"20th Century Avant-Gardes"

August 22, 2021

3:00 pm

Laurel Heights Church

227 West Woodlawn Ave., SA, TX

Click here for Stream link 

Scott Cuellar, piano

Eric Gratz, violin

Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet

Jeff Garza, horn 

Kevin Puts (b. 1972) 

Three Nocturnes for Violin, Clarinet and Piano 

Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)

Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano Op. 44 

     I. Allegro 

     II. Lento 

     III. Tema and Variations 


Daren Hagen (b. 1961)

Aria from Suite for Piano

Ernst Krenek (1900-1991)

Funf Klavierstucke Op. 39

Carl Reinecke (1824-1910)

Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 274 for Piano, Clarinet, and Horn

     I. Allegro 

     II. Ein Märchen. Andante 

     III. Scherzo. Allegro 

     IV. Finale, Allegro 



Program Notes written by Mark Teplitsky

Kevin Puts (b. 1972) 
Three Nocturnes for Violin, Clarinet and Piano 

Kevin Puts, born in St. Louis, Missouri, is an acclaimed living American composer and graduate
of the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music. This work is best described in his own words:
“The title refers to the various evocations of night in the work; only the third could be called a
nocturne in the legitimate historical sense. The first features a busy, arpeggiated violin part and a soaring, long-breathed melody in the clarinet, perhaps reminiscent of Rachmaninoff’s seemingly endless melodies. The violin assumes the melodic role in the second, at least until the clarinet joins in imitation. The last is a piano nocturne in the tradition of Chopin, complete with a widely spaced accompaniment in the left hand. In answer to the constant motion of numbers one and two, the last nocturne is almost excessively slow and deliberate, finally achieving tonal stability in its final bars. Three Nocturnes was commissioned by the Verdehr Trio and Michigan State University.” – Kevin Puts (http://www.kevinputs.com/program/three-nocturnes.html)

Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)
Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano Op. 44 

Born into a powerful family, Lennox Berkeley, like both of his grandfathers, was knighted in
1974 for his contributions to the field of music. Throughout his life, Lennox Berkeley was an
active presence in England’s music scene, working as composer and conductor with the BBC
Orchestra and Royal Academy of Music. Commissioned by Dennis Brain, the principal hornist
of the Berlin Philharmonic who tragically died at age 45, the Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano is
Berkeley’s most performed work. Composed in three movements, the trio’s opening movement,
Allegro, instead of having all three musicians playing at once pairs them in permutations of two.
The slow movement, Lento, seems to draw influence from Brahms’ Horn Trio and introduces the long first melodic line with the Horn. The final movement, Tema con Variazioni, begins a bit
like a Mozart theme and is followed by ten contrasting variations.

Daren Hagen (b. 1961)
Aria from Suite for Piano

An alumnus of the Curtis and Juilliard Schools of Music, Daron Hagen is a living American
composer born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His works have been performed across the country by
orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Opera, and the
National Symphony Orchestra. A versatile composer, Hagen has completed eleven operas, five

symphonies, twelve concertos, dozens of instrumental works, hundreds of songs and a handful of film scores. The Aria from Hagen’s Suite for Piano is the third of four movements. Much of the movement was originally composed as a sketch for the opera “Amelia,” specifically a scene
where a little girl named Amelia is staring at the sky and singing a hymn to the stars. This work
received the Grand Prix at the Cliburn Invitation Composition Competition and was made a
required work for the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  


Ernst Krenek (1900-1991)
Funf Klavierstucke Op. 39

Ernst Krenek, born in Vienna, first achieved recognition for his opera “Jonny Spielt Auf.” The
classical work was unique as its protagonist was a Jazz violinist named Jonny. In fact, the jazz
opera was so successful that a carton of cigarettes branded “Jonny” can still be found in Austria.
Unfortunately, such music did not sit well with the Nazi Party and Jonny became the poster child for propaganda posters that banned all forms of so-called degenerate music, any music that did not meet the needs of the Third Reich. This led Krenek to move to the United States in 1938 where he radically changed his compositional style and began to explore atonality and serialism along with the rest of the Second Viennese School. Krenek’s Klavierstucke explores his interest with Schoenberg’s twelve-tone row in each of the piece’s short five movements. It is a work rarely performed and chosen by our guest Scott Cuellar!

Carl Reinecke (1824-1910)
Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 274 for Piano, Clarinet, and Horn

In his own time, Carl Reinecke, conductor of the world famous Gewandhaus Orchestra and
director of the Leipzig Conservatory, stood shoulder to shoulder with his Romantic
contemporaries. Sadly, not much is remembered of this productive, creative composer who
taught Edvard Grieg, Leos Janacek, Isaac Albeniz, Max Bruch, and many more. The three
hundred major compositions Reinecke has left the world to explore have recently come to light,
including some works recorded by the composer himself. These piano rolls brand Reinecke with the honor of being the earliest concertizing pianist to have some of his performances preserved. The Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano is one of three woodwind and piano trios he composed, all of them intended to be played by his colleagues at the Leipzig Conservatory. The first movement is written in conventional sonata allegro form and reflective of Brahms’ music. The second movement is titled Ein Märchen, a German Fairytale, in reference to some of Schumann’s compositions depicting little sinister interjections amongst an overall calm picture. The third movement is a scherzo that features the horn heavily and the finale, titled Allegro, gives each instrument an opportunity to develop the opening theme before energetically ending the work. 

This concert is sponsored in part by a generous gift from Agnes and Jim Lowe, and a grant from the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

This concert will be broadcast live on KPAC 88.3FM and Livestreamed on our You Tube channel.

*programs and personnel subject to change