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Peter Winograd

Kodály, Schulhoff, & Schubert


Wednesday, Jun 28, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT


Studzinski Recital Hall
12 Campus Road S Brunswick, ME 04011

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ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882–1967)
Serenade, Op. 12 

    1. Allegramente — Sostenuto ma non troppo
    2. Lento ma non troppo
    3. Vivo  

Ayano Ninomiya, Peter Winograd, violin • Dimitri Murrath, viola 


    1. Andante con fuoco
    2. Furiant. Allegro furioso
    3. Andante 
    4. Allegro gaio 

Linda Chesis, flute • Phillip Ying, viola • Jeremy McCoy, bass 

— Intermission — 

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op.99

    1. Allegro moderato
    2. Andante un poco mosso
    3. Scherzo. Allegro — Trio
    4. Rondo. Allegro vivace — Presto

Peter Winograd, violin • Steven Doane, cello • Pei-Shan Lee, piano 


ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882–1967)
Serenade, Op. 12 (1920)

Zoltán Kodály’s lively Serenade was composed under the most adverse of circumstances. The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the end of World War One led to a period of political instability, by turns promising and precarious, with serious ramifications for the organization of musical life. With the rise of the socialist Hungarian Republic of Councils in March 1919, Kodály — widely respected for his scholarship on traditional melodies — was appointed deputy director of Budapest’s Academy of Music, second-in-command to Ernő Dohnányi. But the honor was short-lived: a far-right coup d’état in August of that year led to the violent censure, and in many cases imprisonment, of those with ties to the prior regime. Kodály, accused of Bolshevism, was subjected to a six-month investigation, suspended from the Academy, and banned from teaching for two years. The Serenade was the only piece Kodály would manage to compose during this fraught period.

It was largely thanks to the persistent advocacy of his compatriots Bartók and Dohnányi that Kodály managed to get his career and reputation back on the rails in 1921, allowing him to compose his famed Psalmus hungaricus and Háry János Suite later that decade. As part of this rehabilitation, Bartók praised the Serenade in a glowing review, writing that the work “reveals a personality with something entirely new to say,” and describing it as “extraordinarily rich in melodies” — Kódaly had, after all, been collecting Hungarian folksongs for over a decade, and much of his output before and during the war had been in the realm of vocal music. It is an element of dance music, however, that brings the Serenade to its chipper conclusion: the “Vivo” Finale evokes a verbunkos, a beloved emblem of Hungarian music, borrowed by composers stretching back to Haydn.

Concertino (1925)

Like so many composers of his generation, Erwin Schulhoff’s creative and professional trajectory was molded by his experiences of wartime. Born in Prague to a German Jewish family, Schulhoff received a robust musical education in the Austro-German tradition, migrating between conservatories in Vienna, Leipzig, and Cologne. With the outbreak of the Great War, he was drafted into the Austrian army, putting a sudden and indefinite stop to his compositional activities. But more significant than this interruption was the change of mindset that ensued: as his biographer Josef Bek writes, “The war awakened in him vehement disapproval and opposition. It meant the breakdown of all the values he had previously believed in.” Politically, Schulhoff became an ardent socialist. Musically, he sloughed off the post-Romantic compositional aesthetic in which he had been trained. One of his first works after the war — Sonata Erotica for female voice, staging the sounds of sexual pleasure, from arousal to orgasm — testifies to Schulhoff’s sudden and radical avant-gardism. Over the 1920s, he embraced an intuitive, eclectic approach, absorbing techniques as readily from the Second Viennese School as from Dada, from jazz as from Slavonic folk music.

Schulhoff composed his Concertino in something of a four-day frenzy in 1925, shortly after returning from Germany to Prague. This return to his hometown kindled an interest in Czech music, both folk and classical: he published a study of the music of Leoš Janáček (also in 1925), and incorporated a furiant into the second movement of his Concertino, along with a folktune from the Carpathian Mountains that sets the tone for the third movement.

Schulhoff’s compositional activities were once again brutally curtailed with the rise of the Third Reich and the Occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. While the composer, by then having embraced Stalinist politics and the aesthetics of socialist realism, sought to emigrate to the Soviet Union, he was unable to do so before being arrested in 1941 and deported to a concentration camp in Wülzburg, Bavaria, where he died within a year from tuberculosis.

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op.99 (1827-1828)

Schubert was in the midst of a period of intense and profound creative expression at the time of his death at age 31. For comparison, if Beethoven had died at Schubert’s age, he would have only composed the first of his nine symphonies, or the first set of string quartets, Op. 18. Schubert, in contrast, had a prolific youth; and the pace with which he was producing significant works was only increasing, as he sought greater prominence as a composer of instrumental music, beyond the lieder (songs) for which he was best known. It was in his two final years that Schubert composed his “Great” Symphony No. 9, his three last piano sonatas and the impromptus, the song cycle Winterreise, his Cello Quintet, and the two magisterial piano trios which Schubert designated Opp. 99 and 100.

The specifics surrounding the completion and premiere of the first trio are unclear; the second trio, which Schubert slightly favored, received more recognition than the first during his lifetime. Both trios were likely to have been composed for an ensemble including pianist Carl Maria von Bocklet — a friend of Schubert’s who also premiered much of Beethoven’s chamber music, and who frequently concluded concert programs with elaborate improvisations — as well as violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh — known as the founder of the first professional string quartet, and partly responsible for accelerating the transition of chamber music from the salon to the concert stage.

Schubert did not live to see the broad public acclaim for his instrumental music that he desperately sought; but it eventually arrived. When the trios were published posthumously in 1836, Robert Schumann, who as music critic for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik became one of Schubert’s most enthusiastic advocates, wrote of this work: “One glance at Schubert’s trio — and the misery of humanity recedes, and the world shines in splendor once again.”


Jun 28, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Studzinski Recital Hall
12 Campus Road S
Brunswick, ME 04011
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