world’s finest singers and instrumentalists in affordable, innovatively programmed public concerts. Inspire and build tomorrow’s audience for classical music in Northern New Jersey by creating public educational events designed specifically for children and young adults. Make a contribution to the cultural life of the Northern New Jersey community by establishing it as a recognized center for high-quality classical music events. NARRATIVE STATEMENT Of past, present, and future activities: Founded in the 2007-2008 season by Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal flutist Michael Parloff, Parlance Chamber Concerts is dedicated to bringing world-class instrumentalists and singers to Northern New Jersey in affordable, innovatively programmed concerts and educational events. Two events were presented during the inaugural 2007/08 season, and subsequent seasons saw a steady increase in the number of events offered. Nine public events are being presented during the 2023-24 season. All events take place in the acoustically superb sanctuary of West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. ​ Parlance Chamber Concerts grew out of the success of more than a decade of benefit concerts organized and presented by Michael Parloff in his Ridgewood, New Jersey, home. These semiannual fundraising events supported various local nonprofit organizations. Michael Parloff’s reputation as one of America’s preeminent flutists and a leader in the chamber music world has enabled him to feature top-flight singers and instrumentalists from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City’s extraordinary chamber music community. ​ A significant number of attendees came to these events initially as novice concertgoers and subsequently told Mr. Parloff that they learned to love and appreciate classical music through exposure to world class performers in the intimate, relaxed ambiance of his home. This gave rise to the idea of widening the audience for classical music in our community by presenting innovatively designed public concerts and educational events for listeners of all ages and levels of concert-going experience. The sense of connection between performers and audience members is strengthened by informal spoken introductions and program notes delivered during the course of the concerts and through post-concert receptions. The receptions provide audience members with opportunities to meet the performing artists and learn more about the music, the composers, and the performers themselves. ​ Parlance Chamber Concerts are priced affordably to demonstrate our commitment to making chamber music available to as many people in our community as possible. In addition, sets of complimentary tickets are offered to local teachers and staff members of community organizations, including schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics. ​ An important part of Parlance Chamber Concerts’ goals is to introduce children and newcomers to classical music. Parlance Chamber Concerts presents regular family concerts featuring leading members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Narrators have included well-known actors and New York City’s leading classical radio personalities. ​ In addition, Parlance Chamber Concerts reaches out to underprivileged audiences in neighboring communities, offering free and discounted tickets to children and adults to many events over the course of each season. Parlance Chamber Concerts is also exploring the possibility of in-school fundraising concerts to benefit the music and arts programs in the public schools of Ridgewood, New Jersey. ​ Past Parlance Chamber Concerts events have featured such world-renowned instrumentalists, singers, and chamber ensembles as The Emerson, Brentano, Jerusalem, Escher, Danish, Schumann, and Chiara String Quartets; pianists Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode, Peter Serkin, Jeremy Denk, Garrick Ohlsson, Marc-André Hamelin, Orion Weiss, Anne-Marie McDermott, Lucille Chung, Simone Dinnerstein, Wu Han, Alessio Bax, Warren Jones, Conrad Tao, Jeewon Park, and Shai Wosner; flutist James Galway; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman; violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Anne Akiko Meyers, Frank Huang, Benjamin Beilman, Elmar Oliveira and Stefan Jackiw; cellists David Finckel and André Díaz; classical guitarists Sharon Isbin, Jason Vieaux, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; harpists Mariko Anraku and Emmanuel Ceysson; and Metropolitan Opera star singers including sopranos Danielle de Niese, Susanna Phillips, and Ying Fang, mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Blythe, Isabel Leonard, and Kate Lindsey, tenor Matthew Polenzani, baritones Thomas Hampson and Nathan Gunn, and bass Morris Robinson. Jazz artists have included The Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, The Bill Charlap Trio, and noted guitarists Bucky Pizzarielli, Frank Vignola, and Howard Alden. Leading instrumentalists from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society have been featured each season on Parlance Chamber Concerts.

  • The Carnival of the Animals, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)

    CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) The Carnival of the Animals January 31, 2010 – Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, flute; Stephen Williamson, clarinet; Yoon Kwon, violin; Abraham Appleman, viola; Joel Noyes, cello; Timothy Cobb, bass; Gregory Zuber, xylophone; Gareth Icenogle, narrator Camille Saint-Saëns started life as one of history’s most celebrated child prodigies. His extraordinary level of talent, temperament, and musical knowledge often invited positive comparisons with Felix Mendelssohn. Like Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns composed fluently from his earliest years and became renowned while still a boy as one of the greatest pianists and organists of his day. As adults, both composers became known for their total musicianship, conservative tastes, classically refined sensibilities, and flawless compositional technique. And, like Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns became a highly influential teacher and a well-educated polymath, whose extramusical interests ranged freely across such diverse fields as mathematics, botany, archaeology, poetry, literature, and astrology. Unlike Mendelssohn, however, Camille Saint-Saëns lived long enough to see his musical oeuvre become obsolete. His 86 years spanned two completely different musical eras, beginning during the time of Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, and ending during the period of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and Gershwin. The older he became, the more stubbornly he clung to the music of the past. He grew impatient with forward-looking composers such as Jules Massenet, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, and Vincent D’Indy, and his increasing prickliness often drew critical fire. Fortunately, his innate brilliance and sense of fun always attracted a devoted circle of friends and admirers. In 1886, while vacationing in a small Austrian village, he decided to amuse his friends by composing the delightful zoölogical fantasy The Carnival of the Animals. Although the piece was a hit with his colleagues, Saint-Saëns became concerned that it would be considered too frivolous by the public at large and might even harm his reputation as a “serious” composer. With the exception of the touching cello solo, The Swan, he allowed only private performances of The Carnival of the Animals during his lifetime. After his death in 1921, the piece was finally published, and it quickly became one of Saint-Saëns’ most popular works. Inside jokes abound, as Saint-Saëns often pokes fun at other composers by inserting sly, incongruous musical references into the various animals’ portraits. The Tortoise, for instance, takes the frenetic, high kicking Can-Can from Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and transforms it into a laggardly dirge. Similarly, The Elephant lumbers through ponderous versions of Hector Berlioz’s delicate Dance of the Sylphs and Mendelssohn’s gossamer Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nor is Saint-Saëns above poking fun at himself. In The Fossils he parodies his own maniacal waltz Danse Macabre, turning the original xylophone solo into a rackety, duple-meter skeleton dance. In the end, no one escapes entirely unscathed, least of all his critics, who are portrayed as asses in “People with Long Ears,” and whom we hear braying away toward the end of the whirlwind Finale. By Michael Parloff Return to Parlance Program Notes

  • Violin and Piano Sonata in E, BWV 1016, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)

    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) Violin and Piano Sonata in E, BWV 1016 March 24, 2019: Sarah Crocker Vonsattel, violin; Gilles Vonsattel, piano Bach may have begun his six Sonatas for violin and keyboard (BWV 1014–19) before 1725—possibly in Cöthen—but it is clear that he completed them c. 1725 in Leipzig, where he served as director of the city’s church music and of the Collegium Musicum. (For more about the Collegium see the notes for the Double Violin Concerto.) Some of the important surviving manuscript sources, dating from the mid 1720s and 1740s, show layers of emendation, suggesting that the sonatas were played frequently and that slight modifications were introduced. Bach’s accompanied Violin Sonatas differ from other Baroque violin sonatas in that the keyboard serves as an equal partner to the violin instead of merely providing continuo accompaniment. In many Baroque sonatas the keyboard part consists of a written-out bass line and a set of numerical figures that indicate which harmonies are to be filled in by the right hand. In these sonatas, however, Bach writes out a specific, independent part for the keyboard right hand, which engages in dialogue and independent counterpoint with the violin in the manner of a trio sonata. In regard to formal plan, Bach did embrace tradition—in all but the sixth of the Violin Sonatas he kept the typical sonata da chiesa (church sonata) sequence of four movements—fast, slow, fast, slow. The imposing Adagio that opens the E major Sonata, shows an exception to the general predominance of trio sonata texture. In this case the violin plays sweeping phrases, the keyboard right hand plays chords in an ostinato or repetitive pattern, and the left hand provides solemn, measured pacing. The main theme of the fugal Allegro transmits an innocent, popular character. Though the movement is clearly delineated in A–B–A form, the main theme recurs even in the cantabile B section. The return of the A section is considerably condensed. The third movement takes the form of a modulating chaconne or passacaglia in which the repeating pattern (occasionally altered) occurs in the bass. The violin and the keyboard right hand play independent melodic lines. At the end Bach writes out a miniature “cadenza” where other Baroque composers might have left an improvisation up to the performer. Bach’s irrepressible closing movement again displays ternary structure. The middle section features a contrasting triplet idea, though ideas from the opening section eventually appear here as well. Bach makes it very clear, nevertheless, when the opening section proper returns. Throughout the movement the trio sonata texture is fully exploited in the engaging interplay between the violin and keyboard right hand. © Jane Vial Jaffe Return to Parlance Program Notes

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