Ben Solomonow and Christopher Goodpasture

Ben Solomonow, cello

Christopher Goodpasture, piano

August 18, 2021

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

David Schwan, host

Program:

Ludwig van Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 No. 1 (14′)

I. Andante – Allegro vivace

II. Adagio – Tempo d’andante – Allegro vivace

Zoltán Kodály – Sonatina for Cello and Piano (8′)

Rita Strohl – Solitude (Reverie) (5′)

Claude Debussy – Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor (11′)

I. Prologue: Lent, sostenuto e molto risoluto

II. Sérénade: Modérément animé 

III. Finale: Animé, léger et nerveux

A top prize winner of several competitions including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Ben Solomonow has been featured on American national radio stations WFMT and NPR, and has been invited to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett-Gordon Hall, and at the Seoul Arts Center. In recent years, Solomonow’s collaborators have included Josef Silverstein, Gary Hoffman, Emanuel Ax, Miriam Fried, Roberto Diaz, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Martin Beaver, Meng-Chieh Liu, Rami Solomonow, Vadim Gluzman, Clive Greensmith, Anton Nel, Ilya Kaler, Paul Coletti, Atar Arad, members of the Tokyo, Vermeer, Cleveland, Calidore, and Pacifica Quartets. In addition to enjoying a fellowship at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Solomonow has been a guest artist at the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, the Red Rocks Chamber Music Festival, the Colburn Chamber Music Society series, and with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Recent concerto appearances have included performances with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra at the SOKA Performing Arts Center under Carl St. Clair, and the Colburn Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and under Xian Zhang. As a frequent substitute with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has performed under the batons of Zubin Mehta, Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, among many others. Having completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Colburn Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Clive Greensmith, Solomonow is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate at the University of Southern California under Ralph Kirshbaum. Other influential teachers have included Hans Jensen and Arnold Steinhardt. As a Stradivari Society Artist, Solomonow performs on an 1898 Vincenzo Postiglione cello on generous loan by the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Noted for his “rhetorical grandeur, romantic warmth, and surefire technique,” (Dallas  Morning News), pianist Christopher Goodpasture has a growing reputation as a recitalist,  chamber musician and orchestral soloist.  

Winner of Astral Artists 2019 National Auditions in Philadelphia, Christopher regularly  performs in concert venues throughout North America, including the Kennedy Center  (Washington D.C.), Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Koerner Hall (Toronto), Alice Tully Hall,  Merkin Hall, Weill Recital Hall (New York), Bing Concert Hall (San Francisco), and the  Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

Recent and forthcoming orchestral performances include Saint-Saëns 2nd Concerto with  the Dallas Chamber Symphony, Rachmaninov 2nd Concerto and Grieg Concerto with the  Oakville Symphony, concert works of Gershwin with the Riverside Symphonia, and  Mozart’s 23rd Concerto with the Chamber Orchestra of New York.  

Christopher is top prize-winner of international competitions across the country including  the Washington International Piano Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition,  Iowa International Piano Competition, Dallas International Piano Competition, and the  Serge and Olga Koussevitzky Competition for Pianists in New York.  

He is an alumnus of the New York-based Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW),  a fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Institute,  emphasizing audience engagement, teaching and performing chamber music.  

Christopher holds degrees from the University of Southern California, the Yale School of  Music and The Juilliard School, where his teachers included John Perry, Stewart Gordon,  Hung-Kuan Chen, Peter Frankl, Jerome Lowenthal and Christopher Elton.

 

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 No. 1 (1815) (14′)

The Opus 102 cello sonatas welcome the arrival of Beethoven’s late period. By this point, Beethoven was consumed by his deafness, which resulted in a complete abandonment and detachment from the firmly rooted musical traditions of the time. The Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1 sonata is in two movements, each beginning with a slow introduction. The opening of the work is a gentle and intimate dialogue between the two instruments, leading into the fiery, almost aggressive Allegro vivace section. The second movement is meditative and reflective, having the cello and piano playing in partnership before diverging into different directions. The cello is brooding in the lowest register of the instrument, while the piano is playing up higher. The two instruments join back together in a reminiscence of the theme from the opening of the piece before moving into the second Allegro vivace section. This Allegro is playful and lighthearted in character with both instruments passing motivic material back and forth. The two instruments reunite for a celebratory and exuberant ending.

 

Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

Sonatina for Cello and Piano (1909) (8′)

In much of Zoltán Kodály’s music, we can see a drive to capture what was a dying, albeit a rich and highly evolved, Hungarian musical culture. The Sonatina for cello and piano is an unfinished two-movement sonata written in 1910. Having been unsatisfied with the first movement of the sonata, Kodály left it unfinished, returning to it in 1922 with the intention of providing a replacement for the discarded first movement. Feeling that the renovated composition was significantly different in style than the original movement, Kodály let it stand by itself as the hauntingly beautiful, single movement Sonatina for Cello and Piano. Although it is characteristically Hungarian in its musical language, it certainly has hints of modern French music harmonies that left an impression on Kodály.

 

 

Rita Strohl (1865-1941)

Solitude (Reverie) (1897) (5′) 

Rita Strohl was a gifted French composer and pianist with a compositional output ranging from the later half of the 19th century well into the 20th century. Strohl entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 13 and would study piano, composition and voice concurrently. She was colleagues with and endorsed by composers such as Gavriel Fauré, Vincent d’Indy and Camille-Saint-Saëns. Solitude, written in 1897, strongly follows in the musical tradition of her French predecessors, Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré, with overarching, singing phrases and a light accompaniment.

 

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor (1915) (11′) 

As Claude Debussy fell ill and felt his time coming to an end, he set out to compose a set of six sonatas for various instruments. Sadly, only three sonatas were completed, the Sonata for cello and piano being the first. This sonata is a rare example of Debussy’s conformance to the traditions of the Classical period. Being a pioneering musical figure around the turn of the century, Debussy was hesitant to revert to the predominant musical forms of Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms. He, however, wrote to his publisher Jacques Durand, “It’s not for me to judge its [the Cello Sonata] excellence, but I like its proportions and it’s almost classical form, in the good sense of the word.” Although the sonata revolves around the key of D minor, it often makes use of different musical modes. This sonata utilizes a range of timbres and extended techniques, including left-hand pizzicato, flautando, false harmonics and ponticello.

 Program Notes by Ben Solomonow

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and 98.7 WFMT

Don’t miss Agustin Moriago

next week on the

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!

Wednesday August 25, 12:15pm

Pin It on Pinterest

X