Best of Together Again: Episode 5

WCLV 104.9 FM – Cleveland Ovations
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
8:00PM

Program

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN | Magic Flute Variations in E flat major for cello and piano
Performed June 24, 2021

Sterling Elliott, cello
Roman Rabinovich, piano


BÉLA KOVÁCS – Shalom Aleichem, Rov Feidman!
Performed June 25, 2021

Franklin Cohen, clarinet
Roman Rabinovich, piano


ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK | Terzetto in C major, Op. 74
Performed June 25, 2021

Nathan Meltzer, violin
Diana Cohen, violin
Yura Lee, viola


FRIEDRICH HERMANN | Capriccio No. 1 for 3 violins
Performed June 25, 2021

Nathan Meltzer, violin
Diana Cohen, violin
Alexi Kenney, violin


Kronos 50 for the Future Medley:
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh – RӘQS (Dance)
Yotam Haber – From The Book
The Beatles – Come Together Arranged by the Ebene Quartet
Hawa Kasse Mady Diabate – Tegere Tulon

Performed June 25, 2021

Alexi Kenney, violin
Nathan Meltzer, violin
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Sterling Elliott, cello


Thoughts About the Music

Ludwig van Beethoven – Magic Flute Variations in E flat major for cello and piano

This cycle of a theme and seven variations, subtitled Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen or “In men, who feel love” was published in 1802 and was based on the Mozart aria of the same name. The piece was
dedicated to, as Beethoven put it, “the first patron of my muse”, referring to Count Johann von-Brown Camus. The seven variations showcase a perfect fusion of Mozart’s playful elegance with Beethoven’s dark-humored intelligence. The first opening comes as a grand Eb Major chord followed by the Allegretto theme — a softer dance-like melody. This type of opening is quite similar to the opening of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, which also happens to be in Eb major. From there, the first variation begins and the instruments perform a vivaciously animated dialogue with one another similar to characters in an opera. The second variation is similar to an opera buffa (comedic opera), and the humorous, creative nature of both Mozart and Beethoven comes to the forefront with swift, plucky runs and sarcastic undertones. The next variation highlights Beethoven’s introspective nature, with a sweet and gentle Pastorale melody. In the fourth variation, a surprising shift to E minor is embellished with eerie, ominous harmonies. However,
the light emerges in the fifth variation with a return of the major key and spirited Scherzo-like qualities, featuring hushed yet energetic moods that evoke a mystical, fairy-like aura. The sixth variation slows the energy into a burning passion as a romantic duet comes into fruition, moving seamlessly into the final variation where the original dance-like theme returns only to be interrupted with a blazing, turbulent coda. These fiery passages suddenly vanish from existence as the final Eb melody triumphantly — and rather humorously– saves the day. ©2021 Nicole Martin

Béla Kovács – Shalom Aleichem, Rov Feidman!

This one-of-a-kind piece was composed by Hungarian clarinetist Béla Kovács as a tribute to the famous Klezmer clarinet idol Giora Fideman. Featuring a dazzling array of klezmer songs and dances, this piece lets the clarinetist sing through a broad range of emotional depths, from joyful, upbeat melodies to sardonic, dark tunes to pseudo-improvisatory styles all rooted in the Klezmer tradition. It opens with a free, timeless clarinet solo tinged with flourishing ornamentation and middle-eastern scales before a seamless transition into a poignant, lyrical song. The music then begins a brooding lead up into a wonderfully agile dance, with passionate vocal passages that range from whooping and hollering to a dark, contemplative mood, reaching a heated intensity before a playfully sarcastic end. ©2021 Nicole Martin

Antonín Dvořák – Terzetto in C major, Op. 74

This piece, composed in only one week, was meant to be played by Dvorak himself on the viola and by his student on the violin. However, when the piece proved to be too difficult for his student, Dvorak published a more well-known arrangement called Romantic Pieces. With the virtuosity and skill required to perform this work, the Terzetto exemplifies deep emotional complexity. The first movement showcases two contrasting themes; one sweet and docile and the other wildly athletic. The movement is rife with chromatic lines and minor inflections, transforming the simple key of C major into something much more intricate and reflective. The second movement contains, again, two more contrasting melodies. This time the first theme sounds almost frail, sparkling with a holy reverence. Dotted rhythms lead the work into the second, more perturbed theme, falling seamlessly back into the gentle, singing melody. The next movement, a Scherzo, draws its roots predominantly in that of Czech folk music, with fast, lively rhythms and duple meter rhythms being forced upon the triple meter, creating the feeling of a staggered shuffle. The finale is surprising to say the least, with the spirit of Beethoven being revived in the stately, brooding key of C minor. The theme is quite rugged and abrupt, and it precedes 10 variations – all with contrasting characters and emotions. At times, it seems difficult to believe that there are only 3 instruments in the ensemble, for Dvorak creates an encapsulating atmosphere that encompasses a profound set of inner thoughts and feelings. After a long build, the music breaks its confines of C minor into a lush C minor ending. ©2021 Nicole Martin


Friedrich Hermann – Capriccio No. 1 for 3 violins

It’s quite obvious that Friedrich Hermann did not have popularity in mind when writing his Capriccio no. 1. The instrumentation alone is quite unusual, yet Hermann went on to compose several more trios for 3 violins. The difficulty of composing with this instrumentation is due to the high timbre of the violin, yet Hermann handles this issue with the utmost finesse and a unique compositional skill set (no doubt owing some techniques to his studies with Mendelssohn). Hermann meticulously handles each voice with careful precision, creating an exceptionally fully immersive environment for the listener. The trio begins with a beautifully passionate minor melody in the first violin supported by low, winding chromatic lines. Soon after, the energy intensifies with the first violin leading the rest of the ensemble in a playful yet slightly mischievous dance as the supporting voices explore the entire range of their instruments, providing a steady foundation before climbing up alongside the first violin and back down again. The next section is quite romantic, with an impassioned first violin melody atop quick, repetitive lines that lead seamlessly back into the previous energetic melody, now will all the more vigor as the supporting voices flourish. After a captivating major climax, the trio softens into more subdued, hushed passages as the themes and motifs are passed throughout the ensemble. The intensity begins to build once again as fervent swells ebb and flow throughout the ensemble. A romantic melody is brought back again, this time with a more optimistic major sonority, and the group begins a fierce, chromatic buildup into an exorbitant final climax. ©2021 Nicole Martin


All musical selections are subject to change without notice.