AUTUMN LEAVES

W. A. Mozart: Serenade K.525, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Vivan Fung: Pizzicato, W. A. Mozart: Concerto for violin #5 in A major, K 219, solo violin Danielle Sametz, W. A. Mozart: Symphony #33 in B flat major, K 319

November 18, 2020, 7:30pm
Imperial Theatre, Saint John

November 21, 2020, 7:30pm
The Playhouse, Fredericton

November 22, 2020, 2pm
Capitol Theatre, Moncton

Program Notes

Nadège Foofat is a conductor, violinist, violist, and advocate for innovation in thought, action,
music, and culture. In 2018, Nadège was one of six conductors selected for the Bruno Walter
National Conductor Preview for her “experience, talent, leadership potential, and commitment to
a career in service to American orchestras” by the League of American Orchestras.
During the 2019-2020 season, Nadège made her debuts with the Lima Symphony Orchestra, South
Bend Symphony Orchestra, Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in the United States,
and will conduct Symphony New Brunswick in Canada. Recent performances include appearances
with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and the Nashville Symphony
Orchestra.
A champion of equal representation for women in orchestral programming, Nadège’s concerts have
included works by Amy Beach, Jennifer Higdon, Mary Howe, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Missy
Mazzoli, Leslie Opatril, Florence Price, Joan Tower, and Gwyneth Walker. She is a leading expert
of the orchestral works of the early romantic French composer, Louise Farrenc. Nadège is also a
member of the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity.
As former Assistant Conductor to Kent Nagano at the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic
Orchestra in Germany, she assisted in historical productions of Wozzeck, Lulu, Walküre, Madama
Butterfly, Zauberflöte, and Stilles Meer, and new productions of Fidelio and Parsifal, as well as
for Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra concerts at the Elbphilharmonie, including performances
with Hamburg’s St. Michaelis Choir, and the International Musikfest Hamburg.
In 2014, Nadège served as Associate Conductor for the Naxos recording of Darius Milhaud’s
L’Orestie d’Eschyle, which was nominated for a 2015 GRAMMY® Award (Best Opera
Recording). From 2009-2014, Nadège was the Founder and Music Director of the Esopus Chamber
Orchestra, a twenty-five-member award-winning professional chamber orchestra based in the
Hudson Valley, New York.
Nadège has enjoyed collaborating as a violinist and violist in recital and chamber performances.
She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, the Banff Centre, and MoMA
summer music festivals. She holds a Doctor of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the
Université de Montréal, a Diplôme de perfectionnement in contemporary orchestral conducting
from the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, (Switzerland) a Master of Music degree from the
Yale University School of Music, and Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in viola
performance.
Born in Canada, Nadège is also a citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States. She is
based out of Virginia, where she resides with her family. She joined the faculty of Shenandoah
Conservatory at Shenandoah University as Visiting Guest Conductor in 2020.

Danielle Sametz

 

Danielle Sametz grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan where she began her musical studies on both violin and piano.  During her time in Regina Danielle was a member of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and also completed her Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto certification studying with Dr.Jamie Syer. She successfully completed her Bachelor of Music from Brandon University (BU) in 2009, studying with Kerry DuWors and Mark Rudoff. Danielle was a member of the string quartet-in-residence at the Centre for Opera in Sulmona, Italy, has collaborated with Winnipeg rock band ‘From the Moon’ on their album The Cyclist, was a Saskatchewan representative at the National Arts Program of Canada during the 2009 Summer Games and travelled to Palestine and Israel for a concert series and tour with faculty of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. After finishing her Masters degree at the Aaron Copland school in New York City she spent 18 months in South Africa playing with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Danielle is currently second violinist with the Saint John String Quartet and Symphony New Brunswick

 

“Lots of folks we know are dealing with stress and anxiety in their lives right now. We feel like we could all use a little happiness and encouragement – and the warm, rich melodies in these pieces are sure to deliver.”

Vivian Fung 

Pizzicato, for String Orchestra (2001) 4 minutes

Pizzicato is a short work for string orchestra, the duration of which the players never use their bows.  The central sound produced is that of plucked strings as well a few surprises in the middle and towards the end of the work.  Inspired by listening to Asian folk music, the piece is influenced partly by the music of the Chinese plucked instruments pipa and qin as well as by the energetic rhythms of Indonesian gamelan.

Pizzicato was originally read as a string quartet by the American String Quartet while I was an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in New Smyrna Beach, Florida from April 29–May 17, 2001.  The string orchestra version of Pizzicato was premiered by the San José Chamber Orchestra in San José, California on December 9, 2001.  The string quartet version has been recorded by the Ying Quartet and is commercially available on the Telarc CD entitled “Dim Sum,” featuring short works for string quartet by Chinese American composers.

—Vivian Fung

Born in Edmonton, Canada, Vivian Fung has distinguished herself among the foremost composers of her generation. On faculty at the The Julliard School and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Center, Fung has increasingly embraced non-classical influences, including jazz and non-western sources such as Indonesian gamelan and folk songs from the minority regions of China. The New York Times has described her work as “evocative,” and The Strad hails her Uighur-influenced music as, “vital as encountering Steve Reich or the Kronos for the first time.”

Highlights of Fung’s recent performances include the immensely successful world premiere of her choral works by the acclaimed Suwon Civic Chorale in Korea, her premiere of Chant for the renowned avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan at the Museum of Modern Art, the world premiere of her Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes” by pianist Jenny Lin with Metropolis Ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City; and the standing-ovation premiere of her String Quartet No. 2 commissioned by the Shanghai Quartet for its 25th anniversary season.

Fung’s upcoming projects include the Canadian premiere of her String Quartet No. 2 by the Shanghai Quartet at the Edmonton Chamber Music Society; the European premiere of Glimpses by pianist Jenny Lin; a performance tour of Bali with the acclaimed gamelan group Dharmaswara, including competing in the Bali Arts Festival in July 2010; a new violin concerto commissioned by Metropolis Ensemble in NYC, and a new work for voice and large chamber ensemble commissioned by Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago.

Recognized as “the most memorable part” of the Ying Quartet’s concert at the Weill Recital Hall by the New York Times, Fung’s Pizzicato has been part of the quartet’s repertoire for the past two seasons. In 2004, her music was showcased by the American String Quartet in Bejing as part of the quartet’s residency with the Great Wall International Music Festival. In the same year, Fung traveled to Bali, Indonesia as part of the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange Program, sponsored by the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance. In 2009, she returned to Bali for an intensive study of Gamelan with the renowned gamelan group Çudamani. Fung’s music has been commercially released on the Telarc, Çedille, and Signpost labels. She has an impressive body of compositions commissioned and performed by such ensembles as the Seattle Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, American String Quartet, Avalon String Quartet, Music from China, and American Opera Projects to name a few.

Fung has been composer-in-residence of the Music in the Loft chamber music series in Chicago, the San José Chamber Orchestra, Music Teacher’s Association of California, the Billings Symphony, and the New York Summer Music Festival. She has also completed residencies at the MacDowell, Yaddo, and Banff arts colonies as well as two residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and Tuscany, Italy. Fung is the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard fellow. She has received numerous awards and grants from ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, American Composers’ Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Vivian Fung began composition studies with Canadian composer Violet Archer. Other early influences include her mentors David Diamond, Narcis Bonet, and Robert Beaser.

W. A. Mozart


Mozart’s genius for creating the slight as well as the sublime is demonstrated handily by the works on this program. The serenade, Eine kleine Nachtmusik – one of the composer’s most felicitous (and famous) “little” pieces – is a bon-bon of the most delectable kind. Judging by its ebullient character, it seems to have burst into life in 1787, as the result of a force that could rightly be called spontaneous composition. One imagines, however, that there was probably some Viennese occasion for which Mozart supplied the work – a celebrative occasion, no doubt. (In its original connotation, a serenade was evening music with which to divert and/or woo a lover or to please persons of rank. By Mozart’s day, the former purpose had all but disappeared.) In the second half of the 18th century, the serenade was written for an ensemble small enough to be practical for outdoor performance (more often than not an ensemble of winds), and it generally had more than the four movements that filled out a standard symphony.

In a catalog of his works, Mozart lists “A Little Night Music” as having five movements. However, only four movements remain, the first minuet having been lost. So – a wonderfully incomplete string serenade the size of a symphony that epitomizes both the genteel vivaciousness of the Classical period and that inimitable Mozartean blend of utter simplicity and unlabored fluency.

From its opening fanfare announcement, through the Romanze’s gentle sweetness (interrupted by the briefest hint of pseudo-seriousness), the minuet and trio’s bright danciness, and the finale’s exuberance, the well-loved work is heard tonight in its proper outdoor, nocturnal setting.

— Orrin Howard served for many years as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Director of Publications and Archives


Violin Concerto #5

Mozart’s practical involvement with the violin began at an early age. His father Leopold (1719-1787), who was himself an excellent violinist and accomplished composer of both religious and secular music, was also the author of a highly esteemed didactic work on violin technique, A Treatise on the Fundamentals of Violin Playing, published in 1756, the year of his son’s birth. (The treatise is still an important source for the study of the musical practice of the time.) Wolfgang began lessons with his father in 1762, and was soon actively participating in making music with his father’s colleagues and friends. During these sessions he was introduced to the music of two of Italy’s finest violinist composers, Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) and Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764). In 1769 he entered into the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg as both concertmaster and composer.

Between the years 1769 and 1773 Mozart made three separate journeys with his father to Italy. It was a period in which he spent much time studying and composing dramatic works for the stage as well as sacred works, but it was also a time of exposure to one of Italy’s finest violin virtuosi, Pietro Nardini (1722-1793). In addition, Mozart had befriended Thomas Linley, a young Englishman and gifted student of Nardini. In a letter to his wife, dated Rome, April 21, 1770, Leopold describes the friendly bond between the two boys: “In Florence we met a young Englishman, a pupil of the famous violinist Nardini. The lad, who plays very finely and is of Wolfgang’s age and height, came to the house of the learned poetess Signora Corilla… The two boys performed by turns throughout the evening amidst continual embracing. The other day the little Englishman, a most charming lad, had his violin brought to us and played all the afternoon, Wolfgang accompanying him, also on the violin. The following day we dined with M. Gavard…and the two children played by turns the whole afternoon, not like boys but like men!” The experience of making music with Linley, and that of Nardini’s playing, increased Mozart’s interest in perfecting his own playing, but more importantly, it became an impetus for him to begin to compose seriously for the violin.

This emphasis on music for violin and strings culminated in 1775 when, in the course of nine months (April – December), he composed five concertos for violin and orchestra.

In these five violin concertos, as with much of the music Mozart composed during his “apprentice” period, his first attempts seem groping until he fully assimilated the material and gained complete mastery of the form. Such is the case with the first two concertos, K. 207 and 209, wherein Baroque and Rococo characteristics dominate. Again, the works of such composers as Nardini, Boccherini (1743-1805), and Tartini provide the models for these two concertos. But as usual, Mozart was to transcend the limits of these models. Especially in his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, K. 219, Mozart demonstrates great imagination in his experimentation with fluctuating tempos and diverse meters within single movements. Such freedom in his handling of material expresses not only an originality of form, but also Mozart’s knowledge and command of both the Italian and French styles, a demonstration of his cosmopolitanism at the age of 19!

The first movement of Concerto No. 5 quickly presents us with formal peculiarities that are odd for the period. Following the tutti exposition, the solo violin enters with a tempo change from Allegro aperto to Adagio, completely altering the mood. When the allegro returns we discover that what appeared to be the first theme of the Concerto (a rising arpeggio in the violins) turns out to be an accompaniment to what is the true first theme stated in the solo violin. Aside from these anomalies, the remainder of the first movement follows the processes of sonata form.

The Adagioin E major, is a three-part song form of a lyrical and contemplative nature. In the finale, labeled RondeauMozart tips his hat to French models. But the uniqueness of this movement stems from the introduction of a simultaneous meter and tempo change as well as a change of key to A minor.

This is an episode in the alla turca style, which was popular in opera at the time. Mozart achieves this effect not only by changing the mode to minor, but above all through his requiring the cellos and basses to play coll’ arco al roverscio, meaning “play with the wood of the bow,” thereby producing a percussive sound. The movement ends quietly with the last statement of the theme.

Steve Lacoste is Archivist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Symphony No. 33 in B-flat major, K. 319

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, strings

Completed July 9, 1779.

Allegro assai
Andante moderato
Menuetto
Finale: Allegro assai

 

In January of 1779, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart returned from a disheartening 16-month tour of Europe. He had been unable to achieve his goal of finding a new and more lucrative position, and he was still grieving the loss of his mother, who had died while he was away. At some point over the next few months, he began work on a new symphony.

 

His 31st symphony was a colorful three-movement work tailored for Parisian audiences, who didn’t receive it with as much enthusiasm as Mozart had hoped, and his 32nd symphony was an experiment at writing in the Italian style. Symphony No. 33 saw him return to a more Austro-German style. The manuscript bears a completion date of July 9, 1779, but, as with so many of Mozart’s symphonies, the date of its premiere is uncertain. Symphony No. 33 was originally a three-movement work; the composer added the minuet movement for a mid-1780s performance in Vienna, where four-movement symphonies had become popular.

 

Scored for two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings, Symphony No. 33 is the smallest of his late symphonies. The lightness of the work extends to the mood of the piece. Despite the disappointment one might expect the composer to have felt after such a disappointing period in his life, the symphony is a light-hearted and witty work. Though intimate at times, it rarely strays into sadness or introspection. It became one of only a few of his symphonies that were published during his lifetime.

 

The work opens with a light, cheerful Allegro assai. The bouncy triple-meter theme may remind us of a waltz, a dance which was only just beginning to emerge from Austria’s Ländler, the predominant folk dance of the region. Unlike what we consider to be traditional sonata form, the “development” section of this movement introduces new themes rather than developing the music laid out in the exposition. Among these is a motive that should be familiar to any Mozart lover: the figure which would return as the principal theme in the finale of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony.

 

The second movement pulls back a bit on the energy, contrasting a broad and leisurely principal theme against a minor mode secondary theme. The strings take center stage here, and the winds only make a brief appearance in a short canonic episode. This is followed by the energetic minuet that he added years later for the Viennese performance. We conclude with a bright and witty finale that would later serve as a model for the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.

 

Copyright © 2015 Chris Myers. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution or reproduction prohibited.