Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Concerto for Concerto for Violin & Oboe in C Minor, BWV 1060 (c. 1736)
William Preucil, violin & Robert Ingliss, oboe; Jennifer Frautschi & L. P. How, violins; Aloysia Friedmann, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; Marji Danilow, bass; Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord
If not for musical scholarship we might have no idea how Bach’s Concerto for Violin & Oboe in C Minor, BWV 1060 sounded originally. The idea is that Bach, interested in exploring the musical common ground between two very different sonorities, first wrote this concerto for solo violin and oboe, with string orchestra and continuo. The only surviving score, however, is of Bach’s own arrangement as a concerto for two harpsichords. Musicologists such as William Rust and Woldemar Voigt “gave it back” to the violin and oboe. It all makes Marc Neikrug, the Festival’s artistic director, wonder why a composer as prolific as Bach would mine his own earlier works for new ideas. Here’s an excerpt from his conversation with host Kerry Frumkin.
The music itself is so fundamentally well-constructed and beautiful and profound, that you can hear it in any number of ways and get all of that from whoever is playing. I think that’s why there are so many jazz Bach players, because it’s simply in and of itself, beautiful music.
– Marc Neikrug
“Django” Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli, Eddie South – Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D Minor, BWV 1043, 1st mvt., swing-style.
Sir Edward William Elgar (1857-1934)
Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84 (1918-19)
Jeremy Denk, piano; Tokyo String Quartet: Martin Beaver & Kikuei Ikeda, violins; Kazuhide Isomura, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello
The first time Marc Neikrug heard the Elgar Quintet he was in his early twenties, and spending a day in New York with Daniel Barenboim. Here he tells Kerry Frumkin the story, and how he this music cast its spell over him. “Once you’ve heard it,” he says, “you really don’t even forget it because it has so many incredibly touching and memorable moments.”
The Elgar piano quintet is one of those gorgeous, memorable pieces one encounters at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, especially when the performance comes about because of players like pianist Jeremy Denk and the Tokyo String Quartet. In this interview excerpt, Marc Neikrug and Kerry Frumkin talk about the mood of the piece, and how Elgar conveys such a strong sense of time and place through his music.
Elgar – Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84 (1918) with score
Jeremy Denk’s excellent blog, http://jeremydenk.net/blog is where, with his characteristic intelligence and humor, he chronicles many aspects of his life in music. He has a lot of fans, it turns out, including the Library of Congress.
Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tokyo Quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where the founding members were profoundly influenced by Professor Hideo Saito. Instilled with a deep commitment to chamber music, the original members of what would become the Tokyo String Quartet eventually came to America for further study with Robert Mann, Raphael Hillyer and Claus Adam. Soon after its formation, the quartet won First Prize at the Coleman Competition, the Munich Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. An exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon firmly established it as one of the world’s leading quartets.