Performing this Week

Eric Kim
Eric Kim

Marc Neikrug
Marc Neikrug

Tara Helen O'Connor
Tara Helen O'Connor

Daniel Phillips
Daniel Phillips

Marji Danilow
Marji Danilow

Jonathan Richards
Jonathan Richards

Simon Wynberg
Simon Wynberg

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2009 — Week 7

You might say Week 7 of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series explores the theme of elegies. We have one by Gabriel Fauré for nobody in particular, one by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for a very remarkable donkey, and also a work by Erwin Schulhoff who became sick and died in a concentration camp during World War 2. Once again, the web entries this week include some artists' remarks that didn't make it into this week's program, as well as some other things I found en route to the things I was looking for.

Thanks for stopping by...
Louise

GABRIEL FAURÉ
Elegy in C Minor

Eric Kim, cello, Marc Neikrug, piano

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was a pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns at the Ecole Niedermeyer and served as organist at various Paris churches, including finally the Madeleine, but had no teaching position until 1897 at the Conservatoire, where his pupils included Ravel and Enescu. He died in Paris in 1924. Fauré appears to have had no specific loss or person in mind when he wrote his Elegy. Originally intended as the slow movement for a cello sonata he began in 1880, when the outer movements didn't work out so well, Fauré ultimately published the piece on its own, calling it Elegy to reflect the somber mood.

The Fauré Elegy is "simply one of the most beautiful little pieces anywhere," says Marc to Kerry.

 

Here is an excerpt from a vintage Bell Telephone Hour television special in which Gregor Piatigorsky performs the Fauré Elegy with an orchestral accompaniment.

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
Platero y yo

Jonathan Richards, narrator; Simon Wynberg, guitar

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) was born into a Florentine Jewish family. In 1939, because of the unstable political situation in Italy, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and his family emigrated to the United States with the assistance of both Heifetz and Toscanini. He eventually settled in Beverly Hills, where he composed over a hundred – mostly uncredited – scores for motion pictures. He was well regarded as a teacher by other composers such as André Previn and John Williams, and incidentally, Marc Neikrug's mother.

Learn more about Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco on the Internet Movie Data Base and at the Library of Congress.

 

Marc and Kerry discuss Schulhoff and Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and how their experiences with the Holocaust yielded two very different outcomes.

 

Castelnuovo-Tedesco's long association with guitarist Andrés Segovia inspired him to compose a significant number of works for guitar including Platero y yo. He wrote it in 1960, setting to music 28 poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez, the Spanish poet who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1956. In this program Jonathan Richards recites a selection of these poems while Simon Wynberg plays the guitar.

Marc tells Kerry how he came to program Platero y yo, and how he found the narrator, Jonathan Richards.

 

You can follow author, journalist, actor, and cartoonist Jonathan Richards' blog on the Huffington Post

 

Simon Wynberg enjoys a diverse career as a guitarist and chamber musician, and is the artistic director of ARC, the Artists of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. He is the curator of ARC's musical projects including the "Music in Exile" series, and executive producer of all ARC recordings. Simon also has edited over 60 volumes of hitherto unknown guitar music. Here are some photos he sent of his recent trip to Spain and his visit to the Jimenez Museum and Platero's birthplace.

Here is Simon standing next to a statue of Platero, beloved donkey and muse to Juan Ramón Jiménez, at the Jimenez Museum in Moguer, Andalucia. (click for larger view)

Here is Simon at the Casa Jimenez, birthplace of Platero. The plaque bears a quote from Platero y yo: "Aquí, en esta casa grande, nací yo, Platero. Desde el mirador se ve el mar." (click for larger view)

 

Castelnuovo-Tedesco was a natural story-teller through his music, says Simon Wynberg.

 

Simon sings the praises of his collaborator in this performance, actor Jonathan Richards.

 

The text to Platero y yo is available online, both in English and Spanish.