ARTIST PROFILES San Francisco Performances presents the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet for the eleventh time. They made their debut on our Guitar Series in 1986, and also have frequently been featured in Family Matinees.
LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET John Dearman William Kanengiser
Matthew Greif Scott Tennant
Friday, December 9, 2016 | 7:30pm Herbst Theatre
ALFONSO MONTES Llanura* J.S. BACH
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051
(arr. J. Smith) Allegro Adagio ma non tanto Allegro
TILMAN HOPPSTOCK Suite Transcendent* (as Allan Willcocks)
Open Landscape La Grande Cathédrale A Breath of Wind (Fuga) La porte du ciel Danza Diabòlica
Two Mexican Pieces
(arr. W. Kanengiser)
Paisaje Mexicano Danza del Jalisco
FOUR FRENCH CHANSONS
FRANCESCO Mon pere si ma marie CANOVA DA MILANO (arr. R. Savino)
Je ne l’ose dire
JOSQUIN DES PREZ
Adieu mes amours
Il est bel et bon
(arr. S. Tennant) (arr. S. Tennant) (arr. S. Tennant)
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For over three decades on the concert stage, the members of the Grammy® Awardwinning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet have continually set the standard for expression and virtuosity among guitar ensembles, while perennially redefining themselves in their musical explorations. Popularly known as the LAGQ, the Quartet is recognized as one of America’s premier instrumental ensembles. As one of the most charismatic groups performing today, their critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground. The LAGQ has given recitals in many of the world’s top venues, including Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, Tokyo Opera City, and New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. They have toured extensively in Europe and Asia, where they were featured at the Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila International Arts Festivals and recently made highly successful debuts in China and Australia. The LAGQ kicked off their 2016–17 season with a tour of Germany. Performances throughout the season continue to span the U.S. Premiere performances of a new work by guitar legend Pat Metheny, commissioned specifically for them, began in October at Denver’s Newman Center and continue into the 2017–18 season. They bring the electric Rodrigo Concierto Andaluz to the Waco Symphony Orchestra and, for the holidays they reprise their beloved Nutcracker Suite on subscription and family concerts in San Francisco. Continuing to grow the repertoire for guitar quartet and guitar orchestra, the
Nutcracker Suite (selections)
Chanson du renard Carillon de Macédoine Motus Bulgaricus
(arr. A. York) Overture Miniature March Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Russian Dance Arab Dance Chinese Dance Dance of the Reed Pipes Waltz of the Flowers *written for LAGQ Program subject to change
The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is represented by Frank Salomon Associates, 121 West 27th Street, Suite 703, New York, NY 10001 franksalomon.com 2 |
LAGQ will premiere a new work written by composer and longtime LAGQ member, Andrew York, throughout Arizona in April 2017 and plans to reprise this project in the Washington DC area the following month. Among last season’s highlights are a collaboration with Dweezil Zappa on a new work at the Crown of the Continent Festival in Montana, a reprise of their Night of Spanish Romance collaborative program with mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano and L.A. Flamenco to capacity crowds, and a tour of the Baltics. Additional highlights include LAGQ’s role as Artistic Directors of the 2015 Laguna Beach Music Festival. As the focal point of the festival, they treated audiences to four days of performances, outreach activities and celebrations including a closing performance of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote: Words and Music from the Time of Cervantes with guest artist, Firesign Theatre veteran and voiceover actor, Phil Proctor. This last work was captured live at St Louis’ historic Sheldon Theater and released on DVD in March 2012. The LAGQ’s CD, Guitar Heroes, released on Telarc, won the group their first Grammy Award in 2005. It is a heartfelt salute to the great players who inspired the Quartet, as individuals and as a group. It has received raves for its unique ability to capture the feeling and fervor of diverse musical styles such as jazz, bluegrass, rock and flamenco. In November 2008, this recording joined those by artists such as the Who, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits on Sound and Visions “Top 10 Surround Discs of All Time.” Their first Telarc CD, LAGQ—Latin, features their popular transcription of Bizet’s Carmen, along with works from Chile, Cuba and some new original works by members of the quartet. This CD, which has received raves from listeners and critics alike, received a 2003 Grammy nomination and the Super Audio CD (SACD) version won the award for “Best Made for Surround” at the 1st Annual Surround Music Awards. The LAGQ’s release, SPIN (Telarc, 2006), shows yet again that the group is equally at home in a wide variety of musical genres and also features several commissioned works from their recent collaboration with percussionist Colin Currie. LAGQ—Brazil (Telarc, 2007) continues to receive raves and includes performances with singing sensation Luciana Souza. Interchange (Telarc, March 2010) features their long-awaited recording of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto Andaluz and the premiere recording of Sergio Assad’s Interchange with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. Their newest recording, New Renaissance, released in March 2015 is a modern take on classic works. It includes
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TOMATITO Sextet Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 7:30 pm Herbst Theatre * 50 OAK STREET “Distinguished Maestros” Marcin Dylla, David Tanenbaum, Marc Teicholz, Larry Ferrara Saturday, November 19, 2016 7:30 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengeiser, Scott Tennant Friday, December 9, 2016 7:30 pm Herbst Theatre ** PEPE ROMERO Saturday, February 4, 2017 7:30 pm Herbst Theatre ** INTERNATIONAL GUITAR NIGHT Lulo Reinhardt, Luca Stricagnoli, Chrystian Dozza, Debashish Bhattacharya Saturday, February 18, 2017 7:30 pm Herbst Theatre DAVID RUSSELL Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:30 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church ** BEIJING GUITAR DUO with MARINA PICCININI - FLUTE Sunday, March 12, 2017 7:00 pm Herbst Theatre ** EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET Zoran Dukic, Pavel Steidl , Thomas Fellow, Reentko D’Addario Performance Series Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:30 pm The Green Room XUEFEI YANG Saturday, April 8, 2017 7:30 pm Herbst Theatre ** ANA VIDOVIC Saturday, April 22, 2017 7:30 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church * in association with the Flamenco Society of San Jose. ** in association with San Francisco Performances
The Omni Foundation Guitar Series is made possible in part by generous grants from the D’Addario Music Foundation and Grants for the Arts/S.F. Hotel Tax Fund.
“The finest series for guitar in the United States, without question!” –Sergio Assad The Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts wishes to aknowledge with thanks the following people whose generous support has made this series possible. DIRECTOR’S LEVEL D’Addario Music Foundation John & Joan D’Addario Foundation Hill Guitar Company Tangent Doug & Jeanne Monsour Hai Nguyen Nadim Taleb Curt & Margaret Well Eric Wells FOUNDER D’Addario Music Foundation John & Joan D’Addario Foundation Hill Guitar Company Tangent Doug & Jeanne Monsour Hai Nguyen Nadim Taleb Eric Wells BENEFACTOR Bill & Catherine Young Harris Guitar Foundation PATRON Classical Guitar Magazine Google Guitar Solo Productions IBM Kim Buller Ruth Fisher Jesse & Sue Henry Bettina Hughes John Kannegaard Jerzy & Alicja Orkiszewski Rick Sara
SPONSOR Baris Baser KinderGuitar Christiane DeBord Steven & Carol Dimmick Richard & Diane Grech Clyde & Joan Sugahara Travis White S U STA I N I N G M E M BE R Farinaz Agharabi Chuck Ashton Judith Coleman-Cohen Robert Cohen David Cooke Michele Dana Ann & Keith Mangold Charles Ortiz Alan Perlman Rebecca Peters David Phillips Deborah Robbins & Henry Navas Roger Ward REGULAR MEMBER Steve Cook ADVISORY BOARD John D’Addario Sergio Assad Ruth A. Felt Theresa Calpotura Dean Kamei John Harris Scott Cmiel David Pedersen David Tanenbaum Bill Young S TA F F Linda Montalto Sonya Temko Sandy Young
236 West Portal Ave. #1, San Francisco, CA 94127
long-awaited instrumental works from Music from the Time of Cervantes, and new works by Bogdanovic and Krouse, among others. Originally from Minneapolis, John Dearman is a versatile guitarist whose repertoire ranges from samba to bluegrass, and from flamenco to classical. He enriches the sound of the LAGQ by performing on a unique sevenstring guitar with extended upper and lower registers. John is currently director of the Guitar Chamber Music program at California State University, Northridge. Matthew Greif is the newest member of the Quartet. In addition to being a classical guitarist, he has an extensive background playing in other styles, such as jazz, rock, flamenco, and bluegrass. Matthew’s recordings include Permanent Transition, which features duo improvisations with Andrew York and Dusan Bogdanovic. Matthew was named Outstanding Graduate of the USC guitar department, where he studied with William Kanengiser, James Smith, and Scott Tennant. He also studied jazz with Joe Diorio and Frank Potenza. Matthew currently teaches classical and jazz guitar at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. Acclaimed soloist, recording artist and professor at the USC Thornton School of Music, William Kanengiser is one of the few guitarists to have won the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition. His solo recordings on the GSP label display his unique approach to programming, ranging from the music of the Old World to the Caribbean to his latest disc Classical Cool, an exploration of jazz currents for classical guitar. He has earned critical acclaim for his imaginative arrangements for solo guitar and guitar
quartet, and for producing two instructional videos for Hot Licks. Kanengiser may be best known as the classical guitarist in the 1986 film Crossroads. Celebrated as a world-class performer, author and teacher, Detroit-born Scott Tennant has been concertizing since the age of twelve. Much in demand as a solo artist, Scott has recorded for Delos International and is currently completing a recording project of the complete solo guitar works of Joaquin Rodrigo for GHA, Belgium. He is the author of the best-selling book and video Pumping Nylon, a technical handbook for the classical guitarist, and the five-part series Scott Tennant’s Basic Classical Guitar Method. He has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is now on the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.
PROGRAM NOTES Llanura ALFONSO MONTES Born September 2, 1955, Ciudad Bolívar In addition to his work as arranger and composer for guitar, Venezuelan composer Alfonso Montes has developed an active career as a performer in Europe and Latin America, especially with the Duo Montes Kircher, based in Stuttgart, Germany. Written expressly for LAGQ, Llanura refers to the high plains of the Venezuelan mountain region. It captures the rhythmic and sonic spirit of traditional folk music of the area, specifically, the resonant and polymetric textures used on the Venezuelan harp. Progressing through a
LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET Family Matinee
Saturday, December 10 | 11am | Herbst Theatre The famed quartet will perform a special holiday-themed program including selections from their popular arrangement of the Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite. The Quartet is well known for impressive performances of works ranging from baroque and classical to popular and contemporary music all delivered with their unique performance flair and style.
UPCOMING FAMILY MATINEES QUARTET SAN FRANCISCO PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY Saturday, March 18 | 11am Saturday, April 29 | 2pm Herbst Theatre YBCA Theater
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sequence of sections in distinct key centers and rhythmic grooves, the piece retains throughout the infectious overlapping subdivisions typical of this style, reminiscent of the famous solo guitar piece Seis por Derecho by Venezuelan master Antonio Lauro.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig Written in 1721 as a means of gaining favor from the Margrave of Brandenburg, Bach’s “Six concerts à plusieurs instruments” never garnered payment or even thanks for the composer. Yet they establish him today as the master of the concerto grosso style pioneered by Corelli. Brandenburg Concerto #6 is scored for string orchestra, but without violins; violas carry the upper melodic material. This lower tessitura makes the piece ideal for an arrangement for guitar quartet. Set in a fast-slow-fast structure, the piece showcases Bach’s peerless use of imitative writing. The first movement is drivingly propulsive, with the two top parts chasing each other in a canon at the 1/8th note. The middle movement is one of Bach’s stately and shimmering Adagios, while the final movement is one of Bach’s most joyous gigues, with a rondo theme recurring in a variety of guises.
Suite Transcendent TILMAN HOPPSTOCK Born 1961, Darmstadt Tilman Hopstock discusses Allan Willcocks (1869–1956) and the Suite Transcendent: “Tilman Hoppstock is Allan Willcocks and Allan Willcocks is Tilman Hoppstock. By adopting the pseudonym of this imaginary English Impressionist composer, it freed me to create music that displayed influences of French and English Impressionism and reflected a completely distinct musical personality from my own. LAGQ expressed fondness for the solo guitar works written by Willcocks, and so commissioned me to write this new work for them. I selected the adjective ‘transcendent’ in the title to create an ambiance that not only describes tangible realities but also intimates contemplative sensuality. The first movement Open Landscape describes a wide physical space, but also hints at additional facets of vastness such as fantasy, dreams and the cosmos. La Grande Cathédrale could characterize a massive physical monument, or invoke an ‘edifice of ideas,’ which serves as an entrance portal to an intan-
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gible world. The third movement, a compact fugue, floats along like a temporary breeze and possesses the character of an episode in the broadest sense of the word. The fourth movement, comprised almost entirely of natural and artificial harmonics, is intended to create a mysterious overtone timbre, appearing as the specter of an imaginary gate to heaven (La porte du ciel). The final movement, Danza diabòlica, begins with strong alternating chords, faintly reminiscent of the twelfth of Debussy’s Études for piano. Then a deliberate break in style to harkens to Indonesian gamelan music, a style much admired by the Impressionists.”
Two Mexican Pieces AARON COPLAND Born November 14, 1900, Brooklyn Died December 2, 1990, Sleepy Hollow The son of immigrant parents, Aaron Copland lived to become the most celebrated of American composers. His popular reputation in the United States is founded on his thoroughly American ballets, Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring, while a great variety of other compositions won him an unassailable position in American concert-life. In the course of his composing and conducting career, Copland made many visits to Central and South America; and, from El Salon Mexico of 1933–1936 onwards, the rhythms and colors of the region have enlivened several of his shorter works. The second and third of his Three Latin American Sketches were originally presented, under the title Two Mexican Pieces, at the 1959 Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. The first movement, Paisaje Mexicano (Mexican Landscape) features a wonderful mix of lyric and languid atmosphere. The second, Danza de Jalisco, is based on the son, a traditional dance form from Veracruz. Using the alternation of 6/8 and 3/4 meters which typifies much Spanish and Latin-American music, Copland’s own distinctive voice is evident in the use of open harmonies, broad textures and exotic percussion.
Four French Chansons FRANCESCO CANOVA DA MILANO Born August 18, 1497, Monza Died January 2, 1543, Milan PIERRE CERTON Born ca. 1510–1520, Melun, Died February 23, 1572, Paris JOSQUIN DES PREZ Born ca. 1450–1455, County of Hainaut, Belgium Died August 27, 1521, Condé-sur-l’Escaut
PIERRE PASSEREAU Born ca. 1509, location unknown Died ca. 1547, Paris Francesco Canova da Milano was one of the most celebrated musicians of the Italian Renaissance. He played and composed for the lute, and in reverence of his virtuosity, he became known as “Il Divino,” a nickname he shared with his illustrious elder contemporary, Michelangelo. His intabulation of the popular 16th century Parisian song Mon pere si ma marie features some quite unusual meter changes and polyphonic interplay. After being arrested as a boy for irreverently playing ball outside the cathedral of Notre Dame, Pierre Certon later became deeply involved with the church throughout his adult life. He was also quite well known for his motets and chansons spiritiuelles, but it was his secular chansons for which he gained popular acclaim. Je ne l’ose dire is one of his most popular chansons. The title, “I shouldn’t tell you,” should be more like “I shouldn’t tell you, but I will anyway,” and portrays two women gossiping about a man who is cheating on his wife. During the 16th century, Josquin des Prez earned the reputation as the greatest composer of the age. With close to 400 works being attributed to him, Josquin composed both sacred and secular works that spanned all of the vocal forms, including masses, motets and chansons. Adieu mes amours (Farewell my Loves, 1480) was among his most popular secular chansons, and would be arranged and imitated by several of his contemporaries. Although the title may imply a love song, it is, actually, a song of despair and money woes, its lyrics bemoaning the fact that: “I have no more money. Shall I live on air, if the king’s money does not come more often?” Ah, the blues! Pierre Passereau was one of the most popular composers of “Parisian” chansons in the 1530s. Unlike Certon and Josquin, his output consisted almost exclusively of secular chansons, which were rustic in nature and frequently laden with obscenities. In his most popular song, Il est bel et bon (1534), two women chat and compare their husbands, and how they dutifully do their chores and feed the chickens, hence the rapid repeated notes imitating the clucking of chickens.
Motus Bulgaricus ATANAS OURKOUZOUNOV Born 1970, Burgas A native of Bulgaria, Atanas Ourkouzounov is recognized as one of the most inventive
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young guitar composers working today. After studying guitar in Sofia and Paris, he developed a multi-faceted career as sought-after soloist, chamber musician and composer. Written in 2015 for LAGQ, Motus Bulgaricus received its world premiere on this tour in August 2016. Cast in three movements, it begins with a reference to folk-tales of Bulgaria, a frequent inspiration in Ourkouzounov’s works. Chanson du Renard portrays a mischievous fox, planning his surprise attack on unsuspecting chickens. Carillon de Macedoine is an evocative imitation of church bells, using the microtonal possibilities of natural harmonics. The final movement is an increasingly frantic dance, set in a traditional 2+2+3 time signature.
Nutcracker Suite (selections) PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Born May 7, 1840, Votkinsk Died November 6, 1893, Saint Petersburg LAGQ’s seminal 1993 recording of The Nutcracker Suite brought a fresh approach to this holiday classic, highlighting the coloristic potential of the guitar quartet. Andy York comments: “Tchaikovsky composed the Nutcracker between 1891 and 1892. During this time, he discovered a newly invented instrument, the celeste, which he described as “something between a small piano and a glockenspiel, with a divinely beautiful voice.” He was worried that Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov would compose for it first, so he arranged for his publisher to have a celeste sent to Moscow in secrecy. The suite of eight pieces from the ballet was completed and premiered before the ballet, largely to introduce the sound of the celeste before anyone else had a chance to do so. The premier the Nutcracker Suite, on March 19, 1892 in St. Petersburg, was an immediate success. “In deciding to transcribe this work, I first arranged Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy for the solo electric guitar. Though I did record it, the piece was monstrously difficult to play; so I embarked on a two-guitar arrangement, first of this dance, and ultimately of the entire suite. Musically, the two-guitar arrangement worked astonishingly well; but it, too, was extremely difficult to play. The ideal solution was to redo the work for guitar quartet, allowing a more complete translation of the complexities of the orchestral score, which could be balanced among four guitars. Two dances remain as duets: the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Arabian Dance.” —Notes © William Kanengiser