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NOTES ON THE PROGRAM

Six American Painters for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello


John Harbison
Born on December 20, 1938 in Orange, New Jersey.

Composed in 2000.
Premiered on April 14, 2002 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Duration: 14 minutes

J ohn Harbison is among Americas most prominent artistic figures. He has received numerous awards and
distinctions, including the prestigious MacArthur Foundations genius award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Heinz
Award in the Arts and Humanities. Currently Season Composer at the Chamber Music Society, he has composed
music for most of this countrys premiere musical institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera (for whom he wrote
The Great Gatsby), Chicago Lyric Opera, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los
Angeles Philharmonic, and the Santa Fe and Aspen festivals.

Harbisons present composition projects include a setting of texts by Alice Munro for voice and orchestra (for the
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), his Sixth Symphony for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (who are also honoring
Harbison by presenting his full symphonic cycle between 2010-12), his fifth string quartet (for the Pro Arte Quartet),
and a work for violin and piano (commissioned by Music Accord) that will receive its New York premiere at the
Chamber Music Society in April.

Harbisons opera Full Moon in March (BMOP Sound) was released on CD in April 2009 and The First Four String
Quartets (Centaur) was released in September 2010. Altogether, more than 90 of his compositions have been
recorded on labels such as Albany, Centaur, Nonesuch, Northeastern, Harmonia Mundi, New World, Decca, Koch,
Archetype, CRI, Naxos, Bridge, Cedille, and Musica Omnia.

He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University and earned an MFA from Princeton University. Following
completion of a junior fellowship at Harvard, Harbison joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Furthering the work of younger composers is one of Harbisons prime interests, and he serves as
president of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Harbison writes: Six American Painters was commissioned by radio station WGUC Cincinnati in honor of Ann
Santen, for performance by Cincinnati Symphony principal flutist Randall Bowman. Bowman gave the first
performance on Linton Music Series, April 14, 2002, with Timothy Lees, violin, Michael Strauss, viola, and Eric
Kim, cello.

Each of the movements was begun as a musical description of six paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Eventually they ranged further and it seemed more helpful to name them for the painters rather than for the specific
paintings.

I wanted to evoke the artists afterimages, rather than any of the individual paintings. When you look at a picture,
you take away with you a general impression, a mood or color, that dominates the details; in music, on the other
hand, one is apt to remember the details, a tune or a harmony. I wanted these movements to be a perceivable whole,
an act of seeing.

Most of my viewing was done at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Like many musicians, Ive always felt
that looking at art has been the least alert of the things I do. I hoped to develop my visual sense; I did a lot of
research, and I spent many hours looking at paintings.

The movements tend toward brevity. I had two intentions: not too slow, and not too long.


Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello
Alfred Schnittke
Born on November 24, 1934 in Engels, on the Volga River, in the Soviet Union.
Died on August 3, 1998 in Hamburg.

Composed in 1988.
Premiered on J uly 29, 1988 in Kuhmo, Finland.

Duration: 8 minutes
Noted for his hallmark polystylistic idiom, Alfred Schnittke has written in a wide range of genres and styles. His
Concerto Grosso No. 1 (1977) was one of the first works to bring his name to prominence. It was popularized by
Gidon Kremer, a tireless proponent of his music. Many of Schnittkes works have been inspired by Kremer and
other performers, including Yury Bashmet, Natalia Gutman, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Schnittke first came to America in 1988 for the Making Music Together Festival in Boston and the American
premiere of Symphony No. 1 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He came again in 1991 when Carnegie Hall
commissioned Concerto Grosso No. 5 for The Cleveland Orchestra as part of its Centennial Festival, and again in
1994 for the world premiere of his Symphony No. 7 by the New York Philharmonic and the American premiere of
his Symphony No. 6 by the National Symphony.

Schnittke studied counterpoint and composition with Yevgeny Golubev and instrumentation with Nikolai Rakov at
the Moscow Conservatory. He completed the postgraduate course in composition there in 1961 and joined the Union
of Composers the same year. In 1962, he was appointed instructor in instrumentation at the Moscow Conservatory, a
post which he held until 1972. Thereafter he supported himself chiefly as a composer of film scores; by 1984 he had
scored more than 60 films. From the 1980s, his music gained increasing exposure and international acclaim. He has
been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Austrian State Prize in 1991, J apans Imperial
Prize in 1992, and the Slava-Gloria Prize in Moscow in J une 1998; his music has been celebrated with retrospectives
and major festivals worldwide. More than 50 compact discs devoted exclusively to his music have been released in
the last ten years.

Schnittkes one-movement Piano Quartet is based on a fragment for piano quartet by the 16-year-old Gustav Mahler.
It was commissioned by the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and dedicated to the Ukrainian-American violinist
Oleh Krysa.


Hommage Robert Schumann for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Op. 15d
Gyrgy Kurtg
Born on February 19, 1926 in Lugos (Lugoj in Romania).

Composed in 1990.
Premiered on October 8, 1990 in Budapest.

Duration: 9 minutes

Hungarian composer Gyrgy Kurtg has written a relatively small number of short but highly expressive works in
his long career. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with professors Pl Kadosa (piano), Le Weiner
(chamber music), Sndor Veress, and subsequently Ferenc Farkas (composition); he also studied in Paris for a year.
Upon his return to Hungary, he served as rptiteur for soloists at the National Philharmonia and at the Bartk
Music School.

Kurtg became internationally known in 1981 when the Ensemble Intercontemporain performed the world premiere
in Paris of Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova, Op. 17 for soprano and chamber ensemble. In 1993, at the
invitation of the Wissenschaftskolleg, he moved to Berlin for two years as composer-in-residence of the Berlin
Philharmonic. In 1995-96 he was a guest of the Konzerthaus in Vienna in the same capacity. There followed
residencies at Amsterdam (1996-98), Berlin again (1998-99), and Paris (1999-2001). He has received many awards
and prizes including the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 1998 and the Grawemeyer Award for ...concertante...,
Op. 42 in 2006. He was a professor of chamber music at the Liszt Academy from 1969 until his retirement in 1986,
and he continues to hold courses in chamber music in many European countries as well as in the United States.

Hommage Robert Schumann is Kurtgs tribute to Schumann, who also imbued his precisely crafted musical
miniatures with allusion and cogent expression. The instrumentation, for clarinet, viola, and piano, duplicates that of
Schumanns Mrchenbilder (Op. 132, Pictures from Fairy Land); the title and character of each movement refer
to specific aspects of Schumanns creative persona and music.

Kapellmeister Johannes Kreislers Strange Pirouettes depicts the flamboyant motions of the wildly eccentric
musician created by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Kreisler represented for Schumann the soul of the Romantic artist.

Schumann called the poles of his personality Eusebius dreamy and romantic and Florestan impetuous
and mercurial. Eusebius: The Delimited Circle is Kurtgs ensemble reworking of a song in canon (i.e., exact
imitation) from his 1985 Kafka-Fragmente, which comprises 40 miniature movements for soprano and violin. The
phrase is from Kafkas diary: In myself there are, without human relations, no visible lies. The delimited circle is
pure.

The third movement traces its title and its ferocious character to Schumanns inscription on the ninth piece of his
Davidsbndlertnze: Here Florestan stopped, and again sucked in his lips in anguish.

The aphoristic fourth movement I Was a Cloud, Now the Sun Is Already Shining (Fragment-Fragment)
includes a few phrases fromDal (Song), one of Kurtgs Fragments for unaccompanied soprano (1981) based on
texts by the Hungarian poet Attila J zsef (1905-1937).

At Night shares its title with the fifth of Schumanns Fantasy Pieces, Op. 12. Schumann confided to his wife, Clara,
that the piece contained the story of Hero, who swam every night through the sea to meet his love, Leander, but
Kurtgs waves are more threateningly nightmarish than amorously dreamlike.

Master Raro (perhaps a conflation of the last two letters of Claras given name and the first two of his; Schumann
loved word games) was the judicious arbiter between the Florestan and Eusebius strains of Schumanns personality.
In the Farewell that closes Kurtgs Hommage, as long as the other movements combined, somber music suggesting
the thoughtful Raro employs the technique of isorhythm the repetition of a rhythmic pattern, sometimes given
with a repeating pitch pattern that may not coincide that was used frequently by the celebrated 14th-century
French composer and poet Guillaume de Machaut. A single stroke on the bass drum by the clarinetist ends this
solemn cortge.

Dr. Richard E. Rodda


Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello
Krzysztof Penderecki
Born on November 23, 1933 in Dbica, Poland.

Composed in 1990-91.
Premiered on November 15, 1991 in Metz.

Duration: 12 minutes

Krzysztof Penderecki entered the Conservatoire in Krakow when he was 18. Starting in 1954, he studied
composition with Artur Malewski and Stanislas Wiechowicz at the Krakow Academy of Music where he was
subsequently appointed professor in 1958. One year later, he won all three available prizes at the II Warsaw
Competition for Young Composers. With the first performance of Anaklasis for 42 string instruments at the
Donaueschingen Festival in 1960, he became part of the international avant-garde. He gained a reputation with a
wider public with the premiere of the St. Luke Passion in Mnster Cathedral in 1966. The Polish composer taught at
the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen from 1966 to 1968. His first opera The Devils of Loudon based on a book by
Aldous Huxley received its premiere at the Hamburg State Opera House in 1969. In 1972, Penderecki was appointed
as rector of the State Academy of Music in Krakow and also taught at Yale University from 1973 to 1978.
Penderecki gained an international reputation as the conductor of both his own compositions and other works.

Penderecki composed several of his works in remembrance of catastrophes in the 20th century. Threnos for 52 string
instruments, composed in 1960, is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the piano
concerto Resurrection was composed as a reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Numerous
compositions from a variety of genres originated in direct cooperation with outstanding soloists including Anne-
Sophie Mutter (second violin concerto Metamorphosen, among others), Mstislav Rostropovitsch (Concerto per
violoncello ed orchestra no. 2), and Boris Pergamenschikow (Concerto grosso).

Pendereckis String Trio was commissioned by and dedicated to the German String Trio. The first movement
includes extended cadenzas for each instrument and the second movement is a spirited and energetic fugue.


Songs America Loves to Sing for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano
John Harbison

Composed in 2004.

Duration: 27 minutes

Harbison writes: It is a distant, quaint vision: the family around the piano singing familiar songs, a Currier and Ives
print, an album of sepia photographs. But I remember it well (or did I imagine it?). The album which our family
sometimes used may have been called Songs America Loves to Sing. The present collection of solos and canons on
some of these still familiar melodies is dedicated to my sister Meg (of five singers, now only two left).

Ideally many of the tunes will still be recognizable. In the chorale preludes of the German baroque common
melodies are embedded in the composers invention (strict against free); if we know the tunes our enjoyment of the
pieces is enhanced. It is my hope that choosing well-known musical material will make these settings clear.

1. Solo: Amazing Grace. In 1972 I made a virtuoso set of variations for solo oboe on this tune. This simpler version
is an exploration of the overtones of the primary chord. The accompanying strings offer a foretaste of the canonic
principle, framing the soloist with the slower versions of Amazing Grace.

2. Canon: Careless Love. The melody is presented as a ghostly backdrop in the accompanying piano. A series of
pensive octave canons serve to introduce the ensemble, in pairs, to the listener.

3. Solo: Will the Circle be Unbroken? The song has a visionary presence, and suggests very little harmonic change,
a fact emphasized by the obsessive piano signal. The solo begins rhapsodically, then is pulled into the pulse.

4. Canon: Aura Lee. The piano ostinato is an abstract wallpaper for the tune which is presented at various speeds by
the others. In the 50s a famous entertainer produced a hit record of a song that very much resembles Aura Lee.

5. Solo: What a Friend We Have in Jesus. We are at the heart of the cycle, two numbers touching upon the gospel
and blues traditions. Here the piano offers increasingly fervent glosses on the tune. The accompanists are not drawn
in, but cast a reverent shadow.

6. Canon: St. Louis Blues. The most elaborate of the canons, actually a double inversion canon over a free bass, with
certain elements treated as thickened lines (a fine descriptive jazz theory term).
7. Solo: Poor Butterfly. The pristine melody is first presented as a cadenza, filtering through only if the listener
remembers it well. Then, as a reminder, it is played simply by the accompanists, while the soloist continues an
embroidery derived from the tune.

8. Canon: We Shall Overcome. We enter a political sequence here, two songs that never lose currency. The early
music vocabulary for We Shall Overcome says that the goals it furthered have not been achieved. The contentious
diminution canons suggest that social struggles and disjunction continue, inevitably.

9. Solo: Aint Goin to Study War No More. I know no sturdier expression of the hope for peace than in this spiritual.
In the setting an undercurrent of unease is present in the fanfares heard during the second stanza. As the
accompanists join the soloist in a collective jam session, the conflicts recede. (A parallel version of the piece was my
contribution to the Albany Symphony Spiritual Project.)

10. Canon: Anniversary Song. In a photograph of her fiftieth birthday party my sister Helen sits in front of her cake,
surrounded by her friends, in a perfect party dress, weeping inconsolably. From that image of her indelibly
melancholic temperament comes the initial canon; birthdays can be daunting. At the end a more hopeful version of
this tune, similar to a (perhaps) still copyrighted melody takes over.

Songs America Loves to Sing, for the so-called Pierrot combination, was commissioned jointly by the Atlanta
Chamber Players, with funding from Cherry Logan Emerson, and the Da Capo Chamber Players, with an award
from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. As in an earlier piece, Fourteen
Fabled Folksongs (in which I invented all the tunes), the pattern is all-importantthe key scheme, contrasts, pacing
of the sequenceso pauses between movements must be minimal. Paradoxically I would permit separate
performance of any part of the music with very different purposes in view. The piece lasts about 27 minutes.