March 9, 2021

The Anne Jenkins Memorial Concert Series welcomes you to the Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s 55th season! Tonight, the ISO’s chamber orchestra will perform concerti grossi, “big concertos” featuring the strings.

Tonight’s performance is presented by CORE Wealth Advisors.

A recording of the concert will be available by March 16: ImperialSymphony.org/live

Program

Please click the ‘+’ to reveal program notes.

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early Modern periods. He is considered his country’s greatest composer, having helped Findland develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia. The Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until the adoption of the euro in 2002.

Andante Festivo was originally scored for string quartet in 1922. The composer received a request for a cantata to celebrate the 25th anniversary of local sawmills and instead wrote a composition for string quartet. In the 1930s, Sibelieus was an avid radio listener and thought about composing to accommodate the distortions created by the speakers of the time. When the composer was asked to conduct Finland’s “greeting to the world” in a radio broadcast tocelebrate the New York World Exhibition, he adapted the quartet to string orchestra. It was broadcast in 1939 and is the only recorded example of the composer interpreting his own composition, and his last performance as a conductor. Andante Festivo was performed at his funeral.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. His father was the director of the town musicians and likely taught him to play the violin and harpsichord. He was orphaned at age 10 and went to live with his brother, a church organist who instructed him on the clavichord.

By 1700, Bach was enrolled at the prestigious St. Michael’s School where he was exposed to a wider range of European culture and honed his talents on the organ and harpsichord.

The Brandenburg Concertos are a collection of six works presented to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721. His dedication (translated from French) reads:

“As I had the good fortune a few years ago to be heard by Your Royal Highness, at Your Highness’s commands, and as I noticed then that Your Highness took some pleasure in the little talents which Heaven has given me for Music, and as in taking Leave of Your Royal Highness, Your Highness deigned to honour me with the command to send Your Highness some pieces of my Composition: I have in accordance with Your Highness’s most gracious orders taken the liberty of rendering my most humble duty to Your Royal Highness with the present Concertos, which I have adapted to several instruments; begging Your Highness most humbly not to judge their imperfection with the rigor of that discriminating and sensitive taste, which everyone knows Him to have for musical works, but rather to take into benign Consideration the profound respect and the most humble obedience which I thus attempt to show Him.”

Concerto No. 3 in G major is presented in three movements:

  1. (no tempo indication – usually performed at Allegro or Allegro moderato)
  2. Adagio in E minor
  3. Allegro

Rafael Ramirez, mandolin

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), was an Italian Baroque composer, violinist, teacher and Roman Catholic priest, whose compositions include sacred choral works, operas and concertos.

The Mandolin Concerto in C is Vivaldi’s only concerto for solo mandolin. Mandolins evolved from lute family instruments in Europe. Predecessors include the gittern and mandore or mandola in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries. Repertoire of music for mandolin is almost unlimited, and musicians use it to play various types of music. This is especially true of violin music, since the mandolin has the same tuning as the violin.

The Concerto is presented in three movements:

  1. Allegro
  2. Largo
  3. Allegro

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic period.

In October 1880 Tchaikovsky wrote to his patroness, Nadejhda von Meck:  

“My muse has been so kind that in a short time I have got through two long works: a big festival overture for the Exhibition, and a serenade for string orchestra in four movements. I am busy orchestrating them both.

The first piece was the bombastic 1812 Overture; the second was the delightful Serenade for Strings. It is difficult to imagine two works further apart in spirit and taste.  

All four sections of the Serenade have their special moments. The first movement, which bears the subtitle Pezzo in forma di sonatina [piece in the form of a sonatina], is described by the composer as a deliberate imitation of Mozart’s style.

Tchaikovsky’s second-movement Valse is a delightful reminder of his brilliant gift for ballet music; at the same time, darker moments in the middle section call to mind the weightier, metaphysical waltzes of Chopin and Brahms.   

Elegy recaptures some of the grandeur of the slow introduction; his finale is pure Russian folk music, with the subtitle Tema russo attached to the first part and the spirit of balalaika dancing driving the pace of the Allegro con spirito.

No. 5 in F sharp minor & No. 6 in D flat major

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. Brahms has been considered both a traditionalist and an innovator, by his contemporaries and by later writers.

Brahms composed 21 dance tunes mostly based on Hungarian themes as piano duets using one piano. Since they were completed in 1879, each dance has been arranged for a variety of ensembles.

The inspiration for Dances grew out of Brahms study of folk music and encouraged by his early relationship with Hungarian-born violinist Ede Reményi. Brahms had met Reményi when he was 17 and three years later he served as piano accompanist to Reményi during an extensive tour of European cities. After the publication of the Dances, Reményi accused Brahms of adapting tunes of his for use in the Dances. one of the better-known Hungarian Dances includes No. 5, based on the Csárdás “Bártfai emlék” (Memories of Bártfa) by Hungarian composer Béla Kéler, which Brahms mistakenly thought was a traditional folksong.

The earliest known recording of any movement of Hungarian Dances is a version of Hungarian Dances No. 1, from 1890, played by Brahms himself, and, recorded by Theo Wangemann, an assistant to Thomas Edison.

The following dialogue can be heard in the recording as an introduction:
Theo Wangemann: “Dezember 1889.” (December 1889)
Johannes Brahms: “Im Haus von Herrn Doktor Fellinger bei Herrn Doktor Brahms, Johannes Brahms.” (In the house of Dr. Fellinger with Dr. Brahms, Johannes Brahms)

Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) is an opera in one act by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945). It was premiered on 17 May, 1890, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, Italy. The libretto, written by Giovanni-Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, was based on the short story of the same title by novelist Giovanni Verga. Mascagni submitted Cavalleria Rusticana as an entry in a contest for the best unpublished one-act opera, sponsored by the music publisher Casa Sonzogno. It won first prize, and it was considered a great success at its first performance; however, none of Mascagni’s 14 subsequent operas met with great success. Due to its brevity, Cavalleria Rusticana is often paired with another one-act opera, most often Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

In the opera, two sweethearts, Lola and Turiddu, are separated by Turiddu’s military service. In his absence, Lola marries a local man (Alfio). When Turiddu returns he is angry and begins an affair with a local girl to arouse Lola’s jealousies. Despite their relationships to others, Lola and Turiddu resume their love. When Alfio discovers this, he challenges Turiddu to a duel, and Turiddu is killed. The Intermezzo is the best-known melody from the opera.

Movement 1: Jig

Movement 4: Daragson

In the early days of his career, long before the success of his suite The Planets, British composer Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934) found it impossible to earn a living as a composer. In 1904, after holding several teaching positions, he was appointed musical director at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith, his biggest teaching post to date and one that he kept until his death. In 1913, the new music wing of St. Paul’s was opened and he was given a large, soundproof room for his work. On weekdays he would teach in it, but on Sundays and holidays he spent hours composing there. The first piece he wrote in this room was St. Paul’s Suite for string orchestra. The four movements of this short and straightforward work provide insight into Holst’s development as a composer and reveal several of the influences most important to him. The first and last movements, Jig and Dargason, the latter of which is an arrangement of the final movement of his Second Suite in F for Military Band, illustrate the composer’s fascination with British folk music. The second movement, Ostinato, demonstrates his interest in clever musical devices that facilitate the development of material. The third movement, Intermezzo, is undoubtedly the most interesting of this suite, and it illustrates two characteristics of the mature Holst. The first of these is his lifelong interest in the music and religion of the Far East, an influence that is vividly evoked by the solo violin. The second characteristic is his penchant for combining seemingly unrelated and disparate styles of music. In the Intermezzo the composer is still experimenting with this technique, juxtaposing the mystical solo violin with energetic interludes that are evocative of a British barn dance. If the effect isn’t entirely convincing in St. Paul’s Suite, Holst had certainly refined this technique by the time he composed The Planets, a work which masterfully combines all of the aforementioned influences.

In person attendees will hear an encore of Deep Purple’s Highway Star arranged by ISO principal cellist Michael Sedloff. As an added treat, Mr. Sedloff will conduct while Maestro Thielen takes his seat in the cello section.

Musicians

Dr. Nina Kim, Concertmaster
Alvaro Pereiro, Associate Concertmaster
Will Jackson, 1st Violin
Konstantin Dimitrov, 1st Violin
Marina Tucker, Principal 2nd Violin
Joshua Dampier, 2nd Violin
Laura Greenberg, 2nd Violin
Krister Lawlor, 2nd Violin
Dr. Rafael Ramirez, Principal Viola & Solo Mandolin
Tracy Thielen, Viola
Lorenzo Sanchez, Viola
Tyler Goehring, Viola
Michael Sedloff, Principal Cello
Edevaldo Mulla, Cello
Matthew Davis, Cello
Audra Thielen, Cello
Michael Lawson, Principal Bass
Fon Silvers, Bass
Linda Charlton, Principal Piano

Maestro Mark Thielen, Music Director

Thank yous

Live music endures because of your support.

This unique season exists to bring joy, offer healing, support educators and connect our community. Please click below for a recognition of the ISO’s many dedicated and generous members and supporters.

Members & Supporters