Cavatina Duo

Cavatina Duo



J. S. Bach
Sonata in E major for flute and continuo (BWV 1035)

Carlos Rivera
Plegaria y canto (Al Bodre de la Mar)

Alan Thomas
Trio Sefardi

Alan Thomas
Fantasy on Themes from “La Traviata,” after Krakamp, Briccialdi and Tarrega

See program notes

MARCH 8th, 2016

Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

Eugenia Moliner and
Denis Azabagic
with guest artists
Dmitri Pogorelov and
Paula Kosower

Eugenia Moliner, flute, and Denis Azabagic, guitar, performed for the Society several years ago as the Cavatina Duo. They have captivated audiences in major venues such as Ravinia, Harris Theater, the Aix-en-Provence summer festival, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Palau de la Musica (Spain), and countless other venues. Composers from around the world have been inspired to write and arrange new works for the Duo.

For this concert they’ll be joined by critically acclaimed violinist Dmitri Pogorelov who won prestigious competitions in his native Russia at an early age and has since performed all over the world. Paula Kosower, cellist, is an active performer and teacher currently residing in Chicago who has performed with the most prestigious chamber music groups in Chicago, including the Chicago Symphony Chamber Music Series, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Mostly Music, Rembrandt Chamber Players, and Music of the Baroque.

Eugenia Moliner and Denis Azabagic, Cavatina Duo website

Dmitri Pogorelov website

Paula Kosower website

Program Notes

Sonata for Flute and Continuo in E Major, BWV 1035
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

During Bach’s lifetime the transverse flute, an instrument made of wood without keys as in a modern instrument, gradually replaced the recorder. For example, the cantatas Bach composed while in Weimar (1708–1717) are scored exclusively for recorder, but as the Director of the Thomasschule and the main churches of Leipzig (1723–1750), he introduced the transverse flute in his cantatas and rarely called upon the recorder thereafter. In addition to his sacred musical works, the legacy of music Bach left for the flute includes his sonatas for flute and harpsichord as well as his scoring for the flute in the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major (BWV 1050) and his second Orchestral Suite in B minor (BWV 1067).

Bach wrote the Sonata in E major for flute and continuo (BWV 1035) in 1741 when he made his first of two visits to Berlin at the request of Frederick II’s chamberlain Michael Gabriel Fredersdorf, who, like his employer (the future Frederick ‘The Great’), was a keen amateur flautist. For three years his son, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, had served as a harpsichordist for the Crown Prince of Prussia and it is probable that they gave the first performance of the work in Bach’s presence. The sonata would have been performed as a trio with flute, viola de gamba and harpsichord.

The sonata is cast in a four-movement da chiesa (church) structure: alternating movements slow-fast-slow-fast. The Adagio ma non tanto is in the form of an arioso followed by a lively movement, Allegro, in binary form. The Siciliano in C-sharp minor, is a harmonically sophisticated and expressive piece of music. The concluding Allegro assai introduces a rhythmically snappy theme in triple meter brining the sonata to a lively conclusion.

—by James L. Franklin, M.D.

Plegaria y canto (Al Bodre de la Mar)
Carlos Rivera (1970 – )

Carlos Rafael Rivera is an award-winning composer with the unique ability to incorporate a wide diversity of musical influences which reflect his multicultural upbringing in Central America and the United States.

Rivera was asked by Eugenia Moliner and Denis Azabagic to consider using folk melodies of Sephardic origin for a composition. Rivera began to investigate and learned about the troubled history of the Sephardic Jews in Spain, then he “fell into their poetry and music”. A particular poem/song caught his imagination. Its rough translation is” “Come my love, to the edge of the sea. I will tell you of my sufferings, as they will make you cry. An orphan, without father or mother. I have nowhere to rest. Stretch out your leg a little so I may sleep well, for in your arms I shall die.”

Rivera decided to capture this elegiac tone with the violin, guitar, and alto flute.

Trio Sefardi
Alan Thomas (1968 –  )

Alan Thomas was intrigued by the music of the Sephardic Jews—the Jewish ethnic group which emerged as a distinct community in the Iberian peninsula around the start of the second millennium. These people were expelled from Spain in 1492, but over the subsequent centuries a beautiful repertoire of song has grown from their migrations throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Balkans.

Each movement of the “Trio Sefardi” for flute, cello and guitar employs one melody from the Sephardic repertoire. The first movement, whose title means “Like a Bird in Flight,” is based on a song of a slave girl’s lament in memory of her homeland. This movement might best be described as a set of linked and continuous variations starting with the slow and lyrical initial presentation leading to an energetic scherzo, following which the theme is modified in a slow major key version and finally a fast fugue.

The second movement uses a melody which might be best translated as “I fell in love with the scent of a woman.” The title put the composer in mind of the Al Pacino film “The Scent of a Woman” and the tango danced in that film. He converted the melody from 3/4 time to 4/4 and set it in the sultry voice of the alto flute.

The third movement is based on a melody whose words are a dialog between a mother and daughter. The daughter tells her mother that a young man is in love with her and has given her a bouquet of rue. The Mother warns her not to sacrifice her virtue and that a bad husband is better than a new lover. The daughter replies, “A bad husband, my mother? There is nothing worse. But a new lover, my mother? The apple and the sweet lemon.”

The melody is known in two different versions–one playful and rhythmic, the other simple and lyrical–which together capture the dual emotional character of the song’s lyrics. In the third movement both are represented as the first and second themes.

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