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Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players
“This was music-making of a very high order”
Fred Kirshnit, The New York Sun
Jupiter 2016 - 2017 Season
Listen to a live recording of the Jupiter Symphony
Roman Rabinovich piano
Antonín DVORÁK Piano Trio No. 1 in Bb Major Op. 21
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Monday, May 1, 2pm & 7:30pm
Stephen Beus piano
Mayuko Kamio violin
Carl Georg Peter GRÄDENER String Trio in G minor Op. 48
The accomplished composer, conductor, teacher, and cellist became one of Brahms’s important friends after meeting him in the fall of 1854 through Theodor Avé-Lallemant. Their close friendship is recounted by Darwin Floyd Scott: “In 1851, Grädener had founded his own Concert and Singing Academy, presenting subscription concerts with such soloists as Joachim and von Bülow. These concerts provided the setting for several premieres of Brahms’s music [including Ave Maria, Op. 12]. Brahms’s own Frauenchor was made up largely of girls and women who sang in Grädener’s Singakademie.... They shared a great admiration for J. S. Bach and the goal of performing Bach’s music in what they understood to be an authentic manner. Grädener was Hamburg’s earliest subscriber to the Bach Gessellschaft’s complete edition published by Breitkopf and Härtel—and for a long time the only other subscriber in town was Brahms. Both men had something else in common: they chafed at Hamburg’s musical mediocrity, and dealt with it in a less than tactful manner. Grädener, in fact, moved to Vienna in disgust for three years, but returned. He was known as a writer full of wit and fighting spirit, and indeed, he wrote a fierce and fiery defense of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto when the Leipzig press treated the work with disdain. For his part, Brahms performed Schumann’s Zigeunerleben in Grädener’s arrangement for chorus and orchestra, and had plans to perform Grädener’s Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 20. There was a lighter side to their friendship as well. They once attended a party at Avé’s house as a mechanical doll and its handler; Brahms played the piano until he wound down and fell off the piano stool, incapacitated until Grädener wound him up again—whereupon Brahms took up his seat and continued playing exactly where he had left off.” In 1872 Grädener praised Brahms as “this greatest composer of recent times” and ranked him alongside Bach and Beethoven.
Clara SCHUMANN Piano Trio in G minor Op. 17
In 1846 Schumann wrote in her diary, “There is nothing like the satisfaction of composing something oneself and hearing it afterwards.” Yet, when she compared her Trio to her husband Robert’s D minor Trio, she dismissed her work as “effeminate and sentimental.” Not so. She had a fan in Mendelssohn, who admired it, especially the fugato in the last movement.
Born in 1819, Clara was touring Europe as a piano prodigy by the age of 11. Her debut solo recital at the Leipzig Gewandhaus included bravura works by Kalkbrenner, Herz, and Czerny, and two of her own compositions, which were praised by the critics. When Louis Spohr heard her perform some of her works in 1831, he wrote: “Her compositions, like the young artist herself, are among the most remarkable newcomers in the world of art.” Her admirers also included Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, and Robert Schumann. She went on to become a formidable pianist and held that reputation for six decades. During her marriage to Schumann (1840-1856), Clara bore him 8 children while continuing to perform, compose, teach the piano, run the household, and provide financial and moral support to Robert and his career.
Walter RABL Quartet Op. 1
In 1896 Brahms was the honorary president of the Vienna Tonkünstlerverein, which was founded in 1885 to support the music and musicians of Vienna. He exerted a strong influence on the society in his endeavor to promote and teach promising young composers; he also served as the de facto head of the competition juries. Eduard Hanslick, Brahms’s longtime friend and music critic of the Neue Freie Presse wrote, “He was a zealous promoter of competitions, especially chamber music competitions, to bring young talents to fore. When it came to the examination of the anonymous manuscripts that had been submitted, he showed astonishing acuity in guessing, from the overall impression and technical details, who the author was, or at least his school or teacher. Last year Brahms was very interested in an anonymous quartet whose author he was quite unable to identify. Impatiently he waited for the opening of the sealed notice. On it was written the heretofore entirely unknown name: Walter Rabl.” Dedicated to Brahms, the Quartet appears to be the first piece ever written for the combination of clarinet and piano trio. After 1903, Rabl stopped composing and became a conductor and highly regarded vocal coach.
Jupiter Players on this program:
David Requiro cello
Vadim Lando clarinet
|Jupiter in the News
Monday, May 15, 2pm & 7:30pm
Alexander Kobrin piano
Josef Spacek violin
Gaetano DONIZETTI Larghetto in C Major
Living rather at loose ends in Bergamo at the age of 21, Donizetti attended musical parties, engaged in flirtation, and wrote some sacred and instrumental works, including this Trio, which reveals early inklings of his creativity as an opera composer: a ta-da entrance, coloratura flourishes, and humor. The wind instruments also get to show off, while the piano bubbles along.
The Italian composer had suffered for decades from fevers, headaches, nausea, and lightning indispositions—ailments that were never properly diagnosed. By 1845, at age 47, he was struck by paralysis and declined rapidly into dementia; he died in 1848 of syphilitic insanity in a sanatorium.
Frantisek KOCZWARA The Battle of Prague
The Battle of Prague, according to the New Grove Dictionary, “had a phenomenal success and was widely reprinted in London, the U.S. and on the Continent. Nearly 40 issues can be found. First published with accompaniments, it also became a standard parlor piece for solo piano. In Boston it was ‘indispensable to climax every concert.’ Appearing shortly before widespread political upheaval in Europe, it provided the model for a host of imitations.” Jane Austen is known to have had a copy of the piano version. In addition to composing, Koczwara played the viola and the double bass. The influential 19th century Belgian critic, François-Joseph Fétis, recorded that he also played the piano, violin, cello, oboe, flute, bassoon, and cittern.
Koczwara became infamous for the manner of his death. “He was reputed to have had unusual vices, and was accidentally hanged while conducting an experiment in a house of ill repute. [New Grove Dictionary].” Erotic asphyxiation is the modern term for the means of his demise. He must have been off his rocker!
Hugo WOLF Intermezzo in Eb Major
Expelled from the Vienna Conservatory for his outspoken criticism of his masters, Wolf then taught himself composition, which was of importance to his development as an experimental composer, especially in his instrumental music. Under the spell of Wagner, whom he idolized, Wolf became a representative of the New German School in lieder, adhering to the expressive, chromatic, and other dramatic innovations of Wagner. He also became a strong opponent of Brahms and the old guard. His mercurial temperament made it impossible for him to hold a steady position, but he managed to work for most of the rest of his life as a critic and music teacher in Vienna. As a composer, he reached new heights in lieder and is regarded as the greatest master, after Schubert, of the art form. (Jens Nygaard performed a number of his lesser-known songs in the mid-1970s.) Like Schubert, Wolf died at age 43, possibly of tertiary syphilis. And, like Schumann, he died in an insane asylum after a drowning attempt; he also composed in manic bursts between periods of depression.
SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in Eb Major Op. 44
Schumann had a weak constitution and most likely was bipolar. To quote Jens Nygaard, “I wish I could have shared my Wellbutrin with Schumann.” The German composer’s life ended miserably at age 43 in a private asylum, with a descent to insanity brought on by syphilis.
Jupiter Players on this program:
Lisa Shihoten violin
Christine Lamprea cello
Barry Crawford flute
Vadim Lando clarinet
Gina Cuffari bassoon
Dear Friends and Music Lovers,
A stunning expanse of virtually uninterrupted melodies—delivered with polish, style, and great musicianship awaits you.
We believe Jupiter’s concerts are enlightening and worthwhile. In our world today, most things are within reach online, or with a press of the button. But nothing beats a live performance. At Jupiter, we aim to give you a musical high so high, you’ll be thrilled with every concert. We hope you’ll return time and again.
You can delve into many Beautiful Minds, relish the Gewandhaus, some Sweet ’n’ Sassy and Aeolian Gold, even Hair Raisers and Divine Madness, and everything else between.
Jupiter’s journey continues to be offered at a nominal price that covers only 25% of our costs. Thus, once again, we need your support, which is always greatly appreciated. Please give as much as you can. All gifts are tax deductible.
Thank you so much,
Why the name Jupiter: When Jens Nygaard named his orchestra Jupiter, he had the beautiful, gaseous planet in mind—unattainable but worth the effort, like reaching musical perfection. Many, indeed, were privileged and fortunate to hear his music making that was truly Out of This World. Our Players today seek to attain that stellar quality.
Jupiter featured on Our Net News
American program opener on March 18, with grateful thanks to Michael Shaffer of OurNetNews.com for recording the matinee concert, and making available the Horatio Parker Suite video for our viewing pleasure.
Horatio Parker Suite in A Major, Op. 35, composed in 1893
Stephen Beus piano
More video from this performance can be viewed on our video page
Jupiter on YouTube
NEW YORK CANVAS : The Art of Michael McNamara is a video portrait of the artist who has painted iconic images of New York City for more than a decade, capturing the changing urban landscape of his adopted city. Our Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players provide the music from Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, underscoring the inspiration the artist has drawn from Jens Nygaard and the musicians. Michael was also our Jupiter volunteer from 2002 to 2010.
Here is a video of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players performance of the Rondo alla Zingarese movement:
The producer-director, Martin Spinelli, also made the EMMY Award-winning “Life On Jupiter: The Story of Jens Nygaard, Musician.”
For more information, visit our video
New York Sun Review
“Some great musicians get a statue when they pass away. Some get their name imprinted on the roof of a well-known concert hall. But the late conductor Jens Nygaard has a living tribute: an entire ensemble of musicians and a concert series to go along with it...
It is one of the city’s cultural jewels...
In the end, if Mr. Nygaard was known for anything, it was unmitigated verve. That’s what the audience regularly returned for, and that’s what they got Monday afternoon. To have a grassroots community of musicians continue to celebrate Mr. Nygaard with indomitable performances like these week after week, even without the power of world-famous guest soloists, is proper tribute. And with more large orchestras and ensembles needing more corporate sponsorship year after year, I, for one, hope the Jupiter’s individual subscriber-base remains strong.
New York’s musical life needs the spirit of Jens Nygaard, and Mei Ying should be proud she’s keeping it alive.”
Read the complete article on our reviews page.
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