Faculty / Student Recital: For Strings Only
A Faculty/Student Recital – For Strings Only:
Haydn: String Quartet in C minor, Hob. III:32
Benjamin Beilman & Nigel Armstrong, violins;
Jessica T. Chang, viola; Arlen Hlusko, cello
Franz Josef Haydn is known to history as "the father of the symphony." But he was no slouch in the chamber realm either, having written 67 string quartets over a 37 year span, from 1762 to 1799. This one checks in at No.25, dating from 1772. And it is considered to be his first great effort in this form, particularly for its revolutionary liberation of the cello from its traditional ground-bass role as accompaniment, into a more prominent role with the violins and viola.
Schoenberg: Verklaerte Nacht, Op.4
Luosha Fang & Ye-Rang Kim, violins;
Daniel Hanul Lee & Sung Jin Lee, violas;
Sarah Rommel & Peter Wiley, cellos
This is the original chamber version of Verklärte Nacht ("Transfigured Night").
In 1917, Schoenberg produced an arrangement for string orchestra, with a revision in 1943. That version is the one most often recorded and performed. There is also an arrangement for piano trio. The work has also served as the basis for several ballets. Of course, this moving work is based on the poem by Richard Dehmel, a classic tale of love and forgiveness, given heightened meaning by the expressive music by Schoenberg. The verses:
Two people walk through a bare, cold grove;
The moon races along with them, they look into it.
The moon races over tall oaks,
No cloud obscures the light from the sky,
Into which the black points of the boughs reach.
A woman’s voice speaks:
I’m carrying a child, and not yours,
I walk in sin beside you.
I have committed a great offense against myself.
I no longer believed I could be happy
And yet I had a strong yearning
For something to fill my life, for the joys of
And for duty; so I committed an effrontery,
So, shuddering, I allowed my sex
To be embraced by a strange man,
And, on top of that, I blessed myself for it.
Now life has taken its revenge:
Now I have met you, oh, you.
She walks with a clumsy gait,
She looks up; the moon is racing along.
Her dark gaze is drowned in light.
A man’s voice speaks:
May the child you conceived
Be no burden to your soul;
Just see how brightly the universe is gleaming!
There’s a glow around everything;
You are floating with me on a cold ocean,
But a special warmth flickers
From you into me, from me into you.
It will transfigure the strange man’s child.
You will bear the child for me, as if it were mine;
You have brought the glow into me,
You have made me like a child myself.
He grasps her around her ample hips.
Their breath kisses in the breeze.
Two people walk through the lofty, bright night.
Musical Word of the Week: Hoboken Listing
"Haydn's works are listed in a comprehensive catalogue prepared by Anthony van Hoboken. This Hoboken catalogue provides each work with an identifying number, called its Hoboken number (abbreviation: H. or Hob.). The string quartets also have Hoboken numbers, but are usually identified instead by their opus numbers, which have the advantage of indicating the groups of six quartets that Haydn published together; thus for example the string quartet Opus 76, No.3 is the third of the six quartets published in 1799 as Opus 76."