Presentation on theme: "Program Sonata in A Major, Kirk. 208 (ca. 1738) Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D Major, Kirk. 119 (ca. 1738) (1685-1757) Rondo in A Minor, K. 511 (1791)"— Presentation transcript:
Program Sonata in A Major, Kirk. 208 (ca. 1738) Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D Major, Kirk. 119 (ca. 1738) ( ) Rondo in A Minor, K. 511 (1791) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ( ) Estampes (1903) Claude Debussy Pagodes ( ) Soirée dans Grenade Jardins sous la pluie Intermission Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5 Johannes Brahms Allegro ( ) Andante Scherzo Intermezzo: Rückblick Finale This concert is sponsored by The UTEP Department of Music and Ivories on the Border
Program Notes Domenico Scarlatti ( ) has been described as a modest musician with an easy-going temperament. Originally from a musical family (his father was the famous Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti) of Naples, Italy, he left his homeland in 1720 to work as the maestro of the Royal Chapel in Portugal. In particular, he was the keyboard instructor of the Princess Maria Barbara. Following Maria Barbara when she married the heir to the Spanish throne, Ferdinand IV, he settled in Madrid at the age of 44 and remained there for the rest of his life as maestro de camera in the Royal Court. Scarlatti wrote over 600 sonatas for harpsichord, or as he called them Esercizi (etudes no doubt for his pupil Maria Barbara). Scarlatti spent many of his days traveling from the royal palace in Madrid to also perform at the royal residencies in the country. He would have passed by fields, where farmers might be singing at their work or through the streets where peasants might be dancing and strumming a guitar. We can be certain that he paid attention to Spains popular music, for the proof is in his music. The two sonatas presented today are representations of his keyboard approach to form and style. Each sonata is in binary form ( : A : : B : ), with the pianist adding stylized ornamentation to each of the repeated sections. Commonly played in pairs, the first sonata is very close to the singing style of the tonadilla, a popular vocal genre of Baroque Spain. The second sonata is sharply contrasting. In a lively triple meter, this work is based upon the rhythm and flavor of the jota aragonesa (the jota being a popular Spanish dance, and this one from the region of Aragón, which is very close to Madrid). You can also hear the guitar-like strumming effects as well as the dissonant chords called acciaccaturas, which Scarlatti based on popular guitar chords. These esercizi translate beautifully to todays modern piano. The Rondo in A Minor, K. 511, was the last of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's ( ) piano compositions and has been described as "the most beautiful piece among all the rondos for clavier in the Classic Period." Ernest Hutcheson, the famed piano student of Liszt, wrote that "the Rondo is truly representative of Mozart's piano idiom at its best, touchingly beautiful, perfect...in form and content, and wonderfully rounded out by the deep emotion of the coda." Pianists agree that the simple sounding music of Mozart requires every bit of skill a performer can muster. The deceptive transparency of this rondo offers the pianist no place to hide.
In 1903 Claude Debussy ( ) composed a set of three pieces for piano called Estampes (Engravings). In the first piece Pagodes (Pagodas), Debussy evokes the images of Eastern lands through the use of the pentatonic scale; a sound he was fond of and used in several of his works. The second movement Soirée dans Grenade (Evening in Granada), depicts his impressions of southern Spainparticularly in his application of rhythm and harmony. He based the work on the habanera rhythm, a dance pulse that was very popular in Spain, and the lush harmonies sound typically similar to those found in southern Spain, or Andalucía. The Spanish composer Manuel de Falla expressed his admiration for Debussys authenticity to the Andalusian sound (Debussy never once visited this area of southern Spain). The last piece, Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain), is an exciting example of Debussys tonal language, rich in change of color and dramatic in movement and direction. It is based on two French folksongs: Nous nirons plus au Bois and Do do, lenfant do. It is hard to believe that the Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5 by Johannes Brahms ( ) was written by a twenty year old composer, and yet this work was completed by the young Brahms in conjunction with two other large-scale sonatas, written within the years of This pieces falls into the time line of Brahms life when he had barely met Robert and Clara Schumann and stayed at their home for approximately one month, playing music daily for them and also meeting many of their friends. The work was finished just prior to leaving their house. This five movement work contains a large opening Allegro in sonata form, a lyrical Andante ¸ a technically demanding Scherzo¸ a miniature Intermezzo entitled Rückblick, or glance to the past, and a concluding Finale. This afternoons soloist has a particular love for the slow movements of the work, the Andante and the Intermezzo. These two movements were actually composed first. If one turns to the Andante piano score, one will see the first three lines of a poem by C. O. Sternau, Junge Liebe (Young Love), included in the publication of the work by Brahms editor. In his article entitled The Poetic Andantes of the Piano Sonatas, George S. Bozarth makes the compelling case for the whole poem being the basis for composition. The Intermezzo movement seems to have been based on a Sternau poem as well: a poem called Bitte. This poem was found in one of Brahms poetry books, and the words of the poem could be sung to the music, form, harmony, melody and texture of the movement. In the opinion of this particular pianist, she feels that the profound beauty of the slow movements make this huge work one of the greatest in the piano repertoire.
Junge Liebe (Young Love) Der Abend dämmert, das Mondlicht scheintTwilight is falling, moonlight shines, Da Sind zqei Herzen in Liebe vereintthere two hearts are united in love Und halten sich selig umfangen.and keep themselves enclosed in bliss. Es weht und rauschet furch die LuftIt wafts and rustles through the air, Als brächten die Rosen all ihren Duft, as if the roses were yielding their fragrance, Als käamen die Englein gegangen.as if the little angels came on foot. Ich küsse Dich zum ersten Mal,I kiss you for the first time, Ich küsse Dich viel tausend Mal.I kiss you many thousand times. Ich küsse Dich immer wieder;I kiss you again and again; Auf Deine Wangen lange ZeitDown your cheeks, for a long time, Rollt manche Träne der Seligkeitroll many tears of blissfulness, Wie eine Perle nieder.like pearls. Die Stunde verrauscht, der Morgen scheint,The hours pass away, the morning appears, Wir sind noch immer in Liebe wereintwe are still united in love. Und halten sich selig umfangen.And keep themselves enclosed in bliss. Es weht und rauschet furch die LuftIt wafts and rustles through the air, Als brächten die Rosen all ihren Duft, as if the roses were yielding their fragrance, Als käamen die Englein gegangen.as if the little angels came on foot. Bitte (Request) O wüßtest du, wie bald, wie baldO, if only you knew how soon, how soon Die Bäume welk und kahl der Waldthe tree withers and the forest is barren, Du wärst so kalt un lieblos nichtif you would not be so cold and loveless Und suahst mir freundlich ins Gesicht!and would look me in the face in a friendly manner! Ein Jahr ist jurz und jurz die ZeitA year is short, and short is the time, Wo Liebeslust and und Glück gedeiht,for the delight and bliss of love to thrive, Wie bald kommt dann der trübe Tag,how soon then comes the sad day An dem verstummt des Herzen Schlag.for the silencing of the hearts beat. O schau mich nicht so lieblos an,O, do not look at me so lovelessly, Kurz ist die Zeit und kurz der Wahn!Short is the time and short the delusion! Der Liebe Selightkeit un GlückThe blessedness and the bliss of love Bringt keine Träne dir zurück!Brings back no tears to you!