Telemann, Georg Philipp Trio Sonata in A minor, TWV 42:A6 (Flute, oboe, bassoon)
Haydn, Franz Joseph Quartet in C major, op. 76, no. 3 “Emperor” (String quartet)
Arnold, Malcolm Trio for Flute, Viola & Bassoon, op 6 (Flute, viola, bassoon)
Baksa, Robert Nonet for Winds and Strings (Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, string quintet)
Note: There has been a change to the repertoire originally listed for this concert.
Are you looking to deepen and enrich your classical music experience?
The SSO Players’ Choice Sunday Concerts are an opportunity for the ten principal players of the Saskatoon Symphony’s “Core Musicians” program to connect with you on a different level than is possible in our Masters Series concerts and to perform repertoire that is less likely to be featured in the other series. The performances take place in the ballrooms of the beautiful riverside Delta Bessborough, creating a less formal, more intimate event.
The repertoire for the Players’ Choice Series is selected by the musicians themselves. A great deal of thought, planning, and discussion goes into the programming of each concert and the pieces that are ultimately chosen because they are meaningful to the musicians and contribute to their commitment of offering a wide range of rich musical experiences for our audience. As a result the performances are very personal and exciting.
Players’ Choice Sunday Concerts are also a great way to take a break from a hectic weekend. Step into the concert, sit back and let the timeless music refresh and reinvigorate the imagination and the soul.
Prepared by Margaret Wilson. © 2012
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Georg Philipp Telemann 1681 – 1767
Trio Sonata in A minor, TWV 42:a6
Georg Telemann was born in Magdeburg to a family long connected with the Lutheran Church. As a child he showed exceptional musical talent and is said to have mastered the violin, flute, zither and keyboard by the age of ten. He composed his first opera, Sigismundus, by age twelve. Telemann attended the University of Leipzig earning a law degree in 1701, but maintained his interest in music throughout his time at university. Within his first year he founded the student Collegium Musicum with which he gave public performances, and which J.S. Bach was later to direct. Telemann established himself in Hamburg in 1721 as the Cantor of the Johanneum and musical director of the city’s five principal churches. He was to remain there till his death in 1767.
Telemann’s compositional output is perhaps the largest of any classical composer in history. Many works have been lost, but most still exist and the sheer volume has been somewhat overwhelming for both scholars and performers alike. In the area of chamber music there are many compositions for solo instruments, including a set of a dozen Fantasias for unaccompanied violin, and works for various groups of instruments, duos, trios, quartets and quintets. The cataloguing system in use for Telemann’s work (TWV) refers to “Telemann Werk Verzeichnis.” Compositions in the TWV42 group are for 2 instruments and basso continuo. Telemann encouraged flexibility in the instrumentation of his chamber music to accommodate one’s own performing group. The Sonata TWV 42:a6 was originally written for treble recorder (flute), oboe (violin) and basso continuo. Today we will hear it performed by flute, oboe and bassoon.[/sws_ui_toggle]
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Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 – 1809
Quartet No. 62 in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3
Poco adagio, cantabile
Franz Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, a small Austrian village near the border with Hungary. His extraordinary musical talent was recognized early, and at age eight he went to Vienna to serve as a choirboy in the Cathedral at St. Stephen. After being dismissed from St. Stephen’s when his voice changed he struggled to earn a living through his teenage years as a free-lance musician. However, his talents gradually began to be recognized among aristocratic patrons, and in 1761 he entered the service of the very rich and powerful Esterhazy family of Hungary. He remained in their employ for nearly 30 years, with most of his music composed for performances in the palaces of the family—in particular Esterhaza which contained an opera house, a theater, two concert halls and 126 guest rooms.
Haydn is the most prolific and influential composer of the Classical Period. This is in part due to the demands of his employment, and also in part to his long life. He is known as the “Father of the Symphony” and the “Father of the String Quartet”. He also developed the “sonata form”, and was a teacher to Ludwig van Beethoven. His influence is seen in composers such as Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms.
Haydn wrote 68 string quartets altogether. His String Quartet No. 62 is nicknamed “The Emperor” because in the second movement he quotes the melody from “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”, an anthem he wrote for Emperor Francis II on his birthday. Listeners today will recognize it as the modern national anthem of Germany (Deutschlandlied). The first movement is in “sonata form”. The second movement uses the “Emperor” theme as a basis for a set of variations. The Minuet with its A minor Trio provides some relaxation before the drama of the Finale, which begins in C minor but ultimately returns to a triumphant C major.[/sws_ui_toggle]
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Sir Malcolm Arnold 1921 – 2006
Trio for Flute, Viola & Bassoon, Op. 6
Allegro ma non troppo – Presto
Andante con moto
Allegro commodo – Andante – Tempo Primo
Born in Northampton, Malcolm Arnold began his professional life as second trumpet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Considered to be one of the finest trumpet players of the day, he eventually became the orchestra’s principal trumpet from 1941 to 1948. Composition began to take ever more time, and from 1948 to the early 1960s Arnold was at the peak of his productivity. He has many major works to his credit, including nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, one musical, over twenty concertos as well as music for brass band and wind band. Arnold also wrote 132 film scores with the most famous being Bridge on the River Kwai for which, in 1958, he was one of the first British composers to win an Oscar®.
The Trio, Op. 6, was written in 1943 when Arnold was just 22 years old and trying to establish himself as a composer. He wrote many small pieces for greater and more frequent exposure—a balance to the less frequent commissions for larger symphonies, operas, etc. The Op. 6 followed just weeks after his “Three Shanties for Wind Quintet” — still a favourite among wind quintets 60 years later. The Trio was first performed at one of the earliest concerts by the “Society for the Promotion of New Music”, established by the composer Francis Chagrin with the guidance of Vaughn Williams and Arthur Bliss, to promote new emerging talent. Arnold delighted in unusual sound combinations and his trademark “wrong-note harmonies” and rhythmic eccentricity are very evident in this piece.[/sws_ui_toggle]
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Robert Baksa b. 1938
Nonet for Winds and Strings
One of America’s most prolific composers, Robert Baksa was born in New York City but grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He attended the University of Arizona where he obtained a BA in Composition. In the early 1960s he returned to New York City where he lived for nearly 40 years. Currently he lives in Kinderhook, New York where he serves as Resident Composer and Coordinator of New Music for the Pleshakov Music Center in Hudson, New York.
As his career developed it became increasingly clear to Baksa that most of the innovations of the 20th century were at odds with his own esthetics and ideals. “As important as these methods were to other composers,” Baksa explains, “I found that I could not express my particular personality through their use. The clean lines, transparent textures and sheer clarity of the classical era had the greatest appeal for me, and in spite of what most musicologists say about changing styles, I feel that the best compositions of any era will share, to some extent, these qualities.”
The Nonet for Winds and Strings was written in 1974 for a commission by the Chamber Music Conference of the East at Bennington, Vermont. It was presented that summer during Baksa’s tenure as Composer-in-Residence. It has been recorded by the Bronx Arts Ensemble.[/sws_ui_toggle]