Two members of Music in the Round’s Bridge Quintet, Benjamin Garalnick (horn) and Lorraine Hart (oboe) are accompanied by Domonkos Csaby (Piano) in this afternoon of music and poetry inspired by myth and legend.
BERGE Horn-Lokk (7′)
MUSGRAVE Niobe (5′)
LIZST Au Bord d’une Source (4′)
REINECKE Trio in A minor (25′)
Pieces will be introduced by the musicians who will also read poetry connected to the works they are playing.
BERGE Sigurd, Horn-lokk
Sigurd Berge (1929-2002) was a Norwegian composer known for his contributions to music education and his interest in Norwegian folk music. His works span a variety of styles, from traditional tonal music to electronic music and multi-media compositions.
Berge’s Horn-lokk is an unaccompanied horn solo composed in 1972 for fellow Norwegian Frøydis Ree Wekre. It consists of four sections and incorporates melodies inspired by Norwegian folk music. The piece showcases the horn as an instrument and is challenging for the performer due to its tessitura and required techniques.
The Horn-lokk contains traits reminiscent of traditional horn calls but with more complex tonality and dissonant intervals. The piece lacks the heroic quality of popular horn call melodies and instead presents a haunting and repetitive melody that grieves, with a cathartic outburst of fury at the climax.
MUSGRAVE Thea, Niobe
Niobe, written in July and November 1987, was commissioned by the Park Lane Group for Ian Hardwick. The Tape was made in the Chiens Interdits Studios in New York; recording engineer, Jonathan Mann.
In Greek mythology, Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, King of Thebes. She unwisely boasted to Leto about her many sons and daughters. Leto, who only had two children, Apollo and Artemis, was angered.
As punishment Apollo slew all of Niobe’s sons and Artemis all her daughters.
Out of pity for Niobe’s inconsolable grief, the Gods changed her into a rock, in which form she continued to weep.
In this short work for solo oboe and Tape, the solo oboe takes the part of Niobe bitterly lamenting her murdered children. The tape with the distant high voices and the slow tolling bells, and later gong, is intended to provide an evocative and descriptive accompaniment.
Thea Musgrave ©
LISZT Franz, Au Bord d’une Source
Au Bord d’une Source (“Beside a Spring”) is the 4th piece of the first suite of Années de Pèlerinage (“Years of Pilgrimage”) which was composed between 1835 and 1838 and published in 1842.
The music begins with a gentle, flowing melody that represents the babbling of a spring. Liszt uses arpeggios and delicate trills to create a sense of water cascading over rocks. As the piece progresses, the melody becomes more complex and the harmonies richer, perhaps reflecting the increasing depth of the spring as it flows. He uses dynamic contrast to convey the ebb and flow of the water, as well as sudden bursts of energy that suggest the rush of water over rapids.
REINECKE Carl, Trio for Oboe, Horn & Piano Op.188
Scherzo. Molto vivace
Allegro ma non troppo
Carl Reinecke was born near Hamburg, in the town of Altona – which was part of Denmark until 1864. As a young man he worked as court pianist for King Christian VIII in Copenhagen, before moving to a series of jobs in Germany. In 1860 he was appointed director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and professor of composition and piano at the Leipzig Conservatoire, and he remained an important musical force in Leipzig for the next 35 years. Despite his activities as a conductor, pianist and teacher, Reinecke was a prolific composer. Many of his works from the 1880s are groups of short piano pieces and songs, but among the more substantial compositions from this time are two important chamber works: the ‘Undine’ Sonata for flute and piano, and the Trio Op.188 for oboe, horn and piano. Its very unusual scoring suggests that Reinecke wrote the Trio for two specific players in the Gewandhaus Orchestra. It was first performed in the Gewandhaus on 22 November 1886 by the oboist Gustav Hinke, horn player Friedrich Gumpert and Reinecke himself as pianist. Gustav Hinke was principal oboe of the orchestra and was the dedicatee of another trio for the same combination by Heinrich von Herzogenberg (written in 1889) as well as of Reinecke’s own Octet (1892). Friedrich Gumpert was first horn in the Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1864 until 1898. The musical language of Reinecke’s Trio suggests a composer who was a contemporary and friend of Johannes Brahms (Reinecke conducted the first complete performance of Brahms’s German Requiem) but it’s also distinctive: Reinecke writes beautifully for his unusual ensemble, and the long melodic horn line – later taken over by the oboe – in the slow movement is particularly memorable, while the major key finale includes some splendidly idiomatic writing (hunting-horn rhythms and lyrical oboe phrases) that make for a stirring conclusion.
Nigel Simeone © 2010