Join Us For Our 2023-2024 Season!
Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players
“This was music-making of a very high order”
Fred Kirshnit, The New York Sun
Why the name Jupiter: When Jens Nygaard named his orchestra Jupiter, he had the beautiful, gaseous planet in mind—unattainable but worth the effort, like reaching musical perfection. Many, indeed, were privileged and fortunate to hear his music making that was truly Out of This World. Our Players today seek to attain that stellar quality.
Join us for our next concerts...
Monday, October 2 ♦ 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Chelsea Guo piano
Hina Khuong-Huu violin
Fiona Khuong-Huu violin
Maurycy Banaszek viola
Audrey Chen cello
Laura Andrade cello
Marguerite Cox double bass
Vadim Lando clarinet
Ludomir RÓŻYCKI Rhapsodie for Piano Trio Op. 33
Now barely known outside of Poland, Różycki (1884–1953) held an important place in Polish artistic circles and is regarded as the most famous Polish opera composer after Stanisław Moniuszko. He composed predominantly dramatic works and programmatic orchestral music with great facility. After studies with Zygmunt Noskowski at the Warsaw Conservatory, he continued his education with Engelbert Humperdinck at the Berlin Academy. Upon his return to Poland, Różycki joined the Young Poland group of composers whose goal was to advance Polish music into the modern era, under the influence of Neoromanticism. In 1907 he was appointed opera conductor and piano teacher at the Lwów Conservatory. After another Berlin sojourn from 1914 to 1920, he became conductor of the Warsaw Opera. In 1926 Różycki helped found the Polish Composers Union and served as its first president, and in 1930 he was appointed professor at the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1945 he moved to Katowice, where he taught composition at the conservatory while writing widely on music. He won the State Prize in 1930 and the State Prize “first class” in 1952.
Witold LUTOSLAWSKI Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
The English critic Kenneth Dommett explained, “In the years immediately following the end of the Second World War, Poland’s musicians and film-makers suddenly blossomed in a remarkable resurgence of artistic independence. But the Communist regime demanded music that was ‘accessible’ and folkloristic, requirements that many Polish composers, Witold Lutosławski prominent among them, found restrictive, though they managed to conform without compromising their principles. The Dance Preludes are a product of that difficult period.” Based on Polish folk dance rhythms, if not actual folk tunes, the five short movements alternate between jerky dances and reflective moods. The piece premiered in Warsaw on 15 February 1955. Lutosławski subsequently rearranged it twice: in 1955 for orchestra and in 1959 for chamber ensemble.
Lutosławski (1913–1994) was an outstanding Polish composer of the 20th century. A native of Warsaw, he attempted to create a new musical language by incorporating elements of folk songs, 12-tone serialism, atonal counterpoint, and controlled improvisations reminiscent of aleatoric music (wherein some element is left to chance) while retaining elements of conventional harmony and melody. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Lutosławski studied mathematics at the University of Warsaw and received diplomas in piano (1936) and composition (1937) from the Warsaw Conservatory. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he performed in clandestine concerts that included proscribed music. His prewar works (most notably the Symphonic Variations, 1938) were primarily conventional neoclassical pieces, often infused with traditional folk tunes. When his Symphony No. 1 (begun in 1941) had its premiere in 1948, however, the new communist government denounced the piece as ‘formalist’ and banned Lutosławski’s increasingly avant-garde works from public performance. He earned a living writing children’s songs and scores for motion pictures until those restrictions were eased in the mid-1950s. He was honoured with the first of his many government prizes in 1955, soon after composing his Concerto for Orchestra, based on folk themes.”
Ignace PADEREWSKI “Moja Pieszczotka” (“My Sweet Maiden”) Op. 18 No. 3
The songs were well-received by both audiences and critics in London when they were performed at a concert on 11 December 1893. The St James’s Gazette reported, “what attracted so large crowds of music lovers, filling the room to the brim, was the prospect of hearing six new songs by Paderewski, sung by Edward Lloyd, accompanied by Paderewski himself.” The reviewer thought the songs were “very beautiful, very Polish,” and reflected the spirit of the poems by Adam Miekiewicz, regarded as the national poet in Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus.
CHOPIN “Moja Pieszczotka” (“My Darling”) Op. 74 No. 12
CHOPIN “In mir klingt ein Lied” (“In me there sings a song”)
Originally for solo piano, Ernst Marischka (the Austrian screenwriter and lyricist), added lyrics and transformed the Étude into a vocal piece for the German film Abschiedswalzer directed by Géza von Bolváry in 1934—a historical love story about Chopin. The beloved piece is regarded as a manifestation of Chopin’s love for his native Poland. Years after its composition, one of his pupils, Adolf Gutman, reported that while he was playing this piece during a class, Chopin broke down in tears, crying. “Oh my homeland!” Chopin had also said of the piece, “In my entire life, I have never written another melody as beautiful.” The original manuscript is deposited at New York’s Morgan Library.
Moritz MOSZKOWSKI Suite in G minor Op. 71
Of Polish-Jewish descent, the German composer was also a virtuoso pianist with a formidable technique. Ignacy Paderewski said, “After Chopin, Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano, and his writing embraces the whole gamut of piano technique.” He became the most successful salon composer at the turn of the 20th century. His musical triumphs and his road to affluence began in 1873 when he made his debut as a pianist, and soon his reputation spread. He began teaching as well—from 1875 at the Berlin Conservatory, where his pupils included Frank Damrosch, Joaquín Nin, and Joaquín Turina. By the time he moved to Paris in 1897, he was rich and famous. Among his pupils there were Thomas Beecham, Josef Hofmann, Wanda Landowska, and, informally, Gaby Casadesus. Moszkowski, however, died in ill health and poverty, having lost everything when his investments in bonds and securities were rendered worthless at the outbreak of the Great War.
Ignacy Feliks DOBRZYŃSKI String Sextet in Eb Major Op. 39
The Sextet was performed to considerable acclaim by Ferdinand David, the Leipzig Gewandhaus concertmaster, and his colleagues in 1845. Its emotional heart is the third movement, Elegia—an homage to Thaddeus Kościuszko, the Polish military hero. The scoring is for 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos, and double bass
Dobrzyński (1807–1867) was born in Romanów, Volhynia—a historic region between Poland and Russia. He received his first music lessons from his father, the kapellmeister at Romanów, the family residence of Count Iliński. After 1825, he studied piano and composition with Józef Elsner at the Warsaw Conservatory, where Chopin was his classmate. He traveled to various cities in Germany from 1845 to 1847. In Warsaw he had an active career as a teacher, critic, impresario, pianist, and conductor, and he was also director of the Opera in 1852–1855. As a composer, Dobrzyński followed the Viennese Classical tradition, while incorporating elements of Polish folk music. His piano compositions show the influence of Chopin. In 1834 he won a prize in an international competition in Vienna for his Characteristic Symphony in the Spirit of Polish Music, which Mendelssohn conducted at the Leipzig Gewandhaus after it had been performed in other cities.
Monday, October 16 ♦ 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Jiin Kim piano
Josef Spacek violin
Fiona Khuong-Huu violin
Zhanbo Zheng viola
Kevonna Shuford viola
Sara Scanlon cello
Vadim Lando clarinet
Carl CZERNY 2 Fugattos Op. 177
Czerny (1791–1857)—the prolific Austrian composer, pianist, and teacher of Bohemian origin—studied with Beethoven for 3 years from the age of 10, and became his assistant and lifelong friend. He later taught Liszt and Beethoven’s nephew Karl. As one of Beethoven’s most notable pupils, Czerny had to compete with his master’s shadow. He was anointed by the public as Beethoven’s disciple, and was expected to continue Beethoven’s legacy and musical genius. Instead, Czerny was arguably the greatest pianist who never performed, and the most successful composer to have been consigned to oblivion—his compositions of over 800 opus numbers and mounds of unpublished manuscripts remain largely untapped. He recalled, “I composed every free minute I had, especially in the evening.” He often worked on three to four pieces simultaneously—“it explains easily how my opus numbers soon rose to 100, 200, 300, etc., without counting my equally numerous arrangements, which always remained unnumbered.” He is today remembered mostly for the technical etudes that are still inflicted on piano students some 175 years after his death.
In at least two instances, Beethoven changed the dedicatees of his compositions—Op. 5 and Op. 47. Before Beethoven and Jean-Louis Duport had performed his Op. 5 cello sonatas for the King of Prussia, he intended to dedicate the two sonatas to Duport, as documented in a letter, now lost: “Duport acknowledges the dedication to him of Beethoven’s two sonatas for piano and violoncello and expresses the wish to play them with the composer.” The sonatas, however, were instead dedicated to Friedrich Wilhelm II. The dedicatee of Beethoven’s Op. 87 Violin Sonata was likewise replaced. He had originally dedicated his “Kreutzer” Sonata to the virtuoso George Bridgetower before changing the dedication to the French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer. These initial gestures, nevertheless, show an appreciation of the musicians Beethoven worked with, and an intent to acknowledge them.
Jean-Louis DUPORT Nouveau Nocturne No. 3
A Parisian, Duport (1749–1819) was one of the pioneers of modern cello technique. He studied with his older brother Jean-Pierre. At the age of 18 he played a sonata on the Concert Spirituel series. The performance was reported by Le Mercure de France as “precise, brilliant, astonishing; the full, mellow, pleasing sounds and a sure, bold execution reveal the greatest talent…a virtuoso …. He was heard with admiration even by connoisseurs.” Voltaire, seduced by the sweetness and beauty of his tone, said to him, “You will make me believe in miracles, for I see that you can turn an ox into a nightingale.” Duport later performed with the violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti for Marie-Antoinette, and continued appearing at the Concert Spirituels and at concerts in Paris until the outbreak of the French Revolution. In 1790 he went to Prussia, where he became principal cellist at the court of Frederick William II. In 1796 he played Beethoven’s Op. 5 Cello Sonatas for the King, accompanied by the composer. In 1806 Duport returned to Paris, where his performances again met with acclaim. Financial circumstances then compelled him to take a post in the service of the dethroned Spanish king, Charles IV, in Marseilles from about 1808 to 1812, after which he again returned to Paris. From 1813 to 1 January 1816 he taught cello at the Paris Conservatoire. Duport is best known today for his seminal treatise The Art of Fingering and Bowing the Violincello, which remains the foundation of modern cello playing. Many of his compositions were written in virtuoso style, intended for his own performances. His 1711 Stradivari cello was acquired around 1800. It was allegedly dented by Napoleon, who had grabbed the instrument from his favorite cellist and asked, “How the devil do you hold this thing, Monsieur Duport?” The 19th century French instrument maker Jean Baptiste Vuillaume used the Duport Stradivarius as his model of choice. It was subsequently purchased by Auguste Franchomme in 1843, and was owned by Mstislav Rostropovich in 1974–2007.
Rodolphe KREUTZER Grand Quintetto in C Major
Kreutzer (1766–1831) is recognized as one of the founders of the French school of violin playing, and among the foremost improvisers and conductors of his day. After lessons with his father, he was taught by the influential composer Anton Stamitz from 1778. Around 1782 he heard Viotti’s solo violin performances and was influenced by his style. In May 1784 Kreutzer performed his own First Violin Concerto at the Concert Spirituel. In 1788 he married Adélaïde-Charlotte Foucard, which provided financial security as the marriage involved a contract that gave him, in advance, an inheritance of 250,000 livres. His wife was the daughter of the valet de chambre of the Comte d’Artois, brother of the King and later King himself. By 1789 he was a leading virtuoso and moved from Versailles, where he was born, to Paris. He became one of the first professors of the Paris Conservatoire in 1795, and taught there for 30 years. In 1798 in Vienna, he met Beethoven who admired his playing above that of any other virtuoso, declaring, “I prefer his modesty and natural behavior to all the exterior without any interior, which is characteristic of most virtuosos.” Without Kreutzer’s knowledge, Beethoven dedicated to him his Op. 47 Sonata—now known as the “Kreutzer” Sonata—but he never played the work in public. Kreutzer also held solo violin positions at the Théâtre-Italien and the Paris Opéra and later was chamber musician to Napoleon and to Louis XVIII. However, his career as a soloist was cut short by a carriage accident that broke his arm in 1810. Together with violinists Pierre Baillot and Pierre Rode, they wrote Méthode du violon and formed the founding trinity of the French violin school—marked by brilliance of style, objectivity of approach, and lack of emphasis on expansive lyricism. Even more significant is Kreutzer’s 40 Études ou caprices. These studies are his most important musical contribution and are by far the most influential in violin history; they have never been out of print since their first publication in 1796—nearly every violinist has studied them. His oeuvre comprises about 40 operas, several ballets, 19 violin concerti, and many chamber works. He died in Geneva.
George BRIDGETOWER “Henry: a ballad”
The anonymous song comprises 3 melodically strophic verses and a through-composed keyboard accompaniment with colorful flourishes. Published in London, the dedication is to “Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales” who was Charlotte Augusta, age 16 at the time. It was first performed by the “brilliant soprano” Elizabeth Feron. “Helen” is one of only two confirmed extant works by Bridgetower, the other being a set of piano exercises.
George Polgreen Bridgetower was the charismatic virtuoso violinist who gave the first performance of Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata. A polyglot as well, he was fluent in English, German, French, Italian, and Polish. Bridgetower was born in Poland in 1778 to a West Indian or Barbadian father and German mother, who served in the court of Prince Radziwill and then in the household of Prince Esterházy—in a castle with its own opera house and puppet theatre, and where Haydn was in charge of the music. At the age of 10 he performed a concerto by Giovanni Giornovichi at the Concert Spirituel; a year later he began to tour Europe as a violin prodigy, and was marketed as the son of an “African Prince.” After his London debut, Bridgetower attracted the patronage of the Prince of Wales (later George IV), who funded his academic and musical education. He played over 50 concerts in famous London theaters—Drury Lane, Haymarket, and Covent Garden. At a concert in Bath in 1789, he was said to have been dressed in “Turkish attire.” In 1791 he played first violin in the orchestra of Salomon’s concerts—Haydn’s new London symphonies as well as concertos. Bridgetower’s meeting and falling out with Beethoven occurred in 1803. In 1807 he was elected into the Royal Society of Musicians, where he performed with the Royal Philharmonic Society Orchestra; King George III attended one of the concerts. After composing an anthem for choir and orchestra, he was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University in 1811. Little is known about Bridgetower’s later years—only that he lived in a home for the poor and was ill, suffering with very painful arthritis in his fingers. He died almost unknown in Peckham, South London in 1860, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. The journal Le Mercure de France wrote, “His talent is one of the best replies one can give to philosophers who wish to deprive people of his nation and color of the opportunity to distinguish themselves in the arts.”
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major “Kreutzer” Op. 47
The Sonata was originally composed for the prodigy George Bridgetower, known as the “African Prince” in London. In 1803 he met Beethoven in Vienna. Impressed with the virtuoso, Beethoven wrote the Sonata with Bridgetower’s artistry in mind. Both the composition and arrangements for the premiere on 24 May 1803 were done in great haste: Beethoven supposedly completed the piece at 4:30 AM, before the sun rose the morning of the premiere, but the copyist failed to complete the solo violin part in time for the most unusual early concert time of 8 AM. This meant that Bridgetower had to sightread most of the piece, and was forced to read the second movement of the score by looking over Beethoven’s shoulder at the piano! Nonetheless the premiere was a success, but their friendship was soon ruptured when Beethoven was offended by an unflattering remark that Bridgetower made about a woman Beethoven respected. Hence the dedication to the French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer shortly before its publication in 1805. Kreutzer abhorred Beethoven’s music, declared the Sonata “outrageously unintelligible,” and never performed it. Bridgetower, although embittered by the rededication, kept Beethoven’s gift of a tuning fork, now preserved in the British Library.
Jupiter 2023 - 2024 Season
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Jupiter in the News
As promised, here are the videos of John Field’s Divertissement No. 1 and Sir Hamilton Harty’s Piano Quintet. Fortuitously, our Jupiter musicians had the good sense to record the rehearsal in an impromptu decision, literally minutes before pressing the record button. Pianist Mackenzie Melemed (replacing Roman Rabinovich at the last minute) learned the music in 2 days! Bravo to him.
Both works are Irish rarities that were scheduled for the March 16 performances which had to be canceled because of the coronavirus epidemic. Even though the entire program could not be recorded because of technical issues, we are pleased to be able to share with you the 2 musical gems. Enjoy.
John FIELD Divertissement No. 1 H. 13
We thank the University of Illinois (Champaign) for a copy of the Divertissement music.
Mackenzie Melemed piano
Sir Hamilton HARTY Piano Quintet in F Major Op. 12
Andrew Clements of the Guardian proclaimed the beautiful Quintet “a real discovery: a big, bold statement full of striking melodic ideas and intriguing harmonic shifts, which adds Brahms and Dvořák into Harty’s stylistic mix, together with Tchaikovsky in some passages.” There’s folk music charm as well, reminiscent of Percy Grainger—notably in the Scherzo (Vivace) with its folksy quirks and nonchalance, and the winding, pentatonic melody in the Lento.
Our gratitude to the Queen’s University Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a copy of the autograph manuscript of the music. Much thanks, too, to Connor Brown for speedily creating a printed score and parts from Harty’s manuscript.
Mackenzie Melemed piano
I Allegro 0:00
Jupiter featured on Our Net News
American program opener on March 18, with grateful thanks to Michael Shaffer of OurNetNews.com for recording the matinee concert, and making available the Horatio Parker Suite video for our viewing pleasure.
Horatio Parker Suite in A Major, Op. 35, composed in 1893
Stephen Beus piano
More video from this performance can be viewed on our media page
Jupiter on YouTube
NEW YORK CANVAS : The Art of Michael McNamara is a video portrait of the artist who has painted iconic images of New York City for more than a decade, capturing the changing urban landscape of his adopted city. Our Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players provide the music from Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, underscoring the inspiration the artist has drawn from Jens Nygaard and the musicians. Michael was also our Jupiter volunteer from 2002 to 2010.
Here is a video of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players performance of the Rondo alla Zingarese movement:
The producer-director, Martin Spinelli, also made the EMMY Award-winning “Life On Jupiter: The Story of Jens Nygaard, Musician.”
For more information, visit our media
New York Sun Review
“Some great musicians get a statue when they pass away. Some get their name imprinted on the roof of a well-known concert hall. But the late conductor Jens Nygaard has a living tribute: an entire ensemble of musicians and a concert series to go along with it...
It is one of the city’s cultural jewels...
In the end, if Mr. Nygaard was known for anything, it was unmitigated verve. That’s what the audience regularly returned for, and that’s what they got Monday afternoon. To have a grassroots community of musicians continue to celebrate Mr. Nygaard with indomitable performances like these week after week, even without the power of world-famous guest soloists, is proper tribute. And with more large orchestras and ensembles needing more corporate sponsorship year after year, I, for one, hope the Jupiter’s individual subscriber-base remains strong.
New York’s musical life needs the spirit of Jens Nygaard, and Mei Ying should be proud she’s keeping it alive.”
Read the complete article on our reviews page.
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