Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen | Romances for Violin and Harp

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Romances for Violin and Harp

by Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen

Beautiful selections for violin and harp including previously unrecorded and original music
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Suite for Violin and Harp: I. Meeting
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:37 $0.99
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2. Suite for Violin and Harp: II. Prayer
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
2:33 $0.99
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3. Suite for Violin and Harp: III. Quarrel
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
4:36 $0.99
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4. Suite for Violin and Harp: IV. Reconciliation
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
1:46 $0.99
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5. Novellette, Op. 102
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:06 $0.99
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6. O Bien Aimée
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:25 $0.99
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7. Zerbina
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:55 $0.99
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8. Deus Ex ...
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
5:51 $0.99
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9. Duo, Op. 8: I. Allegro assai con fuoco
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
4:48 $0.99
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10. Duo, Op. 8: II. Adagio non troppo, cantabile
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:02 $0.99
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11. Duo, Op. 8: III. Rondo. Allegretto quasi presto
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
4:53 $0.99
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12. Romance, Op. 37
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
6:18 $0.99
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13. Song of the Black Swan
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:02 $0.99
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14. Suite en Duo: I. Préambule. Modéré
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
1:52 $0.99
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15. Suite en Duo: II. Modéré
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
3:56 $0.99
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16. Suite en Duo: III. Assez lent
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
5:05 $0.99
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17. Suite en Duo: IV. Danse à onze temps
Andrés Cárdenes & Gretchen Van Hoesen
4:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Previously unrecorded pieces for violin and harp performed by Principals from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Andres Izmaylov, the third of four generations of harpists in his family, was born in the Estonian town of Narva and studied the instrument with his mother until he was fourteen, when he began his professional training in Kiev and Moscow. Izmaylov was appointed Co-Principal Harp of the National Symphony of Ukraine at nineteen and two years later became Co-Principal Harp of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He has since appeared internationally as recitalist and soloist with orchestra, often performing his own works. Izmaylov wrote that his Duo, Suite for Violin and Harp (2007) is a “love story and a dialogue in four scenes. The dramatis personae are a Man (violin) and a Woman (harp). The opening Meeting develops into a flirtatious waltz and an awakening of love. Prayer is a love song with a beautiful violin melody over a rocking, hypnotic harp part. The course of true love never runs smoothly, however, and an angry Quarrel follows. This music suddenly breaks off and a violin cadenza expresses regret. A Reconciliation brings the work to a peaceful close.”

Jean Sibelius’ earliest ambition was to become a concert violinist, and as a teenager he formed a piano trio with his brother and sister. They played classical works as well as some of his own early compositions and he appeared as a soloist at school functions and local festivals, but his late start and his innate stage fright limited his potential as a performer. Sibelius wrote for violin throughout his career, including one of the instrument’s most beloved concertos, and in September 1922 he composed a Novellette for violin and piano whose gently melancholy outer sections are balanced by an animated central episode.

Marcel Grandjany began playing harp at eight, studied with Henriette Renié at the Paris Conservatoire, and made his debut with the Concerts Lamoureux at seventeen. His international appearances established him as the leading harpist of the day and in 1936 he settled in New York, where he taught at Juilliard until shortly before his death. Ô bien-aimée (1955, “O Beloved”), a wedding gift for his Juilliard student Jane B. Weidensaul, originated as a vocal setting of Verlaine’s La lune blanche — “The pale moon shines down on the woods; from each branch a voice is heard ... O beloved.”

Bernard Andrès was born in Belfort, France and studied at the conservatories in Besançon, Strasbourg and Paris, where he won a Premier Prix in harp. After spending three years in La Musique de l’Air, the musical branch of the French Air Force, Andrès was appointed Principal Harp of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in 1969. Of his Zerbina for Violin and Harp (1990), Gretchen Van Hoesen said that its atmospheric writing and varied moods, from lyrical and nostalgic to playful and rhythmic, “make you think of sitting at a Paris café with a cup of coffee and a croissant.”

Composer, teacher and bassoonist Mark Fromm was born in Pittsburgh and holds degrees in composition from Carnegie Mellon University, McGill University in Montreal and the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the faculty of the Creative and Performing Arts School in downtown Pittsburgh in 2014 to teach music theory, composition, solfège and rock orchestra. Fromm is also Principal Bassoon of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra and an active composer and performer member of Alia Musica Pittsburgh. Fromm wrote, “Deus Ex Machina [2006] is a Latin phrase meaning ‘God from the Machine.’ It was the name given to a dramatic device used in Greek and Roman theater, in which an actor playing a god or goddess would be lowered onto the stage by a machine and then resolve a hopeless situation. It has come to refer to any seemingly hopeless circumstance that is resolved through unlikely or impossible means. This piece refers to both the literary and linguistic implications of the phrase. The first movement, Deus Ex (‘God from ...’), is slow, lyrical, introspective and questioning, with broad musical gestures. A meditation on the existence and implications of a higher power, it fades and dies out away without resolution.”

Marie-Martin Marin, generally regarded as the founder of the French harp school, showed talent on violin as a youngster and was sent to Florence to study with Pietro Nardini; he was made a member of the prestigious Arcadian Academy in Rome when he was fourteen. Marin took up harp after returning to France, but his subsequent training at a military academy forced him to study the instrument largely on his own. He graduated as a captain in 1788, but when revolution erupted in Paris the following year he headed to London, where he established himself among the city’s leading teachers and performers. Marin returned to France when the political situation had stabilized, bypassing Paris for the quieter confines of Toulouse, where he performed, taught and composed until his death. Marin’s Duo for Violin and Harp (1801) opens with a movement in which a core theme is used for both main and second subject (the latter here transposed into a brighter key), for material for the development, and for the requisite structural balancing of the recapitulation. The Adagio is a tender serenade with a central episode of veiled mood. The closing rondo is built around reprises of a lilting melody.

When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in July 1870, Camille Saint-Saëns joined the Fourth Battalion of the Seine to help defend Paris. French resistance proved futile, however, and the Germans paraded triumphantly down the Champs Elysées on March 1, 1871. They withdrew before the end of the month, but a revolutionary movement led by disaffected workers and soldiers who refused to accept the authority of the French government rushed into the vacuum, and this “Paris Commune” terrorized the city until it was suppressed at the end of May by regular Army troops during what came to be know as La semaine sanglante — “The Bloody Week.” Despite, or perhaps even because of, those parlous circumstances, Saint–Saëns composed his tenderly lyrical Romance for Violin and Piano at the end of March. The Romance, in a carefully balanced three-part form (A–B–A), is a microcosm of Saint-Saëns’ art: halcyon, lyrical, polished, unaffected and, simply, beautiful.

Among the earliest orchestral works of Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos was the 1916 tone poem Naufrágio de Kleonicos — The Shipwreck of Kleonicos — which was inspired by a mythological tale about a captain sailing his vessel through a violent storm between the Greek island of Kos and the Turkish mainland. Just before the storm strikes, a black swan — a metaphor since antiquity for an improbable but significant event (the Greeks thought such a creature could not exist; black swans were not discovered until 1697, in Australia) — flies across the ship’s bow. When the tempest reaches its peak and the ship is breaking in two, the swan returns singing “the most yearning and beautiful [swan] song” and dies as Kleonicos and his crew sink beneath the waves. Villa-Lobos closed his Naufrágio de Kleonicos with a haunting section titled Song of the Black Swan, which he transcribed for violin and piano.

Jean Cras was born in 1879 in the coastal city of Brest in Brittany into the music-loving family of a distinguished naval surgeon, and was sufficiently schooled in the art as a youngster to begin composing short pieces for piano and voice when he was thirteen; he wrote a four-voice Mass two years later that was heard at a local church. With the tradition of military service in his family, however, Cras was inevitably channeled into a career in the navy, and at age seventeen he was accepted into the naval academy. During a three-month leave in 1900 before being assigned to active duty, he studied in Paris with Henri Duparc and for the rest of his life balanced composing with the requirements of his military career. Cras was exposed to foreign lands and exotic cultures during his sea voyages, and while sailing back to France after a stop in West Africa in January 1927, he composed the Suite en Duo for Violin and Harp. The Suite en Duo, whose luminous sonorities, naïve themes and buoyant spirits are indebted to both African and European cultures, opens with an improvisatory Préambule. The Modéré resembles a gavotte, a quick hopping dance that may have originated in Cras’ native Brittany and was still popular there in the 19th century. The third movement brings a somewhat more stern element to the work. The closing Danse à onze temps (“Dance in Eleven Meter”) traces its infectious uneven rhythms to Breton folk dances.
©2016 Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Recording Producer: James Gorton
Recording Engineer: Riccardo Schulz
Assistant Engineer: Graham Evans

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