About the Music: Bach, Price & Janáček

About the Music: Bach, Price & Janáček

Ready for the first Live from Jones Hall livestream chamber concert? Discover more about the night’s repertoire, from a quartet by trailblazing composer Florence Price to a vibrant Czech Capriccio to two favorites by Bach. You can also check out full musician bios here.

Live from Jones Hall: Bach, Price & Janáček
Saturday, July 11, 8 p.m.

“Andante moderato” from String Quartet in G Major by Florence Price

Featured musicians: Yoonshin Song, violin; Amy Semes, violin; Joan DerHovsepian, viola; Brinton Averil Smith, cello

Florence Price
  • Florence Price was the first African American female composer to have a symphonic work performed by a major national symphony orchestra.
  • The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of her Symphony No. 1 in E minor in 1933.
  • The lyrical opening of this work evokes the beauty of the South.
  • Musician Spotlight: Yoonshin Song, concertmaster, has won many prestigious competitions, including the Lipzier International Violin Competition, the Henry Marteau International Violin Competition, the Stradivarius International Competition, and many more in her native South Korea.

Capriccio for Piano and Chamber Ensemble by Leoš Janáček

Featured musicians: Scott Holshouser, piano; Judy Dines, flute + piccolo; Ian Mayton, horn; John Parker, trumpet; Richard Harris, trumpet; Allen Barnhill, trombone; Bradley White, trombone; Phillip Freeman, trombone

Leos Janacek
  • This work was composed in 1926 for pianist Otakar Hollmann, who had lost the use of his right arm during World War I. Hollmann commissioned composers to create for him works for left-hand alone.
  • Janáček often called the piece Vzdor (Defiance) to indicate Hollmann’s strong will to pursue his piano playing despite his disability.
  • He also referred to the work as “a series of pranks.” One of these pranks could be the unusual instrumental combination of piano, flute/piccolo, two trumpets, three trombones, and tenor tuba/horn.
  • About the Conductor: Yue Bao, appointed last year to the newly created position of Conducting Fellow, will conduct this work to guide musicians as they navigate through the intricate twists and turns of this challenging piece.
  • Musician Spotlight: Scott Holshouser, principal keyboard, is celebrating 40 years with the Symphony. He also serves as the accompanist for the Houston Symphony Chorus and auditions.

J. S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046

Featured musicians: Yoonshin Song, violin and leader; Jonathan Fischer, oboe; Colin Gatwood, oboe; Anne Leek, oboe; William VerMeulen, horn; Brian Thomas, horn

Johann Sebastian Bach
  • This is the first work in a set of six of the best-known instrumental works from the first half of the 18th century: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
  • The unique instrumentation includes a pair of horns, three oboes, and solo violin, accompanied by strings and continuo.
  • The horns, instruments traditionally associated with the hunt, give the concerto an outdoor, autumnal feeling.
  • Listen for the “sad cries” from the oboe and violin in the second movement, considered by some to be a passionate, musical sigh.
  • Yoonshin Song, concertmaster, serves as leader during this piece

J.S. Bach Cantata for Trumpet and Strings, BWV 147, “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Featured musicians: Mark Hughes, trumpet; Yoonshin Song, violin and leader

  • This lilting Baroque piece is frequently performed at weddings in instrumental form.
  • J.S. Bach originally programmed it as the finale to one of his most famous popular choral compositions, a liturgical work entitled “Herz und Mund und Tat Und Leben.”
  • In 1972, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” ranked 6th on “The U.S.A. Billboard Hot 100.”
  • Musician spotlight: Mark Hughes, principal trumpet, studied under the late Vincent Cichowicz and became a scholarship student of the renowned Adolph Herseth, both of the Chicago Symphony.

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