Festival Cultural de Mayo Jalisco 2009
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| Programa general | Teatro Degollado |

Friday 22

 Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco
Toshiyuki Shimada, guest conductor
Naoko Takada, marimba

Program

Overture“La Forza del Destino" by Giuseppe Verdi (1813- 1901)
[8 min]

Violin concerto No.1 en A minor by J. S. Bach (1685 –1750)
(Transcript for marimba)
[15 min]

I- Allegro Moderato
II- Andante
III- Allegro assai

Prism Rhapsody para marimba by Keiko Abe (1937 - )
[16 min]

Intermedio

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude –Achille  Debussy (1862- 1918)
[10 min]

Adagio for strings Op. 11 de Samuel Barber (1910- 1981)
[10 min]

Daphnis et Chloe “Suite No. 2” de Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
[18 min]

Venue: Teatro Degollado
Time: 20:30 Hrs.

TOSHIYUKI SHIMADA, conductor

During his distinguished twenty-one year tenure as Music Director of the Portland Symphony (Maine), Toshiyuki Shimada was consistently hailed for his deep commitment not only to the orchestra, but to the community as well. In addition to an ASCAP award (1989) for adventuresome programming of contemporary music, he was honored by numerous civic organizations for his vital contribution to the cultural life of Portland. Currently Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Shimada has appeared as guest conductor with the Boston Pops, Chautauqua Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and the San Jose Symphony, to name a few. European engagements include the Berlin Symphony, Danish Radio Orchestra (Copenhagen), Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic), NÖ Tonkünstler Orchestra (Vienna), Orchestre National de Lille, Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Edinburgh, and the Slovak Philharmonic.

Principal Conductor of Vienna Modern Masters, a recording enterprise in the Czech Republic, Mr. Shimada maintains an active recording schedule with the Moravian Philharmonic. A tenth CD, Nancy Van de Vate's new opera All Quiet on the Western Front was released with an international cast.

Prior to his appointment in Portland, Toshiyuki Shimada spent six years with the Houston Symphony, first as Assistant and later as Associate Conductor. During this period, he was also Music Director of the Nassau Symphony and Music Director of the Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston.

A native of Japan, Toshiyuki Shimada began studying violin at age four, joined the Tokyo Boys Choir at age eight and made his conducting debut with that group at age eleven. At age fifteen, he and his family moved to the United States. Mr. Shimada holds degrees in both conducting and clarinet from the California State University at Northridge where he studied with Lawrence Christianson. Other teachers include Hans Swarovsky (at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna), Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Lewis and Herbert Blomstedt.

NAOKO TAKADA, marimba

Of marimbist Naoko Takada, The Washington Post wrote, “If you have any doubt that a solo mallet instrument can sustain your attention throughout an entire concert, Takada just might make you change your mind.” During the 2008-2009 concert season, Ms. Takada performs as soloist with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra (WA), Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (FL) and Canton Symphony (OH), and gives recitals and educational outreach activities with the North Orange County Community Concerts Association, Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (MI) and Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

In March 2007, Ms. Takada released her first CD, Marimba Meets the Classics, produced by Japan Victor Entertainment, Inc. The recording led CD Baby to exclaim, ”Naoko’s gift for this instrument comes through in both her exquisite and delicate touch as well as the excitement and passion she pours into each piece.” She has appeared as soloist with the Houston, South Dakota, West Shore (MI), Anchorage, Mobile, Fargo-Moorhead (ND), Vallejo (CA), China National and Xalapa (Mexico) Symphonies, the Boise and Louisiana Philharmonics, and the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay (CA). She has performed at the Belgium International Marimba Festival and in a benefit for Paul Newman’s Hole in Wall Gang Camp, where she appeared onstage with such personalities as Bruce Willis, Meryl Streep, and Danny Glover. She has also appeared at the Patagonia International Percussion Festival in Argentina, the KoSA International Percussion Festival (VT), Nancy Zeltsman’s Marimba Festival (WI) and the Yamaha Sounds of Summer Drum Camp at Central Washington University.

Ms. Takada won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the Young Concert Artists Series presented her New York debut at the 92nd Street Y, sponsored by the Peter Jay Sharp Prize, as well as debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. In May 2004, Ms. Takada performed the New York premiere of YCA composer Kevin Puts’ Marimba Concerto with Leonard Slatkin conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in YCA’s annual Irene Diamond Concert.

She was recently awarded the S & R Washington Award by the S & R Foundation, a prize that supports artists who contribute to cultural understanding between the U.S. and Japan. Her other awards include First Prize at the 2002 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg National Young Artist Competition, First Prize at the 2001 Sorantin Young Artists International Competition in Texas, the Marimba Special Prize at the 2001 IBLA Grand Prize International Competition in Italy and First Prize in the 2000 Japan International League of Artists Competition in Tokyo.

Ms. Takada is renowned for her wide range of repertoire, from Bach to Piazzolla. An arranger as well as a performer, Ms. Takada’s transcriptions have been published by Studio 4 Music as part of the Naoko Takada Series, which also includes works written for her by composers including Yasutaki Inamori, Paul Fowler, John Anthony Lennon and Hayato Hirose. Committed to educational outreach, Takada participates in Adventure Concerts, an educational concert series in New York City public schools, run by Midori & Friends.

Naoko Takada was born in Tokyo and began to study the marimba at the age of eight. She first appeared as soloist with orchestra at the age of eleven, when she played with the Tokyo Symphony and Tokyo Chamber Orchestra. In Japan, she studied with Akiko Suzuki and Keiko Abe and attended Waseda University in Tokyo, majoring in psychology. She then decided to focus on her marimba studies and entered California State University at Northridge as a student of Karen Ervin-Pershing, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. She then earned a Master of Music degree from Ithaca College, working with Gordon Stout. She has also studied at Boston Conservatory with Nancy Zeltsman. Ms. Takada is a Yamaha performing artist. Her signature line of mallets is available through Encore Mallets.

REVIEWS

"Naoko Takada plays a thrilling marimba, moving with speed, grace and extraordinary accuracy. This afternoon she will play a program of her own arrangements of Bach and Debussy, as well as new music by composers Joseph Schwantner, Leigh Howard Stevens, Daniel Berg, and Eric Ewazen, and a world premiere by Paul Fowler. If you have any doubts that a solo mallet instrument can sustain your attention throughout an entire concert, Takada just might make you change your mind".

Washington Post, Sunday, November 17, 2002 by Tim Page

 

KEIKO ABE, composer - marimba

Born in Tokyo, (1937)

Abe began playing the marimba at the age of 12, after hearing an American missionary group from Oral Roberts University playing the first marimba ever brought to Japan. After earning degrees in composition and percussion, from Tokyo Gakugei University, she began a marimba trio that played popular music, but grew frustrated with the limited scope of the ensemble and in 1962 entered the world of contemporary classical music. playing mallet percussion with the NHK orchestra. During this period she had her own show on Japanese television, instructing schoolchildren in xylophone playing, as well as a radio show called "Good Morning Marimba". She also began her recording career with a bang, putting out 13 albums in a five-year span.

In 1963, the Yamaha Corporation sought Japanese marimba players to assist in the design of their new instruments; Keiko Abe was chosen for her original and clear ideas of the marimba sound and design, particularly her concept of how the marimba should be able to blend in ensembles, for example, moving away from the inconsistencies and lack of focus of folk percussion instruments. Her ideas for the desired sound of the instruments guided Yamaha's design, and in the 1970s began production. In addition, at her urging, the range of the new marimba was stretched from four octaves to five, which has become the standard for soloists. Abe has been closely associated with Yamaha ever since, and their first ever signature series of keyboard percussion mallets bears her name.

Her compositions, including "Michi", "Variations on Japanese Children's Songs", and "Dream of the Cherry Blossoms", have become standards of the marimba repertoire. Abe is active in promoting the development of literature for the marimba, not only by writing pieces herself, but also by commissioning works by other composers and encouraging young composers. She has added at least 70 compositions to the repertoire. Most of her pieces begin as improvisations, and are later notated.

In addition to her heavy composing, touring, and recording schedule, Abe has been a lecturer, then professor, at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo since 1969. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993, and the first player to develop six-mallet technique. Among her former students is the noted percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

She uses the YM-6000 Marimba made by Yamaha.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, composer  
(Eisenach, Thuringia, 21 March 1685 –Leipzig, July 28, 1750.)

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German organist and music composer during the
Baroque period, member of one of the most extraordinary families in history (around 120 musicians.)

His legendary fame as organ and harpsichord player was recognized all over Europe. He also played the violin and the viola da gamba, and was the first great improvisator of widely renowned music.

Bach was such a prolific composer, that he is considered as the zenith of baroque music, one of the world’s summits for music and western musical thought, as well as epicenter and one of the great pillars of all time culture, not only for its intellectual depth, its technical perfection and artistic beauty, but also for synthesizing the various international styles of his period and the ones preceding it, and for its incomparable extension. Bach is the last great master of the art of counterpoint, its maximum exponent; he is the source of inspiration and influence of later composers and musicians from Mozart, through Schoenberg to our days.

His most important compositions are among the most outstanding and transcendent of all classical music. Among them we could mention the Brandenburg Concertos, The Well Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion, The Art of Fugue, the Violin Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, Toccata and Fugue in  D Minor, the Sacred Cantatas 80, 140 and 147, the Italian Concerto, the French Overture, Cello Suites, the Violin Partitas and Sonatas and the Orchestral Suites.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
NO. 1 CONCERTO IN A MINOR
FOR VIOLIN AND STRING ORCHESTRA, BWV 1041

From all the violin concertos Bach wrote, the ones that have survived to our days are BWV 1041 in A Minor, 1042 in E Major and 1043 in D Minor. Though the first two were written for soloist violin and the third for two violins, all three are accompanied by two violins, viola, violoncello and basso continuo, which are supposed to have been written during his stay at Köthen (1717-23), but no certainty exists. Two musicians, Spiess and Marcus had been serving in the ducal chapel when Bach arrived; Marcus left in 1722 but Spiess remained to his death in 1730.

These concerts were typically conceived with an Italian style or, to be more exact, Vivaldi-like: all of them share the alternate order of fast-slow tempo (Allegro-Adagio-Allegro), all the instruments (tutti) sustain a dialogue with the soloist, and vice versa. These characteristics only refer to the exterior in form, but all three are eminently in Bach´s style.

Some details will help to understand it better: in the first and third movements of the Concert in A Minor (BWV 1041), the manner in which Bach deals with the soloist is evident, profoundly different from the way the sound material is exposed by tutti, though based on it; in the second movement, the Andante, there is an ostinato in Bach´s characteristic bass, thus conferring a solemn and defined character over which the flowery soloists melody is enhanced.

CLAUDE- ACHILLE DEBUSSY, composer 

Debussy is a French composer whose harmonic innovations opened the way for the radical XX Century music transformation. He founded the impressionist music school.

Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on August 22nd, 1862, he received his musical education from the Paris Conservatoire, where he started studying at ten. In 1879 he traveled to Florence, Venice, Vienna and Moscow as a personal musician to Nadejda von Meck, who sponsored the Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. While in Russia, he became familiar with the music of composers such as Tchaikovsky, Aleksander Borodin, Mily Balakirev and Modest Mussorgsky, as well as the Russian and Gypsy folklore. In 1884, he won the much coveted Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata L’Enfant Prodigue. According to the requirements of the prize, he had to study in Rome where he settled at Villa Medici for two years and offered regularly, though without much success, new compositions to the Grand Prix Committee. Among them there is the symphonic suite Printemps and a cantata, La Demoiselle élue, based on the poem ‘The Blessed Damsel,’ by the British writer Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

His music pieces were frequently played during the 1880s decade, and in spite of their then controverted nature, he began to be appreciated as a composer. Among his most important works, he has a Quartet in G Minor (1893) and the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894), which was his first mature orchestra composition written when he was 32, based on a poem by the symbolist writer Stéphane Mallarmé.

PRÉLUDE Á L’APRÈS-MIDI D’UN FAUN  

Night wanderer and frequent visitor to cafés, without much money and varied personal problems, Claude Debussy went through depression, notoriety and economic well-being periods. The progressive distance from his parents or the breaking of his engagement with Thérèse Roger (the artist who had presented “La Démoiselle Élue” and “Proses Lyriques”) did not interrupt his feverish work pace. His most revealing creations, all of them orchestral works, were written between 1892 and 1894. From his initial plan for a prelude, interlude and paraphrase, only the first part subsists, his Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, based on a bucolic poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, also illustrated by Manet, the impressionist painter. It was first played on December 22nd, 1894 in one of the concerts of the “Societé Nationale de Musique”. In 1912, the Russian Dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, sponsored by Sergei Diághiliev, the Ballets de Montecarlo Manager,  choreographed and interpreted it for the first time in its ballet version.

This work presented new concepts; there is an obviously distinctive orchestration based on three flutes, two oboes (one made into an English horn), two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns and two harps added to the string formation. Neither trumpets nor trombones or percussion: nothing that could distract from the desired gossamer and light sonority. The composition structure is outstanding: six parts of uneven length, dominated only by the starting flute solo (très modéré), later amplified under a slight harmony, which later completes itself. A second part presents the following motif on the oboe leads to an atmosphere of greater animation. In the third one, clarinet, oboe and string present a new highly emotional lyric melodic element, (même mouvement et très sostenu). The fourth part makes a reprise of the first theme, rhythmically transformed. The theme is schematically presented again under a sort of final code. This was the first time Debussy left the established esthetics totally apart, disregarded any tonal impositions and used at will all his resources to express the feelings engraved in him by Mallarmé’s poem.

MAURICE RAVEL

Ravel, born in Ciboure, Labort, the 7th March 1875, and dead in Paris on the 28th December 1937, was really a French composer of the XX Century. His work has frequently been linked to Impressionism, and shows an audacious neoclassical style, sometimes with Expressionist streaks, fruit of a complex inheritance and of musical findings which revolutionized piano and orchestra music. Recognized as a masterful orchestrator and a punctilious crafter, he cultivates formal perfection without ever leaving aside deeply human and expressive characteristics. Ravel is remarkable for revealing “the subtlest of all intelligence games and the most hidden effluves from he heart” (Le Robert).

DAPHNIS ET CHLOE “SUITE NO. 2” DE  MAURICE RAVEL

By far the largest of his orchestral works is the ballet “Daphnis et Chloé,” which occupied him, along with other projects, from 1909 to 1912.  It was commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes and marked a considerable change of subject for that company, whose most original productions thus far had been Stravinsky’s first two ballets, “L’ oiseau de Fu” and “Petrouchka,” based on Russian folklore.   The scenario was by Michel Fokine -who was also responsible for the choreography-  and is derived from the well known pastoral attributed to Longus.   For it Ravel produced some of the loveliest pages in twentieth-century music, and although the scale is larger than usual for him, the detail is as meticulously shaped as ever.  Indeed, for all this score’s exquisite artifice, a powerful melodic lyricism is at its heart.

The first performance, by Diaghilev’s troupe, was again at the theater du Chatelet, on June 8, 1912, with Nijinsky and Karsavina respectively in the little  roles and with Pierre Monteux conducting.   It has, of course, survived in the theatre ever since, but Ravel’ extracted two orchestral suites from this score, these comprising most of the ballet’s music.  Suite No. 2 dates from 1913 and opens with the “Level du jour,” a magical portrayal of sunrise and the earth’s awakening, and continues whit the “Pantomime” and overwhelming “Danse générale.”

 

| Programa general | Teatro Degollado |