Music of South America
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
José Luis Gomez, conductor (pictured)
Andrew Wan, violin
This performance is available as part of a six-concert Masters Applause subscription starting at just $156. Single tickets are available beginning Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 10am.
José Luis Gomez conducts music from Latin and South America inspired by European masters. Piazzolla’s concerto salutes Vivaldi, while Villa-Lobos’ Sinfonietta is “in memory of Mozart”. Edmonton’s Andrew Wan, now the Montreal Symphony’s concertmaster, makes a welcome return.
Piazzolla – The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Villa-Lobos – Sinfonietta
Márquez – Danzón No. 4
Carreño – Margariteña
Moncayo – Huapango
Arrive early for Symphony Prelude, an in-depth presentation about musical works to help make the most of your concert experience, starting at 7 pm in Enmax Hall (Main Performance Chamber), free to all ticket holders.
$79 Dress Circle (A)
$69 Terrace (B)
$59 Orchestra (C)
$39 Upper Circle (D)
$29 Gallery (E)
Tickets subject to applicable service charges.
Margariteña - Glosa sinfónica / Symphonic Variations (14’)* (ESO premiere)
Cuatro estaciónes porteñas / The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov) (28’)*
Danzon No. 4 (11’)* (ESO premiere)
Sinfonietta No. 1 (Em memória de Mozart / In memory of Mozart) (21’)* (ESO premiere)
JOSÉ PABLO MONCAYO
*Indicates approximate performance duration
Program subject to change
(b. Porlamar, Estado Nueva Esparta, 1919 / d. Porlamar, 2016)
First performed: November 25, 1954
This is the ESO premiere of the piece
Inocente Carreño was raised by his grandmother in Porlamar, the largest city on the Venezuelan island of Margarita. He began studying music at the age of nine, and moved with his brother to Caracas in 1932. He worked in a shoe store while continuing to learn music, eventually arranging and writing songs and popular dances: joropos, meringues, waltzes, rumbas, tangos, and boleros. He became a trumpeter, singer, and conductor, and composed his most famous work – Margariteña – in 1954, after adding teacher to his other musical pursuits.
The title has a double meaning. Margariteña is itself a song form; and his own island home, Margarita, is the subject of a popular song, “Margarita es una lágrima” (“Margarita is a tear”). The work begins with a theme inspired by that song, first presented in the cellos and then taken up by the orchestra. Other folk themes are presented throughout the work as well in what Carreño called Glosa sinfónica (“symphonic variations”). The overall language of the music is impressionistic. His fellow countryman and conductor Gustavo Dudamel said of the work, “You can feel the beach in this piece. You can feel the air and smell the water. It’s full of life, but it’s also nostalgic – one of the songs he uses is a children’s song, a tune we sing when we play games.”
Cuatro estaciónes porteñas (“The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”) (arr. Desyatnikov)
(b. Mar del Plata, 1921 / d. Buenos Aires, 1992)
First performance: Recording session, September 6 – 9, 1998 in Reutlingen-Gönningen, Germany with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica
Last ESO performance: February 2010
Each of the four pieces which ultimately make up the set known as the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (the word porteñas in the title is an adjective referring to people born in the Argentine capital) were written separately, and not for violin and orchestra. Each was composed for Piazzolla’s performing ensemble, which consisted of violin, piano, electric guitar, double bass, and bandoneón. Summer was the first to be composed, in 1964. Autumn came next, in 1969. The final two were written in 1970. Although not intended as a set to be played together, Piazzolla did do so occasionally.
The version we will hear tonight was arranged by Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov. It is scored for solo violin and chamber orchestra, transferring the melodic role of the bandoneón from the original works to the solo violin. Using some poetic license, Desyatnikov also makes reference to the famous Vivaldi work with sly quotes for the solo instrument from the Italian master’s set. But he does so cleverly – when it’s summer in Buenos Aires, it is winter in Italy – so quotes from Vivaldi’s winter concerto show up in Piazzolla’s summer movement while Vivaldi’s summer work features in Piazzolla’s winter.
“The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is something of a hybrid work, with Desyatnikov's arrangement giving a European virtuoso gloss and polish to Piazzolla's evocation of the Buenos Aires of the poor working class,” according to the New England Conservatory of Music. The violin part is a challenging one, requiring the player to play the strings with both sides of the bow at times. For their part, the string players of the ensemble present percussive effects as well. There is also an extended, resigned cello solo (Rafael Hoekman) at the beginning of the autumn section.
Danzon No. 4
(b. Álamos, Sonora, 1950)
Work published February 16, 2011
This is the ESO premiere of the piece
One of nine children in his family, Arturo Márquez is the only one of his siblings who pursued music – despite the fact that his father was himself a mariachi musician in Mexico and later Los Angeles. Arturo attended music schools in his homeland as well as in California. His several Danzones (eight so far) are among his most popular works, and have been written for various ensembles. Danzon No. 2, which the ESO has played several times, is scored for orchestra or symphonic band. Danzon No. 4, receiving its ESO premiere at this performance, is scored for a chamber orchestra.
Like the others, Danzon No. 4 is composed in a formal manner: beginning with a slow section, mysterious and portentous, with an extended bassoon solo answered by English horn. The rhythm comes more to the fore as more instruments join in, the strings and piano take over the rhythm, and a horn solo leads to a more percussive feel – and a saxophone solo. But just as it feels like the rhythm will prove irresistible, the music ebbs away once again, and brief solo statements appear from several instruments. But they quickly bring back the passion and drive of the piece, which concludes with an exciting and jaunty swagger – interrupted ever so briefly by a reprise of the opening section.
Sinfonietta No. 1 (Em memória de Mozart)
(b. Rio de Janeiro, 1887 / d. Rio de Janeiro, 1959)
The first two movements of the work were first performed in 1922 in São Paulo. The completed work was first performed in 1955 in Vienna.
This is the ESO premiere of the piece
Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos had no trouble paying homage to the music of those he admired. This is most famously displayed in his many works titled Bachianas Brasileiras, in which his love for Bach is apparent. Similarly, his Sinfonietta No. 1 is subtitled “In memory of Mozart,” and was an early work, composed in 1916. It is scored for a smallish orchestra Mozart would have recognized (save for the trombones), and is in three movements. It took nearly 40 years for the work to be heard in its full three-movement form, only four years before Villa-Lobos’ death.
In Sua Obra (“My Works,” published posthumously in 1967), Villia-Lobos implies that the first theme, “delicate and subtle, (suggests) the European aristocratic elegance of the 18th century;” while the second “violent, deep and mysterious (presents) the characteristics of Germanic genius.” While the composer may have stated that the intent of the work was to “describe the conflict between culture, represented by the scholastic prejudices and rules, and the temperament of the free, spontaneous artist, independent from any theory,” a struggle with which Mozart may have identified, the work itself is charming and full of life.
José Pablo Moncayo
(b. Guadalajara, 1912 / d. Mexico City, 1958)
First performed: 1941 in Mexico City
Last ESO performance: Robbins Lighter Classics, November 17, 2016 (about a week ago)
As composer, conductor, pianist and percussionist, José Pablo Moncayo was, alongside Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez, an important representative of Mexican art music. Huapango is not actually the name of a piece of music, but is rather a form of Mariachi music, the traditional music of Mexican street musicians, which relies heavily on guitars and brass instruments. In 2011, Huapango as a form was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Huapango by Moncayo is especially popular; the work was inspired by three traditional Son Huastecas (songs from the Huasteca region, including Veracruz). It was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México conducted by Chávez in 1941 and today is a popular concert work all over the world.
Program notes © 2016 by D.T. Baker
The Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury. His electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor. Mr. Gomez started his musical career as a violinist, and by the age of 11 was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State - part of El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. He graduated in music and violin from the Manhattan School of Music in New York before embarking on a European orchestral career. After just six months of studying conducting he went on to win the Georg Solti competition.
The 16/17 season sees Mr. Gomez begin a four-year position as Musical Director with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The new season will also see appearances with Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orqueste Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. His recent highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut with YPhil Youth International Philharmonic, his debut at the Moscow State Conservatory, and the MGD CD release of the Nielsen, Françaix, and Debussy clarinet concertos with clarinetist Vladimir Soltan and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. In April 2017, Mr. Gomez also conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in their New Year concert and several educational projects. Maestro Gomez was the principal conductor of the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como between 2012 and 2015.
Mr. Gomez last conducted the ESO in February 2015.
In August of 2008, Andrew Wan was named Concertmaster of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), making him one of the youngest leaders of a major symphony. His relationship with the orchestra began with performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, hailed as one of the top two musical moments of 2007 by La Presse. As soloist, he has appeared in Canada, the United States, China, New Zealand, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Switzerland. In May of 2012, he closed the MSO’s season with Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, conducted by music director Kent Nagano, and on their tour of South America in April 2013, he performed as soloist and concertmaster. His live recording of the three Saint-Saëns violin concertos with the MSO was released by Analekta in the fall of 2015 to wide critical acclaim.
Mr. Wan has concertized extensively throughout the world, appearing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, the Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall, and Salle Gaveau in chamber music performances with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Vadim Repin, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Marc-André Hamelin, Jörg Widmann, Menaham Pressler, and Cho-Liang Lin. His discography includes Grammy and Juno award-nominated releases on the Onyx, Bridge, and Naxos labels. Mr. Wan received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Masao Kawasaki and Ron Copes. In 2008, he was the only violinist to be accepted into the prestigious Artist Diploma Program at Juilliard. He is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Andrew Wan performs on a 1744 Michel'Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection.
Mr. Wan last appeared with the ESO in February 2015.
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
#4 Sir Winston Churchill Square
The Francis Winspear Centre for Music is on the corner of 102nd Avenue and 99th Street, in the heart of The Arts District in downtown Edmonton. It is readily accessible by car, Edmonton Transit (bus and LRT), and the Pedway system.
The City of Edmonton provides over 1500 convenient parking stalls within a 5-minute walk from Winspear Centre, The Citadel Theatre and Shaw Conference Centre. The Library, Canada Place and City Hall Parkades provide heated underground parking with pedway connections to the event venues. Parking is also available at on-street meters in the vicinity.
Nearly every level of the Winspear Centre is able to accommodate patrons with wheelchairs. Please advise our Box Office staff when you purchase your tickets that access to wheelchair seating will be necessary.
The Winspear Centre can provide an assistive listening device if you require one. Please visit the concierge desk in the main lobby.
Dining Near the Winspear
The Winspear Centre's downtown location is ideally situated for some of the best dining experiences Edmonton has to offer. Whether you're seeking dinner before the show or a late night treat after, you can find it at one of these restaurants located within a few blocks of the Winspear Centre.
At the Event
What to Wear
For some, an event at a world-class facility like the Winspear Centre is a great excuse to dress to the nines. But it’s hardly necessary. If that’s your style – go for it! If it’s not – hey, you paid for the ticket, so do what makes you feel comfortable. You’ll see a wide range of dress, from casual to pretty classy, depending on the kind of event it is. Business casual is probably a great middle ground for most Edmonton Symphony Orchestra concerts.
Perfume & Scents
In consideration to your fellow patrons who may have sensitivities or allergies to scented products, we ask that you use such products with great discretion. If, as a patron, you experience difficulty due to another patron’s use of fragrance, please alert our front of house staff, who will do everything possible to accommodate you.
Food & Beverage
The Winspear Centre has a number of stations in operation pre-show and during intermission. Bars, coffee bars, dessert stations and a martini bar are waiting for you. A good bet for intermission is to pre-order your drink before the show, and it will be waiting for you, so you can avoid lining up during the break.
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