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Rose of the Winds
 

Sat 8.11 8pm

Saturday, August 11, 2012, 8pm
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Andrew Norman: Gran Turismo
Osvaldo Golijov: Rose of the Winds (Cristina Pato, Galician bagpipes; Kayhan Kalhor, kemancheh; David Krakauer, klezmer clarinet; Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion) [West Coast Premiere]
Dylan Mattingly
: I Was a Stranger (conducted by Carolyn Kuan) [World Premiere | Festival Commission]
Lou Harrison: Third Symphony [Anniversary Tribute | Festival Commission]

TICKETS: $32-50

One world premiere Festival commission, one West Coast premiere and an anniversary tribute are among the offerings of an exciting evening that welcomes two composers-in-residence. The world premiere of Dylan Mattingly’s I Was a Stranger was commissioned for the Festival by renowned composer John Adams and his wife Deborah O'Grady, and will be guest conducted by Carolyn Kuan, Festival Associate Conductor and recently appointed Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Mattingly’s music draws from a diverse range of styles and musicians—including Olivier Messiaen, Magnus Lindberg, Joni Mitchell and old American blues and folk recordings. Maestra Alsop then leads the Orchestra in Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo, a work for eight violins described by The Boston Globe as an “exhilarating exercise in perpetual motion constantly threatened by modern collisions en route." Norman conceived this work while researching the art of Italian futurist Giacomo Balla, watching his roommates play a video game called Gran Turismo, and considering the legacy of Baroque string virtuosity. He writes, “... it was out of their unexpected convergence that this piece was born.” Anyone attending the Cabrillo Festival's 2009 opening night performance of Grammy-award winner and MacArthur fellow Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul will want to be in the audience tonight when Cristina Pato on Galician bagpipes, Kayhan Kalhor on kemancheh, David Krakauer on Klezmer clarinet, and Michael Ward-Bergeman on hyper-accordion, are featured in the West Coast premiere of Golijov's Rose of the Winds. The work’s title refers to the symbol of the compass that points not just to the four corners of the earth, but in all directions, and, in Golijov’s words, “provides contrast without explanation.” The Chicago Tribune praised Rose of the Winds for its “bold yet seamless melding of musical resonances from Christian, Arabic and Jewish traditions and ear-catching instrumental sounds and colors,” promising another unforgettable musical journey. The final work for the evening is an anniversary tribute to beloved composer Lou Harrison, one of the Festival's founders and an ongoing inspiration. His beautiful Third Symphony was commissioned in 1982 for the twentieth anniversary of the Cabrillo Festival, and revised and performed again at the Festival in 1983 and again in 1990.

The concert is followed by an outdoor dessert reception for the entire audience and orchestra!

Program Notes

Gran Turismo for Violin Octet (2004)
Andrew Norman (b. 1979)

A native Midwesterner, Andrew Norman was raised in central California, where he studied piano and viola before attending the University of Southern California and Yale University. His teachers include Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke and Aaron Jay Kernis, among others. Previous works include commissions from the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Switzerland. Future projects include commissions by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.

 

Gran Turismo (originally the name of a Maserati sports car) is dedicated to the students of violin professor Robert Lipsett, who conducted the premiere in 2005 with the University of Southern California Music Ensemble. It was the recipient of the 2005 Leo Kaplan Prize from ASCAP. The composer writes:

Rewind my life a bit and you might find a particular week in 2003 when I was researching the art of Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla for a term paper, watching my roommates play a car racing video game called Gran Turismo, and thinking about the legacy of Baroque string virtuosity as a point of departure for my next project. It didn’t take long before I felt the resonances between these different activities, and it was out of their unexpected convergence that this piece was born.

Not recorded

Rose of the Winds (2006-07; rev. 2012) West Coast Premiere
Osvaldo Golijov (b. 1960)

 

Osvaldo Golijov’s influences are wide and diverse, including his Rumanian mother and a father from the Ukraine. Born after the family had immigrated to Argentina, he grew up in a closely-knit Jewish household, where he was exposed to Jewish liturgical music and local klezmer musicians, as well as Argentina’s national dance, the tango.

Three works by Osvaldo Golijov have been featured at previous Cabrillo Festivals. Two were performed at the 2008 Festival: the solo cello piece Omaramor (1991), performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz; and Last Round (1996) for string orchestra. In 2009 the Festival performed the West Coast premiere of his cello concerto Azul (2006, revised in 2007) with soloist Alisa Weilerstein. Golijov was present for the performance as a Festival Guest Composer.

Rose of the Winds was introduced in 2007 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Silk Road Ensemble during Golijov’s tenure as the Orchestra’s composer-in-residence. It received its premiere on April 12, 2007 by the Orchestra conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Golijov has revised the score for the Cabrillo Festival’s West Coast Premiere performance featuring four soloists. The following note by Program Annotator Philip Huscher is reprinted with the permission of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

When Osvaldo Golijov was a boy, his uncle gave him a desk to use for his homework. On the top was a map of the entire world with a beautiful rose of the winds–the historic compass rose–painted on the Pacific Ocean. "I spent more time imagining what was happening–what life was like–in every one of the places on the map than doing homework," Golijov recalls today. That childhood memory of the rose of the winds–and the fantasy of exploring a vast, unknown world–is the idea that inspired this new work for the Silk Road Ensemble and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to play together.

 

Golijov, who was one of the Chicago Symphony's Mead Composers-in-Residence, is already well known for writing music that reflects our complex modern world and that reveals traces of his own personal journey on three continents–from his boyhood in Argentina to Israel, where he lived in the early 1980s, and finally to the United States, where he settled in 1986. He continues to explore the world through his music: he has worked with the Mexican rock band Café Tacuba, the Argentine musician Gustavo Santaolalla, and the gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks; he wrote the soundtrack for Sally Potter's film and for an eleven-minute movie on 9/11 directed by Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu; he first attracted attention with a klezmer composition titled The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, and made his rock-star breakthrough with the Saint Mark Passion, written to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, that is sung in Spanish and ends with a setting of the kaddish.

 

Rose of the Winds, based on the symbol of the compass that points not just to the four corners of the earth, but in all directions, is intended to offer a snapshot of who we are as people rather than trace a specific journey. As Golijov says, “Rose of the Winds provides contrast without explanation.” Two of the four movements are based on Golijov's Ayre, first performed on the Chicago Symphony's MusicNOW series last June.

 

Wah Habibi (My Love) is based on a Christian Arab song for Easter Friday. Golijov has set the work twice, at first sounding Christian and then Arabic. The distinction is made through shifts in harmony, instrumentation, and inflection. “With the most minute changes, one culture becomes another,” Golijov says. “This is a song of faith and love, surrounded by outbursts of violence and anger.” After a wailing introduction for bagpipe, it highlights the kamancheh as well as the brass, percussion, and woodwind sections of the orchestra.

 

The second movement, Kwadalupe, is based on a field recording of a ritual to the holy mother of Guadalupe, in Chiapas, Mexico. The voices in the ritual intone a meditative murmur that fluctuates between prayer and melody. The strings surround it with a chorale of alien, shimmering harmonies that is echoed by [the shakuhachi,*] the flutes, and the marimba.

Also from Ayre, Tancas Serradas á Muru (Walls Are Encircling the Land) is ecstatic and raucous. This movement is a protest song to unseat the feudal lords, and features the bagpipes, [sheng,*] and the orchestra's percussion section. The words, here unsung but felt throughout, are:

Walls are encircling the land,
the land seized with greed and in haste,
if Heaven was on Earth,
they would grab it too.
Moderate your tyranny, Barons,
otherwise, I swear on my life:
I'll bring you down from your horses!
War is now declared
against your superiority!
You have exhausted
the people's patience.

Rose of the Winds closes with Tekyah, which again features the kamancheh, leading the strings in incantations, and a dirge for the brass. At the very end, Golijov writes a wailing wave performed by the orchestra, with shofars (the ram's horn blown during the Jewish high holiday services) played by members of the brass section. Rose of the Winds crosses cultures and portrays the many layers of human emotion.

 

•These solo instruments are not included in the revised version for the Cabrillo Festival performance.

Not recorded

Third Symphony (1982, rev. 1983, 1989)  Anniversary Tribute/Festival Commission
Lou Harrison (1917-2003)

Lou Harrison needs no introduction to long-time Festival audiences. A Founding Member of the Cabrillo Festival—he participated in the original 1961 Sticky Wicket concerts in Aptos that were the genesis of the Festival—for many years he presided over Festival concerts like a jovial patron saint. His works, including numerous West Coast and world premieres, were performed at every Festival for more than thirty years.

The Third Symphony was commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival for its twentieth anniversary in 1982, and was first performed at the final concert on August 29 of that year. During the fall, Harrison revised the second and fourth movements of the symphony, and the American Composers Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies performed this version in New York in November 1982. After further revisions, it was performed again the following summer at the opening concert of the 1983 Cabrillo Festival. In 1989, Harrison made additional revisions, primarily to simplify the fourth movement; this version was performed at the final Festival concert on July 29, 1990 and recorded the next day by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the concert hall of the University of California at Santa Cruz. Harrison continued to revise the work before virtually every performance, including one he was planning to attend at University of Ohio, Columbus; though he died en route on February 2, 2003.

For those curious to know the identities of the people named in the second movement:
Henry Cowell, a major twentieth-century American composer in his own right, did a great deal to encourage and support the composition and performance of new music. He was also a teacher and close friend of Harrison.

Harrison met Evelyn Hinrichsen while studying composition at Mills College in the 1930’s. The school’s music librarian, she was described by Harrison as “that rarity, a genuinely helpful person.” She later married Walter Hinrichsen, editor of the C.F. Peters music-publishing firm and was responsible for the donation of many original manuscripts to the Mills College library. The Waltz
was written for her birthday.

Susan Summerfield, an accomplished organist, was the music department chairman at Mills in 1982. The Estampie
was first written as an organ piece for her. Parts of it proved to be unplayable, so it was adapted for orchestral use in the Third Symphony.

Harrison’s own notes from the premiere performance are the best commentary on the Symphony:


My Third Symphony grew as did the other two, over a long period of time. Sections have undergone multiple revisions at various dates, and, finally, special and intense revisions in relation to other movements once the entire work came together.
I am, philosophically, a complete pessimist, but also a fairly bubbly glandular optimist. Out of this conflict, I keep up the pretense that civilization will endure, and thus behave as though there were plenty of time for works to mature. The poet Horace never let go a line without at least ten years’ consideration – the idea is appealing. Gilbert Highet once wrote that he believed it the duty of a poet to write memorable lines, and this, of course, is what takes the time. I like to think that it is the duty of a composer to write memorable melodies, and this too takes time–but what a joyous kind of time!
As in my Symphony on G, this work includes a “scherzo” area, again conceived as a little suite–here, three dances: a reel, a waltz, and a medieval estampie, the whole constituting movement two.

The first and last movements are mostly canonic in manner and take the shape of the old concerto grosso form of Baroque usage. The Largo was the slowest to mature, and out of its final growth the entire symphony developed. I am grateful to the many friends who made this piece possible, and hope that each may find at least some part of it that gives pleasure.

Suggested recording:
Cabrillo Festival Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies
Music Masters Jazz B000000FNF
 

I Was a Stranger (2012) World Premiere/Festival Commission
Dylan Mattingly (b. 1991)

A native of Berkeley, California, Dylan Mattingly began playing cello at the age of five, and by seven was writing music. Currently a student at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he is also a Classics major, his teachers include George Tsontakis, Joan Tower and Kyle Gann. Mattingly’s music has been performed in San Francisco, Sydney, Berlin, New York and London. Recent commissions include works for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the Del Sol String Quartet.

This work is the second such commission made possible by composer John Adams and his wife Deborah O’Grady at the Cabrillo Festival in support of emerging young composers. Mattingly has written the following notes for the world premiere of I Was a Stranger:

There's some great crashing between here and sleep and you and then when sometimes somnambulant trains flash out in soft waves against the flutterings of eyelashes, waking comes swirling twilting flying thousands of splintering ties past edges into evaporating black, that great peeling away across the periphery and the sky becomes such a flood, and lightness and this droplet galaxy rush in, and suddenly there are directions and storms and you find yourself in that wonderful and strange suspension of high velocity, being flung past on and offs; and there was Jupiter turned round through branches and power lines, fractalized living rooms of swinging blurs nestled into elliptical dark contours suggesting hillsides and broader and more perfect geographical cathedrals visible from space—and shivering and some sort of somethingness that only happens alone at night when you can see your breath and feel the exposed moments of skin between billowing and ankles. And there is a rising, a slow inhale, of which I was only the slightest weight, a smell of pine needles on concrete, an instantaneous glint of touch, of your voice. And from a distance I was the shutter of a camera, I was starlight through the atmosphere, crossing, crossing-I breathe you in liftoff, you laughed, the most kaleidoscopic whirring, heaven like a weeping cloud, and there comes a moment more like an angle than a place, when at escape velocity with such an acceleration of heartbeats, you dream like a hummingbird, strange trajectories waving beneath our expansions—flyings out towards and great stretchings for thousands of miles like clouds and clouds and your breath and mine I hope not to miss—I hope not to miss for such a flicker, to be bursting, to be that steady explosion, that sunrise against that eastbound airplane. I was, to wonder, I was (I almost hear your voice), flung, I was a stranger, across endless black, across galaxies and waves, I was, (like tides, that beautiful swaying), I was a stranger until I heard you speak.

Not recorded