February 28 & 29, 2016
Sunday, February 28 | 2:30PM
Monday, February 29 | 7:30PM
Edward Schultz, principal flutist for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, has been an active performer as a soloist and an ensemble member in chamber music concerts and orchestral performances in the Philadelphia area since his arrival here in 1977. He is also the principal flutist for the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, the Academy of Vocal Arts Opera Orchestra, the Broadway shows at the Academy of Music, the Vox Ama Deus Ensemble and the Philly Pops. Edward is also active in the field of contemporary music as a member the Network for New Music.
In 2003, Mr. Schultz was invited to become principal flutist for the Chamber Orchestra by Marc Mostovoy and Ignat Solzhenitsyn. In addition to his many performances as a member of the orchestra he has performed as soloist for Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 5 and Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto.
After early studies with Herbert Medsgar, Bernard Goldberg and Jim Walker he graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His studies there with James Pappoutsakis led to a fellowship at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood and an engagement as featured soloist with the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler performing the Poem of Charles Griffes.
Mr. Schultz is featured in several Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Network for New Music recordings as well as recordings for national and local radio broadcasts. He has also released a CD with harpist Karin Fuller titled Music from France for Flute and Harp.
St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29, No. 2
I. Jig (Vivace)
II. Ostinato (Presto)
III. Intermezzo (Andante
con moto – Vivace)
IV. Finale: “The Dargason”
On the Nature of Daylight
Flute Concerto, Op. 45
I. Allegro energico
III. Con fuoco
Rumanian Folk Dances
I. Stick Dance
II. Belt Dance (Allegro)
III. In One Spot (Andante)
IV. Hornpipe Dance
V. Rumanian Polka (Allegro)
VI. Quick Dance
VII. Maruntel (Allegro vivace)
Suite Modale for Flute and Strings
II. L’istesso tempo
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Adagio – Allegro deciso
String Quartet No. 2 arranged for String Orchestra from Company
Suite from Psycho
II. The City
IV. The Rainstorm
Principal flutist Edward Schultz shines in this concert, which includes the Arnold Flute Concerto. Full of beautiful melodies and stunning virtuosity, this piece is sure to tempt lovers of masterworks and contemporary music alike. Our most eclectic concert this season, you’ll discover contemporary works juxtaposed to the familiar ranging from the delicate Richter and chilling Herrmann to Holst.
GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934)
St. Paul’s Suite
English composer Gustav Holst was a fourth-generation musician, but growing up in a musical household didn’t always provide the advantages one might think. His father dutifully taught him piano and violin and prescribed trombone lessons. Yet, while Holst showed early aptitude as a composer, his father believed that a career in composition offered little profit and tried to steer his son into becoming an instrumentalist. Nevertheless, in 1892, Holst composed an operetta which premiered to favorable reviews. Thus encouraged, he entered the Royal College of Music in 1893. Despite graduating in 1898, Holst relied on free-lance trombone work to eke out a living.
Holst finally achieved financial independence after obtaining several teaching positions. In 1905, he became director of music as St. Paul’s School for Girls, a position which he held until the end of his life. A gifted teacher, he created a superb and rigorous music program. In 1913, St. Paul’s constructed a new music wing—fittingly, Holst wrote the St. Paul’s Suite for the dedication.
Like much of Holst’s music, the four-movement St. Paul’s Suite was inspired by English folk song. Still, most of the thematic material is original. The suite opens with a lively jig, propelled forward by a meter which continually switches. The second movement, titled “Ostinato,” opens with a rapid figure for the second violins. Upon this figure, Holst layers a lyrical melody which first appears as a violin solo. The “Intermezzo” features, once again, a melody for solo violin set above pizzicato strings, but melody finds itself interrupted several times by lively outbursts from the orchestra. The movement ends quietly, the melody presented by a solo quartet—an echo of sorts. Interestingly, “Finale” is the only movement to incorporate actual folk material and features a fiddling tune known as “The Dargason” as its principal theme. Holst passes the tune from section to section in the orchestra, repeats it with slight variations, and finally pairs it with “Greensleeves” as a countermelody. A three-octave scale by the solo violin signals the orchestra to add the missing cadence, ultimately concluding the St. Paul’s Suite.
MAX RICHTER (b. 1966)
ON THE NATURE OF DAYLIGHT
Composer Max Richter studied at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music, and with modernist Luciano Berio, but also counts Steve Reich, Philip Glass, The Beatles, and Kraftwerk among his influences. His musical style is a unique mixture of classical form, minimalist sensibilities, and electronic sounds. He is an extraordinarily prolific composer who has written concert music, ballet and dance, opera, and award-winning film and theatrical scores.
On the Nature of Daylight first appeared in recording on his 2004 album The Blue Notebooks. It achieved an even wider hearing when it was used in the film score of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Originally written for a string quintet and synthesizer, its form is a modern riff on a passacaglia—a set of variations laid over a repeating harmonic pattern. The harmonic backbone is a 24-bar sequence of widely-spaced block chords in the low strings. At its first repeat, a sinuous melody appears in the second violins, and at the third repeat, Richter overlays a contrasting countermelody.
The composer provided the following notes for a 2014 performance at the Royal Albert Hall:
“A lot of different ideas flow together in this piece. On the Nature of Daylight is a strict bit of Renaissance counterpoint, and, like a lot of my music, is rigorously constructed, but I don’t want people to ever feel this structure or the technique at work—I want them to feel transported.
“A couple of images popped into my head—the idea of trying to make something luminous out of the darkest possible elements (the key signature is six flats—basically all black notes) and at the same time something that feels like a story being told powerfully with minimal elements (it is only five strings plus a deep Minimoog bass part). The high solo violin part that starts about half-way through quotes the whole of the main melody from memoryhouse.
“The name of the piece is after Lucretius’ ‘On the Nature of Things’—a poem musing on the meaning of life: ‘there is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements.'”
MALCOLM ARNOLD (1921-2006)
CONCERTO FOR FLUTE AND STRINGS NO. 1, OP. 45,
Malcolm Arnold was one of the most prolific British composers of the 20th century. As a boy, he was mad about jazz, improvising at the piano. He also taught himself the trumpet, and a chance encounter with Louis Armstrong confirmed his desire to be a musician. He thus began trumpet lessons at 12, received a scholarship to the Royal College of Music at 16, where he studied trumpet and composition, and, at 18, was offered the position of Second Trumpet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He quickly rose to Principal Trumpet and, altogether, spent six years with the London Philharmonic and BBC Orchestras. His first love, however, was always composition. He soon won a Mendelssohn Scholarship, therefore enabling him to quit his job as an instrumentalist and concentrate on composition.
Arnold composed at a prodigious, almost frenetic pace. During the eight-year period between 1949 and 1957, he wrote five symphonies, seven concertos, two sets of English dances, concert overtures, chamber works for wind ensemble, string quartets, four books of piano pieces, three ballets, and still found time to compose for more than 80 films, including his 1957 Oscar-winning score for The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Arnold composed the Concerto for Flute and Strings in 1954 for his close friend Richard Adeney. Arnold considered music “a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship…” His music is fundamentally tonal and accessible, but still flavored with atonal ambiguity and dissonance. The opening movement of the Flute Concerto, “Allegro con energico,” is restless and unsettled—with ever changing meters, the movement never really finds a tonal center. The second movement, “Andante,” features one of Arnold’s most beautiful melodies, moving back and forth as a duet between flute and orchestra. When the orchestra carries the melody, the flute plays a countermelody with long suspensions to add a tart dissonance, preventing the music from becoming too cloying. The final movement, “Con fuoco“ (“with fire”) is energetic, with acrobatic leaps and scales for the flute punctuated by staccato chords from the strings. With characteristic humor, Arnold has the flute and orchestra vie with each other for the final word—the flute racing past cadences until they finally end together.
BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945)
RUMANIAN FOLK DANCES
Béla Bartók was born in what was once the historic kingdom of Hungary—now part of modern-day Romania. He developed a keen interest in traditional Hungarian folk music early in his career. Together with his collaborator Zoltan Kodály, Bartók traveled to remote villages armed with an Edison wax cylinder phonograph to record authentic performances, archiving and analyzing the music. The pair’s first collection, published in 1906, was an unexpected scholarly success and helped validate the fledgling discipline of ethnomusicology.
Bartók’s interest extended beyond the cultural mosaic of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to include ethnic traditions and artistry throughout the Balkans, Turkey, and even North Africa. He catalogued hundreds of songs and tunes, finding similarities in construction and style. In particular, he found the music of Romania especially intriguing, as he believed that its relative isolation had preserved more of its purity and original character. He incorporated elements of the folk music he collected into his own compositions, employing the different modes or scales on which the folk music was based rather than the traditional diatonic scale. Oftentimes, he would even combine different modes within the same melodic phrase.
Unable to travel freely during World War I, Bartók concentrated on setting folk music he had already collected. In 1915, he composed Transylvanian Folk Dances for solo piano in 1915. He later orchestrated the set for small ensemble in 1917, and when Transylvania became part of Romania through the dismemberment of the Empire following the war, he rechristened the piece Rumanian Folk Dances. In total, the work is comprised of seven short dances, the last three played without pause. These jewel-like settings succinctly display the color, vibrancy, and intrigue inherent in Romanian folk music, as well as Bartók’s own, sometimes eclectic, harmonizations.
ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959)
SUITE MODALE FOR FLUTE AND STRINGS
Swiss-born Ernest Bloch enjoyed extensive studies in composition and violin with some of Europe’s finest teachers. In 1916, he devoted himself entirely to music, traveling to New York as tour conductor for a dance troupe and ultimately finding himself stranded in America when the troupe folded. After obtaining a position teaching at the Mannes College of Music, Bloch began composing in earnest and with fervor. Soon, his music began to attract considerable attention. He conducted his Tres poèmes juifs with the Boston Symphony in 1917, led a performance of Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hebraique for Cello and Orchestra in New York, and conducted a concert of Jewish music with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1918. In 1920, he became the founding director of the Cleveland Institute of Music and assumed directorship of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1925. Five years later, he returned to his native Switzerland and actively composed up until his death in 1959.
His Suite Modale for Flute and Piano premiered in 1956 and was arranged for flute and string orchestra two years later. Notably, the piece was commissioned by Elaine Shaffer, a pioneering Curtis graduate who became one of the first women both to hold a principal seat in a major orchestra and to embark on a career as a soloist. As the name implies, the Suite Modale is based on modes—the natural scales first described by the ancient Greeks and the precursors to our modern diatonic scales. Because of the occasional, unexpected (to the Western ear) interval, there is color and flavor to the scale passages he gives to the flute.
The first movement, “Moderato,” references the classical sonata allegro form. It opens with two themes, one with a series of arch-like statements and the second with an ascending contour—but in contrasting modes rather than contrasting keys. The second movement, “L’istesso tempo” (“at the same tempo”) is in ternary form, introducing a beautifully lyrical melody. The third movement, “Allegro giocoso,” opens with a lively, dance-like tune which gives way to a more lyrical, introspective section before returning to the dance. The final movement, “Adagio, Allegro deciso,” alternates between slow and fast tempi, with parses of the melodies from the previous movements.
PHILIP GLASS (b. 1937)
STRING QUARTET NO. 2 ARRANGED FOR STRING ORCHESTRA FROM COMPANY
Philip Glass has undoubtedly been one of the most influential composers of the past half-century. His training was reasonably conventional—composition study with Vincent Persichetti at Juilliard, Darius Milhaud at the Aspen Music Festival, and Nadia Boulanger in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship. While in the “City of Lights,” Glass began formulating what would come to be called minimalist music. In this style, Glass simplifies melodic and harmonic content and writes a strong rhythmic ostinato. Musical elements repeat over and over. Nevertheless, his distinctive musical style proved quite adaptable to many different musical genres. To date, he has composed some twenty-six operas, starting with the highly innovative 1976 Einstein on the Beach. Recent decades have seen Glass pen larger scale orchestral works, including eight symphonies and a number of concertos, and he is in great demand as a film composer. As he has explored larger forms over the course of his career, he has added more harmonic and melodic complexity to his music.
Company is a novelette written by Samuel Beckett. It was adapted as a one-man stage play in 1983 by Frederick Neumann who commissioned incidental music from Glass. Glass explained: “I liked the idea of using the medium of the String Quartet that would allow for both an introspective and passionate quality well suited to the text. Beckett picked four places in the work which he referred to as the ‘intercices as it were.’ Not surprisingly these four short movements have turned out to be a thematically cohesive work…” Glass originally published this four-movement extract as his String Quartet No. 2, later arranging it for string ensemble. The first movement is unusually textured for a piece written for small forces and boasts a melodic line delicately laid over the rhythmic ostinato. The other three movements are more characteristic, with contrasting rhythmic cells, usually involving an arpeggiated figure, alternating among each other.
SUITE FROM PSCYHO
Few pieces of film music are as recognizable—and memorable—as Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho, one of the most defining thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock’s career. The screeching violins from the shower scene, in particular, will arguably never not be iconic. Regarded as one of the greatest composers of film music, Herrmann scored classic films including Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Taxi Driver. However, he also wrote substantial music for the concert stage and was an inventive and influential conductor.
As a student, Herrmann won a composition prize at age 13, studied composition and orchestration with Percy Grainger at NYU, and attended Juilliard. In 1933, CBS hired Herrmann as a staff conductor at CBS. Here, he produced a series of innovative and eclectic radio concerts that ultimately earned him a Peabody Award. A strong champion of diverse exposure, he introduced audiences to contemporary music, as well as rarely-performed works by 19th-century composers.
Herrmann developed a relationship with Orson Welles after scoring his broadcasts on CBS. When Welles went to Hollywood, he thus brought Herrmann along. The composer’s first two film scores for Citizen Kane and The Devil and Daniel Webster both won nominations for the 1941 Academy Award—the latter ultimately taking the Oscar. Unlike most other films composers, Herrmann orchestrated and conducted his own scores and often called for unusual instrumentation. However, Herrmann is probably best known for the seven films he scored for Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock was unable to get studio support for Psycho and financed the production himself. To save money, it was thus shot in black and white. Hitchcock, however, turned necessity into virtue with his unusual camera angles and quick cuts. Herrmann responded with a lean score set for strings only, creating an edgy, brittle, jittery sound to produce tension and a sense of foreboding. Although Hitchcock originally specified that the famous shower scene not be scored, Herrmann followed his own judgment and disregarded the director’s note. Upon hearing the results, Hitchcock agreed with Herrmann’s instinct and the rest is history.
©  — The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.