SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2016 4:00PM
Pre-concert conversation 3:00pm
Howard Performing Arts Center, Berrien Springs
Virtuosity is the order of the day in this concert of stunning showpieces from Eastern Europe. Acclaimed trumpet soloist Jose Sibaja - familiar to audiences from his appearances on The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live, as well as countless appearances as lead trumpet with Boston Brass - will join SMSO in Arutunian’s dazzling Trumpet Concerto.
Dvořák, Slavonic Dances Op. 46 1 – 4
Arutunian, Trumpet Concerto in A-flat Major
Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Al Hirt, arr. Sibaja, Flight of the Green Hornet
Kodály, Dances of Galanta
JOIN US FOR A FREE MASTER CLASS
with Jose Sibaja
October 8, Saturday 2:00-3:00pm
St. Joseph High School Auditorium
DVOŘÁK, SLAVONIC DANCES, Op. 46, Nos. 1 – 4
In March 1878 Antonín Dvořák delivered, at his publisher Simrock’s request, a set of miniatures for piano duet based on the music of his Bohemian homeland. The model was clearly the “Hungarian Dances” of his mentor Brahms, and indeed it was Brahms that had first recommended the young composer to the publisher’s attention. However, Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dances” were not arrangements of pre-existing material as Brahms’s had been, but were entirely of his own invention. Each has a title that aptly describes its character: No. 1, a “Furiant” in C major, employs a wildly exciting simultaneity of pulses in groups of two and three; No. 2 in E minor, a “Dumka,” alternates between thoughtful introspection and exuberance; and No. 3 in A-flat alternates between fast and slow Polkas.
ARUTUNIAN, CONCERTO FOR TRUMPET
Alexander Arutunian was born in Armenia and completed his initial studies in piano and composition there before completing his education at the Moscow Conservatory. The Concerto for Trumpet, written in 1950, is his most famous composition. Its conservative musical language - Soviet-era artistic politics required non-adoption of the “formalist” musical inventions of the corrupt west – is enlivened by scales and harmonies reminiscent of the music of his native land.
The concerto is in a single movement, but divided into seven distinct sections: Andante maestoso (an introduction), Allegro energico (the primary theme), Meno mosso (a cantabile interlude), Tempo primo (development), Meno mosso (cantabile passages played with the solo instrument now muted), Tempo primo (a recapitulation), and finally a Cadenza and Coda.
LISZT, HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY NO. 2
Liszt was fascinated throughout his life by the music of his native Hungary. He published and edited 10 volumes of Hungarian Folk Melodies, plus a treatise on Gypsy music. He was convinced that true Hungarian folk music derived from Gypsy music, whereas actually the Gypsies, upon arrival in Hungary in the 15th Century, had adopted some Hungarian folk idioms, and, mixing them with the music of many other cultures, had created a hybrid salon music that Liszt (and many others including Brahms) mistook for authentic folk style.
Though his researches may have been the result of a musicological misconception, they did nonetheless result in a great deal of very beautiful art music, notably the Hungarian Fantasy for piano and orchestra, and the set of Hungarian Rhapsodies from which the present work is the most famous representative.
The music is cast in a form that originates in dance tradition: a slow, melancholic Czardas “Lassù” in C# minor, followed by an effervescent “Friss” in F# major.
KODÁLY, DANCES OF GALÁNTA
The Dances were written in 1933 for the 80th anniversary of the Budapest Philharmonic. Their melodic basis was not authentic folksong as collected by the composer and his friend Béla Bartók on their ethnomusicological excursions in the early 1900’s, but rather a set of “Hungarian” (i.e., Gypsy) melodies from Galánta (a town between Vienna and Budapest) published in Vienna in the 1830’s. These melodies provided especially nostalgic inspiration for Kodály as he had spent seven years in Galánta when his father was stationmaster for its railway line, and his earliest musical memories were of its famous Gypsy band.
The music is in the form of a Verbunkos, a musical structure that evolved from what was originally a kind of multi-part recruiting dance show for the army. The layout in this case comprises a three-part Lassù (an introduction, a clarinet cadenza representing the folk instrument the tárogató, and an andante maestoso), followed by a five-part Friss (an opening allegro moderato plus four fast dances).