Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056
Inon Barnatan, piano; Harvey De Souza & Jennifer Gilbert, violins; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; Marji Danilow, bass
They’re wonders of both architecture and counterpoint. The slow movements always amaze me that something written at that time can still be somehow more poignant and bring you to tears more than any romantic, gushy piece. I mean, you hear one of those beautiful Bach slow movements and you just can’t help yourself but get the chills.
– Pianist, Inon Barnatan
Inon Barnatan, piano; Harvey De Souza & Jennifer Gilbert, violins; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; and Marji Danilow, bass, play the slow movement from Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056.
Inon Barnatan told us that his approach to performing music is a little like acting. “It’s all there,” he says, “like a great text by Shakespeare.”
Oliver Knussen (b. 1952)
Ophelia’s Last Dance, Op. 32 (2010)
Commissioned for Kirill Gerstein by the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Ophelia’s Last Dance is based on a melody dating from early in 1974, which was among several ideas intended for – but ultimately excluded from – my Third Symphony (1973 – 79). Some of these evolved into the ensemble piece “Ophelia Dances, book 1″ (1975), but not this one – which nonetheless continued to haunt me from time to time over the years. After the death of Sue Knussen in March 2003 it strongly reminded me of happier times and eventually, on the occasion of Paul Crossley’s 60th birthday recital in 2004, I decided to give it a tiny frame of its own so it could be shared with listeners other than the one in my head.
It still remained a fragment at that time, because although the melody will never find the form for which it was originally conceived, the new frame suggested the possibility of continuing the dance in various ways. The present work (written at my home in Suffolk in 2009/10) is the result, in which a number of other “homeless” dance-fragments – related more by history and mood than by anything more concrete – are bound together by means of variously wrought transitions to and from rondo- like recurrences of the original melody.
– Oliver Knussen
The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s artistic director, Marc Neikrug, knows Oliver Knussen well, and he shared some of his insights with Kerry Frumkin about this lyrical composition.
The Gilmore Artist Award is an incredible honor and generous cash prize that is sometimes referred to as music’s answer to the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants.” Throughout the four-year search process, candidates for the Award have no idea they are even under consideration! We spoke with Kirill Gerstein by phone back in 2010, shortly after he received the surprising news that he had been selected by the anonymous committee.
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
String Quartet in F Major (1902-03; rev. 1910)
Tokyo String Quartet: Martin Beaver & Kikuei Ikeda, violins; Kazuhide Isomura, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello
Marc Neikrug told Kerry Frumkin that although Maurice Ravel ‘s String Quartet in F Major feels lush and impressionistic, it is meticulously composed.
The members of the Tokyo String Quartet learned that to please one particular grouchy audience member, they had to tune their instruments a second time.