|Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra|
Originally composed as a gift to his wife after the birth of their son Siegfried, Wagner's Siegfried Idyll would eventually serve as musical inspiration to parts of his Ring cycle. Richard Strauss brings the mischievous Till Eulenspiegel to life as he brings chaos to a marketplace, mocks clergymen, and eventually is put on trial and sentenced to the gallows for his misdeeds.
DSO concertmaster Yoonshin Song performs Béla Bartók's Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor.
Saturday, April 7
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Steven Bryant (b. 1972)
♪ Zeal (2018) (World Premiere)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
♪ Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor, Sz. 112, BB 117 (1937-1938)*
i. Allegro non troppo. Quasi tempo I – Tranquillo – Risoluto – Calmo – Sempre più lento – Vivace – Risoluto – Tempo I – Molto tranquillo – Tempo I – Molto tranquillo – Vivace – Meno vivo (quasi subito) – Più mosso – Tempo I – Mosso – Risoluto – Calmo – Risoluto – Calmo – Risoluto – Calmo – Più lento – Vivace – Più mosso – Tempo I – Vivace – Tempo I – Vivace
ii. Andante tranquillo. Un poco più andante – Un poco più tranquillo – Più mosso – Lento – Allegro scherzando – Comodo – Tempo I
iii. Allegro molto. Risoluto - Un poco meno mosso – Un poco sostenuto – Slentando – Meno mosso – Quasi lento – Ancora più lento – Risoluto – Più mosso – Meno mosso – Rubato – Assai lento, Mosso agitato – Molto tranquillo – Lento, allarg. – Tempo I – Risoluto – Tempo I – Mosso – Rubato – Tempo I – Risoluto
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
♪ Siegfried Idyll, WWV 103 (1870)
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
♪ Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op.28 (1894-1895)
Yoonshin Song, violin*
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8:00 PM EDT (GMT-4) / Sunday, April 8, 2018, 3:00 AM EEST (UTC+3)
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Yoonshin Song (Concertmaster, Katherine Tuck Chair, DSO member since 2012).
Acclaimed as "a wonderfully talented violinist... whose sound and technique go well beyond her years", Yoonshin Song was born in South Korea where she began her musical studies at age five. Making her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 11, she has since built a successful performing career throughout Korea, the United States and Europe.
Yoonshin earned many prestigious prizes throughout her career. Some highlights include top prize awards in international violin competitions such as the Wieniawski (Poland), Lipizer (Italy), Henry Marteau (Germany) and first prize at the Stradivarius International Competition in the U.S. In her native South Korea, Song has won virtually all the major national competitions. In addition, Yoonshin has received the David G. Whitecomb Foundation Award and the Korean Minister of Culture's Award.
Since giving her debut recital after winning the Jeunesses Musicales Competition in 1999, she has been sought after as a recitalist performing throughout Korea, the United States and Europe to great acclaim. As a soloist she has performed with many orchestras around the world, including the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the P. Constantinescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Philharmonic Orchestra and Korean Baroque Chamber Orchestra.
Yoonshin has participated both as a soloist and as a chamber musician in numerous music festivals: Marlboro Music Festival, Verbier Music Festival, Deer Valley Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Miyazaki Chamber Music Festival in Japan and Bayreuth Festival in Germany.
Yoonshin earned her Master's degree and Graduate Diploma under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory and completed the Artist Diploma and Professional Study programs at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Robert Mann and Glenn Dicterow.
Since 2012, Yoonshin has been the Concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and has enjoyed close collaborations with inspiring guest artists such as Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell and Jamie Laredo among others.
Yoonshin currently plays on a 1707 Vincenzo Rugeri violin on loan to her by a generous sponsor in Michigan. She teaches at the University of Michigan.
|Leonard Slatkin (Photo by Donald Dietz)|
Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor
Bartók's lifelong interest in variation as a compositional stratagem found its fullest expression in this Concerto, which he completed in 1938. Bartók had been at work on the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta when his close friend, violinist Zoltán Székely, asked him for a concerto. Bartók initially planned a large-scale theme-and-variations work, but Székely indicated a preference for a traditional, three-movement work. Bartók's response was ingenious, preserving his own plan for variations within the framework of three movements. The middle movement, Andante tranquillo, follows a traditional theme-and-variations plan, while the finale is a large-scale variant of the first movement. Székely gave the first performance in Amsterdam in 1939, with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Willem Mengelberg. That premiere was recorded on 78 rpm shellac discs; the recording has been released to the public, and while its sound quality can at best be called poor, it preserves Bartók's own tempo and balance preferences. Over measured B major chords from the harp, punctuated by pizzicato low strings (which sound the five-note motif, B-F sharp-A-E-B, that is the foundation of all the concerto's thematic material), the soloist launches a noble theme in verbunkos rhythm, a long-breathed melody of forthright optimism that immediately places the concerto in Olympian altitudes. In keeping with the Apollonian poise of this Allegro non troppo, the accompaniment is often light and sparing, achieving maximum coloristic effects with minimal scoring (despite the fact that the orchestra is fairly large, with woodwinds in pairs, four horns, three trombones, and a large percussion section).
The second theme, marked risoluto, is playful but highly chromatic, with chattering woodwinds accompanying. The main theme returns more than once, like an informal ritornello, in the course of the movement, which Bartók shapes palindromically. Toward the end there is a difficult cadenza almost entirely in double stops and chords. Given the importance of variation technique to Bartók's musical rhetoric, it's interesting to note that aside from a few piano pieces, this concerto's second movement is his only large-scale essay in theme-and-variations form. With soft taps from the tympani beneath, the soloist brings forth the tender and limpid theme that is then treated to six highly differentiated variations. The brusque unison string phrases that open the finale are related to the five-note motif heard at the work's outset. They are answered by the soloist's capricious variant of the opening theme.
The themes of the first movement have been, in Bartók's characteristic fashion, elaborated and extended, but their relationship to the first movement is always clear, not least because the structure of the finale closely follows that of the Allegro non troppo. Particularly charming is a waltz-like version of the theme that occurs before the final rush to climax, in which the five-note motif is transformed into the more emphatic four-note phrase (B-A-D-B) that ends the work. Bartók's original ending, in which the soloist was silent during the concluding tutti, was rejected by Székely, who wanted a finish that was more like a concerto instead of a symphony. Bartók obliged with an alternate ending, which is the one generally used, but he appended the original ending to the published score. It features some fearsome forte arpeggios for the three trombones.
Source: Mark Satola (allmusic.com)
Richard Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Wagner composed the Siegfried Idyll as a birthday present to his second wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869. It was first performed on Christmas morning, 25 December 1870, by a small ensemble of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich on the stairs of their villa at Tribschen (today part of Lucerne), Switzerland. Cosima awoke to its opening melody. Conductor Hans Richter played the brief trumpet part in that private performance.
The original title was Triebschen Idyll with Fidi's birdsong and the orange sunrise, as symphonic birthday greeting. Presented to his Cosima by her Richard. "Fidi" was the family's nickname for their son Siegfried. It is thought that the birdsong and the sunrise refer to incidents of personal significance to the couple.
Wagner's opera Siegfried, which was premiered in 1876, incorporates music from the Idyll. Wagner adapted the material from an unfinished chamber piece into the Idyll before giving the theme to Brunhilde in the opera's final scene. The work also uses a German lullaby, "Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf (de)", played by solo oboe. Ernest Newman discovered it was linked to the Wagners' older daughter Eva. This and other musical references, whose meaning remained unknown to the outside world for many years, reveal the idyll's levels of personal significance for both Wagner and Cosima.
Wagner originally intended the Siegfried Idyll to remain a private piece. However, due to financial pressures, he decided to sell the score to publisher B. Schott in 1878. In doing so, Wagner expanded the orchestration to 35 players to make the piece more marketable. The original piece is scored for a small chamber orchestra of 13 players: flute, oboe, two clarinets, bassoon, two horns, trumpet, two violins, viola, cello and double bass. The trumpet part is very brief, lasting only 13 measures. The piece is commonly played today by orchestras with more than one player on each string part. Modern performances are much slower than those of earlier years.
Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op.28
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (German: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), Op.28, is a tone poem written in 1894-1895 by Richard Strauss. It chronicles the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero Till Eulenspiegel, who is represented by two themes. The first, played by the horn, is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, falls downward, and ends in three long, loud notes, each progressively lower. The second, for D clarinet, is crafty and wheedling, suggesting a trickster doing what he does best.
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