Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 3:00pm

Zukerman
Plays Bruch

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 3:00pm

Zukerman
Plays Bruch

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 3:00pm

Zukerman
Plays Bruch

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Time to event

 

Duration

2 hours
with a 20 minute intermission

About this performance:

The incomparable Pinchas Zukerman returns to Stamford to play the ever popular Bruch violin concerto. This concert recognizes the retirement of Symphony board chairman, Alan McIntyre, with a performance of Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony, Alan’s homeland.

Musical Program to include:

Rick Robinson Gitcha Groove On!

Bruch Violin Concerto No.1

Pinchas Zukerman, violin

Mendelssohn Symphony No.3 Scottish

Michael Stern, conductor

A Message From Music Director Michael Stern

Featured Artists:

Pinchas Zukerman, violin

With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today’s most sought after and versatile musicians – violin and viola soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. He is renowned as a virtuoso, admired for the expressive lyricism of his playing, singular beauty of tone, and impeccable musicianship, which can be heard throughout his discography of over 100 albums for which he gained two Grammy® awards and 21 nominations.
Highlights of the 2021-2022 season include performances with Israel Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. With the Zukerman Trio, he visits the Ravinia, Aspen and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals, as well as Parlance Chamber Concerts in New Jersey, and Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. With cellist Amanda Forsyth, he appears with the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Reading and New Bedford Symphonies. He and Forsyth also perform on a November tour with the Jerusalem String Quartet, with stops in both the U.S. and Canada.
The 2020-2021 season included performances with the Pittsburgh, Dallas, Utah, Palm Beach, and Stamford Symphonies, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne. With the Zukerman Trio, he performed at Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, OK, and on tour in Spain, as well as a virtual recital presented by Peoples’ Symphony Concerts. Additional performances included a virtual recital with Shai Wosner for Chamber Music Society of Detroit and appearances at the Casals Festival and Mariinsky Theatre.
A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, he has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for over 25 years, and has taught at prominent institutions throughout the United Kingdom, Israel, China and Canada, among others. This fall, he proudly joins Dallas Symphony Orchestra as their new Artistic & Principal Education Partner for the next two seasons. He will collaborate with DSO in partnership with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where he will provide intensive coaching and tutoring sessions for Meadows’s music students.
As a mentor he has inspired generations of young musicians who have achieved prominence in performing, teaching, and leading roles with music festivals around the globe. Mr. Zukerman has received honorary doctorates from Brown University, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Calgary, as well as the National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Reagan. He is a recipient of the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence in Classical Music.
***
“Zukerman again seemed the forever-young virtuoso: expressively resourceful, infectiously musical, technically impeccable, effortless. As usual, it was a joy to be in his musical company.”
The Los Angeles Times
“The precision and clarity of his sound and his strong romantic sensibility contribute to this excellence, but even more important is the intelligence of his interpretations. The listener is constantly engaged as he brings a little extra something to each phrase.”
Ottawa Citizen
“You could have blindfolded an experienced listener, put him in a different room where he could scarcely hear the sounds, and he’d still recognize that liquid, Zukerman tone. There is no other like it….His sound is utterly inimitable – as it has been for more than 30 years – from its intense sweetness on high to its throaty richness at the depths of the instrument….And the molten gold that streams from the instrument is completely breathtaking. Fabulous playing.”
The Herald (Glasgow)

Program Notes:

Gitcha Groove on!
Rick Robinson
b. 1963
After 23 years as double bass player with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rick Robinson resigned to become a spokesman, bringing classical music to the broadest possible community. With the CutTime Players, an eight-piece ensemble of DSO principal members who performed transcriptions of famous symphonic repertoire for local and distant communities since 1995, he eventually started composing himself.
Composed in 2009, Gitcha Groove On! describes: “…the post-concert adventure of six symphony players exploring the nearby club district together. They start at a corner bar where a tribute band is repeating tropes into the ground. The next stop is an early blues club. The straight cakewalk suddenly turns boogie-woogie and increasingly dangerous! Between clubs they’re talking about how music has often been “borrowed” between classical and popular/folk. The Roma of Eastern Europe gave us Ysaye, Paganini, Sarasate and the Brahms violin concerto. Formerly enslaved Africans reset European music to create several American musics. The friends then enter a Latin club and stay a while, each taking a solo dance turn. They leave appreciating that so many musics are thriving in their city. Someone starts a Reggae groove from their pops concert last week, and they sing together walking away toward the cars.”
Despite the wandering through American musical styles in the first half of Gitcha Groove On!, The second half is a strict fugue born of the European classical tradition, while the final part of the narrative is subtly integrated into the fugue.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Max Bruch
1838-1920
One of the hallmarks of nineteenth-century Romanticism in music was the rise of the virtuoso violin or piano soloist, epitomized by those two great showmen, Niccoló Paganini and Franz Liszt respectively. The demand for new virtuosic concertos inspired nearly all composers of the period to try their hand at this new kind of bravura work. One composer remembered primarily for his contribution to this genre was German composer, conductor and music teacher Max Bruch.
One of the minor figures of German late Romanticism, Bruch had a singularly peripatetic career moving around Germany from one minor post to another. Only in 1891 were his talents finally recognized, and he became professor of composition at the prestigious Berlin Conservatory. Among his students were Ottorino Respighi and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Bruch was a musical conservative who, drawing his inspiration from Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, had little use for the musical innovations of the second half of the nineteenth century. Since his youth, he had been a prodigious composer, best known for his choral works. Today, however, he is remembered mainly for the Violin Concerto No. 1, the Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, and Kol Nidrei for cello and orchestra, based on a melody from the Jewish Yom Kippur liturgy.
Bruch began work on the Concerto in 1857 but finished it only in 1866. Then once again, immediately after the premiere, he revised the manuscript upon the advice of the great violinist Joseph Joachim, who premiered the revised version two years later. Joachim called it the “richest and most seductive” of the Romantic violin concertos – quite a compliment from Europe’s leading virtuoso.
Bruch had originally called the first movement Introduzione-Fantasia because, lacking much of a development section, it does not conform to classical sonata form; he finally settled on the simpler title, Vorspiel (Prelude.) The melancholy mood of the first movement is intensified by the slow tempo and brooding presence of the timpani, which opens the movement and literally provides a heartbeat throughout. The Adagio, which follows without pause, is the heart of the Concerto, intensifying the emotional tone set in the previous movement. The fiery Finale: Allegro Energetico is aptly named. Its pyrotechnics may have inspired Brahms, who composed his Violin Concerto with its folk-like final movement more than ten years later.
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish”
Felix Mendelssohn
1809-1847
We are all familiar with the romantic stereotype – and often the reality – of the struggling composer struggling for his daily bread and artistic survival. Probably the greatest exception to this picture was Felix Mendelssohn, an economically secure composer from a culturally sophisticated and highly supportive family. The Mendelssohn household was a Mecca for the intellectual elite of Germany, and the many family visitors fawned over the prodigy and his talented sister Fanny. Fortunately for the development of his rare abilities, his carefully selected teachers were demanding and strict.
Mendelssohn’s financial security gave him the opportunity to take the Grand Tour in what was then considered the civilized world, Western Europe, Italy and Britain. In 1829, he traveled to England and then on to Scotland, where his visit to Fingal’s Cave in the Hebrides Islands inspired The Hebrides Overture. It also produced the ideas that became the Scottish Symphony.
Started in Italy in 1830 but not finished until 1842, the Scottish Symphony was Mendelssohn’s last – the numbering of the five symphonies reflecting their order of publication rather than composition. He dedicated the Symphony to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, whom he had met and charmed during one of his visits to England (the Queen actually sang with Mendelssohn accompanying her on the piano.)
While the music has an undeniably Scottish flavor, it does not quote any authentic folk melodies, a device that Mendelssohn despised. Writing to his father from Wales, he commented: “…anything but national music! May ten thousand devils take all folklore… a harpist sits in the lobby of every inn of repute playing so-called folk melodies at you – dreadful, vulgar, fake stuff; and simultaneously a hurdy-gurdy is tooting out melodies – it’s enough to drive you crazy…” That being said, it’s difficult to distinguish Mendelssohn’s invented Scottish style melodies from the kind of musical nationalism he so despised.
Beginning with the introduction and the succeeding allegro agitato, the gloomy atmosphere gave rise to the myth that it was somehow inspired by the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots. More likely, the Symphony reflects the bleak and stormy weather so prevalent in the Scottish highlands, lowlands and outlying islands. The climax of the first movement is a veritable hurricane, replete with chromatic moaning in the strings.
The second movement provides a little sunshine, its main theme as near to a Scottish folksong – with “Scotch snap” and all – as Mendelssohn could get without actually using one. The third movement comes through as passionate, at times even anguished. Its middle section suggests a horn-call summons of doom. Then, it’s back to the Sturm und Drang of the finale. But – perhaps with a bow to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – Mendelssohn ends the Symphony with a shift again to the major mode and a new and optimistic theme to end it.
Program notes by:
Joseph & Elizabeth Kahn
Wordpros@mindspring.com
www.wordprosmusic.com