October 4, 2020 - Livestream at 4pm

Program I

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Artists

Jaime Laredo, violin
Cathy Meng Robinson, violin
Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
Sharon Robinson, cello
Keith Robinson, cello
 

Program

Schulhoff

R. Danielpour

Schubert

Duo for Violin & Cello

String Quintet "A Shattered Vessel" +

String Quintet in C Major, D. 956


Join us live as Artistic Directors Jaime Laredo & Sharon Robinson launch our Live from Linton! online season with a program of all string works featuring a rare gem, a new discovery, and a beloved masterpiece.

+Cincinnati premiere performance, co-commissioned by Linton Chamber Music


TO VIEW THIS PROGRAM ON YOUR FLAT SCREEN TELEVISION:

For the best viewing and sound experience, we recommend utilizing your flat screen TV. You will need to make sure the app has been downloaded onto your Smart TV or on your “Not-So-Smart” TV with a streaming device such as a Fire or Roku TV Stick connected via an HDMI input to your home internet.

Just prior to the date and time of the live performance, open the YouTube app on your TV. You should not have to “sign in” to YouTube in order to search for Linton’s channel. Just find the spyglass icon and type in a search for “Linton Chamber Music”. Then just select the channel with the Linton logo and scroll to the appropriate program to open the livestream performance to enjoy!

TO VIEW THIS PROGRAM ON YOUR COMPUTER DEVICE (TABLET/SMARTPHONE):

Click on the photo below just prior to the program to link directly to the Linton Chamber Music YouTube channel and this livestream performance. If your computer device (or tablet/smartphone) are linked to your Smart TV, you should also be able to cast our performance to your television as well.

Click on the photo to view the October 4th Live from Linton! 4pm program.


PROGRAM NOTES

Erwin Schulhoff (1894 – 1942)

Duo for Violin & Cello
Erwin Schulhoff’s compositional career comprised distinct stylistic periods that drew on a broad range of influences. Born in Prague in 1894 of German-Jewish parents, He showed an extraordinary talent for music at an early age. Upon Dvořák’s recommendation, Schulhoff began studies at the Prague Conservatory at age ten, and subsequently studied in Vienna and Leipzig. Schulhoff’s early musical influences included Strauss, Scriabin, and Debussy, but a life-changing stint on the Western Front in WWI led Schulhoff to both a new political and musical resolve. He turned to the leftist avant-garde and his music between the wars began to incorporate a variety of styles ranging Expressionism, Neoclassicism, Dada, American Jazz and South American dance.

His Duo for Violin & Cello was composed in 1925 and dedicated to “Mr. Leos Janácek in deep admiration.” This  dedication can perhaps be seen as a nod to Janácek’s movement to break from Schoenberg’s style of “new music” and do something completely different. Rather than relying on the calculating musical ideals of the time that formed the basis of many works composed during this period, Schulhoff’s duo relied on native musical tongues as its source of inspiration.

The result of this “anti-philosophical” approach to music is a duo that brilliantly combines the sounds and inspirations of folk music with modern techniques. Musically, the duo is a technical tour de force that highlights the capabilities of both instruments individually as well as the potential of the limited ensemble. The work begins with a traditional pentatonic melody that quickly gives way to the addition of chromatic pitches. This motif is recalled throughout later movements as a means of not only unifying the work as a whole, but revisiting this blend of old and new. With the addition of folk music rhythms juxtaposed with Hungarian fiddle playing, left-handed pizzicatos, and artificial harmonics and the result is a duo that feels both traditional and modern in a delightfully natural way.

 

Richard Danielpour (b. 1956)
String Quintet “A Shattered Vessel”

            Things Fall Apart
            Harvest of Sorrows
            The Healing Fields
            Homeward

ABOUT “A SHATTERED VESSEL” BY RICHARD DANIELPOUR

String Quintet (“A Shattered Vessel”) was co-commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music with Music from Angel Fire (lead commissioner), Chamber Music Monterey Bay, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and Linton Chamber Music.

This String Quintet, scored for two violins, viola, and two cellos was completed on December 31, 2018. The subtitle “A Shattered Vessel,” refers to a great mystery of life, that in order for something of value to live, something else must often die. In this way death can be understood not only as a part of life, but also as a part of nature. The work is also about healing. The first movement subtitled “Things Fall Apart,” depicts a crisis and a struggle. The second movement, “Harvest of Sorrows,” reflects the natural mourning process that occurs after a crisis and a loss. The third movement, “The Healing Fields,” is a dance of renewal and regained strength. The fourth and final movement, “Homeward,” is a hymn of thanks and gratitude for the very gift of life with both its joys and its sorrows. This work is dedicated to Ida Kavafian.

– Richard Danielpour

 

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
Quintet for Strings in C Major, D. 956, Op. 163

            Allegro ma non troppo
            Adagio
            Scherzo
            Allegretto

The C Major quintet was Schubert’s final chamber work. Completed just two months before the composer’s death, he never saw it receive a public premiere. In fact, the work went unperformed for over twenty years, premiering in 1850 and first being published in 1853. Nevertheless, the quintet has become known as one of the true pinnacles of the chamber repertoire and perhaps the greatest example of Schubert’s unparalleled gift for melody.

As in other late Schubert works, the quintet’s opening movement is expansive; accounting for more than a third of the work’s total duration. Here Schubert lays his skills on full display as he presents an astoundingly beautiful introduction that gives way to a second theme in the cellos which is juxtaposed with the other three instruments for the remainder of the movement. The second movement, a rare Adagio, presents a simple ternary form which begins and ends with an other-worldly melody played in the inner voices. The contrasting second theme is full of intense turbulence that builds until the return of the opening theme is finally heralded by running 32nd-note passage in the second cello. This second theme firmly establishes the exploration of musical contrasts which Schubert employs throughout the work.

This exploration continues in the Scherzo. The movement opens with a bouncy and high-spirited romp broken only for a brief repose during the movement’s quiet trio. The finale presents a sonata-rondo which opens on a heavily Hungarian-influenced dance theme. Later, Schubert harkens back to his earlier movements by again using the cellos in duet to present a solemn and broad musical line which is set against scampering counterpoint from the higher instruments. As the quintet draws to a close, the final movement continues Schubert’s exploration of contrast through its salient shifts between major and minor keys.