May 17, 2021
Laurel Heights Church
For artist bios, please click on the name
György Ligeti: Six Bagatelles for Wind quintet
I. Allegro con Spirito
II. Rubato. Lamentoso
III. Allegro Grazioso
IV. Presto Ruvido
V. Adagio. Mesto
VI. Molto Vivace. Capriccioso
Carl Reinecke: Trio for horn, oboe, piano
I. Allegro Moderato
II. Scherzo. Molto Vivace
IV. Finale. Allegro ma non troppo
Ludwig Thuille - Sextet in B-flat Major Op. 6 for Piano and Woodwind Quintet
I. Allegro moderato
III. Gavotte. Andante, quasi Allegretto
IV. Finale. Molto vivace
This performance is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts, and concert sponsors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt.
Program Notes written by Mark Teplitsky
György Sándor Ligeti (1923-2006)
Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet
Hungarian-born composer, György Ligeti, spent a significant portion of his life living under the laws of Eastern European totalitarianism. Ligeti knew that much of his music would not be performed or even acknowledged by a governing regime that labeled any dissonance, micro-polyphony, or generally experimental music as sacrilegious. Ironically, despite being composed under a Communist banner, Ligeti's music was recognized by none other then Hollywood, with his more famous works "Atmospheres," "Lux Aeterna," and "Requiem" all selected for Stanley Kubrick's: 2001 A Space Odyssey. The Six Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet are borrowed from a larger twelve movement piano work Ligeti composed in 1951. Despite the purposeful dissonances and a minimal amount of actually different notes used per movement the bagatelles are surprisingly expressive and accessible. It is worth noting that the first Bagatelle consists of four pitches, the fifth Bagatelle is dedicated to Béla Bartok, and the final is marked "as though insane."
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910)
Trio for Horn, Oboe and Piano
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 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 started coming to light, including some works recorded by the composer himself. These piano rolls cement Reinecke with the honor of being the earliest concerticizing pianist in history to have his performances preserved. Written specifically for his Conservatory colleagues who complained of their instruments' lack of chamber repertoire, the Trio for Horn, Oboe, and Piano is one of a few Reinecke wrote for such unusual instrumentation. Composed in 1887, the Trio is in Reinecke's favorite four movement form with the Scherzo ordered as second instead of third.
Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907)
Sextet in B-flat Major Op. 6 for Piano and Woodwind Quintet
Sadly, as is with many gifted composers throughout history, Ludwig Thuille’s contributions to the arts may have been more well known if he hadn’t died at the age of 45. Despite his short life and orphaned youth, Thuille became a recognized member of the Munich School of composers, a self-named guild lead by none other then Richard Strauss. The two became such close colleagues that Strauss dedicated his symphonic tone poem Don Juan to “[his] dear friend Ludwig Thuille.”
Thuille was hired early in his life as professor of theory and composition at the Hochskule für Musik in Munich, Germany. While recognized both by his peers and internationally assembled competition panels for his few operas, Thuille spent the majority of his free time composing chamber music.
Written over the span of three years, the Sextet for piano and winds is considered one of Thuille’s best compositions. Especially demanding of the pianist, Thuille insisted on performing the piano part at the work’s premiere in 1889. Thuille’s emotional burden is, right away, heavily reflected in the sextet from the opening melody introduced by the horn. While the first and second movements remain somber and dignified, the third movement livens the mood with a gavotte dance and the final movement displays all the best qualities of triumphant Romantic writing.
*programs and personnel subject to change