Performing this Week
L. P. How
The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Summer 2010 — Week 12
Welcome to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series production blog, home of program out takes, artist commentary, and other related tangents we like to call "web extras."
Week 12 of our concert broadcasts from Santa Fe featured music of Antonio Vivaldi and Franz Schubert. Vivaldi, of course, is the baroque composer, part-time priest, and devoted musical pedagogue whose prolific output numbered an astonishing 750 works. He wrote over four hundred concerti for all sorts of instruments, including multiple instruments together, with the violin earning the main focus. He composed only one triple violin concerto, the F-Major RV 551, and that's the piece that violinists Jennifer Frautschi, Giora Schmidt, and Lily Francis played on this program in the company of an ensemble of festival musicians.
Additionally, violist Michael Tree, violinist William Preucil, cellist Lynn Harrell, double bassist Marji Danilow, and pianist Yuja Wang collaborated for a performance of one of the most beloved and often-played works in the chamber repertoire: Franz Shubert's "Trout" Quintet.
The nationally syndicated radio programs can be heard in the Chicago area, Sunday mornings at 11am, from April through June 2010, on 98.7 WFMT. You can also listen anywhere there's Internet. WFMT provides free, live streaming at wfmt.com and via a free, downloadable app for your iPhone.
Please enjoy these items rescued from the "cutting room floor" and the other things found along the way to creating this broadcast from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series.
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Concerto in F Major for Three Violins, RV 551
Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Giora Schmidt, violin; Lily Francis, violin; L. P. How, violin; Kathleen Brauer, violin; Steven Tenenbom, viola; Sophie Shao, cello; Marji Danilow, bass; Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord
Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Three Violins, strings, and continuo in F Major, RV 551 is often counted among his more striking concerti. The profusion of his favorite solo instrument apparently inspired him to find fresh ways for the violins to interact and create exceptionally colorful textures. He assigns to the solo violins highly virtuosic roles, with one soloist often playing a melody to the accompaniment of arpeggios in the other two.
Looking for more about Vivaldi? There's a helpful piece about him at baroquemusic.org.
Two films based on the life of composer Antonio Vivaldi are currently in the works, Variety reports. According to the trade paper, Image Entertainment and Columbia announced last fall that Catherine Hardwicke would direct a film titled Vivaldi. The film focuses on the relationship between the composer, who was a priest, and singer Anna Girard, said to be his lover. Hardwicke, the director of Thirteen and Lord of Dogtown, has since left the film, but it is still under development.
Meanwhile, the independent production company Mechaniks is developing a second Vivaldi biopic titled Antonio Vivaldi, based on a screenplay by journalist Jeffrey Freedman. Folk-rock violinist Ashley MacIsaac has been asked to play the title role.
According to Variety, Freedman's script centers on Vivaldi's position as a music teacher at a school for illegitimate girls. Eventually, his success as a teacher leads to a concert of his music for the pope.
When I first came out here back in '78 it felt like it’s a different country. It smelled different. Things looked different and I really didn’t fall in love with Santa Fe until I was here in the fall. The weather here in September and October is truly amazing. The lighting is unbelievable. The Sunsets…! I never understood why they named the mountains Sangre De Cristo until one day in September I looked at the mountains and it’s blood purple! And I said ah ha! There it is!!
Violinist L.P. How
FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Quintet in A Major, D. 667, "Trout"
William Preucil, violin; Michael Tree, viola; Lynn Harrell, cello; Marji Danilow, bass; Yuja Wang, piano
Schubert composed this piano quintet at a happy time in his life. At the time, he was on a walking tour of Upper Austria with his friend Johann Vogl. While visiting Vogl's hometown of Steyr, an Alpine Arts colony, Schubert met Sylvester Paumgarten, a wealthy cellist, arts patron and mine owner. Paumgarten was particularly fond of Schubert's song, Die Forelle, and commissioned the composer to write a set of variations based on the work. While these variations form the center piece of the quintet, the entire piece reflects Schubert’s love of the Alpine country. When the music was finished, there weren’t any plans for a public performance; Paumgartner just asked a few friends to come over and play the piece in his living room.
Schubert’s composing career spanned only 15 years. Although he wrote in the same genres as his three great predecessors Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, it was not his operas and symphonies that ensured his place in musical history, but rather his more intimate collections of chamber works and songs. He wrote 15 string quartets, 2 piano trios, an octet and the Trout quintet. With so much exuberant joy in this music, it's hard to believe that Franz Schubert died only nine years after writing it, at the age of 31. What a loss, to think of his music we never got hear, but how grateful we are that he wrote as music as he did while he was here. As it is written on his tombstone, "Music has buried here a rich treasure, but fairer hopes."
More about Schubert and the Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 can be found at www.franzschubert.org.uk/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/listeningnotes/ln_schubert_trout.shtml
Lynn Harrell and Kerry Frumkin first met in 1981 when Lynn was Kerry's guest on WFMT's Profiles of Greatness series. In this clip Lynn tells Kerry that he's lucky Schubert's Trout Quintet was not on the program the night he decided to become a musician.
Marc has long been a champion of Yuja Wang, who he met when she was still a student at Curtis studying with Gary Graffman. Here is what Marc had to way when Kerry asked him how Yuja has come into her own now that her career has become so busy.