CONCERT PROGRAM

April 5-6, 2014
David Robertson, conductor Christian Tetzlaff, violin

SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 77 (1947-48) (1906-1975)
Nocturne: Moderato Scherzo: Allegro Passacaglia: Andante— Burlesca: Allegro con brio

Christian Tetzlaff, violin INTERMISSION

SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 43 (1901-02) (1865-1957)
Allegretto Tempo Andante, ma rubato Vivacissimo— Finale: Allegro moderato

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS These concerts are part of the Wells Fargo Advisors series. These concerts are presented by the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation. David Robertson is the Beofor Music Director and Conductor. Christian Tetzlaff is the Carolyn and Jay Henges Guest Artist. The concert of Saturday, April 5, is underwritten in part by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Walter L. Hawkins, Jr. The concert of Sunday, April 6, is underwritten in part by a generous gift from Mrs. Roxanne H. Frank. Pre-Concert Conversations are sponsored by Washington University Physicians. Large print program notes are available through the generosity of Delmar Gardens and are located at the Customer Service table in the foyer.

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FROM THE STAGE
Silvian Iticovici, Second Associate Concertmaster Emeritus, on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1; Iticovici performed the St. Louis Symphony premiere in 1989: “When I was trying to understand the piece—Leonard [Slatkin] gave me four years to prepare—I didn’t understand anything about the first movement. It’s dark, terribly repressed. There is angst. Everything is very gray. But if you look underneath the severity, there is a lot going on. “The second movement is diabolic—diabolical sparks going everywhere. Like the second movement to Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto—Britten and Shostakovich felt a great kinship to each other—it is not happy. “The third movement is a dirge. In the so-called cadenza Shostakovich summarizes a lot of material, making a transition from pain into burlesque. The whole thing becomes a sarcastic laugh with an enthusiastic tone. You may read between the lines.”
GIORgIA BERTAZZI

Christian Tetzlaff

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SO NEAR, SO FAR
BY PA U L SC H I AVO

TIMELINKS
1901-02 SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 43 Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi receives first radio transmission across the Atlantic 1947-48 SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 77 President Truman outlines Truman Doctrine, offering economic and military aid to nations threatened by Communism

Although they lived in neighboring countries and their life spans overlapped by half a century, Jean Sibelius and Dmitry Shostakovich never met. More than that, neither seems to have taken any interest in the other’s music. That’s not surprising. Sibelius and Shostakovich were very different personalities. The former, who became Finland’s great national composer, was a symphonist in the Romantic tradition. Nowhere is that more evident than in his Symphony No. 2, which forms the second half of our concert. Its well-defined themes, bold musical gestures, four-movement design, and exhilarated finale place it firmly in a line of symphonic composition that stretches back through Bruckner, Dvořák, and Brahms to Beethoven at the start of the 19th century. Shostakovich was born and spent his early career in St. Petersburg, which lies just a short distance from Russia’s border with Finland. But he came of age in a very different era than did Sibelius. As the foremost Russian composer during most of the Soviet era, Shostakovich had to balance his own desire to write innovative music against his government’s demand for easily apprehended and uplifting fare. His First Violin Concerto shows Shostakovich walking that fine line. This composition entails some novel sonorities, harmonies, and melodic turns. But it remains rooted in familiar territory by referencing folk music, using a compositional procedure of the Baroque era, and adopting a traditional treatment of the solo instrument as an exalted individual distinguished by its exertions and virtuosity.

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DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 77 EXPLORING NEW GENRES Dmitry Shostakovich devoted much of his early career to the symphony. Before reaching age 40 he had produced nine works of that kind, compositions that reworked the traditions of symphonic writing in modern terms. Following the end of the Second World War, however, the composer began increasingly to explore other genres. Chief among these were the string quartet, which soon became the vehicle for his most personal thoughts, and the concerto. This latter form combined certain advantages of both the symphony—which Shostakovich continued to cultivate, though less prolifically than before the War—and chamber music. It could accommodate the grand gestures and rich sonorities of orchestral composition while at the same time speaking in an intimate voice through a single soloist. Shostakovich wrote five concertos during the two decades after the War. The first was his Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 77. Shostakovich created this work for the celebrated Soviet violinist David Oistrakh, who played its first performance in Leningrad in October 1955. The piece was conceived, however, approximately seven years earlier, around the time Shostakovich and several other leading Soviet composers were officially reprimanded by the Central Committee of the Communist Party for the “formalist” (read “modernist”) tendencies of their music. Shostakovich apparently was not willing to risk releasing his Violin Concerto in the uncertain political and artistic atmosphere that followed this attack. But when, in 1953, the death of Stalin brought the prospect of a more liberal social climate, and the triumphant reception of his Tenth Symphony reconfirmed Shostakovich’s stature as the pre-eminent Soviet composer, it at last seemed feasible to bring the work before the public. The Violin Concerto No. 1—Shostakovich wrote a second work of this kind in 1968—has since received widespread recognition as one of its author’s finest compositions.

Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg Died August 9, 1975, Moscow First Performance October 29, 1955, in Leningrad, David Oistrakh was the soloist, and Evgeny Mravinsky conducted the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra STL Symphony Premiere January 27, 1989, Silvian Iticovici was soloist, with Leonard Slatkin conducting Most Recent STL Symphony Performance March 13, 2011, Simone Lamsma was soloist, with Jaap van Zweden conducting Scoring solo violin 3 flutes piccolo 3 oboes English horn 3 clarinets bass clarinet 3 bassoons contrabassoon 4 horns tuba timpani percussion celesta 2 harps strings Performance Time approximately 39 minutes

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SOMBER MEDITATION AND MUSICAL SIGNATURE Like the Tenth Symphony, which it resembles in several respects, this concerto opens with a long, meditative movement in slow tempo. Its tone is subdued, with recurring two-note figures that intimate a sense of sorrow or perhaps foreboding. A central episode, which uses the celesta to striking effect, lightens the music’s complexion only briefly. Shostakovich follows this opening movement with a boisterous scherzo whose first and second themes have the character of Jewish folk dances. Shostakovich was deeply interested in the folk music of the Russian and Ukrainian Jews, whose particular melodic and harmonic inflections he imitated in a number of compositions. (These include the song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, the Second Piano Trio, the Fourth String Quartet, and the present concerto.) But this is not all that informs the movement. We also hear a motif that became Shostakovich’s musical signature, a four-note figure composed of the pitches D, E-flat, C, and B-natural. In German musical nomenclature, with which Russian musicians are familiar, the pitch E-flat is indicated as “Es” and B-natural by the letter H. This gives the musical “spelling” of the aforementioned motif as D-S-C-H, an abbreviation of “Dmitry Shostakovich.” The resulting motif appears in a number of the composer’s late compositions, most notably the Eighth String Quartet, where it forms a conspicuous presence. PASSACAGLIA, CADENZA, FINALE The third movement, one of the most beautiful in all of Shostakovich’s music, is a great arching passacaglia, a set of variations over the recurring figure announced at the outset by the low strings. Passacaglia form was widely cultivated by composers of the Baroque era, including J. S. Bach, whom Shostakovich held in special reverence. Shostakovich used the passacaglia format in several other works—always, as here, for music of somber character. This third movement concludes with an extended cadenza for the soloist that recalls motifs from earlier movements and forms a bridge to the finale. Shostakovich originally planned to have the solo violin proceed directly from the cadenza to the concluding movement, but Oistrakh asked if he could not have a few moments of respite after the exertions of the long solo passage. Shostakovich therefore rescored the opening measures of the finale for the orchestra. Whimsical in character, this fourth movement features brilliant passagework for the soloist and lively melodies in the orchestra. Among them is a variant of the passacaglia theme, heard now in faster rhythms and a higher register than in the previous movement.

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JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 43 A COMPOSER’S CHANGED STANDING During the last century, changing musical tastes and perspectives drastically affected the reputations of many musicians.  Composers once widely held in high regard have fallen into relative neglect, while others have risen from comparative obscurity to respect and popularity. Jean Sibelius has, to some extent, done both. During his lifetime, Finland’s great symphonist enjoyed international acclaim amounting to adulation in certain quarters. Some conservative musicians, bewildered by the new compositions of Stravinsky and other advanced musical thinkers, even compared Sibelius to Beethoven and pointed to his work as the future of music. But following the composer’s death, in 1957, his star was partially eclipsed by the growing appreciation of the great modernist composers of the early 20th century, and the frequency with which his works were performed fell sharply.  Today, however, it is possible to view Sibelius in a more objective light, and the past three decades have seen a significant revival of interest in his music: new recorded cycles of the complete symphonies; increasingly frequent performances of his works by many leading artists and orchestras; and praise from a new generation of composers. Many of the latter are symphonists representing the emergence of what has been labeled “the New Romanticism,” but Sibelius has also found admirers in the avant-garde. The late Morton Feldman, a composer of delicate, abstract music, publicly proclaimed his affection for the Finnish composer’s work. Another American composer, the post-minimalist John Adams, often programs and conducts Sibelius’s music together with his own compositions. Sibelius’s ultimate place in the history of music will surely be as neither the savior his most zealous once partisans hailed nor the reactionary formerly derided by his detractors. Rather, he may best be understood as a 19th-century composer whose hearty constitution allowed him to live and work well into the 20th. Instead of adopting the innovations of the modernist revolution,
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Born December 8, 1865, Hämeenlinna, Finland Died September 20, 1957, Järvenpää, Finland First performance March 8, 1902, in Helsinki, the composer conducted the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra STL Symphony Premiere November 18, 1910, Max Zach conducting Most Recent STL Symphony Performance March 30, 2007, David Robertson conducting at Carnegie Hall Scoring 2 flutes 2 oboes 2 clarinets 2 bassoons 4 horns 3 trumpets 3 trombones tuba timpani strings Performance Time approximately 43 minutes

Sibelius remained true to his musical background, continuing to use the rich tonal language of the late-Romantic era to create a powerful and personal body of music. CLASSICAL FORM, ROMANTIC CONTENT Sibelius’s Second Symphony can serve to dispel two other misconceptions surrounding his work. Because the moods his compositions present often seem intensely subjective, a casual listener might easily assume that their creation was guided by expressive rather than formal considerations. In fact, Sibelius achieved a remarkable mastery of tonal architecture. The Second Symphony reveals a four-movement structure in the classical mold: a strong opening of conventional design followed by a slow movement, scherzo and triumphant finale. The conciseness of the work’s themes and their recurrence in succeeding movements provide further evidence of a concern for formal coherence.  Then there is the notion that Sibelius was a nationalist composer whose music consistently reflected the rugged landscapes, spirited people, and even the mythology and folk legends of his native Finland. Sibelius certainly drew inspiration from these sources at times, but he disavowed any extra-musical meaning, Finnish or otherwise, in his symphonic work. “My symphonies are music conceived and worked out in terms of music and with no literary basis,” he declared in an interview. He was particularly irritated by attempts to explain his Second Symphony in terms of a patriotic scenario. We can note, moreover, that he composed this work not by some Nordic fjord but, for the most part, during a visit to Italy during the early months of 1901. The symphony opens with eight measures of throbbing chords. These function as a motivic thread binding the first movement: they accompany both the pastoral first theme, announced by the oboes and clarinets (and echoed by the horns), and a contrasting second theme consisting of a sustained high note followed by a sudden descent. The latter merits careful attention, since it will appear in several transformations later in the work. A drum roll announces the second movement. Sibelius sketched the initial theme for this part of the symphony while considering writing a tone poem on the Don Juan legend, and much of the music that follows has an intensely dramatic character that seems suited to that story. Some of the most stirring moments involve variations of the second theme of the preceding movement. Distant echoes of the series of chords that opened the symphony can be heard throughout the scherzo that constitutes the third movement: in the repeated notes that start both the violin runs at the beginning of the movement and the limpid oboe melody later on, as well as in the trombone chords that punctuate the heroic theme that appears near the movement’s end. This latter passage leads without pause into the last movement, which begins modestly but builds to one of the most exultant finales in the symphonic literature.
Program notes © 2014 by Paul Schiavo

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DAVID ROBERTSON
BEOFOR MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR

A consummate musician, masterful programmer, and dynamic presence, David Robertson has established himself as one of today’s most sought-after American conductors. A passionate and compelling communicator with an extensive orchestral and operatic repertoire, he has forged close relationships with major orchestras around the world through his exhilarating music-making and stimulating ideas. In fall 2013, Robertson launched his ninth season as Music Director of the 134-year-old St. Louis Symphony. While continuing as Music Director with St. Louis, in January 2014, Robertson assumed the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia. In 2012-13, Robertson led the St. Louis Symphony on two major tours: his first European tour with the orchestra—its first European engagements since 1998—in fall 2012, which included critically-acclaimed appearances at London’s BBC Proms, at the Berlin and Lucerne Festivals, and at Paris’s Salle Pleyel; and a spring 2013 California tour which included a three-day residency at the University of California-Davis and performances at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and venues in Costa Mesa, Palm Desert and Santa Barbara. Highlights of his 201314 season with St. Louis include the recording of a St. Louis Symphony co-commission, John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto. Nonesuch Records will release the disc featuring the concerto, along with the orchestra’s performance of Adams’ City Noir, in 2014. In addition, Robertson and the Symphony performed a historic performance of Britten’s Peter Grimes at Carnegie Hall, on the late composer’s 100th birthday in November. Robertson is a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras and opera houses around the world. In the 2013-14 season, in addition to launching his first year at the helm of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, David Robertson conducted the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera.
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David Robertson recently extended his contract as St. Louis Symphony Music Director through the 2017-18 season.

MICHAEL TAmmARO

CHRISTIAN TETZLAFF
CAROLYN AND JAY HENGES GUEST ARTIST

Christian Tetzlaff most recently performed with the St. Louis Symphony at Paris’s Salle Pleyel on the orchestra’s European Tour in September 2012.

From the outset of his career, Christian Tetzlaff has performed and recorded a broad spectrum of the repertoire, ranging from Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas to 19th century masterworks by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Brahms; and from 20th-century concertos by Bartók, Berg, and Shostakovich to world premieres of contemporary works. Also a dedicated chamber musician, he frequently collaborates with distinguished artists including Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt, and is the founder of the Tetzlaff Quartet, which he formed in 1994 with violinist Elisabeth Kufferath, violist Hanna Weinmeister, and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff. Born in Hamburg in 1966, music occupied a central place in his family. His three siblings are all professional musicians. Tetzlaff began playing the violin and piano at age six, but pursued a regular academic education while continuing his musical studies. He did not begin intensive study of the violin until making his concert debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto at the age of 14. He attributes the establishment of his musical outlook to his teacher at the conservatory in Lübeck, Uwe-Martin Haiberg, who placed equal stress on interpretation and technique. Highlights of Tetzlaff’s 2013-14 season in North America include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Chicago, San Francisco, and National symphonies; recitals with Lars Vogt in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Montreal, Quebec City, and at the Schubert Club in St. Paul; and two appearances in Carnegie Hall, with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and with the Tetzlaff Quartet. European highlights include return visits to the Vienna and Munich Philharmonics and tours with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra under Andris Nelsons. Christian Tetzlaff currently performs on a violin modeled after a Guarneri del Gesu made by the German violin maker, Peter Greiner.

ALEXANDRA VOSDINg

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A BRIEF EXPLANATION
You don’t need to know what “andante” means or what a glockenspiel is to enjoy a St. Louis Symphony concert, but it’s always fun to know stuff. For example, is there a name for the sound the strings are producing during the opening of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2? Bow vibrato: the strings play this kind of stutter-step line that is eerily compelling; this is bow vibrato, with vibrato produced by the bow on the strings, rather than by the left hand on the strings; the emphasis is on pulsation, as heard in the music of Sibelius and Bruckner, precursors to minimalist strategies

MUSIC KEPT IN THE DRAWER:
“Shostakovich wrote his First Violin Concerto in 1947, but he did not have it performed until 1955, after the death of Stalin. Why? “From my own inner speculation— during Stalin’s time the government wanted happy music. They wanted to make the masses happy. Shostakovich was writing things that were deemed dangerous to the political establishment. He had already been kicked in the butt by the government in 1936 for his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. He knew that his First Violin Concerto may have been looked upon as very severe, academic—a piece of music for the intelligentsia. Stalin would not have liked it. “So Shostakovich thought, ‘It can wait.’”

SILVIAN ITICOVICI, SECOND ASSOCIATE CONCERTMASTER EMERITUS
DAN DREYFUS

Silvian Iticovici

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YOU TAKE IT FROM HERE
If these concerts have inspired you to learn more, here are suggested source materials with which to continue your explorations. Elizabeth Wilson, Shostakovich: A Life Remembered Princeton University Press Shostakovich as seen through the eyes of those who knew him Glenda Dawn Ross, Sibelius: A Composer’s Life and the Awakening of Finland University of Chicago Press A splendid biography by a leading authority on the composer

Read the program notes online at stlsymphony.org/planyourvisit/programnotes Keep up with the backstage life of the St. Louis Symphony, as chronicled by Symphony staffer Eddie Silva, via stlsymphony.org/blog The St. Louis Symphony is on

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CLASSICAL CONCERT: SLATKIN CONDUCTS COPLAND

April 25-27 Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Conrad Tao, piano SIERRA Fandangos SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 COPLAND Symphony No. 3 The other American conductor named “Leonard,” Leonard Bernstein, described Copland’s Symphony No. 3 as “an American monument.” The famous Fanfare for the Common Man appears in the finale, but you’ll hear plenty of great sounds before you get there. Among those is Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by Conrad Tao, an awesome young talent.

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CLASSICAL CONCERT: CARMINA BURANA
DILIP VISHWANAT

St. Louis Symphony Chorus

May 1-4 Carlos Izcaray, conductor; St. Louis Symphony Chorus; Amy Kaiser, director; The St. Louis Children’s Choirs; Barbara Berner, director REICH The Four Sections ORFF Carmina burana Orff’s riveting masterpiece is known for its driving rhythms, evocative lyrics, and the spellbinding “O Fortuna.” Steve Reich’s The Four Sections has its own rhythmic drive, which will make for concerts of fantastic cumulative energy.

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You may store your personal belongings in lockers located on the Orchestra and Grand Tier Levels at a cost of 25 cents. Infrared listening headsets are available at Customer Service. Cameras and recording devices are distracting for the performers and audience members. Audio and video recording and photography are strictly prohibited during the concert. Patrons are welcome to take photos before the concert, during intermission, and after the concert. Please turn off all watch alarms, cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices before the start of the concert. All those arriving after the start of the concert will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager. Age for admission to STL Symphony and Live at Powell Hall concerts varies, however, for most events the recommended age is five or older. All patrons, regardless of age, must have their own tickets and be seated for all concerts. All children must be seated with an adult. Admission to concerts is at the discretion of the House Manager. Outside food and drink are not permitted in Powell Hall. No food or drink is allowed inside the auditorium, except for select concerts.

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Select elegant Powell Hall for your next special occasion. Visit stlsymphony.org/rentals for more information.
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