Time to event
About this performance:
Live from the Palace Theatre, our last event of the season will be live streamed from our home stage! This event welcomes acclaimed violinist Elena Urioste, our cameo performer for the Orchestra’s Amazing Grace first virtual orchestra performance.
Ms. Urioste will play the charming Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 often referred to as The Turkish. Never failing to be relevant for our time, Haydn’s Symphony No. 64, was named by Haydn himself, Tempora Mutantur from the Latin epigram by Elizabethan poet John Owen: “Tempora Mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” (times change, and we must change with them.) The work was written towards the end of his Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) period, and the slow movement is perhaps one of the composer’s most charming and original.
Michael Stern, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin
Members of the Stamford Symphony
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, The Turkish
Allegro aperto – Adagio – Allegro aperto
Rondeau – Tempo di minuetto
Haydn Symphony No. 64 in A major, Tempora Mutantur
Allegro con spirito
Menuetto and Trio: Allegretto
This concert has been generously sponsored by:
Elena Urioste, violin
Elena Urioste is the true 21st-century musician, possessing not only technical and musical mastery but also an innate ability to communicate, an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to social justice.
Since first appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 13, she has performed concertos with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony orchestras. Internationally, she has also worked with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Würzburg Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic and Chineke! orchestras.
As a recitalist she often performs with pianist Tom Poster, her husband. During the Coronavirus crisis, they created daily videos over 88 consecutive days of lockdown, with wide-ranging repertoire and creative presentations, which reached audiences across the world through social media. In 2017 they formed the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, a flexible ensemble that brings together diverse repertoire, players and audiences, and has just been announced as one of two new Associate Ensembles at Wigmore Hall.
A passionate chamber musician, Urioste is the founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music by the Sea, an annual festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She has also been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Moab and Sarasota Music festivals and collaborated with artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Kim Kashkashian and members of the Guarneri Quartet.
Yoga is central to Urioste’s musical practice and she is co-founder of Intermission, a programme that aims to encourage healthy and holistic music making through yoga and meditation. She plays on a c.1706 Alessandro Gagliano violin and a Nicolas Kittel bow, both on generous extended loan from the private collection of Dr Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Grieg sonatas and songs with Tom Poster (Orchid Classics)
Estrellita, miniatures for violin and piano with Tom Poster (BIS)
Samuel Barber Violin Concerto plus works by Beach, Smyth and Gershwin (BBC Music Magazine)
Echoes, works by Strauss, Brown, Ravel, Beach with Michael Brown (BIS)
Festivals: Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Moab, Sarasota, Prussia Cove, Cheltenham, Sion-Valais, Verbier.
Conductors: Sir Mark Elder, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vasily Petrenko, Christoph Eschenbach, Robert Spano, Karina Canellakis and Gábor Takács-Nagy.
Venues: Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sage Gateshead and Bayerischer Rudfunk Munich.
Education: Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School. Notable teachers and mentors include Joseph Silverstein, David Cerone, Ida Kavafian, Pamela Frank, Claude Frank, Rafael Druian, and Ferenc Rados.
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
There is some controversy among scholars whether Mozart himself actually gave the first performance of his five known violin concertos, but there is no question that he was already a master violinist in his childhood. In fact, his father, Leopold – ever the “backstage parent” – was frequently after him to show off his skills by writing a virtuoso concerto for the instrument: “You yourself do not know how well you play the violin,” he wrote to his son. When Mozart finally did write concertos for the instrument in 1773-75, he wrote a bunch of them, his five concertos only 12 Koechel numbers apart. At that time, Mozart was in Salzburg, in the employment of Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo for whom he both composed and served as violinist in the court orchestra. Mozart hated his employer who was a strict taskmaster and had no truck with his young musician, however talented. Although Mozart was more than seven years in the Archbishop’s employ, he spent nearly three of them on furlough – stretched to AWOL – performing around Europe and, none too diplomatically, looking for another job. By 1774, he was apparently quite negligent about his violin playing and possibly wrote the concertos for his friend, the court violinist Antonio Brunetti, whose abilities were limited and who had difficulty playing them. After 1775, Mozart occasionally performed them himself.
Mozart’s violin concertos are relatively modest works by a youthful master, written at a time when the genre had become neglected. After the flourishing of the Baroque violin concerto by such masters as Vivaldi and Tartini, it went into partial hibernation until Beethoven awakened it with a new kind of virtuosic writing that was to set the stage for the great romantic concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch and Tchaikovsky. Mozart left no cadenzas but most players either write their own or borrow one from the pen of any number of great violinists.
The A-major concerto has a number of unusual features, including a long “recitative” leading into the second movement, almost a melancholy aria for the violin. The Concerto is also known as the “Turkish” concerto because Mozart included a diversion in the final rondo of faux Turkish sounding music similar to, but more gentle than the finale of the much later Piano Sonata, K. 331 and the overture to the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. Although bearing little resemblance to authentic Turkish music, this passage is supposed to reflect the jangling, percussive music of the Janissary soldiers of the Ottoman Turks. Many composers of the period were captivated by this exotic orientalism, especially composers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose eastern borders were continually threatened by their Ottoman neighbors. Among the most famous examples is the second movement of Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 100, the “Military.”
Symphony No. 64 in A major
“Tempora mutantur” (The Times Change)
Franz Joseph Haydn
1732 – 1809
Often compared unfavorably to his contemporary, Mozart, Haydn had one of the most innovative and creative musical minds of his time. It is to Haydn that we owe the development of the string quartet into a mature and enduring form. And we can also credit him with expanding the emotional range and harmonic vocabulary of the classical symphony.
During the mid 1760s through the 70s, Haydn’s music underwent a profound transformation. His symphonies ceased to be mere light entertainment, becoming increasingly intense and dramatic. This change coincided with the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) literary movement in Germany. Compose Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach is the best-known master of this style.
Haydn composed Symphony No. 64 in 1773-74. Its nickname, which heads a copy of the full score and all the orchestral parts(!) from the Esterhazy estate, where Haydn was composer-in-residence, comes from a 1615 collection of epigrams by John Owen:
Tempora mutantur, nos et
mutamur in illis.
Quomodo? Fit semper
tempore peior homo.
The times change, and we
change with them.
How so? It makes mankind
worse over time.
The reason for the prominence of the epigram is not clear, but theater journals of the 1770s listed Haydn as music director to theatrical troupes in residence at Eszterháza; one theory suggests that his symphonies may have been performed as entr’actes accompanying dramatic performances. The Austrian Court particularly favored tragedies, including translations of Shakespeare.
There is nothing about the music that suggests the grim trajectories of a Shakespearean tragedy; Haydn was a master of pulling out all the emotive stops when he wanted to. Nonetheless, both the first and second movements offer sharply contrasted musical weather patterns. The first movement opens with a sunny melody followed by a stormy outburst. The development section is uncharacteristically long and builds on the dark and light symbolism in the music. And there is no recapitulation.
The second movement, Andante, which begins with another rather generic melody, is peppered with odd fermatas after most of the phrases and increasingly peppered with dark interjections. It concludes on an ominous note – as befits a stage tragedy – also instead of the normal repeat of the first section.
Program notes by:
Joseph & Elizabeth Kahn
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