Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony
*Please silence your cell phone & turn down the brightness*
PRESENTING PATRONS James Cohen & Linda McGarva-Cohen
Daniel Raiskin, conductor
Chris Fensom, trumpet
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Vítezslava Kaprálová (1915 – 1940)
Suita rustica, Op. 19
Allegro ma non troppo
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778 – 1837)
Concerto in E-flat major for Trumpet & Orchestra
Allegro con spirito
– Intermission –
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
Symphony No.7 in D minor, Op.70
Daniel Raiskin, conductor
Known for cultivating a broad repertoire and looking beyond the mainstream for his strikingly conceived programmes, Daniel Raiskin has been the music director for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since the 2018/19 season.
Daniel grew up in St. Petersburg, the son of a prominent musicologist, where he attended the celebrated conservatory in his native city. He continued his studies in Amsterdam and Freiburg, first focusing on the viola but was later inspired to take up the conductor’s baton. He studied with maestri such as Mariss Jansons, Neeme Järvi, Milan Horvat, Woldemar Nelson and Jorma Panula.
Along with the WSO, Daniel was appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in 2020/21, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016/17.
Some recent and upcoming guest engagements include the Warsaw and Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestras, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, Russian National Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra (Hague Philharmonic, NL), Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
During the 2021/22 season, Daniel took the Slovak Philharmonic and participated in a successful residency at at InClassica Festival in Dubai where they shared the stage with Rudolf Buchbinder, Gil Shaham, Daniel Hope and Andreas Ottensamer. The Philharmonic also toured Germany and Austria this past spring (2022) under Daniel’s leadership.
Chris Fensom, trumpet
Chris Fensom is currently principal trumpet of the WSO. Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, he studied under James Thompson, Robert Earley and Charles Daval at McGill University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. He received his Master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY with a performer’s certificate while studying with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer.
Prior to playing with the WSO, he held positions with the Virginia Symphony, the Dallas Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also played with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Montreal Symphony and the Chicago Symphony.
His passion outside of music includes golfing at many of the golf courses around the Winnipeg area. Chris Fensom is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
MASTERWORKS written by James Manishen
b. January 24,1915 / Brno, Czechia
d. June 16, 1940 / Montpellier, France
Composed: 1938 (Brno)
First performance: April 16, 1939, conducted by Bretislav Bakala
Brno-born Vítězslava Kaprálová came from a musical family, her father being a composer and her mother a singer. It was a natural step then for Vítězslava to gravitate towards a life in music. Following early education she studied at the Brno Conservatory, graduating at age 20 as a double major in composition and conducting. Following two years’ study at the Prague Conservatory, she found rare success for a woman at the time in guest conducting engagements with the Czech Philharmonic in 1937 and the BBC Philharmonic in 1938.
Kaprálová then moved to Paris to further her study and it was here that she became a student of the composer Bohuslav Martinů who became a major fixture in her musical life. In the midst of becoming established in Paris as one of the most promising young composers of her time, she suddenly died in 1940 at the young age of 25, possibly from typhoid fever.
Vítězslava Kaprálová produced about 50 compositions in her brief nine creative years. Suita rustica was composed in 1938 on commission from the publisher Universal Edition and shows remarkable assurance in its use of folk borrowings and exuberant “modern” influence of Stravinsky, whose ballet Petrushka Kaprálová loved and had studied carefully.
Kaprálová sketched and finished the Suite in a remarkable nine days. Suita rustica contains three short movements in an amalgam of Kaprálová’s Czech heritage peppered with Stravinskian influences she was attracted to.
The first movement begins in a similar manner to the Shrovetide Fair music of Petrushka, where Stravinsky’s striking dissonance and rhythmic insistence make the upcoming folk elements stand out in relief. Where Stravinsky then moves to the sideshows and attractions of the Fair, Kaprálová brings in two folk melodies for this movement. The first, from Moravia The nightingale flew over Javornik; and a spirited tune from further east in Slovakia Whose is it, this unploughed little field?
The second movement is in three parts and bears resemblance to the Slavonic Dances of Dvořák and the dances from The Bartered Bride of Smetana, the latter directly quoted in the emblematic Bohemian furiant with its alternating 3/4 and 6/8 rhythms.
The third movement recalls the pounding rhythms of Stravinsky’s primitive style found in Le sacre du printemps though not without more Bohemian tang. Trumpets and trombones introduce the tune You don’t have me yet with the contrasting one containing the melody Goodnight Annie, the evening star is high in the sky. After a short development, a four-voice fugue arrives. The ending begins with a full stop with only the snare drum left sounding. A rapid figure begins in the lower strings followed by a brief trumpet fanfare that leads to a rousing close.
Historical Recap: 1938
Carmina Burana, Carl Orff
Billy the Kid, Aaron Copland
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
Our Town, Thornton Wilder
Ducks Unlimited Canada founded in Stonewall, MB
Kristallnacht riots occur
Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
b. Pressburg (now Bratislava) / November 14, 1778
d. Weimar / October 17, 1837
First performance: January 1, 1804 (Esterháza Palace, Hungary), with Anton Weidinger as soloist
Johann Nepomuk Hummel had an astonishing musical pedigree. A prodigy, at age eight he met Mozart who took him on as a pupil and invited the boy to live in the Mozart’s home for two years. As a conductor and manager, Hummel succeeded Haydn in 1804 as director at the Esterhza musical establishment. As a peerless pianist, Hummel published a keyboard method that sold thousands of copies. He travelled widely, knew notables like Goethe and as a composer was acclaimed by many as the second coming of Beethoven, with whom he established a lengthy if volatile friendship. When Hummel died in 1837, many felt the Classical era died with him.
Yet for all the renown during his lifetime, Hummel music occupied the byways after his death. Virtuosos Paganini and Liszt quickly eclipsed Hummel as the Classical era dropped away in favour of showier and more personal statement. Hummel’s music became a decorative throwback more allied to the 18th than the 19th century. Though undeniably charming and splendidly accomplished, Hummel seemed unable to look forward while he looked back.
Hummel may not have the fresh inventiveness of Mozart but there is much pleasure within his large output, in particular the Trumpet Concerto in E-flat composed in 1803 for the same soloist Haydn dedicated his famous Trumpet Concerto to. It is thought that the premiere at Esterhza led to Hummel’s appointment to the esteemed position Haydn occupied for so long.
The opening Allegro explores the octave with fanfare-like connotations followed by a smiling contrasted theme and diverting excursions into the minor key. The Andante is almost an operatic aria for the trumpet, with affecting chromatic touches. The closing Rondo is a lively dance requiring lots of virtuosic “double-tonguing” from an agile soloist.
Historical Recap: 1803
Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”, Beethoven
First English translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Henry Boyd
Thaddeus of Warsaw, Jane Porter
Louisiana Purchase is made from France by the US
Napoleonic Wars begin
Symphony No. 7
b. Bohemia / September 8, 1841
d. Prague / May 1, 1904
First performance: April 22, 1885 (London) conducted by the composer
After attending the premiere of Brahms’s Third Symphony on December 2, 1883, Dvořák called his friend’s work “the greatest symphony of its time.’’ Dvořák had appreciated Brahms’s encouragement and consider him a benefactor, especially since Brahms had also convinced the publisher Simrock to take on the young Czech composer’s music.
Of his own next symphony, Dvořák vowed that it “must be something respectable for I don’t want to let Brahms down.’’ Less than two weeks after the Brahms premiere, Dvořák lost his mother and his next symphony would prove to reflect that as no less an emotional seed.
Dvořák met fame conducting in England in the spring of 1884. On June 13 he was elected an honorary member of the Philharmonic Society and was asked to supply a new symphony. By December he was hard at work in the new D-minor Symphony. The London premiere was a great success. Eminent musicologist Sir Donald Tovey placed the work “among the greatest and purest examples of this art-form since Beethoven.’’
Though Dvořák’s Seventh has a similar cast and character with Brahms’s symphonies, the work has a distinct personality of its own, never abandoning the Bohemian folk roots Dvořák adopted as his calling card. Notable is the Scherzo, Dvořák’s greatest dance movement, but one feels a noble presence within each movement and grand resolve overall. Few would argue that the Seventh ranks among Dvořák’s finest achivements.
Historical Recap: 1885
Symphony No. 4, Johannes Brahms
The Mikado, Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
North-West Rebellion; Louis Riel hanged
Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC