Fifth Season of The New Esterházy Quartet
- I - Dedicated to Haydn V:
Quartets by Haydn, Bernard Romberg, and Mozart (in A, K. 464)
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 8pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
II - Haydn and his Students III:
Quartets by Haydn, Anton Reicha, and Beethoven (in F minor, Op. 95, Serioso)
Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 4pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
III - Dedicated to Haydn VI:
Quartets by Haydn, Peter Hänsel, and Mozart (in C, K. 465, Dissonant)
Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday January 8, 2012 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
IV - Special “Half-Way to Spring” performance of Haydn’s own favorite composition: The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross:
With homilies by Alan Jones, former Dean of Grace Cathedral
Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 4pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
V - Haydn and his Students IV:
Quartets by Haydn, Anton Wranitzky, and Beethoven (in A minor, Op. 132)
Saturday, May 14, 2012 at 8pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday, May 15, 2012 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
Haydn 68 - A Multi-Year Project by The Attacca Quartet
This acclaimed quartet from the Juilliard School in New York is performing the complete cycle in New York - and in Waterloo!
Opening concerts: Nov. 16-17, 2013 [2:00 and 8:00 each day; talks at 7:00] KWCMS Music Room - 57 Young St. W. - Waterloo Sat. Nov. 16, 2:00: op. 9/1; op. 20/2; op. 71/2 *** 8:00: op. 1/3; 50/4; 74/3 “Rider” Sun. Nov.. 17, 2:00: op. 2/4; 55/2 “Razor”; op. 64/2 *** 8:00: 33/3 “Bird”; 17/5; 76/3 “Emperor” [The Next Haydn 68 weekend (Weekend II) is Fri-Sat-Sun Feb.7-8-9]. [note corrected dates] Each concert: $35 (sr $30; st $20). Weekend (four-concert) package: just $90/$70/$50
Be a Haydn Supporter! $500, with two tickets to each concert and a $400 tax receipt.
2014-15 season: Weekend III: October 24-26; Weekend IV: April 3-5
For more information visit: http://www.k-wcms.com/KWCMS/Haydn_68!.html
New Esterházy Quartet - Hadyn and His Students VI
Haydn & His Students VI
Friday, November 29, 2013, 8pm Please note: this is an evening concert! The Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street (between Spruce and Arch) Berkeley Tickets available at the door
Saturday, November 30, 2013, 4 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 1111 O'Farrell Street (at Franklin) San Francisco
Sunday, December 1, 2013, 4pm All Saints’ Episcopal Church 555 Waverley Street (at Hamilton) Palo Alto
Haydn Quartet in G, Op. 64, No. 4
Joseph Eybler Quartet in C minor, Op. 1, No. 2
Beethoven Quartet in Eb, Op. 127
GOOD NEWS for OUR SUBSCRIBERS! By special arrangement with Berkeley’s Hillside Club, you may present your season ticket for our next concert—Haydn & His Students VI—at the door in Berkeley and be admitted. You now have THREE options: Hillside Club in Berkeley on Friday, St. Mark’s in San Francisco on Saturday, or at All Saints’ in Palo Alto on Sunday. Choose any venue!
Additional Appearances! Before we play the next concert of our 7th Season, we will appear before the November presentations of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Music from Imperial St. Petersburg. Our pre-concert lecture/demonstration will feature chamber music written in Russia, including movements by Anton Ferdinand Titz, Aleksandr Alyabyev, and Mikail Glinka.
A lunchtime concert at UCSF on November 21: Mozart’s first and Haydn’s last quartets. Join us at Cole Hall, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, at 12:15 PM.
Chamber Music Workshop! We are happy to announce the dates of our third annual Chamber Music Workshop. We will return to St. Albert’s Priory in Oakland June 15–21, 2014. Mark your calendars and rosin your bow!
Haydn and his Students
In the early part of 1790 Haydn was a lonely man at Esterháza, writing to his Viennese friend and confidante Maria Anna von Genzinger “Well, here I sit in my wilderness—forsaken—like a poor waif—almost without any human society—melancholy—full of the memories of past glorious days—yes! past, alas!—and who knows when those days shall return again?” Little did he suspect that on the following New Year’s Day he would land at Dover, freed of his 30 years of obligations to the Esterházy family, to conquer England by the force of his music and his humane personality. Among the stacks of manuscripts he brought with him were the Quartets of Op. 64. Already in February of 1791 a concert bill announces as part of the evening’s entertainment a Quartetto to be led by Johann Salomon, just one day after their first publication in faraway Vienna. Because Salomon had rushed Haydn out of Vienna in December, it can’t be said that these quartets were written for London, but that is where they were first heard. A strange footnote: Haydn’s autograph and the earliest Viennese and London publications disagree on the order of the six quartets of Op. 64. In all three sources the only quartet that occupies the same position in numerical order is our #4.
Strange the fate of the well-trained, well-behaved, and well-regarded Joseph Eybler who is nearly forgotten today! Befriended by Haydn and Mozart, trained by Albrechtsberger, and carrying glowing recommendations from all three (“after Mozart he is the greatest genius that Vienna now has” wrote his teacher), Eybler rose to the highest position at court, succeeding Salieri himself as Hofkapellmeister. And now? Is his obscurity deserved? Judge for yourself after hearing his dramatic Quartet in C minor, dedicated to Haydn as “public testimony of the unalloyed esteem and personal veneration which I profess towards you.”
After more than a dozen years of difficulties, including increasing deafness, conflicts with and around his nephew Karl, and the disappointment of his last great love affair, Beethoven returned again to writing string quartets. It could be said they were the primary focus of his last years. The first of these “Late Quartets” took shape over 3 years, from 1822 to 1825. Op. 127 is in the key of his Eroica Symphony, but if you are listening for heroics in this music, you will be disappointed within half a dozen bars. The initial Maestoso (majestic) dissolves quickly into a genial, songful Allegro marked teneramente, sempre piano e dolce (tenderly, always quiet and sweet), a feminine response, to use the language of the time, to the stout-hearted masculine opening. Many more dissolutions, transformations, epiphanies, and revelations of hidden unities follow, so by the end the listener whom the performance sweeps up seems to feel that s/he has experienced a lifetime of adventure within the span of its four movements, rather like Blake’s “infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”
New Esterházy Quartet: Paris Symphonies
Friday, January 3, 2014, 8pm
Please note: this is an evening concert! The Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street (between Spruce and Arch) Berkeley Tickets available at the door
Saturday, January 4, 2014, 4 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 1111 O'Farrell Street (at Franklin) San Francisco
Sunday, January 5, 2014, 4pm All Saints’ Episcopal Church 555 Waverley Street (at Hamilton) Palo Alto
Haydn (arr. Haydn) Symphony No. 85 in Bb (1785) La Reine
Mozart (arr. Skeen) Symphony No. 31 in D, K297 (1788) Paris
Cherubini (arr. Cherubini) Symphony in D (1815) (aka Quartet No. 2 in C)
GOOD NEWS for OUR SUBSCRIBERS! By special arrangement with Berkeley’s Hillside Club, you may present your season ticket for our next concert—Paris Symphonies—at the door in Berkeley and be admitted. You now have THREE options: Hillside Club in Berkeley on Friday, St. Mark’s in San Francisco on Saturday, or at All Saints’ in Palo Alto on Sunday. Choose any venue!
Conquering the City of Light
Although the New Esterházy Quartet offer you Paris Symphonies, a glance at the composers’ names shows two Austrians and an Italian. The chauvinistic French owe much of their musical art to judicious imports and foreigners gone native dating at least as far back as Giovanni Battista Lulli of Florence, who as Jean-Baptiste Lully set the style and tone for French music in the 17th century. After Vienna, Paris and London were the two capitals inviting conquest by the ambitious composer, and each of today’s three laid siege to the French in a different manner, with differing success.
In spite of his two triumphant tours to London, Haydn himself never visited Paris. But his was a familiar name there, for many of his quartets and symphonies were first printed in unauthorized (that is, pirated) editions in Paris beginning as early as 1764, and they were to be heard in concerts, salons, and homes throughout the French capital. Around 1785 he received a commission from the Comte d’Ogny, grown rich in the French postal service, for six symphonies to be performed by Les Concerts de la Loge Olympique. This was a large orchestra of Freemasons who performed standing in blue dress coats with lace ruffles, their swords worn at their sides, a Parisian example of “open carry”. Of the six, the one in B♭ was said to be the favorite of Marie Antoinette, who often attended concerts at the Olympic Lodge. In 1792 a visitor to the Queen in prison prior to her execution noticed there a copy of this symphony, bearing the title given by the publisher—La Reine de France. The visitor was moved to tears by her comment, “Times have changed.”
The year after their Parisian premiere in 1787 three of these symphonies were published in Vienna by Artaria as Trois nouvelles Simphonies Composés et aranges en Quatuors pour deux Violons Alto et Basso par Ioseph Haydn. This was one year after Artaria had issued the quartet version, known to have been set by Haydn himself, of the Seven Last Words. Its sophistication as well as the wording of the title page argue for Haydn’s own involvement in the arrangement we play.
That same year, 1788, Mozart at age 22 spent 6 months in Paris. Since he died just shy of 36, it could be said that he was already middle-aged. Even so he was closely chaperoned by his mother, lodged together in the same cold room at his father’s insistence. He was there looking for a job, of course, or perhaps a commission to write an opera, which could open many doors. Although he did have some success with his performances and compositions, he returned empty-handed to the provincial duties of violinist and organist to the Salzburg court. And worse, he returned home alone, for his mother had died in their common room during their fruitless stay in Paris.
Well, not entirely fruitless, for he did write for the orchestra of the Concert Spirituel a new symphony in D major, calculated to please and flatter the Parisian audience, and so it has come to be known as Mozart’s Paris Symphony. In a letter home to his father he reported on its premiere performance:
Right in the middle of the first Allegro was a passage that I knew they would like; the whole audience was thrilled by it and there was a tremendous burst of applause…The Andante also found favor, but particularly the last Allegro because, having observed that here all final as well as first Allegros begin with all the instruments playing together and generally unisono, I began mine with the two violin sections only, piano for the first eight bars—followed instantly by a forte; the audience as I expected, said “Shh!” at the soft beginning, and as soon as they heard the forte which followed immediately began to clap their hands.
For the second Parisian performance a month later Mozart wrote a substitute middle movement at the request of the director of the Concert Spirituel, who claimed that the original was too long and complicated. Mozart wrote “It is just the reverse…for it is quite simple and short.” It is this original Andante that we play today, in our cellist William Skeen’s transcription of the entire symphony for string quartet.
Whereas Haydn only lobbed his blockbusters into Paris from a distance and Mozart retreated in defeat, Luigi Cherubini came, saw, and conquered. Born in Florence and trained in Bologna and Milan, he settled in Paris in 1786 after an unsuccessful career as the house composer for The King’s Theatre (the London opera house devoted to Italian opera). Already in his first year there he joined the Masonic Loge Olympique and thus could have heard both Haydn’s and Mozart’s Paris Symphonies. He also entered into Marie Antoinette’s musical circles at Versailles. In spite of time spent in Turin, Rouen, Le Havre, London, and Vienna, Paris was to remain the center of his activities for the rest of his life. During a visit to Vienna in 1805 he called on Haydn. When Cherubini addressed Haydn as “Papa” he responded, “Yes, as far as age is concerned, but not as far as music goes.” When Cherubini left Vienna, Haydn presented to him the autograph score of the Drumroll Symphony, saying “Let me call myself your musical father, and you my son.” Tears were shed at this farewell.
Cherubini managed somehow to successfully navigate the turbulent political and economic currents in France from the monarchy to the republic through the Napoleonic era to the restoration of the monarchy, and in the course of it he became a distinguished educator as the head of the Conservatoire. But he still composed operas and occasional music for political and church occasions. In 1815 he received a commission from the Philharmonic Society in London for a new symphony. (Beethoven had also received such a commission, the result was his Ninth.) Cherubini’s Symphony in D did not have a great success, it received fewer than half a dozen performances in the 19th century. Nevertheless, he thought well enough of it to arrange it in 1829 for publication in Paris as a string quartet in C, with the addition of a new slow movement. He dedicated this, his second quartet, to his Conservatoire colleague and distinguished quartet leader Pierre Baillot
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