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Pinto Correia, Kernis, & Bloch
ANDREIA PINTO CORREIA (b. 1971)
Cantos e Danças
Derek Bermel, clarinet
AARON JAY KERNIS (b. 1960)
First Club Date
- Prelude to a Pizz. (or, Overture to a French Pizz.)
- Puppy Love
- Matt’s Monk-ish Machinations
- Elevating the (Jazz) Standard
- Jonah’s Jumpin’ Jive
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello • Aaron Jay Kernis, piano
— Intermission —
ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959)
Piano Quintet No. 1
- Andante mistico
- Allegro energico
Robin Scott, Janet Ying, violin • Phillip Ying, viola • David Ying, cello • Elinor Freer, piano
ANDREIA PINTO CORREIA
Cantos e Danças (2011)
Andreia Pinto Correia has written the following note to accompany Cantos e Danças:
Cantos e Danças (Songs and Dances) reflects my interest in folk traditions, in particular those of the southern region of Portugal, my home country. The work is inspired by the songs and dances that are performed at certain festivities and holidays. Here, slow chants alternate with dance-like moments framed within a language of contemporary rhythmic and melodic modes. The work is dedicated to Derek Bermel.
AARON JAY KERNIS
First Club Date (2017)
Aaron Jay Kernis has written the following note to accompany First Club Date:
First Club Date is a suite of five frequently jazz-related movements for cello and piano and is inspired by my son Jonah’s near-total immersion into jazz over the last few years. Since the cello is so infrequently found in jazz ensembles, I decided to create a work for him that would traverse many sides of jazz, from ragtime to funk. In a way it’s a teaching piece, imagining the styles of jazz a cellist would need to know before playing on their First Club Date. It was written both for Jonah and for Matt Haimovitz, who premiered the work at Tippet Rise in Montana in 2017. The many influences in this work include (roughly in order): Baroque Dance Suites, French Overture, the blues, Snarky Puppy, Passacaglia, Bebop, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Cecil Taylor, Scriabin, jazz ballad standards, Benny Goodman, Jive Jumps, Cab Calloway, Astor Piazolla, funk bass, and ragtime.
Piano Quintet No. 1 (1921-23)
Ernest Bloch’s musical voice was fashioned by the peregrinations of his early career: born and raised in Geneva, Bloch spent his adolescence at the Brussels Conservatoire, followed by stints in Frankfurt, Munich, and Paris, absorbing diverse currents of modernist experimentalism before returning to Switzerland to help run his father’s souvenir shop. In 1916, Bloch set out once again, now with his wife and children—first to New York City, where he became the first composition professor at the Mannes College of Music, and then to Cleveland, where he became the founding director of the esteemed Cleveland Institute in 1920.
It was in 1923, while still at the Cleveland Institute, that Bloch composed his first Piano Quintet. The work wears its experimentalism on its sleeve: the opening theme, marked out in the piano’s lower register, is invigoratingly embellished by the four strings’ triplet figure featuring quarter-tones (that is, pitches located halfway between two semitones, or adjacent keys on the piano)—a musical resource he had first explored a few years earlier in his Hebraic Rhapsody for cello and orchestra, and to which he returns in the Quintet’s unbridled Finale. The sound palette is further enriched by Bloch’s prowess as a violinist, enabling him to explore a variety of special effects, and nowhere more so than in the “mystic” second movement: true to its name, Bloch employs haunting artificial harmonics and uncanny passages played “sul ponticello,” where the musician positions their bow right up against the bridge, resulting in a muted timbre rich in overtones. Yet Bloch’s experimentalism, never recondite, spins a dramatic tension that unleashes itself in the impassioned Finale—the longest movement—ceding at last to a sublime serenity in the key of C major.
Program Notes by Peter Asimov
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This concert is generously sponsored by: