Houston Early Music
The Mozartean Players
Steven Lubin, Fortepiano
Stanley Ritchie, Classical Violin
Ellen Hargis, Soprano
Friday, September 17, 1999
Stude Concert Hall
Eleanor Searle McCollum
Eleanor Searle Whitney McCollum was born in Plymouth, Ohio, to Dr. and Mrs. George J. Searle. She studied music at Florida Southern College and Columbia University in New York, and holds an honorary degree in music from Florida Southern College. A successful concert and oratorio soloist, Mrs. McCollum has performed with the St. Louis Opera, has sung for Presidents Truman and Johnson, and has sung and spoken in over eight thousand churches of all denominations around the world. She was a founding member of the National Society of Arts and Letters, through which she endows scholarships in singing and art. Her love of music has involved her with the Houston Grand Opera, where she serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees; she was elected a Life Trustee in 1993.
Mrs. McCollum is also widely recognized for her philanthropic participation in religious, charitable, and medical fields. Her interest in the advancement of medical procedures has led to her active involvement with, among other organizations, the Michael DeBakey Heart Center, Orbis International, the flying eye hospital, founded by her husband L. F. "Mac" McCollum, and the Paget Foundation for Paget’s Disease of Bone and Related Disorders (Mrs. McCollum has suffered with Paget’s disease for forty years). She has served on the boards of the Salvation Army, Hoving Home (a drug halfway house for girls), Medical Passports, the Travelers Aid Society, the Episcopal Presiding Bishop’s Advisory Council, Campus Crusade, and the American Bible Society. Among her many honors, she received the 1998 Savvy Award and was voted one of the twenty-five most influential people, and one of the fifty most fascinating, in Houston.
The Pro Arte Award
Houston Early Music has established the Pro Arte award, to be presented in recognition of accomplishment in furthering the cause of early music. We are particularly honored to present the first award to Mrs. Eleanor McCollum for enriching the life of our city through her singular and steadfast patronage of the arts.
Sonata for Fortepiano and Violin in E minor, K. 304 (300c) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Tempo di Menuetto
Tribute to Mrs. McCollum by Jane Blaffer Owen
Three Songs for Soprano and Fortepiano Mozart
Tribute to Mrs. McCollum by Virgil Waggoner
Trio for Fortepiano, Violin and Cello in E Major, K. 542 Mozart
Tribute to Mrs. McCollum by David Gockley
Presentation of Pro Arte Award
Trio for Fortepiano, Violin and Cello in A Major, Hob. XV:18 Haydn
Instruments Used in the Performance
The instruments used in tonight’s performance are examples of the instruments in use during the time of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. During the classical era, instruments were in transition from those used in the baroque period to the bigger, louder instruments of the romantic period, many of which are familiar to us today.
The fortepiano used in the concert is owned by Rice University and was built by Paul McNulty in Amsterdam in 1993. The piano is modeled after an instrument made by the Viennese builder Johann Walter in 1794. It has a pitch range of five octaves and is typical of the Viennese pianos used by the composers on this evening’s program in that it has an action (known as the "Viennese" action) which yields a lighter and shallower touch than Italian or English instruments and which greatly facilitates performance of the sparkling passagework characteristic of piano music in the late eighteenth century. Instead of pedals, the piano has two knee levers. The left lever (called the moderator) acts as a damper of sound, and the right lever sustains the notes. The dampers are made of leather rather than felt, which is used in modern pianos. The hammers striking the strings are covered in leather, causing the fortepiano to have a sound that is shorter in duration than the sound of today’s pianos.
The cello used by Mr. Lutzhe is an anonymous eighteenth-century German cello. It is strung with gut strings and has no endpin, which was not in common use during the eighteenth century. The bow was made by Stephen Marvin and is a copy of a bow made by John Dodd, member of an important English bow-making family active at the end of the eighteenth century.
The violin used by Mr. Ritchie is a copy of a violin made by Giuseppe Guarneri ("del Gesu") in 1736. It was built by Samuelo Sygmuntowicz and is strung with gut strings. The bow is a classical bow by Ralph Ashmead.
Mozart’s violin and fortepiano Sonata in E minor dates from the tragic summer sojourn in Paris of 1778, during which Mozart’s mother, accompanying her twenty-two-year-old son on a long journey in search of a job, died of a sudden illness. Some scholars conjecture that the painful intensity of this work, and its key (almost never used by Mozart elsewhere), suggest a connection to Mozart’s grief.
Although in Mozart’s time the lied did not yet possess the specialized style of vocal handling, distinct from that of opera, that Schubert was to create for it, it is fair to say that Mozart was an accomplished composer of lieder, using the piano accompaniment skillfully to create an intimate chamber atmosphere. "An Chloe" is a tender love song in a quasi-popular vein. "Abendempfindung" is set graciously, but its Liebestod textual theme, familiar from German Romantic poetry, makes this a much more serious work. It is laid out in a broad ABA form that gives it dignity and breadth. Goethe’s trenchant little poem "Das Veilchen" receives a knowing setting from Mozart, who closely follows all its irony and its emotional twists.
Mozart’s late Trio in E Major (another unheard-of key for this master, who tended to pick his tonalities conservatively) is the most fragile and ethereal of all his trios. Its first movement contains passages of exceptionally distant and rapid modulation, handled so suavely that they nearly escape notice. The slow movement is again in a popular style, and the finale is a delicate rondo.
For the large repertoire of settings of songs from the British Isles by Haydn and Beethoven, we owe thanks to George Thomson (1757-1851), a Scottish music-lover and indefatigable collector of native tunes. Thomson, desiring to perpetuate and elevate this music, had the good sense to commission Haydn and Beethoven to write settings, often with trio accompaniment. The Haydn settings we have chosen are fresh and straightforward, but the Beethoven ones are more elaborate—more "interpreted," as it were.
Haydn’s A-Major Trio from 1794 is one of an extraordinary late group in this genre that reflect the stimulation of Haydn’s London trips, one effect of which was to acquaint him with the powerful pianos designed by English makers. This trio is a cheerful, outgoing work, with a brilliant finale.
The Mozartean Players
The Mozartean Players are not simply demonstrating their period instruments but digging into the music with obvious affection and enthusiasm. Stereo Review
Ever since making their critically acclaimed Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1979, The Mozartean
Players have appeared regularly in New York City's major concert halls and on tour throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The core ensemble of Steven Lubin (fortepiano), Stanley
Ritchie (classical violin), and Myron Lutzke (classical cello) specializes in the masterworks of the classical and early romantic periods in music, performing the repertoire of Haydn, Mozart,
Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn on instruments of the period and on modern instruments.
A special characteristic of The Mozartean Players is its format-flexibility: though most often
featured as a piano trio, the ensemble frequently performs piano quartet literature and expands to a classical orchestra under the direction of keyboard artist Lubin. This larger ensemble offered
pioneering New York performances and recordings of Mozart fortepiano concertos in the early
1980's in series at the Metropolitan Museum and at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center.
Touring engagements for The Mozartean Players have included performances and residencies at the Caramoor and San Luis Obispo Mozart Festivals, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and engagements throughout the University of California system. European festival dates have included the Lufthansa Baroque Festival of London and Tage alter Musik in Regensburg, Germany.
The Mozartean Players now record exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA. Recordings released since 1990 include the complete piano trios and the piano quartets of Mozart, and Schubert's two piano trios, released in two volumes. The Mozartean Players Classical Orchestra recordings of Mozart piano concertos have received international praise, including a Stereo Review "record-of-the-year" citation. The ensemble's recordings of Haydn's ten piano trios, made and released during the 1980's, continue to receive outstanding critical reviews. Members of the group also performed in London and Vienna for the monumental television series "Man and Music" presented by Granada Television, Great Britain.
Steven Lubin (fortepiano) is one of the world's premier fortepianists, sustaining a busy international career as a solo and chamber music performer and recording artist. Recent appearances have included engagements with the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, San Francisco's Midsummer Mozart Festival, the Utrecht Festival in Holland, the Sala dei Giganti in Italy and the Festival de la Roque d'Antheron in France. Concerti engagements have included dates with the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, and a tour of North America with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. His Decca recording of the five Beethoven concertos with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music was chosen as one of the "recordings of the year" by The New York Times, Stereo Review and Gramophone; his first Beethoven-sonata album and a recording of the Schubert "Trout" Quintet with members of the Academy of Ancient Music have also been released on Decca. Mr. Lubin has served as soloist and conductor of the Mozartean Players Orchestra in a series of Mozart-concerto recordings for Arabesque, and now records extensively on the Harmonia Mundi label, which has released the Mozart piano concertos, the Brahms horn trios, the complete piano trios and quartets of Mozart, and the piano trios of Schubert.
Myron Lutzke (classical cello) is considered to be one of the foremost American players on eighteenth-century cello. Active as a performer on both modern and period instruments, he is a member of the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the Aulos Ensemble, and the Bach Ensemble, and serves as principal cellist of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Classical Band, the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and the Drottningholm Festival Orchestra in Sweden. Mr. Lutzke tours extensively as a recitalist and chamber player throughout North America, Europe and Australia. He has performed at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Aston Magna and Mostly Mozart Festivals. As a continuo player he has performed in the Metropolitan Opera production of Handel's Julius Caesar and in Peter Sellers' television production of the Mozart-DaPonte operas that were recorded in Vienna and broadcast over PBS. Mr. Lutzke has recorded for the Arabesque, Decca, Deutsche Grammophone, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi, Musical Heritage Society, Musicmaster, Nonesuch, Sony Classics, and Teldec labels. He is currently a member of the Early Music faculty of the Mannes College of Music, where he teaches baroque cello and performance practice.
Stanley Ritchie (classical violin) joined The Mozartean Players in 1987. An internationally recognized authority on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century performance practice, he is a founding member of the summer music festival and academy Aston Magna, is a member of the ensemble Three Parts Upon a Ground, and is half of Duo Geminiani with keyboard artist Elisabeth Wright. Mr. Ritchie has soloed with the Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals in the United States, the Lufthansa Festival in London, and frequently guest-conducts and solos with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. His activities as a modern violinist have included numerous tours and recordings as first violinist of the Philadelphia String Quartet and as concertmaster of the New York City Opera and Musica Aeterna Orchestra. Mr. Ritchie has recorded for Decca, EMI, Focus, Harmonia Mundi, Musical Heritage Society, L'Oiseau Lyre, Lyrichord, Nonesuch and Smithsonian Records. Currently on the faculty of the Early Music Institute of Indiana University's School of Music in Bloomington, Mr. Ritchie conducts the Bloomington Baroque Orchestra and has taught master classes at the Royal Copenhagen Conservatory, Yale University, and the Juilliard School.
Ellen Hargis, soprano, acclaimed "a national musical treasure" by Continuo, has a career specialty in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She brings her "infinitely expressive soprano" (New York Newsday) to concerts with The King's Noyse, Theatre of Voices, and the Cambridge Bach Ensemble and to recitals with lutenist Paul O'Dette. Other appearances include guest performances with such leading ensembles as The Harp Consort, Fretwork, The Newberry Consort, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Teatro Lirico, Long Beach Opera, The Folger Consort, Tragicomedia, the Freiburger Baroque Orchestra, and Vox Feminae, the Sequentia women's ensemble.
She has performed recently at the Adelaide Festival in Australia, the Berkeley Festival, the Utrecht Festival in Holland, the New Music America Festival, the Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), and the Boston Early Music Festival, where she sang the title role in Luigi Rossi's L'Orfeo. Recent operatic highlights include singing the title role in Sartorio's Orfeo at festivals in Bremen and Dresden, and the role of Iole in Cavalli's Ercole Amante in Utrecht. This season, Ms. Hargis will make her debut appearance with The New York Collegium under the baton of Gustav Leonhardt, and will return to join the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to perform Haydn's Seven Last Words. Other highlights include a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 in Holland with Tragicomedia and Concerto Palatino, recording a new work by Ingram Marshall with Theatre of Voices, a recital tour of the Midwest and East Coast with Paul O'Dette, and a concert of Elizabethan music in London with the Newberry Consort.
A rapidly growing discography embraces repertoire from medieval to baroque. This season's releases include a solo recital disc of music by Jacopo Peri with Paul O'Dette and Andrew Lawrence-King, The Harp Consort's recording of Torrejon's La Purpura de la Rosa (in the role of Adonis), Sartorio's Orfeo (in the title role) with Teatro Lirico, and Arvo Pä rt’s Berlin Mass with Theatre of Voices. Recent releases include the premiere recording of the Bonporti motets
for soprano (Dorian Records), Rosenmü ller, Le Jardin de Mé lodies, and The Queen's Delight with the King's Noyse (Harmonia Mundi USA), Shining Light, Saints, and the Ordo Virtutem with Sequentia (BMG Classics), and Handel solo cantatas for soprano with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra (Wild Boar). Other releases include The King's Delight, Canzonetta, and Stravaganze with The King's Noyse, Exquisite Consorts and Musick's Hand-Maid with The Harp Consort, Joyne Hands: Music of Thomas Morley with The Musicians of Swanne Alley, and several recordings with The Boston Camerata, including Tristan et Iseult, winner of the Grand Prix du Disque.
Ellen Hargis has recently been appointed to teach voice at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and is on the faculty of many summer courses in early music, including the Amherst Early Music Festival, The Lute Society of America Seminars, and the Vancouver Baroque Programme, for which she is also co-director.
An Chloe To Chloe
Wenn die Lieb’ aus deinen blauen, When love looks out
Helien, off’nen Augen sieht, of your clear, blue open eyes,
Und vor Lust, hinein zu schauen, and the joy of gazing into them
Mir’s im Herzen klopft und glü ht; makes my heart dance, and glow;
Und ich halte dich und kü sse and I hold you, and kiss
Deine Rosenwangen warm, your warm, rose-red cheek,
Liebes Mä dchen, und ich schließ e dear maid, and fold you,
Zitternd dich in meinen Arm, trembling, in my arms,
Mä dchen, Mä dchen, und ich drü cke maiden, maiden, and press you
Dich an meinen Busen fest, close to my breast
Der im letzten Augenblicke where until my last dying moment
Sterbend nur dich von sich lä ß t; I would gladly hold you;
Den berauschten Blick umschattet then my enraptured gaze is o’ershaded
Eine dü st’re Wolke mir; by a dark cloud;
Und ich sitze dann ermattet, and I sit faint
Aber selig neben dir. but happy beside you.
Abendempfindung an Laura Thoughts at Evening (To Laura)
Abend ist’s, die Sonne ist verschwunden, It is evening, the sun has disappeared,
Und der Mond strahlt Silberglanz; and the moon shines silver;
So entflieh’n des Lebens schö nste Stunden, so fleet away life’s fairest hours,
Flieh’n vorü ber wie im Tanz! they fly past as in a dance.
Bald entflicht des Lebens bunte Szene, Soon life’s motley scene is over,
Und der Vorhang rollt herab. and the curtain falls.
Aus ist unser Spiel! Des Freundes Träne Our play is ended! Our friend’s tears
Fließ et schon auf unser Grab. flow already on our grave.
Bald vielleicht mir weht, wie Westwind leise Soon, perhaps, is borne towards me,
Eine stille Ahnung zu - like the gentle west wind, a still foreboding -
Schließ ’ ich dieses Lebens Pilgerreise, I will end this life’s pilgrimage,
Fliege in das Land der Ruh. and fly tot he land of rest.
Werd’t ihr dann an meinem Grabe weinen, If you will weep then by my grave,
Trauernd meine Asche seh’n, and mourn my ashes,
Dann, o Freunde, will ich euch erscheinen then, o friends, I will appear to you,
Und will Himmel auf euch weh’n. bringing a breath of heaven;
Schenk’ auch du ein Trä nchen mir Shed for me a tear, you also,
Und pflü cke mir ein Veilchen auf mein Grab; and pluck for me a violet from my grave.
Und mit deinem seelenvollen Blicke and let your tender eye
Sich dann sanft auf mich herab. Look gently down on me.
Weih’ mir eine Trä ne und ach! Dedicate a tear to me, and oh!
Schä me dich nur nicht, sie mir zu weih’n, do not be ashamed to do so.
Sie wird in meinem Diademe in my diadem it will become
Dann die schö nst perle sein. The fairest pearl.
Das Veilchen The Violet
Ein Veilchen auf der Wiese stand A violet stood in the meadow,
Gebü ckt in sich und unbekannt; shy, modest, and unknown;
Es war ein herzigs Veilchen! it was a dear little violet!
Da kam ein’ junge Schä ferin Then a young shepherdess came,
Mit leichtem Schritt und munterm Sinn with light step and merry heart,
Daher, daher, along, along
Die Wiese her und sang. the meadow, and sang.
Ach, denkt das Veilchen, wä r ich nur Ah, thinks the violet, if only I were
Die schö nste Blume der Natur, the fairest flower in all nature,
Ach! nur ein kleines Weilchen, ah, if only for a little while,
Dis mich das Liebchen abgepflü ckt until this dear girl has gathered me
Und an dem Busen matt gedrü ckt, and pressed me to her bosom!
Ach nur, ach nur, Ah, if only for
Ein Viertelstü ndchen lang! a quarter of an hour!
Ach, aber ech! das Mä dchen kam Ah, but alas! The girl came
Und nicht in acht das Veilchen nahm, and took no heed of the violet,
Ertrat das arme Veilchen. trod the poor violet underfoot.
Es sank und starb und freut sich noch: It sank and died, but still was glad:
Und sterb ich dem, so sterb ich doch and if I die, at least I die
Durch sie, durch sie through her, through her,
Zu ihren Füßen doch! and at her feet.
(Das arme Veilchen! Es war ein herzigs Veilchen!) (The poor violet! It was a dear little violet!)
The Birks of Abergeldie
Bonny lassie, will ye go?
Will ye go, will ye go?
Bonny lassie, will ye go
to the birks of Abergeldie?
Ye shall get a gown o’ silk,
a gown o’ silk, a gown o’ silk,
ye shall get a gown o’ silk,
and coat of callimankie.
Na, kind sir, I dare nae gang,
I dare nae gang, I dare nae gang.
Na, kind sir, I dare nae gang,
my minny will be angry;
sair, sair, wad she flyte;
wad she flyte; wad she flyte;
sair, sair, wad she flyte;
and sair wad she ban me.
I Love My Love in Secret
My Sandy gied to me a ring, was a’ beset wi’ diamonds fine,
But I gied him a better thing, I gied my heart in pledge o’ his ring.
My Sandy O, my Sandy O,
my bonny, bonny Sandy O;
tho’ the love that I owe
to thee I dare na show,
yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O!
My Sandy brak a piece o’ gow’d,
while down his cheeks the saut tears row’d,
he took a hauf and gied it me,
and I’ll keep it till the hour I die.
My Sandy O, my Sandy O,
my bonny, bonny Sandy O,
tho’ the love that I owe
to thee I dare na show,
yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O!
Will Ye Go to Flanders
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And see the chief commanders, my Mally, O?
You’ll see the bullets fly, and the soldiers how they die,
and the ladies loudly cry, my Mally, O!
On a Bank of Flowers
On a bank of flowers in a summer day, for summer lightly drest,
the youthful blooming Nelly lay with love and sleep opprest.
When Willie wand’ring thro’ the wood, who for her favour oft had sued,
he gaz’d, he wish’d, he fear’d, he blush’d, and trembled where he stood.
Oh! Thou Art the Lad of My Heart, Willy
Oh! Thou art the lad of my heart, Willy, there’s love, and there’s life, and glee,
there’s a cheer in thy voice, and thy bounding step, and there’s bliss in thy blythesome ee.
But oh, how my heart was tried, Willy, for little I thought to see,
that the lad who won the lasses all, would ever be won by me.
A-down this path we came, Willy, ’twas just at this hour of eve;
and will he or will he not, I thought, my fluttering heart relieve?
So oft as he paused, as we saunter’d on, ’twas fear and hope and fear;
but here at the wood, as we parting stood, ’twas rapture his vows to hear!
Ah, vows so soft, thy vows, Willy! Who would not, like me, be proud?
Sweet lark! With thy soaring echoing song, come down from thy rosy cloud.
Come down to thy nest, and tell thy mate, but tell thy mate alone,
thou hast seen a maid, whose heart of love is merry and light as thine own.
The sun upon the Weirdlaw hill, in Ettrick’s vale is sinking sweet:
The westland wind is hush and still, the lake lies sleeping at my feet.
Yet not the landscape to mine eye bears these bright hues that once it bore;
tho’ Ev’ning, with her richest dye, flames o’er the hills on Ettrick’s shore.
With listless look along the plain, I see Tweed’s silver current glide,
And coldly mark the holy fane of Melrose rise in ruin’d pride.
The quiet lake, the balmy air, the hill, the stream, the tower, the tree—
are they still such as once they were, or is the dreary change in me?
Alas, the warp’d and broken board, how can it bear the painter’s dye?
The harp of strain’d and tuneless chord, how to the minstrel’s skill reply?
To aching eyes each landscape lowers, to feverish pulse each gale blows chill:
and Araby’s or Eden’s bowers, were barren as this moorland hill.
The Glancing of Her Apron
In lovely August last, on Monday at morn,
As thro’ the fields I passed, to view the yellow corn,
I looked me behind, and saw come o’er the know,
Ann glancing in her apron, with a bonny brent brow.
I said, "Good morrow, fair maid,"
and she, right courteously,
return’d a beck and kindly said,
"Good day, sweet sir, to thee."
I spoke, "My dear, how far awa’
do ye intend to gae?"
Quoth she, "I mean a mile or twa.
And o’er yon brommy brae."
"Fair maid, I’m thankful to my fate,
to have sic company,
for I am ganging straight that gate,
where ye intend to be."
When we had gane a mile or twain,
I said to hir, my dow,
"May wee not lean us on this plain,
And kiss your bonny mou’."