Program - Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 3pm | Foellinger Great Hall
Sunday Salon Series—Emerging Artistry
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Frédéric Chopin
Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1
Robert Schumann
Kreisleriana, Op. 16
1. Äußerst bewegt (Extremely animated)
2. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch (Very inwardly and not too quickly)
3. Sehr aufgeregt (Very agitated)
4. Sehr langsam (Very slowly)
5. Sehr lebhaft (Very lively)
6. Sehr langsam (Very slowly)
7. Sehr rasch (Very fast)
8. Schnell und spielend (Fast and playful)
20-minute intermission
Maurice Ravel
Gaspard de la Nuit
I. Ondine
II. Le Gibet
III. Scarbo
Claude Debussy
L’isle Joyeuse
This program is subject to change.
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Frédéric Chopin
Born March 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, Poland
Died October 17, 1849, in Paris, France
Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1
Robert Schumann
Born June 8, 1810, in Zwickau, Germany
Died July 29, 1856, in Endenich, Germany
Kreisleriana, Op. 16
Chopin’s teacher Josef Eisner introduced him
to the composer John Field, the originator of
the nocturne form. Chopin took the form to
new heights and depths with his nine different
collections, some containing as many as 10 works
in a variety of keys. The nocturne is defined as
“a piece of a dreamily romantic or sentimental
character without fixed form” (literally, “night
music”). While that hardly fulfills a description of
Chopin’s nocturnes, it is a start at understanding
these wonderful works in which the right hand is
vocalist. The two nocturnes of Op. 62, composed
in 1846, were Chopin’s final essays in the form. No.
1 in B Major remains the more popular of the two.
In a letter of 1838, Schumann wrote to his beloved
Clara Wieck (whom he would marry in 1840 after
long and emotional battles with her father):
After a strong opening rolled chord, we are
immersed in the essence of Chopin. A right hand
melody is elaborated upon in every imaginable
way including sweeping scales, extended trills,
and leaps that encompass the highest ranges of
the keyboard. The slow tempo of the Nocturne in
B Major finally winds down to a gentle conclusion
that is surprisingly chordal in its concept.
I’m overflowing with music and beautiful
melodies now—imagine, since my last letter I’ve
finished another whole notebook of new pieces.
I intend to call it Kreisleriana. You and one of
your ideas play the main role in it, and I want
to dedicate it to you—yes, to you and nobody
else—and then you will smile so sweetly when
you discover yourself in it—my music now seems
to be so simply and wonderfully intricate in
spite of all the simplicity, all the complications,
so eloquent and from the heart; that’s the way
it affects everyone for whom I play it, which I
enjoy doing quite frequently.
This letter, along with the descriptive movement
markings, says much about this incredible work
that Schumann wrote in April 1838 in four days.
To this day, it remains not only one of his greatest
achievements but also one the most important
contributions to the piano repertoire and a
stunning pinnacle of Romantic expression.
The “Kreisler” of the title is a reference to the
manic-depressive conductor, Johannes Kreisler,
created by E. T. A. Hoffmann whose tales served
as inspiration for famous works such Tchaikovsky’s
ballet The Nutcracker and Offenbach’s opera The
Tales of Hoffmann. Schumann’s Kreisleriana was
inspired specifically by the “Kreisleriana” section
of Hoffmann’s book Fantasiestücke in Callots
Manier, published in 1814. That Schumann would
be drawn to such a tale is no surprise since his own
extremes of personality would lead to his leap into
the icy Rhine in 1854 and ultimately to his death
in a mental institution two years later. Schumann’s
own creation of the fictional characters Florestan
and Eusebius that represented, respectively, his
passionately expressive and dreamy introspective
sides are alive and well in Kreisleriana. Although
the work was dedicated to Chopin, it is most
expressive of Schumann’s love for Clara Wieck and
his tumultuous courtship of her.
like closing. There are many ways to end a great
piece of music, but Schumann takes the lesstraveled path with his eighth movement, Schnell
und spielend (Fast and playful). Here, the pianist’s
hands take different directions with a strong lefthand melody and a right-hand skipping rhythmic
adventure. It seems that Schumann has said it all,
and so he ends elusively with neither a bang nor a
whimper but somewhere elusively but effectively
Schumann gives the eight-movement work a fierce
start with the opening Äußerst bewegt (Extremely
animated) that offers no relief in technical
demands until the contrasting second movement,
Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch (Very inwardly
and not too quickly) with its warmly melodic
and introspective qualities juxtaposed to two
contrasting fast sections which, within themselves,
offer much variety. Despite a slower tempo, the
third movement, Sehr aufgeregt (Very agitated)
is, as the tempo marking suggests, agitated in its
expression. It reaches a stunning climax before a
solemn conclusion. We are then pulled into the
beautiful fourth movement, Sehr langsam (Very
slowly), which is astounding in its contrasting
meditative and melodic qualities and clearly reveals
Schumann’s gift for song. Yet another contrast is
offered in the fifth movement, Sehr lebhaft (Very
lively), this time in spirit as much as tempo. It is as
playful as the previous movement was meditative.
The ardently introspective side of Schumann is
revealed in the sixth movement, Sehr langsam
(Very slowly). While the tempo marking is identical
with the fourth movement, the treatment of it is
totally new and unique as Schumann transforms
from B-flat Major to C Minor. In many ways, it is
an unforgettable moment in Kreisleriana. We are
returned to harsh reality in the seventh movement,
Sehr rasch (Very fast), before a gentler, chorale-
Within the musical variety encompassed in
Kreisleriana, consistent is a ruling complexity and
poetic splendor singular to Schumann.
Maurice Ravel
Born March 7, 1875, in Cibourne, France
Died December 28, 1937, in Paris, France
Gaspard de la nuit
That Gaspard de la nuit is one of the most difficult
works in the piano repertoire is no accident.
Ravel intended it to be so by consciously trying
to outdo Balakirev’s Islamey. He achieved his goal
not only in technical difficulty but also in taking
Impressionism to a new level. Known for his elusive
and sometimes misleading comments, Ravel said
about Gaspard: “I wanted to make a caricature of
Romanticism. Perhaps it got the better of me.” To
the contrary, he lent to the work his best talents.
Gaspard of the title is a reference to the character
from Persian literature who is in charge of royal
treasures or, in this case, the mysterious treasures
of the night with its dreams and illusions. Ondine,
of the first movement, is the water fairy who
is attempting to seduce men (or the listeners)
into her cave of delights. Le gibet, the second
movement, portrays a scene in which the observer
is gazing at the body of a hanged man while an
ominous bell rings. Scarbo portrays the fiendish
goblin or beetle, as it were, who flits about the
bedroom of a person who cannot sleep. Each
movement of the triptych is based on a poem by
Aloysius Bertrand (1807-1841), father of the illdefined prose poem and a model for the Symbolist
poets Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé. So
much for the programmatic references of the
work. The musical effects are just as, if not more,
Claude Debussy
Born August 22, 1862, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye,
Died March 25, 1918, in Paris, France
L’isle joyeuse
Claude Debussy established a new direction in
music that put Impressionism on the musical
map. Despite that association with the famous
movement in painting, it is important to note
that Debussy saw himself more as Symbolist than
Impressionist and was as much influenced by the
Ondine envelops the listener in its brilliant rush
Symbolist poets as Impressionist painters. The
of notes, unusual harmonies, and complex set
significant point remains, however, that Debussy
of textures and dynamics and is a reflection on
represented a daring departure. “Any sounds
Bertrand’s text: “Listen! Listen! It is I, Ondine,
in any combination and in any succession are
brushing drops of water against the ringing
henceforth free to be used in a musical continuity,”
diamonds of your window lit by the dull
he ruled. Yet this statement should not lead us to
moonlight.” Le gibet has fewer notes (could there
be more?), but is effective in its solemn chords and think that Debussy lacked form in his composition.
use of the whole-tone scale employed by Debussy, Quite to the contrary, his music reflects a thorough
understanding of Classical form even if its actual
Fauré, and Ravel. A single, unchanging B-flat that
sound suggests new concepts. While most of
persists throughout the movement takes the art
musical Europe was dividing its loyalties between
of repetition to new heights. Scarbo is not only
Brahms and Wagner and focusing attention on
a portrayal of madness but madness itself in its
sheer speed and its use of the entire keyboard. The the emergence of the Second Viennese School,
Debussy, along with Fauré and Ravel, took
movement rises in intensity to a giant climax and
an entirely new direction in French music that
then flits away in a quiet dénouement.
transcended those situations. While we assign
Curiously enough, Ravel commented: “After the
the name “Impressionism” to that direction, we
virtuosity that forms the basis of Gaspard de
should understand that the term is a reference to
la nuit, I moved on to a clearer style of writing
a new sense of harmony and color in music rather
with more solid harmonies and starker musical
than a total disregard of Classical form. Nor is
contours.” Perhaps he had simply achieved his
Impressionism in music one and the same idea as it
goal, and there was no further place to go.
is in painting. If we are having a hard time defining
it in regard to Debussy, it is because the composer
Gaspard de la nuit was premiered in Paris on
himself eluded classification with the exception
January 9, 1909, by pianist Ricardo Viñes who was
that he wished to be understood as French. That,
a strong influence on Ravel’s interest in Spanish
of course, introduces the question of national
identity in music, another elusive subject.
With his opening extended trills, Debussy wastes
little time in bringing you into the thrill of his “L’isle
joyeuse.” Rhythmic drive and powerful moments
of crashing octaves intensify the effectiveness of
this work. In it, Debussy manages to make a full
orchestra out of the piano with the many tonal
colors and rich flow that we associate with his
music. While the conclusion is brilliant and joyful,
dark moments invade the work, reminding us of
Debussy’s comment, “The color of my soul is irongray, and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my
Composed in 1904, the work was inspired
by Jean-Antoine Watteau’s 1717 painting,
“L’Embarquement pour Cythère,” that portrays a
group of pleasure-seeking couples departing for
the island of Cythera, one of the Greek islands
thought to be the birthplace of Venus, the goddess
of sexual love. One of Debussy’s ardent fans,
French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963),
would also write a remarkable work for piano four
hands based on the painting. While Debussy’s
work may have secured the fame of the painting,
more importantly it added sumptuously to his
irreplaceable repertoire for piano. French music
of the late 19th and early 20th centuries seems
defined in it while remaining distinctly Debussy
and separate from any notions of Impressionist
Program notes © 2015 by Lucy Miller Murray
Lucy Miller Murray is the author of Chamber Music:
An Extensive Guide for Listeners, published by
Rowman and Littlefield.
Pianist Shin-Young Park, a native of Seoul, South
Korea, has performed in the United States,
Europe, and South Korea both as a soloist and a
collaborative artist. Park began her piano studies at
the age of six and gave her first public appearance
at the age of 11 at Youngsan Art Hall in Seoul,
Korea. The following year, she was nominated
for the Young Musicians Festival in Seoul as one
of the promising musicians. She received her
musical training at Yewon School and Seoul Arts
High School, the most prestigious schools for
young prodigies in South Korea. Park has won
numerous awards and prizes at competitions
including the Langford Fellowship, Korea Chopin
Competition, Segye Times Competition, Eumyeon
Competition, Samick Piano Competition, and
Kukmin Competition. Her recent achievements
include winning the Krannert Center Debut Artist
Award, Sinfonia da Camera Student Concerto
Competition, American Fine Arts Festival
International Concerto Competition 2015, the
Gilmore Fellowship, and the Ross Fellowship.
After graduating from Seoul National University
where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in
piano performance with honors, she moved to the
United States for advanced studies. A recipient of
a University Graduate Scholarship, Park graduated
from the University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music with a Master of Music
degree in piano performance.
She has participated in many international music
festivals including Euro Music Festival, San
Juan International Piano Festival, CCM Prague
International Piano Institute, Music Alp in France,
International Piano Academy at Seoul National
University, Summer Piano Institute at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Amalfi Coast
Music and Arts Festival in Italy, and the Gilmore
International Keyboard Festival. She has worked
with John Perry, Ingrid Fliter, Boaz Sharon, Edward
Auer, William Bolcom, Timothy Ehlen, Logan
Skelton, James Giles, Soo Jung Shin, Choong Mo
Kang, Thomas Hecht, Natalya Antonova, Daming
Zhu, and many others. Park has performed at Weill
Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York; Czech
Museum of Music in Prague; Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts in Urbana, Illinois; Kumho
Museum in Seoul; Youngsan Art Hall in Seoul;
Auditorium Gilles de la Rocque in Courchevel,
France; Dalton Center Recital Hall in Kalamazoo,
Michigan; and also appeared at the 2014
Music Teachers National Association’s National
Conference in Chicago for John Perry’s master
class and at the Young Artist Series in Maiori, Italy.
The School of Music at the University of Illinois and Krannert Center choose a student through audition
as the winner of the Krannert Center Debut Artist competition each season. This student earns a recital
as well as a full professional contract. All Krannert Center Debut Artists, since the very first in 1984, have
remained active performers and educators, and for many the award has carried national impact.
Park has been widely acclaimed for her
performances of the Romantic repertoire. James
Tocco complimented her, “Musically aware,
technically impeccable with a deep sense of
personal commitment.” Her interpretation of
Chopin’s music in particular has been highly
commended. Elisabeth Pridonoff commented on
her performance of Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B
Minor, Op. 58, “She has a special connection with
1989 Michael Mizma, percussion
Her mentors include Ick Choo Moon, Hae Young
Moon, Oak Hyun Kim, Kyu Jung Kim, Eugene
Pridonoff, Elisabeth Pridonoff, and Ian Hobson.
She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical
Arts degree in piano performance and literature
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
as a recipient of a three-year full scholarship, the
Langford Fellowship, and the Ross Fellowship
under the guidance of Ian Hobson.
1993 Layna Chianakas, mezzo-soprano, with
Gregory Mason, piano
2011 Patrycja Likos, cello, and Chu-Chun Yen,
piano, with Yu-Chi Tai, piano accompanist
1994 Horia Mihail, piano
2012 Wuna Meng, piano
1995 Irina Muresanu, violin, with Joseph Bognar,
2013 Moye Chen, piano
1984 Eugene Novotney, percussion, assisted by
Kevin Kingston, Junko Kobayashi, and Larry
1999 Samir Golescu, piano
1985 Yelena Kurdina, accompanist, with Janet
Jaudes, soprano
2001 Kyung-A Yang, piano
1986 David Carter, cello, with Mark Sudeith, piano
1987 Ollie Watts Davis, soprano, with Kathryn
Southworth, piano
1988 Ann Morrow, soprano, with Kristin Okerlund,
1990 Zheng Zhou, baritone, with Michael Gribbin,
1991 Gregory Mason, accompanist, with Mark
Hamman, tenor; Janet Robb, soprano; Mary
Ann Kyle, soprano; and Julianne Cross,
1992 Margaret Donaghue, clarinet, with Victoria
Demaree, piano
1996 Diana Popescu, piano
1997 Catalin Rotaru, double bass, with Diana
Popescu, piano
2000 Owen Rockwell, percussion, with Britton
Plourde, alto flute
2002 Alda Dizdari, violin, with Magi Dizdari, piano
2003 Lori Williams, soprano, with Jeffrey Peterson,
2004 Wae-Jane Chen, piano
2005 Ann Kai-An Wu, piano
2006 Bomi Lim, piano, and Rochelle Sennet, piano;
honorable mention: Jane Boxall, marimba
2007 Thomas Kronholz, piano
2008 Yu-Chi Tai, piano
2009 Melissa Davis, mezzo-soprano, with Sun-Hee
Kim, piano; honorable mention: Phil Doyle,
tenor saxophone, and Henning Schröder, alto
2010 Chen-Yu Huang, harp
2014 Alexandra Nowakowski, soprano, and
Samuel Gingher, piano, with Jianan Yu, piano
2015 Shin-Young Park, piano
1998 Harold Gray Meers, tenor, with Dewitt Tipton,