Overture Magazine - 2018-19 Season BSO_Overture_JanFeb_19 | Page 31

RAVEL BOLERO Medal-winner in music, a Gilmore Young Artist, an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winner and a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. The former prodigy continues to emerge as a mature, thoughtful and thought-provoking artist, confidently pushing boundaries as a leading performer, composer, curator and commissioner, championing new music while continuing to present core repertoire in a new light. His 2018 –19 season began with the world premiere of Everything Must Go, commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, as well as the inauguration of their Nightcap series. He makes his LA Opera debut in the West-Coast premiere of David Lang’s, the loser, in which he plays the onstage role of the apparition and memory of Glenn Gould. In January 2019, Tao and dancer-choreographer Caleb Teicher continue to develop More Forever as part of Guggenheim’s Works & Process series. Tao continues to perform concertos with orchestras around the world including returns to the Swedish Radio, San Diego, Baltimore, Pacific, and Colorado symphonies, as well as with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He also performs duo chamber music concerts with violinist Stefan Jackiw, including a debut performance at 92Y, ensemble engagements with the JCT Trio around the world and solo recital programs. Tao’s career as composer has garnered eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI, and he has been commissioned by the Dallas Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Washington Performing Arts Society, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and others. Tao is a Warner Classics recording artist, and his first two albums Voyages and Pictures have been praised by NPR, New York Times and The New Yorker’s Alex Ross. Conrad Tao last appeared with the BSO in November 2014, performing Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1, Hannu Lintu, conductor. About the Concert LE CORSAIRE OVERTURE ROMAN CARNIVAL OVERTURE Hector Berlioz Born in La Côte-Saint-André, France, December 11, 1803; died in Paris, France, March 8, 1869 Hector Berlioz had no luck cracking the Parisian musical establishment, especially its capital, the Paris Opéra. Far too radical in his ideas for his conservative home city, he had to travel to Germany, Russia and England to win enthusiastic audiences. His best opportunity for a Parisian success came with his 1838 opera Benvenuto Cellini. But the Opéra gave Benvenuto Cellini a limp production, and the work’s very public failure barred Berlioz from any hope of mounting another opera there. Still believing in his opera’s quality, Berlioz in 1843 fashioned the brilliant Roman Carnival Overture from Cellini material and unveiled it in Paris on February 3, 1844. It was an immediate success and became one of his most popular pieces. The overture’s authentic Italian atmosphere comes from Berlioz’s stay in Rome in 1831–32 as winner of the coveted Prix de Rome. The work begins with a short burst of the Mardi Gras carnival music: an Italian saltarello dance sung in the opera by the chorus. Then the tempo slows, and the English horn begins a lovely, ardent melody; it is the music Cellini sings to his beloved, Teresa. Ultimately, the vivacious Mardi Gras music returns for the spectacular conclusion. 1844 was an exhausting year for Berlioz. After a long period of deterioration, his “dream” marriage to the Irish actress Harriet Smithson finally collapsed. As fans of the Symphonie fantastique will remember, Berlioz fell madly in love with her in 1827, and that spectacular symphony expressed his frustrated passion. Berlioz also organized and conducted one of his mammoth concerts to celebrate the close of the international Festival of Industrial Products in Paris on August 1. At this extravaganza before an audience of 8,000, he nearly collapsed on the podium, and his doctor immediately ordered a rest cure in the warm sunshine of Nice on the French Riviera. There, the composer regained both his health and creative energies, composing the last of his colorful concert overtures: the fiery Le corsaire (“The Pirate”). He initially called it Le Corsaire rouge in honor of James Fennimore Cooper’s novel Red Rover. Another likely influence was the narrative poem “The Corsair” by Lord Byron. When he finally published the overture, the title was shortened to match Byron’s. Le corsaire opens with an arresting gesture: a virtuosic whirlwind of string scales that collides thrillingly with the syncopations of the equally agitated woodwinds. Then, Berlioz presents a slower adagio section, featuring a pensively beautiful melody. All too soon, this lovely music is broken off and the main allegro section ensues with a reprise of the whirling string scales and syncopations. The brass hints at the swashbuckling principal theme, but the violins finally unfurl it. Almost unrecognizable in the faster tempo, the adagio melody returns for contrast. Despite the lack of a true development section, Berlioz keeps revisiting his bold theme in new and exciting ways; the best being the brass’s dashing, totally uninhibited proclamation just before the end. Le corsaire—instrumentation: Two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, four bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, three trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. Roman Carnival—instrumentation: Two flutes including piccolo, two oboes including English horn, two clarinets, four bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings. PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1 Franz Liszt Born in Raiding, Hungary, October 22, 1811; died in Bayreuth, Germany, July 31, 1886 Though born to poor parents on one of the rural Esterházy (the princely family that employed Haydn) estates, Franz Liszt became the most cosmopolitan of all JA N – F E B 201 9 / OV E R T U R E 29