Notes & Bios
Wolfgang Panhofer, 'cellist
Wednesday, May 31, 2000, 8:00 p.m. at Clapp Recital Hall
Wolfgang Panhofer was born in Vienna and studied at the Vienna Academy for Music with Wolfgang Herzer and at the Royal Northern College of Music in England with Ralph Kirshbaum. At the age of seventeen Mr. Panhofer became the youngest member to play with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won several prizes and competitions, among them the Sir John Barbirolli Prize and the Austrian Broadcasting Competition. He attended master classes with Paul Tortelier, William Pleeth, Ralph Kirshbaum, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Steven Isserlis and has played chamber music with András Schiff. Wolfgang Panhofer has been invited to prestigious festivals such as the Vienna Festival, the Wien Modern Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany, and the Vivaldi Festival in Poland.
He played numerous concerts in Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Niederösterreichische Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Lodz Philharmonic, the Baltic Philharmonic, the Kattowitz Philharmonic, and the chamber music ensemble of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Ricercar No. 6
Lord Chesterfield to
His Son (Selections)
Richard WILSON |
Suite No. 5, BWV 1011
Johann Sebastian BACH |
Gavotte 1 and 2
Suite op. 84
Ernst KRENEK |
Andante affettuoso |
Mutationen op. 41
Rainer BISCHOF |
Sonata op. 31
Egon WELLESZ |
Toccata Carpicciosa op. 3
Miklos ROSZA |
In Memoriam Gregor Piatigorsky
Ricercar No. 6
Domenico Gabrielli (1659-1690) was a composition pupil of Giovanni Legrenzi
in Venice and taught the cello by Petronio Francheschini in Bologna. From
1680 until his death he was cellist at the Cathedral of San Petronio in
Bologna. His activities took him to various Italian courts, particularly
Modena. He left numerous opera and oratorios as well as various
instrumental and vocal compositions.
The 7 Ricercars for solo violoncello (dated 15th January 1689) by Domenico
Gabrielli are among the first compositions for unaccompanied cello which
have come down to us. There was a strong upsurge of interest in
instrumental playing in the musical life of Bologna towards the end of the
17th century. The art of cello playing also began to develop. Gabrielli was
not only a famous composer but also a highly esteemed cello player.
Consideration is given for the first time to the soloistic functions of the
cello in his compositions.
There are many different interpretations of the term Ricercar. It
can be applied to such movement types as an Improvisation, a solo piece, an
exercise, and a Prelude, and may also be used in the sense of Fantasia,
Intrada and Sinfonia. What is normally implied by the term is the imitative
ricercar, a polyphonic instrumental composition in several sections, each
section having its own theme of figure that is subjected to motivic
Lord Chesterfield to His Son
Richard Wilson (b. 1941) studied piano with Roslyn Pettibone, Egbert
Fischer and Leonard Shure; and cello with Robert Ripley and Ernst
Silberstein. His first compositional studies were with Roslyn Pettibone and
Howard Whittaker. Much of his early musical study took place at the
Cleveland Music School Settlement, where he taught cello briefly in the
absence of Ernst Silberstein.
Lord Chesterfield to his Son is my second extended work for solo cello. The
first, Music for Solo Cello, was written in 1971, the year of my marriage,
at the request of Fred Sherry. Lord Chesterfield was intended for my son,
James, who at age 12, was a budding cellist. Knowing that he may doubt my
counsel, I arranged that he receive an abundance of solemn advice from an
Lord Chesterfield to his Son was premiered by Fred Sherry at the
Greenwich House Music School, New York City, on November 14, 1991.
Richard Wilson graduated from Harvard in 1963, where he studied
composition with Robert Moevs. He studied piano in Munich with Friedrich
Wührer and composition in Rome, again with Robert Moevs. Wilson followed
Moevs to Rutgers where he earned his master's degree. In 1966, Richard
Wilson joined the faculty of Vassar College, where he has three times
served as chair of the Department of Music. He is currently Mary Conover
Mellon Professor of Music at Vassar.
In 1986, Richard Wilson received the Walter Hinrichsen Award from
the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was commissioned
by the San Francisco Symphony to write Articulations, which was premiered
in May 1989. In 1992-93, Richard Wilson became Composer-in-Residence with
the American Symphony Orchestra. In the same year he was awarded a
Guggenheim Fellowship, under which he composed his first opera - Æthelred
Recent commissions have come from Chamber Music America, the
Chicago String Quartet, the Mae and Irving Jurow Fund of the Library of
Congress, and the A.N.L. Foundation.
Suite for Violoncello op. 84
Ernst Krenek (born 1900 in Vienna, Austria) has been declared a one-man
history of 20th century music. His compositions come to terms with
virtually all idioms and techniques of this century. In the early twenties
he wrote works in the atonal idiom, such as the 2nd Symphony and the first
three quartets. These were followed by a variant of tonal thinking modeled
on Schubert, such as Journey through the Austrian Alps, Jonny spielt auf, O
Lacrymosa (to Rilke texts written especially for him). In the early
thirties he wrote the first full length 12-tone opera, Karl V, which was
also his first 12-tone work. The premiere of the opera, due to Nazi
intrigue, was cancelled by the Vienna State Opera, which commissioned it.
His music was labeled by the Nazis as Entartete (degenerate) music.
He immigrated to America in 1938. In supplication for Austria, his war-torn
homeland, he wrote in 1942 his most important choral work, Lamentatio
Jeremiae prophetae - a work which he thought, at that time, would never be
performed and which foreshadowed the concept of serialism in music. The
highpoint of his serial endeavor was reached in 1957 with a work using his
own text, for voice and ensemble, Sestina, juxtaposing pre-determination
and chance. From the sixties through the eighties his works are "late
works". His "system" here was to avoid all systems. He selected from each
of them and whatever else he envisioned as propelled by his imagination and
inclination. His multifaceted lifespan was fulfilled. Krenek's unique
intellectual and artistic capacity, his insatiable curiosity for exploring
new horizons forced him to find new means in order to express his ever more
comprehensive musical vision. His personal style, however, permeates all
his works from opus 1 to 242.
Ernst Krenek composed his five-movement Suite
for Violoncello op.84 in 1939. Its second movement, marked Adagio,
exemplifies the modern cantabile style of the day, while the central
movement Allegretto represents his own personal way of coming to terms with
principles of linear counterpoint put forward by Ernst Kurth, a
theoretician who had exerted a strong influence on him. Within the highly
restricted compass of the Suite the listener encounters the apparently
polyphonic effect which Kurth had pointed out to his pupil in the solo
suites of Bach. It is an impressive work, bringing molto liberamente to a
close by an almost aggressive waltz (Andantino scherzando) and a seemingly
improvised Andantino which harks back to the opening movement, thus
'squaring the circle' created by the composer through the synthesis of an
arc-shaped layout and a sequence of loosely-connected movements.
(Written by EvH. and translated by Celia Skrine)
Gladys N. Krenek, September 29, 1998
Mutationen op. 41
Rainer Bischof (born 1947) is one of the most many-sided composers of
today's Austria. After his first years of study at the Musikhochschule in
Vienna, he became a private student of Hans Erich Apostel in 1967. Of all
his studies at the University of Vienna, philosophy was of the greatest
importance to him; he received the doctorate in 1973. Bischof has been
associated with an international shipping firm and held positions as an
officer in a travel company, as director of the artistic operations office
of the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, as director of the Theater and Music
Section of the Cultural Affairs Office of the City of Vienna, President of
the Austrian Composers' Alliance and manager of the Wiener Musiksommer
(Viennese Summer Music Festival). Since 1988, he has been General
Secretary of the Vienna Symphony.
The typical Viennese tone is so difficult to
express in words, but it is real, and for me it is a specific expression of
a musical idea and world. Melancholy and rebellion against melancholy;
despair of the world and of oneself-that is an important part of my musical
sensibility. I utter this with the same materials that the European
tradition has been using without interruption since the rise of
polyphony-counterpoint, motifs, logical deduction from a meaningful seed,
formal structure, by all of these in the service of the expression I am
seeking to achieve. (From Zeitgenossen live, 1995)
Bischof has taught in adult evening schools in Vienna and at the
European Forum Alpbach. Since 1987, he has been lecturing on musical
esthetics at the Musikhochschule in Vienna. Since fall of 1996, he has
taught composition at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna. His
scholarly work is in philosophy and the esthetics of music. His
compositions number over 40 works, scored for various combinations of
instruments, and are greeted with favorable criticism worldwide.
Sonata op. 31
Egon Wellesz (1885-1974), an Austrian composer and musicologist, studied
with Schoenberg at the same time as Berg and Webern. His early compositions
show the influence of Mahler, but the clarity and articulation that
characterize his later works are already evident. He is the author of
studies of Byzantine and Arabic music, including Eastern Elements in
Western Chant (1947) and A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnology (1948).
From 1939 he lived in England; there he taught at Oxford and composed
operas, ballets, chamber music, liturgical works, and symphonies.
This tension-laden piece, composed in one movement with
several sections, was written in only two days, August 26 and 27, 1920.
Although it is laid out as a work in one movement, the head motif in 4/4 in
a slow tempo, full of pathos, appears several times, bracketing the various
sections; it persists until the C-major closing.
This is followed by a lyrical theme written in thirds, and a folk song-like
third theme, written in a 5/4 measure. The fourth theme skips forward like
a gigue. After a short development of the first and second theme s comes
an allegro moderato with characteristic repetitions of tones and an abrupt
change in meter and style:
This is followed by the return of the first theme and the 5/4 meter
(allegretto grazioso). The piece is rounded out by the entry of the main
theme and resolves itself into a serene coda. Thus, we have a composition
rich in tension that only resembles the classical sonata form in having the
rounded quality that comes from repetition of the initial motif at the end.
(b. 1907 Budapest, Hungary, d. 1995 Los Angeles, California)
studied at the Leipzig Conservatory. He was a symphonic and chamber
composer who began scoring films for Alexander Korda in England in the
1930s and went with him to Hollywood to make The Thief of Bagdad (1940).
When he arrived at M-G-M in 1948, Rosza was already a film music professor
at USC and an Academy Award winner. At M-G-M and as an independent, Rozsa
composed scores for nearly 40 pictures spanning more than 20 years. A
prolific and versatile figure, Rozsa's work ranges from the intimate,
disturbing accompaniment for Spellbound (1945) to the epic, sweeping scores
of Ben-Hur (1959) and El Cid (1961).