Friday, June 24, 2005

ARCHIVE  •  2005  •  SUN 19  •  MON 20  •  WED 22  •  FRI 24  •  SUN 26

Sherman Library & Gardens, Central Patio Room, 8 p.m.

Music in the Gardens II

David Shostac, flute
Clayton Haslop, violin
Timothy Landauer, violoncello
Gabriel Arregui, harpsichord

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)
Trio Sonata in B flat
ed. Burton Karson


G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Sonata in G minor, Op. 1, No. 2
for flute & continuo


Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758)
Trio Sonata in G
ed. Burton Karson


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Toccata & Fugue in E minor, BWV 914
for harpsichord solo

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)
Trio Sonata in A
ed. Burton Karson

Allegro assai-Adagio


Igor Stravinsky (1883-1971)
Suite Italienne for violin & cello unaccompanied
After Giovanni Pergolesi (1710-1736)
arr. Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976)

Gavotta e Variazione
Minuetto e Finale

Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756)
Trio Sonata in C

Alla breve

This evening’s program will offer three “new” trio sonatas from the early 18th century, found this past October in the manuscript collection of Darmstadt’s Archducal Library, and thus unknown in America and for over two-and-a-half centuries in Europe.


Christoph Graupner’s name is synonymous with music in the culturally famous court of Darmstadt. Born in Saxony, Graupner resided in Leipzig from 1696 to 1704, studying music at the Thomasschule with Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor there, and enjoying the acquaintance of Telemann, who directed Leipzig’s Collegium Musicum (later Bach’s assignment). From 1707, he worked in Hamburg as opera harpsichordist and composer. Hired in 1709 by Ernst Ludwig, Landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt, he was vice-Kapellmeister to Wolfgang Carl Briegel (whose cantatas have been performed in our Festivals), and later succeeded him, remaining in Darmstadt until his death. When he applied, in 1722-23, for the position of Cantor in Leipzig on Telemann’s withdrawal, Darmstadt’s Landgrave retained him by increasing his salary, leaving Leipzig’s City Council to settle on their third choice, J.S. Bach.

Graupner’s B-flat trio begins with a sweet slow movement, proceeds to a fugal Allegro in triple meter which is interrupted by a duple meter Adagio section that returns us to the movement’s opening fugal subject, this time Presto. The conversational Andante, with its Adagio conclusion, leads directly to the final Presto. BACK


Of Handel’s eleven flute sonatas, some are indicated for the Blockflöte (recorder) and some for the Querflöte (transverse flute) that was coming into major use; all can be played comfortably on the modern flute. This G minor sonata, originally for Blockflöte, opens with arching melodic phrases. The second movement begins smoothly, suddenly breaks into a pattern of sixteenth notes in the bass that is answered by the flute, and continues in dialogue fashion. The short third movement begins in E flat major and ends on the dominant of G minor for the final Presto, in which the flute plays a variation of the melody from the second movement and the violoncello plays a pattern reminiscent of the first movement. BACK


Johann Fasch sang as a boy soprano at the Thomasschule in Leipzig under Kuhnau, founding Leipzig University’s Collegium Musicum while a student there. He was influenced by his encounters with the concertos of Vivaldi, studied composition with Graupner in Darmstadt, served as violinist and organist in various courts. He was Kapellmeister in Lukavec, Bohemia, and in Zerbst, Germany, where he remained for 36 years. Fasch knew C.P.E. Bach in Berlin’s court of Frederick the Great, and Papa Bach transcribed some of Fasch’s compositions for Leipzig’s Collegium Musicum. His compositional originality in the late-Baroque paved the way for Mozart and Haydn.

Fasch’s sonata opens with an endearing Affettuoso that leads directly to the fast second movement with its fugal entrances in all three lines. The Largo, with its downward scale motive and emotional groupings of two notes in close duet, gives way to a romping finale in bipartite form. BACK


The Toccata in E minor, from Bach’s early years, surely was written to display his unique compositional and keyboard techniques. There are seven such pieces, this being one of three written before 1708 in which scholars see a conjoining of Italian, German and French influences. Here a double fugue is followed by an improvisatory Adagio leading to a concluding fugue in which one hears references to earlier themes. Philipp Spitta, Bach’s earliest biographer, described the toccata as “one of those pieces steeped in melancholy and deep yearning which Bach alone could write.” BACK


Graupner’s Trio in A treats the upper two voices equally, in both the competing sixteenth notes of the fast sections and the steady half notes of the Allegro under which the violoncello clearly dominates the action. Actually, the bass line moves with extraordinary alacrity throughout. Graupner’s original manuscript even offers the cellist many alternate passages in very small notes for virtuosic display, all having been incorporated into this new edition. BACK


Stravinsky’s neo-classical compositions that are based on themes of Pergolesi include the ballet Pulcinella (1920) and the Suite from Pulcinella for chamber orchestra (1922, revised 1947). There followed, in 1925, the Suite d’après thèmes, fragments et pièces de Giambattista Pergolesi for violin and piano, and, in 1932, the Suite Italienne for cello and piano, in collaboration with famed cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. In the 1960s, Piatigorsky further arranged the suite for unaccompanied violin and cello for a Los Angeles concert and RCA recording with Jascha Heifetz.

The unpublished manuscript was located by this writer in Piatigorsky’s files and taken by the kind permission of Jacqueline de Rothschild Piatigorsky. Its first public performance in three decades, for our Festival of 1992, was by violinist Clayton Haslop and cellist Evan Drachman, Piatigorsky’s grandson, and it was repeated by Haslop with cellist Timothy Landauer in 1999. We are grateful for Mrs. Piatigorsky’s generous permission to offer you this amazing and as yet unpublished piece for the third time. BACK


Details of the life of Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (Gollberg, Goltberg, etc.) are hazy. We know that he was baptized on 14 March 1727 in Danzig (Gdansk) and buried on 15 April 1756 in Dresden. Around 1737 in Leipzig, he was a pupil of J. S. Bach, whose influence is seen in the style of Goldberg’s own church cantatas. Known as a skillful keyboardist, he was entrusted by Bach himself to play his magnificent set of harpsichord variations now known as the “Goldberg Variations.”

Although there was some confusion regarding compositional attribution of the C major trio sonata even in the 1760s, Schmieder’s 20th century catalogue, Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, assumed it to be by Bach. Now we are convinced that BWV 1037, found among Bach’s manuscripts, is by Goldberg. Played here in its entirety in 1995, we subsequently heard this evening’s returning ensemble play the rollicking Gigue as an encore. BACK


Notes by Burton Karson

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