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Music for Harp, Violin and Cello

Music for Harp, Violin and Cello

  • By TRIO PITTSBURGH
  • Release 01/07/2014
  • Media Format CD
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Price: €26.66

Product Notes

Trio Pittsburgh--comprised of Principals from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin Anne Martindale Williams, cello Trio by Joseph Haydn, Sonata for Violin and Harp by Adrian Shaposhnikov, A Chloris by Reynaldo Hahn, Trio by Henriette Renie, Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel (used in the film, Scent of a Woman) Most of this music is recorded for the first time with duos for violin and harp as well as trios for violin, cello, and harp. NOAH BENDIX-BALGLEY has been Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2011. Mr. Bendix-Balgley is a Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels), and also won First Prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition (Paris), First Prize and a Special Prize for Best Bach Interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition "Andrea Postacchini" (Fermo, Italy), and Third Prize and a Special Prize for Creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition (Paris). As a soloist, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicale of Milan, Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), Binghamton Philharmonic and Asheville Symphony. Mr. Bendix-Balgley has also played his own version of The Star-Spangled Banner for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park. As a chamber musician, Mr. Bendix-Balgley has performed on a North American tour with the Miro String Quartet, as first violinist of the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet, which won a Special Prize at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition (Berlin), and throughout Europe. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the "Best Classical Concert of 2012" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has also appeared at numerous festivals in Europe and North America, including Verbier, Sarasota, ChamberFest Cleveland, Brevard and Chamber Music Connects the World (Kronberg, Germany). Noah Bendix-Balgley graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. His principal teachers were Mauricio Fuks, Christoph Poppen and Ana Chumachenco. In his spare time, he enjoys playing klezmer music. Mr. Bendix-Balgley plays a Cremonese violin made in 1732 by Carlo Bergonzi. GRETCHEN VAN HOESEN has been Principal Harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1977 and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on subscription concerts and on tour under conductors André Previn, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Zdnek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, Pinchas Zukerman and Manfred Honeck. She has been active in the performance of new music, giving the New York and Pittsburgh premieres of Alberto Ginastera's Harp Concerto, the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski's Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra with her husband, former Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Co-Principal Oboist James Gorton, the United States premiere of Suite Concertante for Solo Harp and Orchestra by Manuel Moreno-Buendia in San Antonio, Texas, the North American premiere of Concert Piece, Op. 65 for Oboe/English Horn, Two Harps and Orchestra by Eugene Goossens, and the world premiere of Sir André Previn's Concerto for Harp. Gretchen Van Hoesen has concertized all over the world and was selected to perform in the Super World Orchestra in Japan, an ensemble made up of key musicians from around the globe. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Denton, Washington, D.C. and Fredonia, and served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and as President of the organization's Pittsburgh Chapter. Gretchen Van Hoesen graduated from the Juilliard School, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in harp as a scholarship student of Marcel Grandjany and Susann McDonald. She is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department with highest honors in piano and harp, where she was a student of Eileen Malone. She studied further with Gloria Agostini. Her recordings include Lullabies and Night Songs on the Caedmon label, Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, and Concertos for Harp and Orchestra, both on Boston Records, and Breath of Heaven, A Christmas Collection with soprano Sarah Botkin. Ms. Van Hoesen is a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and also maintains a private teaching studio at her home in Pittsburgh. ANNE MARTINDALE WILLIAMS has enjoyed a successful career as Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. Throughout her tenure with the orchestra, she has often been featured as soloist both in Pittsburgh and on tour in New York's Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, and collaborated with such guest artists as Yehudi Menuhin, André Previn, the Emerson Quartet, Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Pinchas Zukerman in numerous chamber music performances. Mrs. Williams made her London debut performing Dvorák's Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn conducting. She is on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and also appears regularly in solo and chamber music performances in America and Europe. Mrs. Williams has performed at many of America's prestigious summer music festivals, and given master classes throughout the country, including the Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony in Miami, Aspen, Credo at Oberlin College and Masterworks Festival. Anne Martindale Williams is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Orlando Cole. Her Tecchler cello was made in Rome in 1701. Producer: James Gorton Recording engineers: Riccardo Schulz, Sang Mok Lee Assistant engineers: Rosey Denton, Weichao Kong Engineering assistants: Michael Cai, Tristan Marino, Tobias Glover Editing and Mastering: James Gorton, Riccardo Schulz Recording dates: July 17-20, 2013 Recording location: School of Music Recording Studio, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University Photography: Alisa Milnthorp Graphic design: Deborah Cavrak Special thanks: Denis Colwell and Carnegie Mellon University Joseph Haydn Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp in G major, H. XV:15 (1732-1809) Allegro Andante Finale: Allegro moderato Reynaldo Hahn À Chloris for Violin and Harp (1875-1947) Adrian Shaposhnikov Sonata for Violin and Harp (1888-1967) Andante con moto Menuetto: Allegretto Allegro molto Henriette Renié Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp (1875-1956) Allegro risoluto Scherzo: Vivace scherzando Andante Finale: Allegro Carlos Gardel Por una Cabeza for Violin, Cello and Harp (1890-1935) arr. J.G. Miller Early in 1790, the London publisher John Bland ventured to Vienna, where he sought to enter into arrangements with that city's leading composers, including Mozart, before making a special trip to Esterhazy Palace in western Hungary to visit Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). Haydn contracted with the publisher to provide three trios, and in April he delivered the pieces (H. XV:15-17) to Bland, who announced their publication in London on June 28, 1790. The trios, originally for flute, cello and keyboard, are often performed with violin instead of flute, and in this case with harp instead of keyboard. The G major Trio opens with a little gesture in the harp before the violin presents the first movement's ingratiating main theme; the second subject is a leaping motive with a familial resemblance to the opening idea. The development embraces several thematic fragments from the exposition before a full recapitulation of the earlier materials rounds out the movement. The Andante is at once simple and sophisticated, seeming antitheses that Haydn effortlessly balanced in his mature works, with it's three-part form (A-B-A) given added expressive resonance by the second section becoming a free, minor-key development of the opening theme and the closing section an elaborated variation of it. The finale is a sprightly rondo. Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) was perfectly suited to his Parisian environment - charming, sensitive, witty delete the words "gay (in both senses)," add the word "and" slightly exotic. He occupied a significant place as composer, conductor, critic and administrator in the world's most vibrant city of music, art and high culture during the early 20th century. Hahn's birth, on August 9, 1875, seemed to foretell a life of unusual interest - he was the last of twelve children born to a German-Jewish merchant father and a Basque-Roman Catholic mother then living in Caracas, Venezuela. The family settled in Paris when Reynaldo was three, and he soon displayed a remarkable precocity for music; he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at age ten to study with Massenet. In 1892, Hahn issued a collection of songs on Verlaine's Chansons grises ("Gray Songs") and six years later premiered his first opera, L'Île du rêve ("The Dream Isle"), at the Opéra-Comique; a half-dozen other stage works followed during the next fourteen years. He became a French citizen in 1912 and fought at the front in World War I, winning both the Legion d'honneur and Croix de guerre. After the war, he returned to Paris, composing songs, ballets, operas, operettas and musical comedies and serving as director of the Paris Opéra until his death three decades later. Hahn's lovely song À Chloris, based on a poem by Théophile de Viau - If it be true, Chloris, that thou lovest me, I believe that not even kings rejoice in happiness such as mine - is an effective counterfeit of a Handel aria built above a walking bass line. Adrian Shaposhnikov (1888-1967) was born in St. Petersburg and graduated from that city's prestigious conservatory, but he became one of the leading musical figures in the distant southern Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. Shaposhnikov began composing as a teenager, but he earned an engineering degree from the St. Petersburg Technical Institute before entering the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study with Alexander Glazunov, the school's director. He graduated in 1913 and composed a ballet, an orchestral suite, songs and piano pieces before moving seven years later to Moscow, where he worked as an engineer and free-lance composer. His works, however, accorded poorly with both the avant-gardism then accepted (briefly) by the Soviet authorities and the populist idiom that would appeal to the masses and found little success, and he eagerly accepted an invitation in 1936 from the actor and director Leonid Obolensky to settle in Turkmenistan. Shaposhnikov headed for Ashgabat, wrote the score for a film directed by Obolensky, and then immersed himself in the country's musical life, studying it's history and culture, visiting villages, recording songs, seeking out other musicians, and incorporating native idioms into his compositions. In recognition of his significance in the nation's cultural life, Shaposhnikov was made director of the Composers' Union of the Turkmen SSR and granted the titles Honored Art Worker, Order of Red Banner of Labor and People's Artist of the TSSR. Shaposhnikov composed his Sonata for Violin (or Flute) and Harp in Moscow in 1925, a decade before he came under the sway of Turkmenian music, but it's style is rooted in the sensuous Impressionism of Debussy and the pastoral modalism of Vaughan Williams rather than in any Russian tradition. The rhapsodic opening Andante con moto describes a fluid formal arch that reaches a peak of expressive intensity at it's mid-point. The Menuetto is Shaposhnikov's recreation of an 18th-century Menuetto, though it's supple lines, luminous sonority and languorous tempo give it more the quality of a dream or a memory than a dance. The energetic, jig-like outer sections of the finale are balanced in form and expression by a thoughtful central episode. Henriette Renié, despite her delicate spirit and her intrusion into the male-dominated world of Parisian music, was a potent force in French harp playing for seven decades. Born in Paris in 1875, Renié began study of the harp with the renowned Alphonse Hasselmans when she was eight. She was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire a year later, and won the Premier Prix for her instrument when she was eleven. Her first solo recital, at age fifteen, established her among the country's elite musicans; the high point of her performing career was her appearance in her own Harp Concerto at the Concerts Lamoureux in 1901. In 1912, she established the Concours Renié, the first international harp competition, and thereafter taught some of the next generation's best-known harpists, including Marcel Grandjany, Susan McDonald and even Harpo Marx. Renié was troubled with ill health and a delicate constitution throughout her life, and she largely withdrew from public performances after 1937. Following Renié's death in Paris on March 1, 1956, Bernard Gavoty wrote in Le Figaro, "Henriette Renié was a striking figure in French music. The public, completely won over, has given the harp it's stamp of approval because of her." Renié's Trio for Harp, Violin and Cello (1901) was an informal graduation thesis marking the end of her studies at the Conservatoire. The opening sonata-form movement takes as it's main theme a bold, leaping motive in dotted rhythms; the second subject is a lovely, arching melody. The development draws considerable drama from the exposition's motives. The earlier thematic components return in the recapitulation before an extended coda based on the main theme's materials provides a vigorous close. Though the Scherzo is playful and animated, it also exudes a Gallic whiff of Romantic diablerie; the central trio hints of a duple-meter folk dance. The Andante is in the nature of a wistful lullaby. The declamatory chords that open the finale preface brief reminders of the earlier movements. The sonata-form heart of the movement is based on a nimble main theme presented by the violin and a legato second theme comprising a series of one-measure melodic arches for the strings. Both ideas figure in the development and are reprised in the recapitulation before the Trio comes to a brilliant close. Carlos Gardel helped bring the Argentine tango to the world. Gardel may have been born in Uruguay or in France, in 1890; his mother was from Toulouse, and his father might have been a Uruguayan army colonel. Whatever his background, Gardel had arrived in Buenos Aires by 1893, and he emerged as a popular café and carnival singer while still a teenager. He went on to record nearly 900 songs, many of them his own, create sensations in Paris, Madrid and Barcelona, and appear in some twenty films during the 1930s, including Hollywood's Tango Bar and The Big Broadcast of 1936. His popularity in Argentina was unprecedented, and his funeral in Buenos Aires after he was killed in a plane accident on the way to perform in Medellín, Colombia in June 1935 was the biggest that city had ever seen. The title of Gardel's Por una Cabeza (1935), with lyrics by Alfredo Le Pera about a compulsive gambler comparing his addiction to the race-track and his irresistible attraction to woman, refers to winning a race "by a head." ©2013 Dr. Richard E. Rodda.

Details

Title: Music for Harp, Violin and Cello
Release Date: 01/07/2014
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 700261406848
Item #: 1255375X
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