Inspired by Rachmaninov's past, Symphonic Dances, his final completed work for orchestra, embodies the vibrant color and emotion found throughout his music. Slovak conductor Juraj Valčuha leads this work with along with another gem of late romantic music, Anatoly Liadov's tone poem The Enchanted Lake. American violinist Stefan Jackiw performs Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35.
Sunday, November 5
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Monday, November 6
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Anatoly Lyadov (1855-1914)
♪ The Enchanted Lake, Op.62 (1909)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)
♪ Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1945)
i. Moderato mobile
ii. Romanze: Andante
iii. Finale: Allegro assai vivace
Stefan Jackiw, violin
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
♪ Symphonic Dances, Op.45 (1940)
i. Non allegro – Lento – Tempo I
ii. Andante con moto: Tempo di valse
iii. Lento assai – Allegro vivace – Lento assai – Allegro vivace
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Juraj Valčuha
Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 03:00 PM EST (UTC-5) / Sunday, November 5, 2017, 10:00 PM EET (UTC+2)
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Violinist Stefan Jackiw is recognized as one of his generation's most significant artists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance" that is "striking for its intelligence and sensitivity" (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.
This season Stefan Jackiw will perform Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, before embarking on a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra. He will also appear in recital with acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk performing Ives Violin Sonatas, including performances at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In Europe, Stefan makes his debut at Berlin's Konzerthaus and returns to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. And in Asia, Stefan appears for the first time with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski, and returns to the Seoul Philharmonic under Mario Venzago. He will also tour Korea playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica.
Last season, Stefan toured Australia playing Mendelssohn with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and appeared with the Detroit Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Forth Worth Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Philharmonische Orchester Heidelberg, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, and Tampere Philharmonic. He also returned to the Aspen Festival performing Lutoslawski's Partita alongside Mozart's Violin Concerto No.5. In March 2014 he gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer's Violin Concerto No.2 "Jubilant Arcs", written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher.
In recent seasons, Jackiw made his Carnegie Hall recital debut performing Stravinsky, Brahms, Strauss and the world premiere of a new work for piano and violin by David Fulmer. Other recent highlights include performances with the St Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, and with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Stefan's recent return engagements include performances with the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, the Pittsburgh Symphony under Juraj Valčuha, and the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern.
Stefan has recorded for Sony the complete Brahms sonatas, hailed by Fanfare as "now the recording of the Brahms sonatas to have". He is also a member of Ensemble Ditto – a wildly popular Korea – based chamber music group, with a mission to introduce new audiences to the chamber music repertoire. Ensemble Ditto plays to sold out halls across the country, presenting works from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to George Crumb, Steven Reich, and John Zorn.
Stefan made his European debut age 14 to great critical acclaim, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra. His sensational performance was featured on the front page of London's Times, and the Strad reported, "A 14-year-old violinist took the London music world by storm". Stefan has also performed abroad with the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra of Ireland, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Stefan is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Caramoor International Music Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Louvre Recital Series in Paris. As a chamber musician, Stefan has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham. He is a regular participant at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music and Bard Music Festivals. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in New York, Stefan was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine.
Born in 1985 to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He lives in New York City.
In 1906, the then-nine-year-old Erich Wolfgang Korngold's cantata Gold elicited from Gustav Mahler the response "A genius!" Korngold went on to become one of the most prolific composers of his generation, writing in every serious genre and making a particularly strong impact as a composer of operas, receiving unanimous acclaim for his Violanta of 1916, and repeating the success with his Die tote Stadt, staged triumphantly in both Hamburg and Cologne during 1920. But in 1934, Korngold settled in Hollywood, where he renewed his associations with the theatre director Max Reinhardt, and went on to become the most celebrated of a generation of European émigré composers who are best remembered for their film scores.
Korngold's most popular movie scores included King's Row, The Seahawk, Anthony Adverse, and Robin Hood. But despite the acknowledged quality of his works for the silver screen, it would be idle to pretend that these served greatly to enhance Korngold's repute as a "serious" composer. What did help enormously in this regard was the support and patronage of great artists, among them the celebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz, for whom Korngold composed his Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35, during 1945. Other key orchestral works by Korngold included a cello concerto for Piatigorsky, and a brilliantly accomplished symphony in F sharp minor.
The Violin Concerto is an unashamedly romantic work, with a vibrantly cinematic character, begging the lie that no "hack" celluloid composer could write a work that not only ranked as one of the best concertos of its time, but also retained the populist feel of a Hollywood movie in the unforgettable contouring of its thematic material. The Concerto comprises three movements. In the first (Moderato mobile), the soloist enters almost at once, with a lush, broadly stated melody that is quintessential Korngold. The music moves steadily forward into a faster-moving episode, with constant reminders of the opening ideas, and making searching demands on the soloist as a result of its highly rhapsodic style. The movement also includes a virtuoso cadenza and a final coda of arresting power. The central movement (Romanze) brings the required contrast, in a delicately scored piece in which the soloist reflects at length on material of a touchingly nostalgic coloration. A powerfully assertive mood prevails once again with the arrival of the finale (Allegro assai vivace), whose angular, strongly motoric rhythms serve as reminder that Korngold came from the same creative stable as Schoenberg and Zemlinsky (his childhood mentor), while also being a modernist in the sense of being fully able to write in a totally original, independent manner. Again, the movement calls for outstanding technique and fearless virtuosity, but a more relaxed and lyrical central episode again brings the required contrast. The closing section, a thrilling pyrotechnic tailpiece, again imposes severe technical demands on soloist and orchestra alike.
Source: Michael Jameson (allmusic.com)
Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45
Rachmaninov's trio of Symphonic Dances (1940) represents the composer's last completed work, and the only one he wrote wholly in the United States. The first of the three dances, marked Non allegro – Lento – Tempo I, begins with a vibrant three-note motif that makes its way through the orchestra, from woodwinds to strings to brass, repeating, descending, ascending, climaxing in a proclamation of the theme in the strings, accompanied by tambourine. The slow middle section unfolds with an expansive melody on alto saxophone, soon taken up with warmth and passion by the strings. After a return to the main material, the central theme is recalled briefly as the movement draws to a quiet close.
The Andante con moto recalls characteristics of both the second movement of the composer's Piano Concerto No.3 (1935) and Ravel's La Valse (1919-1920). Commencing in a slow waltz rhythm, the music momentarily hesitates before resuming the initial mood with a subdued, suave, nocturnal theme. Toward the center of the movement the music again becomes hesitant, its direction seemingly uncertain. The waltz theme returns, now becoming anxious and restive as the tempo increases. The climax is follwed by a subdued ending.
The Lento assai finale begins hesitantly, unhurriedly, lurching ahead and then slowing. With the entrance of "Dies irae" – the plainchant requiem theme that Rachmaninov used so effectively in the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) – the tempo picks up and the music takes on a brilliance that is anything but gloomy or funereal. After a climactic episode the music slows, seemingly suspended in an ethereal state. Gradually, the mood becomes reflective, and the textures darken. "Dies Irae" returns amid even greater color and majesty, as if the composer were willingly and happily embracing a fate he knew was near. The music builds to a powerful and brilliant climax as the "Dies irae" theme is proudly stated again and again. In what seems to suggest an ominous close, the orchestra delivers crushing chords, punctuated by a thundering gong stroke whose fading strains appear to bring the work to an end. From this gesture, however, emerges a quotation from Rachmaninov's own Vespers (1915) that corresponds to the Resurrection of Christ.
While the composer worked on the orchestration of the Symphonic Dances, he also sketched out a version for two pianos that is generally a literal and faithful transcription. The work in its full orchestral clothing was premiered by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra on January 4, 1941.
Source: Robert Cummings (allmusic.com)
Photos of Stefan Jackiw, by Sophie Zhai
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