Friday, June 25, 2010

ARCHIVE  •  2010  •  SUN 20  •  MON 21  •  WED 23  •  FRI 25  •  SUN 27

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
John Thiessen, trumpet

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Sinfonia in B flat


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Sonata in B minor, BWV 1030
for flute and harpsichord

Largo e dolce

Giovanni Viviani (1638-1692)
Sonata Seconda in C
for trumpet and harpsichord


Igor Stravinsky (1883-1971)
arr. Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976)
Suite Italienne
for violin and violoncello unaccompanied
after Giovanni Pergolesi (1710-1736)



Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Ouverture in D, BWV 828
for harpsichord solo

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Sonata in D
for trumpet and strings


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Trio Sonata in A
“Corellisierende” No. 2

Presto - Allemanda
Grave - Sarabande
Vivace - Corrente



Handel’s Sinfonia really is a trio sonata in form, with written parts for two high instruments over a bass line. The terms “sonata” (from the Italian suonare — to sound) and sinfonia (from a Greek term meaning sounding together) illustrate an historical casualness in specific terminology. (Consider this later as it applies to Corelli’s Sonata for Trumpet — actually a concerto!) Here the bass line isn’t even “figured” with indications for chords to the harpsichordist who must read the full score in order to determine implied harmonies. The three lines in the texture are treated equally in the outer movements, with the violoncello assuming unusual rhythmic prominence in the Adagio. BACK


Bach wrote flute sonatas with written out harpsichord parts (this being one of those, making the keyboard player a true partner) and with basso continuo (the harpsichord making up its part over the implied harmonies, and with the inclusion of a violoncello). There also is a partita for unaccompanied flute. The original version of this sonata, then in G minor, was written when Bach was serving the court in Cöthen (1717-1723); his later version, now in B minor, was done in Leipzig in the 1730s, surely for his famous Collegium Musicum that regularly performed in a coffee house. BACK


V iviani’s Sonata Prima for trumpet and keyboard, in the same key of C, was heard on our Monday evening organ recital. This second sonata also is in five movements, the second and fourth in bipartite form without the usual later-Baroque key changes (tonic to dominant and back). One hears occasional imitations or echoes between trumpet and keyboard, sometimes with the harpsichord’s top voice (the second Allegro and the Aria)and sometimes the left hand’s bass (the opening Allegro), but no real fugue emerges. BACK


Stravinsky’s compositions 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 themes, fragments et pieces de Giambattista Pergolesi for violin and piano, and, in 1932,the Suite Italienne for violoncello 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 the files of the late Piatigorsky and taken for performance in this room by kind permission of Jaqueline de Rothschild Piatigorsky. Its first public performance in three decades, for our 1992 Festival, was by violinist Clayton Haslop and cellist Evan Drachman, Piatigorsky’s grandson, and it was repeated to great audience acclaim by Haslop with cellist Timothy Landauer in 1999 and again in 2005.

This amazing and as yet unpublished piece that is based on themes of Pergolesi (2010 being his 300th birthday), heard nowhere else, is offered here for the fourth time, this evening in the brilliant hands of violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock with veteran virtuoso Timothy Landauer. BACK


Bach wrote six Partitas for solo harpsichord that are suites primarily of dance forms. The first begins with a Praeludium, the second with a Sinfonia, the third a Fantasia, the fifth a Praeambulum, and the sixth a Toccata. The fourth begins with this Ouverture, spelled by Bach in the French manner, surely to call attention to the opening dotted rhythms of the traditional stately French Overture. The repeated first section properly gives way to a fugal texture that alternates its 9/8 subject in swinging triplets with propulsive sixteenth-note scale passages, sometimes in duet. BACK


C orelli’s trumpet sonata opens with all forces together, then proceeds as expected to a fast fugue. The middle Grave gives the trumpet a rest, while the following Allegro is for trumpet supported only by cello and harpsichord. The final Allegro pits the three upper voices in an imitative texture over a firmly supportive bass. BACK


Telemann’s set of “Corellisierende” trio sonatas is an obvious inspiration from and dedication to the famous Italian, Arcangelo Corelli, who had an enormous influence on most 18th-century composers.

This trio sonata falls into the Baroque “suite” category, with its slow opening and subsequent — and brilliant — dance movements. BACK

Notes by Burton Karson


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