Digital Playbill

Debussy & Schubert

Table of Contents
Premiering October 24, 2020
Music Director: Eric Garcia

Program

Claude Debussy
(1862 – 1918)
Sonate en trio, for Flute, Viola, & Harp, L. 145 (137)
I. Pastoral. Lento, dolce rubato
II. Interlude. Tempo di minuetto
III. Final. Allegro moderato ma risoluto

Franz Schubert
(1797 – 1828)
Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 “Trout”
I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante
III. Scherzo. Presto
IV. Tema con variazione. Andantino
V. Finale. Allegro giusto

Musicians

Colleen McElroy, Flute

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Matthew Tutsky (on leave), Principal Harp

Dawn Douthit, Violin
sponsored by Vicki Kreimeyer

Emily Jones, Assistant Principal Viola
SPONSORED BY JUDY MCKAY & JOHN MATTHEW 

Julia Pope, Cello

Chris Ammirati, Principal Bass

Del Parkinson, Principal Piano
Sponsored for two years by Andy and Elizabeth Scoggin, and Jerry Saltzer in memory of Marlys Anne Saltzer


Colleen McElroy

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Matthew Tutsky (on leave)

Dawn Douthit

Emily Jones

Julia Pope

Chris Ammirati

Del Parkinson

Sponsors

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Program Notes
Beethoven 250

Claude Debussy / August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918

Debussy Sonate en Trio

Claude Debussy uprooted Western tradition at the end of the 19th century and produced one of the most striking and original bodies of work ever created. He was a musical revolutionary who refused to be bound by the conventional 18th and 19th century musical styles or rhetoric. Stravinsky called him, “in all senses the 20th century’s first musician.” Pierre Boulez said that his music, “represents the beginning of a new era. The art of music begins to beat with a new pulse.”

Using Eastern as well as Western sonorities, Debussy’s music is unpretentious, luminescent, and refined. Color, mood, and atmosphere take precedence over line and structure. He once said, “Generally speaking, I feel more and more that music, by its very essence, is not something that can flow inside a rigorous, traditional form. It consists of colors and of rhythmized time.” There is a wealth of fantasy in Debussy’s music. He eschewed rhetoric. He would not shake his clenched fist like Beethoven. The lightenings and tempests of Wagner were alien to his world. His sensibilities were not attuned to the heroic. Claude Debussy was a dreamer, and his compositions were his dreams.

As one observer said, “Debussy was the poet of mists and fountains, clouds and rain, of dusk and glints of sunlight through the leaves. He was moonstruck and seastruck, a lost soul under a vast sky illuminated by distant stars. His music begins where poets run out of words, where painters run out of paint.” Thus, although he vehemently rejected the characterization of his music as impressionistic, he became known -- understandably -- as an Impressionist.

Debussy wrote this sonata in 1915, at a time when he was suffering from terminal cancer and while France was still locked in a devastating war with Germany. The piece was part of a set of six, but he died before the final four could be completed.

In a letter to Igor Stravinsky about this project, Debussy said, “I have been writing nothing but pure music in our old form, which graciously does not impose [Wagnerian] ring-cycle efforts upon the auditory faculty.” In reflecting on the finished product, he said, “I can’t say whether one should laugh or cry, maybe both at the same time.”

Beyond this, I have nothing to say. It’s preferable to let Claude speak for himself.

Written by the Honorable Stephen S. Trott


Franz Schubert / January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828

The Trout Quintet

During his 31 years on Earth, Franz Schubert wrote more than 600 songs, 300 in just three years between 1815-1817. He was a superb tunesmith of epic proportions. Not wanting to waste time on mundane matters, he often went to bed with his glasses on so he could immediately begin to compose when he woke up. Almost every evening he gathered with friends to sing, to play music, and to enjoy each other’s company. To him, music was more a labor of love than a commercial venture. Many of his works were not discovered or published until after his death, including his eight symphonies which he never heard performed.

Die Forelle, or The Trout, is one of Schubert’s best-loved songs. It’s the tale of a fisherman stalking and hooking an innocent defenseless trout as told by an anguished onlooker. Two years later, while on a relaxing summer vacation, Schubert met a wealthy amateur cellist and music lover, Sylvester Paumgartner, whose favorite Schubert song was The Trout. Paumgartner commissioned Schubert to write an unusual quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano, with the stipulation that the new work must incorporate The Trout’s catchy melody.

This piece has always been popular. To quote Jonathan Blumhofer, “It’s not hard to see why. Schubert’s writing is ebullient and unfailingly lyrical. The scoring is magnificent. Every player in the ensemble shines, even the bass. Hardly a cloud darkens the music’s pages. The piece is forty minutes of sheer, unbridled joy, and great tunes. What’s not to love?”

The Trout’s melody shows up as a theme and masterly variations in the fourth of five movements. You won’t miss the piano’s bubbling arpeggios which depict the fish’s pristine brook.

Schubert wrote this work in 1819, not for the concert hall, but for amateur musicians who wanted music to play at home. Some amateurs! It was not published until nine years later, after his untimely death. In a posthumous advertisement for it, the publisher said, “We deem it our duty to draw the musical public’s attention to this latest work by the unforgettable composer.”

After his death, admirers erected a monument to Schubert which reads, “Music has here entombed a rich treasure, but much fairer hopes. Here lies Franz Schubert.” But he lives on in his timeless music.

Written by the Honorable Stephen S. Trott

Executive Director Message

Welcome to the Boise Phil's new Digital Stage! Nearly every week this season, you'll enjoy new performances that you can stream anytime, anywhere. As a bonus, you can deepen your experience with our weekly Backstage conversations featuring our music director and musicians. Thank you for joining us!

Be sure to check out our Inside the Symphony blog for special features and insights into the Boise Phil.

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This season is designed to allow our audiences and philharmonic musicians to interact in the most intimate of settings. Our concerts will feature performances directly related to our great community and celebrate composers from diverse backgrounds - music will sing throughout the Treasure Valley and beyond. I am so excited to share the experience with our audiences! MAESTRO'S CORNER
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The Boise Phil reflects the energy and heartbeat of our communities through invigorating musical experiences that touch the human spirit.