MEDIA PARTNER

Friday, June 19, 2009

ARCHIVE  •  2009  •  SUN 14  •  MON 15  •  WED 17  •  FRI 19  •  SUN 21

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

Music in the Gardens II

David Shostac, flute
Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin
Timothy Landauer, violoncello
Gabriel Arregui, harpsichord


Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Trio Sonata in A, Z 799

Sonnata
Largo
Grave – Presto


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029
for violoncello

Vivace
Adagio
Allegro


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Sonata in C, HWV 365
for flute

Larghetto
Allegro
Larghetto
A tempo di Gavotta
Allegro


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Trio Sonata in E minor, HWV 398

Andante larghetto
Allegro
Sarabande: Largo assai
Allemande: Andante allegro
Rondeau
Gavotte: Allegro
Allegro

Intermission

 

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Trio Sonata in F, HWV 401
for flute

Largo
Allegro
Adagio
Allegro
Andante


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Sonata in A, HWV 361
for violin

Andante
Allegro
Adagio
Allegro


Attributed to George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Trio Sonata in E, Op. 2, No. 9
for violin

Adagio
Allegro
Adagio
Allegro

Reception


 TOP

Purcell’s creative output — opera, semi-opera, incidental music for plays, anthems/services and sacred songs, odes and welcome songs, secular songs by the hundreds, catches, harpsichord pieces and chamber music — was so extensive considering his thirty-six years that, had he lived longer, he might have been one of history’s most prolific composers.

His dozen trio sonatas of 1680, listed in the Zimmerman Catalogue as Z 790 to Z 801, soon were published in London. Purcell’s title page with his personal spellings, read: Sonnata’s of III Parts: Two Viollins and Basse: To the Organ or Harpsecord. Composed by Henry Purcell, Composer in Ordinary to his most Sacred Majesty, and Organist of his Chappell Royall. London... 1683. The opening movement, mostly in dotted rhythms, is imitative throughout. The smoothly chordal Largo is followed surprisingly by a Grave that leads uninterruptedly into an energetic but softly-ending Presto. BACK

 TOP

Bach’s G minor sonata of 1720, heard this evening on the violoncello, was conceived for viola da gamba and harpsichord. The harpsichord part, except for the first three lines and two measures somewhat later, is not a basso continuo that would leave specific notes in the indicated harmonies to the player; rather, the righthand part is written out note for note by the composer.

The theme of the first movement, recognized from a sonata of the same year for flute, is spun out motorically, with a rather unprepared ending. The Adagio, in binary form and in the relative major key of B flat, gives players and audience a breather before the final Allegro has cello and cembalo chasing each other to a slam-dunk finish. BACK

 TOP

Handel wrote nine sonatas for a solo instrument and basso continuo between 1724 and 1726, four of them for the recorder. Perhaps they resulted from his work as music teacher to the daughters of the future King George II. We know of his royal employment in 1724 from a reference in Applebee’s Original Weekly Journal of 29 August, which reported: “On Monday last the Royal Highnesses, the Princess Anne and Princess Caroline, came to St. Paul’s Cathedral, and heard the famous Mr. Hendel, (their Musick Master) perform upon the Organ.”

The fairly slow and melodic first movement of this C major sonata ends with a dominant chord that leads into a bouncy Allegro in triple meter. The brief Larghetto that follows is in the relative key of A minor. Soon we return to C major for the Gavotte, in the usual binary form. The final Allegro, in a fast 3/8 meter, has a running bass of mostly 16ths that pushes to a bright conclusion. BACK

 TOP

The trio sonata in E minor contains seven movements in the same key, three of which are dances, leading to the appearance of a suite.

Of particular interest are the measures of quarter and eighth notes in the opening Andante larghetto, which are specified loud-soft (f... p... f... p...) that alternate with measures of scurrying sixteenth notes. The slow Sarabande, the slightly faster Allemande and the Gavotte are short binary forms. The Rondeau, as its title implies, repeats the opening theme as it comes ’round expectedly, and the final Allegro is rather canonic with its biting-at-the-heels imitations. BACK

 TOP

The Trio Sonata in F demonstrates Handel’s penchant for unexpected structural procedures, such as two consecutive polyphonic textures: the second movement’s fugue and the third movement’s imitations between the upper voices.

Here also is a clear glimpse into the composer’s habit of borrowing from himself. The opening Largo is the same music as the opening Larghetto movement from the Organ Concerto in F (heard on last Sunday’s concerto program), and the trio’s fourth movement Allegro is based on the same theme as that concerto’s final Allegro. It’s la musique déjà entendue — all over again. BACK

 TOP

The Sonata in A major is one of six for violin and basso continuo, two being in the key of A major. The Andante technically could work for transverse flute, recorder, oboe or, as requested, violin. However, the Allegro that follows is obviously violinistic, especially in its fast high-low alternations from string to string. The Adagio consists of but five measures, transitioning to the final Allegro with its dance-like 12/8 meter in which triplet eighths are nearly constant between the violin and the bass line. BACK

 TOP

The Trio Sonata in E may be of doubtful authenticity, but is included in both the old HG (Handelgesellschaft) and the recent and more scholarly HHA (Hallische Händel-Ausgabe) — complete editions of his works.

The Adagio is conversational between the upper two voices, ending with an inconclusive “Phrygian Cadence” on the third degree of the scale that leads to a contrapuntal Allegro. The Adagio in C# minor (the sixth degree of the E major scale, and an unusual key for Baroque tuning) takes on a sweet duet character before ending on its dominant of G# major. The final Allegro suggests a romp to the finish, but a restful middle section provides relief before the violoncello energizes all toward the cadence. BACK

Notes by Burton Karson

TOP


BAROQUE MUSIC FESTIVAL CORONA DEL MARFacebook
Post Office Box 838 | Corona del Mar, CA 92625-0838
Tel. (949) 760-7887 | info@BMF-CdM.org
Kindly report any problem to the webmaster.