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Although all of the music in the first half of tonight’s concert was originally composed for the guitar or one of its ancestors, Maestro Millán has arranged the Pavane, the Passacaille, and the Allegro Moderato for the orchestra’s brass, string, and woodwind sections.
Robert de Visée (c. 1650 - c. 1732)
Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
Luis de Milán (1500-1561)
Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841)
Program notes: April 18, 2015
Program notes for tonight’s performance have been abstracted and modified from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_de_Mil%C3%A1n; http://sologuitarist.net/milan.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Pavane; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Sor;http:// www.classical guitar.net/artists/sor/;http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Robert_de_Vis%C3%A9e; http://en .wikipedia.org/ wiki/Passacaglia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinando_ Carulli; http://www. classiccat.net/carulli_f/biography.php; http:// www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp? album_id=57884; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Rimsky-Korsakov; http://en. wikipedia .org/wiki/Mily_Balakirev; http://www.naxos.com /mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?Item_code=8.550811&catNum=550811&filetype=About+this+Recording.
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Pavane No. 3 (Luis de Milán; 1500-1561) (Brass): A pavane is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century. Tonight the symphony brass will present Maestro Millán’s arrangement of Pavane No. 3 by the Renaissance composer Luis de Milán and written for the six-string vihuela, an instrument popular in the Iberian Peninsula. Pavane No. 3 was one of six that Milán included in his book, Libro de musica de vihuela de mano intitulado El Maestro published in 1536. In addition to the pavanes the Libro de musica contains forty fantasies, four preludes, six Christmas carols for vihuela and voice, four old romances, and six sonnets. Milán’s book is the earliest known example of Spanish tablature in print.
Passacaille (Robert de Visée; c. 1650 - c. 1732) (Strings): The passacaglia originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used today. It is most often written in a triple meter. In 1682 and 1686 Visée published two books of guitar music which contain twelve suites. Maestro Millán has arranged for string orchestra this Passacaille from de Visée’s Suite No. 12 in E minor.
Allegro Moderato Op 29 No 17 (Fernando Sor; 1778-1839) (Woodwinds): Fernando Sor was a Spanish classical guitarist and composer who used some memorable melodies in his technical studies. Sor’s works for guitar range from pieces for beginners to pieces such as a Theme and Variations on Mozart's the Magic Flute for advanced players. Fernando Sor also wrote music for opera, orchestra, string quartet, piano, voice, and ballet. Maestro Millán has arranged Sor’s Allegro Moderato from his 1827 book of 12 studies for guitar (Op. 29) for the Butte Symphony woodwinds.
Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 140 (Ferdinando Carulli; 1770-1841): Ferdinando Carulli wrote several concertos for classical guitar. His Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra Op. 8a is often recorded, but may suggest that his Concerto Op. 140 in E minor the superior composition. This concerto consists of three movements: Allegro, Largo, and Allegro. The solo guitar is definitely is front and center, but there are conversations between the guitar and the orchestra that at times make the orchestra an equal partner.
Many pieces now regarded as Carulli's greatest were initially turned down by publishers as being too hard for the average player. Carulli eventually self-published many of his compositions, but the majority of his surviving works are those that were considered “safe” enough to be accepted by other publishers. In 1810 Ferdinando Carulli released the influential Méthode complète pour guitare ou lyre, Op. 27 which contains music still used by student guitarists.
Symphony No.1 in E minor, Op.1 (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; 1844-1908):
1. Largo assai-Allegro.
2. Andante tranquillo.
3. Scherzo Vivace-Trio.
4. Allegro assai.
Encouraged by Mily Balakirev (who believed that Russia should have its own school of music free from southern and European influences), Rimsky-Korsakov began writing his first symphony in 1861 while still a cadet officer in the Russian Navy. By 1862, Korsakov had completed the Scherzo and the Finale. The second movement, based on a Russian folk song Pro Tatarski Polon (On the Tatar Captivity), was written in 1864 while Korsakov was in port in England. He added a Trio to the third movement in fall 1865. Korsakov’s first symphony premiered under Balakirev’s baton in 1865. It is clear that the seventeen-year-old midshipman was remarkably talented; justifying Balakirev’s early enthusiasm. By the spring of 1884, long after Rimsky-Korsakov had separated from Balakirev’s mentorship and had undertaken a three-year self-education on western methods, he revised and re-orchestrated all of his music, including his First Symphony.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral works fall into two categories. The best-known and the finest in overall quality follow a plot in a story, the action in a painting, or an event. Works such as the first and third symphonies and the sinfonietta still employed folk themes, but he subjected them to abstract rules of musical composition.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
2014 - 2015 Archived Notes
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