Performing this Week

Jamie-Rose Guarrine
Jamie-Rose Guarrine

David Govertsen
David Govertsen

Robert Ingliss
Robert Ingliss

Timothy Eddy
Timothy Eddy

Kathleen McIntosh
Kathleen McIntosh

Jennifer Gilbert
Jennifer Gilbert

Harvey de Souza
Harvey de Souza

Hsin-Yin Huang
Hsin-Yin Huang

Giora Schmidt
Giora Schmidt

Todd Levy
Todd Levy

Victor Santiago Asuncion
Victor Santiago Asuncion

WFMT Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2011 — Program 2

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."

Three pieces of music were heard on the 2nd program of the 2011 concert series: two Hungarian trios, and a spectacular Bach Aria.

First, Soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine and bass David Govertsen sang "Mein Freund ist mein" from Bach's Cantata number 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, or "Sleepers Awake." Then, Jennifer Gilbert, the talented violinist and concertmaster of the National Orchestra of Lyon, France, partnered with Harvey de Souza and Hsin-Yin Huang for a performance of Zoltán Kodály's Serenade for two violins and viola. After that, another trio but one composed about 20 years later, and very different in character. After the Kodaly, Giora Schmidt, Todd Levy, and Victor Santiago Asuncion performed Contrasts, the virtuosic, two-part rhapsody for violin, clarinet and piano that Joseph Szigeti and Benny Goodman commissioned from Béla Bartok in 1938.

Explore below to find text and program notes for the Bach. You can also listen to excerpts from Kerry Frumkin and Marc Neikrug's conversation about this week's program, as well as some remarks from Jennifer Gilbert.

I hope you enjoy perusing 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 programs.

Thanks for stopping by,
Louise Frank
Series Producer

PS - These nationally syndicated radio concerts of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival can be heard in the Chicago area Saturdays at 5pm, from April through June 2011, 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.

Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Copy or second Version of his 1746 Canvas, private ownership of William H. Scheide, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Copy or second Version of his 1746 Canvas, private ownership of William H. Scheide, Princeton, New Jersey, USA (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

"Mein Freund ist mein" from Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (1731)

  • Jamie-Rose Guarrine, soprano
  • David Govertsen, bass
  • Robert Ingliss, oboe
  • Timothy Eddy, cello
  • Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord

 

From Bach's Cantata No. 140, the aria, 'Mein Freund ist mein'

From Bach's Cantata No. 140, the aria, "Mein Freund ist mein" is a joyous dialogue of the soul united with Christ in eternal bliss. Musically it is a prime example of apparent simplicity disguising the utmost in skill and genius of expression.

Marc Neikrug reads the text of Mein Freund ist mein," first in German and then in English.

 

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
(1685-1750)
Arias from Cantatas for Soprano & Bass
(1725-1735)

Ask any avowed Bach lover his or her favorite works, and prepare for the usual suspects: a Brandenburg Concerto or two, one of the violin concertos, the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, the St. Matthew Passion, perhaps, or the French or English Suites. But any one of the over 200 extant canlatas? Probably not.

In a way, that's no one's fault, certainly not Bach's. For the time and places in which he worked, the cantata was not just generally a work for church; for Bach it had very specific applications for Lutheran churches. Most of his more than 300 cantatas (at least a third of them lost} were written in the first five years of his time as head of four churches in Leipzig (1723-1750). A few of them were penned earlier, but there were significant stretches earlier in his life when he had no practical need to compose any cantatas for his employers.

Even when he did (and in his second year in Leipzig, he composed nearly one new cantata per week), they were almost never the workmanlike, predictable versions turned out by his contemporaries. They are, more often than not, works of unique genius, and will shower repeated blessings upon the listener who takes the time to appreciate them in any context.

Today's program is one of the best introductions to these rarefied gems. via a sampling of some of the great arias. The typical cantata, integral to the weekly Lutheran service, lasts about 15-20 minutes, and includes instrumental movements, chorales, and arias, duets, etc. But it is in the arias that the greatest depth of expression is frequently experienced.

Program notes by Greg Hettmansberger. Translations edited by Hannelore N. Rogers.

Marc tells Kerry about "Mein Freund ist mein" and how this happy, buoyant, joyous aria expresses Bach's religiosity. That, and how difficult this music is to play.

 

Title page of 'Johann Sebastian Bach; his life, art, and work'

In 1920, CONSTABLE AND COMPANY LTD of London published a book entitled Johann Sebastian Bach; his life, art, and work, tr. from the German of Johann Nikolaus Forkel, with notes and appendices and you can read it online at archive.org.

Béla Bartók in 1927

Béla Bartók in 1927 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

BÉLA BARTÓK

Contrasts, for violin, clarinet, & piano, Sz.111 (1938)

  • Giora Schmidt, violin
  • Todd Levy, clarinet
  • Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano

Kerry asks Marc, "What about the title, Contrasts? That seems particularly appropriate to it."

"It's fireworks! It's a fireworks piece, it need fireworks players, and these guys can do that." Says Marc about Giora, Todd and Victor.


Todd Levy, clarinet; Giora Schmidt, violin; Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano perform the 3rd movement, Sebes - Fast Dance, from Bartók Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin & Piano, Sz. 111. This performance was recorded Live at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival 2010 by music producer and technical wizard Mathew Snyder. Find him at Matthew Snyder Recordings.

 


The composer -- Béla Bartók, piano -- and the commissioners -- Joseph Szigeti, violin and Benny Goodman, Clarinet -- perform Contrasts. This is the 2nd movement, Pihenő.