Santa Barbara Music Club

Hindemith, Chopin, and Liszt

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Saturday, November 19, 2016
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Faulkner Gallery

This concert features flautist Jane Hahn and pianist Christopher Davis performing Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for flute and piano (1936) and pianist Paolo Tatafiore performing Frédéric Chopin’s Impromptu, Op. 36 and Etude op. 10, No. 10 and Franz Liszt’s Sposalizio and Venezia e Napoli.

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) was a German composer, theorist, teacher, viola player and conductor.  He completed the Sonata for Flute and Piano in 1936.    While he composed the work for his colleague, flutist Gustav Scheck, in October 1936, after a performance of the Violin Sonata in E was greeted with what was interpreted as political enthusiasm, the Nazi government banned all performances of Hindemith’s works. Eventually it was premiered by Georges Barrère, in Washington, D.C. on April 10, 1937, as part of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s eighth festival of chamber music at the Library of Congress.

Composer Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849) began his career as a pianist, but soon gave up performance in favor of composition.  Born near Warsaw, Poland and educated in Warsaw, both privately and in the High School of Music, he left for Vienna in November 1830, hoping to make a European concert tour. By the next year, while the concerts had not materialized as hoped, he found his way to Paris, where he soon established himself as a teacher, composer, and salon performer.  He wrote almost exclusively for the piano.  His music displays a gift for melody, an adventurous harmonic sense, and an intuitive and inventive understanding of formal design.

Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Hungarian composer, pianist and teacher, was one of the leaders of the Romantic movement in music.  He was perhaps the greatest piano virtuoso of his time, performing not only his own music, but that of other composers, both in its original form and in transcription.  He was deeply committed not only to championing new music of the time but to bringing the music of the past to new audiences.  In his own compositions, he developed new methods which in some cases anticipated some twentieth-century ideas and procedures.  Sposalizio and Venezia e Napoli are part of the Années de pèlerinage, three suites for piano written in response to his travels.  He wrote in the introduction,

Having recently travelled to many new countries, through different settings and places consecrated by history and poetry; having felt that the phenomena of nature and their attendant sights did not pass before my eyes as pointless images but stirred deep emotions in my soul, and that between us a vague but immediate relationship had established itself, an undefined but real rapport, an inexplicable but undeniable communication, I have tried to portray in music a few of my strongest sensations and most lively impressions.

Image:  Composer Paul Hindemith