Program IV: Sonic Bloom
Saturday, August 20, 2022 | 7:30 PM
Hannaford Hall, USM | Portland
Remember is a brief elegy to the composer’s mother, into which she poignantly weaves a Jamaican folk song. Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach, a marvel of lyricism and masterful craftsmanship, uses rich imagery to take on the emotional weight and nuance of a world at war. Schubert’s lighthearted Fantasie, an exception to the darkness that haunts many of the late works written in his all-too-short life, showcases his divine melodic gifts with sparkling, stunning virtuosity. The epic season finale is Robert Schumann's piano quintet, noted for its exuberant character (his wife Clara, the virtuoso pianist for whom it was written, declared it "splendid, full of vigor and freshness") and expansive, triumphant musicality.
Eleanor Alberga Remember for String Quartet (2000)
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, Ayano Ninomiya, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Brant Taylor, cello
Samuel Barber Dover Beach for Voice and String Quartet, Op. 3 (1931)
Thomas Meglioranza, baritone; Ayano Ninomiya, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Brant Taylor, cello
Franz Schubert Fantasie in C Major for Violin and Piano, D. 934 (1827)*
I. Andante molto
Anthony Marwood, violin; Shai Wosner, piano
Robert Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 (1842)
I. Allegro brillante
II. In modo d'una marcia. Un poco largamente
III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, Ayano Ninomiya, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Clancy Newman, cello; Shai Wosner, piano
* Part of PCMF’s season-wide celebration of Schubert in the 225th anniversary of his birth year.
~Attending Live? Please note that until further notice, properly fitted masks must be worn by all patrons at all times during the concert. On the day of the performance, if you are feeling unwell, please stay at home. We will gladly exchange your tickets for another show. Concert run time is 90 minutes including a brief pause.
~Listening Online? The concerts will be live streamed for free on our YouTube channel. The archived streams will be available to view for 24 hours.
Meet The Composers
Eleanor Alberga is a highly-regarded British composer with commissions from the BBC Proms and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. With a substantial output ranging from solo instrumental works to full-scale symphonic works and operas, her music is performed all over the world.
Born 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist, and five years later was composing works for the piano. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to British Music.
Shortly after Alberga's mother died, the composer had a commission to write a short work for string quartet, and decided to dedicate it to her mother. The piece, Remember, is based on a Jamaican folk song called "Come Back Liza."
Samuel Barber was an American composer, pianist, conductor, baritone, and music educator, and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music twice, and his Adagio for Strings has earned a permanent place in the orchestral concert repertory. While Barber composed a significant body of purely instrumental music, two-thirds of his compositional output was dedicated to writing art songs for voice and piano, choral music, and songs for voice and orchestra.
By the time he graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, Barber had developed into a fine baritone and was in some demand as a recitalist. It was the composer himself who made the first recording of his setting of English Victorian poet Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" for voice and string quartet.
Franz Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, he left behind a vast catalog, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music, and a large body of piano and chamber music.
The Fantasie in C Major was the last of Schubert's compositions for violin and piano, and was premiered in Vienna in January 1828 by violinist Josef Slavik and pianist Carl Maria von Bocklet. According to pianist Nikolai Lugansky, the piece "is the most difficult music ever written for the piano," and "more difficult than all of Rachmaninov’s [piano] concertos put together."
Robert Schumann was a German composer, pianist, and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, but when a hand injury ended this dream, he focused his musical energies on composing instead.
Noted for its "extroverted, exuberant" character, Schumann's piano quintet is considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of nineteenth-century chamber music. Composed for piano and string quartet, the work revolutionized the instrumentation and musical character of the piano quintet and established it as a quintessentially Romantic genre.