Tempest Trio

Tempest Trio

Candlelight Concert Society presents

Tempest Trio

Alon Goldstein, piano
Ilya Kaler, violin
Amit Peled, cello

Sunday, April 15, 2018, 3:00 pm
Smith Theatre – Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center Howard Community College

This performance is sponsored by Philip & Linda Press

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Piano Trio (1937)

I - Adagio non troppo
II - Tempo di marcia
III - Largo - Allegro vivo et molto ritmico

 

Ernst Bloch (1880-1959)
“From Jewish Life” for cello and piano

I - Supplication
II - Jewish song
III - Prayer

 

Joachim Stutschewsky (1891-1982)
Hassidic Fantasy (1956)

 

Intermission

 

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Trio no. 1 in D minor Op. 49

I - Molto allegro ed agitato
II - Andante con moto tranquillo III - Scherzo
IV - Finale


Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) 

Piano Trio (1937) 

Written while he was a student of Walter Piston at Harvard, Leonard Bernstein’s only piano trio remained unpublished during his lifetime. One of his fellow students, Mildred Spiegel, recalls, “He borrowed a farmer’s truck and drove to the Emerson House at York Harbor where I was playing with my trio. I was delightfully surprised.” Apparently, the visit gave Bernstein the inspiration to begin a trio, and he completed it in 1937 at age nineteen. That same ensemble, which consisted of Spiegel as violinist, cellist Dorothy Rosenberg, and pianist Sarah Kruskall, played the premiere performance on the Harvard campus. 

The trio’s first movement opens with a wistful melody, played first by the solo cello, next by the two strings in a semi-canonic restatement, and finally by the piano alone. Most of what happens in the rest of the work is based on this melody. When all three instruments finally play together, the strings are accompanied by a lush, arpeggiated texture on the piano. Gradually the music quickens and becomes more emphatic, only to be interrupted unexpectedly by a slow restatement of the opening melody, which begins in a unison fortissimo but gradually becomes a whisper. 

Bernstein’s love of jazz shows itself in the second movement, a set of variations on a theme which has an ample supply of blue notes. This movement sounds most like the mature Bernstein, with its occasional cheeky humor, expert use of popular motifs, and exuberant energy. The strings play pizzicato for much of the movement, which emphasizes Bernstein’s jazz-inspired syncopations. 

in contrast to the brightness of the second movement, the third opens with the strings playing an almost solemn version of the opening melody at an 

even slower tempo. The music moves without further ado into a livelier section that begins coolly but ramps up the energy almost immediately. Flashes of the music from the first and second movements return: syncopations, dervish-like figurations on the strings, and pizzicati all play a role in the development of the theme. After a dramatic cello solo, the work closes with an emphatic coda punctuated by a joyful glissando on the piano. In its fluency and enthusiasm, the Trio is a foretaste of the great things that were to come from this iconic American composer. 

Notes by Stephen Ackert


Ernst Bloch (1880-1959) 

“From Jewish LiFe” For cello and piano 

Joachim Stutschewsky (1891-1982) 

Hassidic Fantasy (1956) 

Ernst Bloch (1880-1959) and Joachim Stutschewsky (1891-1982) were among a significant number of Jewish composers who witnessed with horror the persecution of European Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, and later witnessed with pride the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 and the success of its first years of existence. Their prolific output of music based on Jewish themes can be seen as an expression of their solidarity with the fate of the Jewish people during that tumultuous era. 

Born in Switzerland, Ernst Bloch came to the United states in 1916 and became a citizen in 1924. In 1917 he became the first teacher of composition at New York’s Mannes School of Music. in 1920 he was appointed the first musical director of the newly formed Cleveland Institute of Music, and from 

1925 to 1930 he was director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Coming from a family with strong religious convictions, he once wrote that writing music on Jewish themes was “the only way in which i can produce music of vitality and significance.” His three-movement work for cello and piano, From Jewish Life, was written during his time in Cleveland. 

A cellist and folklorist as well as a composer, Joachim Stutschewsky was born in Romny, Ukraine, to a family of musicians who had been klezmerim for several generations. After graduating from the Leipzig Conservatory in 1911, he spent time in Zurich. there he presented lectures on 

and concerts of Jewish music and wrote a treatise on the art of cello playing, which became recognized as one of the major modern manuals for that instrument. From 1924 to 1938, he lived in Vienna and undertook concert tours dedicated to Jewish music in several countries. Fleeing the rising tide of Nazism in Austria, he emigrated to Israel in 1938 and quickly established himself as one of the most influential musical personalities in the country, as a cello pedagogue, composer, lecturer, and writer. In Israel he absorbed the musical life of the near eastern Jewish communities and the emergent new folk-song styles. In the collections Zemer Am (1940) and 120 Niggunei Ḥasidim (1950) and his book Ha-Klezmerim (1959), he undertook the task of collecting and preserving invaluable reminiscences and materials from his own family as well as regional traditions of klezmer life and activities. His Hassidic Fantasy (1956) dates from this prolific period in his long and fruitful career. 

Notes by Stephen Ackert


Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) 

Trio No. 1 in d minor Op. 49 

Felix Mendelssohn was by all accounts a remarkable per- son. His talents for musical composition and the visual arts revealed themselves at an early age, languages came easily to him, and he showed remarkable skill as an administrator and organizer of public performances. He helped promote his contemporaries, among them Schumann, Chopin, and Berlioz. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Mendelssohn approached earlier music, particularly that of Johann Sebastian Bach, with reverence for what was present in the score. In this respect he ran afoul of some of his critics, who were fellow composers who believed it was a composer’s duty to improve upon the scores of past masters. 

Mendelssohn’s D minor Piano Trio enjoyed immediate success. Robert Schumann wrote of it: “It is necessary to say but little of Mendelssohn’s trio since it must be in everyone’s hands. It is the master trio of today as in their day were those of Beethoven in B-flat and D; as was that of Franz Schubert in E-flat.... We can indeed say [Mendelssohn] is the Mozart of the nineteenth century....” 

Initiated by a cantabile main theme played by the cello with a syncopated accompaniment, the first movement continues as the violin joins in with a slightly altered version of the theme. Further variations of the main theme fill the transition to the second theme, also introduced by the cello. Mendelssohn combines both themes in the development. In the recapitulation, a violin counter-melody supports the return of the original theme. 

the piano introduces the second movement, with the eight-bar melody in the right hand and the accompaniment divided between the hands. After the piano plays the main theme, the violin repeats it with counterpoint provided by the cello. 

in the third movement, a short and light scherzo, the main theme is first played on the piano. A rhythmic motif from the main theme is present throughout the movement, except in the more lyrical central section, where the theme recalls material from the first movement. 

Marked by a frenetically busy piano part as only Mendelssohn could write, the finale is a compendium of keyboard techniques of his time, including close chordal harmonies, sweeping arpeggios, and chromatic octaves. The cantabile moments provide a refreshing contrast. After exploring all the harmonic possibilities of D minor and its related keys, the trio finishes with a shift to D major shortly before the end. 

Notes by James Cannon, edited by Stephen Ackert


Tonight’s Artists

Tempest Trio

Combining technical mastery, expressive depth, and performance experience, pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler, and cellist Amit Peled have joined forces to form one of the most exciting trios on the international scene. Each virtuoso member of the ensemble has a successful solo career and together they bring vitality to the concert stage with their dynamic musical interplay and collaborative spirit. The Trio has recently been compared by critics to the legendary “Million Dollar Trio” of Arthur Rubinstein, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Jascha Heifetz. 

The Tempest Trio has performed in cities throughout the US, Europe, Israel and Asia and has been known to share with the public unique and exotic programs of trios ranging from the standard repertoire of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak, to newly commissioned pieces as well as lesser known repertoire by Bernstein, Bloch and Amy Beach. They also presented to critical acclaim the complete Schumann, Brahms and Dvorak trio cycles at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Four Arts Society in Palm Beach etc. They have performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Chicago, Washington, dC and Palm Beach Florida. The Tempest Trio was ensemble in residence at the Heifetz International Music Festival as well as Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. 

The 2017/18 season marks the Trio’s 11th anniversary season and includes concerts throughout the Us and Europe including Washington, DC; Fort Worth, Texas; Santa Cruz, California; Rogue Valley, Oregon; Lexington, Kentucky; Baltimore, Maryland; London, UK; Berlin, Germany; and several cities in Spain. they will perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the rogue Valley symphony to mark the orchestras 50th anniversary. Their CD of Dvorak Trios, Vol. 2 on NAXOS was released in the fall of 2017. 

As committed pedagogues, the members of the Tempest Trio all teach in prestigious universities and summer festivals around the world and share their knowledge, experience and joy of music-making through intensive educational residencies, master classes and lectures which they offer during each season.