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Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players: Batons at Rest

April 8  Batons at Rest

Stephen Beus piano
Elizabeth Fayette 
Coleman Itzkoff cello

Vadim Lando clarinet
Karl Kramer 
Gina Cuffari 

Arturo TOSCANINI  2 Songs • 1885
  • “Desolazione” (Desolation) and “Son gelosa” (I am jealous) ~ for soprano and piano by the Italian conductor with the phenomenal memory

George SZELL  Piano Quintet in E Major Op. 2 • 1911
  • an appealing late Romantic work written by a very mature 14-year-old

The Hungarian-born American conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra imposed stern discipline, drilling his musicians mercilessly, but won their devotion by his own fierce dedication. New York Times critic Peter G. Davis, in a review of a concert of music by Szell and Mitropoulos presented by Jens Nygaard at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1975, commented: “Szell was such an autocratic conductor and forbidding personality that the jolly, unbuttoned romanticism of his Piano Quintet, a cross between late Dvorak and early Richard Strauss, comes as quite a shock. But since Szell was only [14] when he wrote the work (he gave up composing before he was 20), its derivativeness is less surprising than its precociousness.” Jens was the pianist at this concert.

Dmitri MITROPOULOS  “Kassiani” • 1919
  • the young Greek conductor’s special, dramatic, beautiful song dedicated to Katina Paxinou, with whom he had a passionate love affair ~ for soprano and piano

Davis, in the same New York Times review, described “Kassiani” as “the tortured monologue of a sinning woman...[it] betrayed more than a trace of Ravel and Mussorgsky, but these influences have been thoroughly absorbed by a really imaginative creative mind.” Mitropoulos, considered by some to be the equal of Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler, was noted for having a photographic memory (he conducted without a score, even during rehearsals) and for his solitary lifestyle due to his deeply religious, Greek Orthodox beliefs.

Jens NYGAARD  Cadenza for Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor K. 491 • 1996
  • composed for William Wolfram, who described it as “really remarkable. It was everything that Jens IS. It’s a remarkable cadenza, extremely original—like nothing else. It was HIM in a cadenza.”

Felix WEINGARTNER  Octet in G Major Op. 73 • 1925
  • virtually a chamber symphony for clarinet, horn, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, and piano in the chromatic idiom of Liszt (his teacher), Wagner, and the German late Romantics—in turns poignant, dramatic, yearning, and adorned with lyricism ~ the much-revered Austrian maestro, noted for his conducting with clarity and economy of movement, had five wives