CGU Concerts

Friday, December 3, 2021, 4:15 pm
Albrecht Auditorium, Stauffer Hall of Learning
925 N. Dartmouth Ave., Claremont

Pin Fei Tang
Assisted by Karen Lee, piano

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Suite for violoncello [Eb], No. 4, BWV 1010 |  Johann Sebastian Bach (b1685; d1750)

Bourrée I & II

Sonata for violoncello and piano [F], Op. 6 |  Richard Strauss (b1864; d1949)

Allegro con brio
Andante ma non troppo
Allegro vivo

Fantasiestücke for piano and violoncello [a], Op. 73 |  Robert Schumann  (b1810; d1856)

Zart und mit Ausdruck
Lebhaft, Leicht
Rash und mit Feuer

This concert is given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Doctor of Musical Arts degree for Ms. Tang.

Next CGU Concert:
Works by: J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Ginastera, and Liszt
Ying Han,, piano
Wednesday, December 8, 4:15 pm
Albrecht Auditorium, Stauffer Hall of Learning
925 N. Dartmouth Ave., Claremont

Please turn off cell phones.

Program Notes 

Dear friends: I would like to use this opportunity to explore some of the cello repertoire that are not often performed on the stage nowadays but are magnificent compositions. The theme of the recital is German music across one and half centuries from the Baroque music to the early 20th century. Thank you for joining me. 

Bach Suite No. 4, BWV 1010 

The six cello Suites, BWV 1007-1012, are unaccompanied cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). They are the most frequently performed solo compositions ever written for cello. Bach composed the suites from 1717-1723 while serving as Kapellmeister in Kothen. The suites consist of a Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Bourrée I & II, and Gigue. Besides the opening Prelude, each movement is a particular type of dance.

Suite No.4 is one of the most technically demanding suites among the six suites. The E flat key on cello is awkward and uncomfortable; it requires many extended left-hand positions. The flat key is less resonant on the cello, so it is demanding for the performer to produce a full sound. There are 6 movements in the suite:

  • The Prelude consists of difficult flowing quaver movement with big leaps between the octaves. The quaver sections contrast with the Cadenza sections. It gives the listeners a feeling of traveling from one place to another. The Prelude also features ascending low to high notes.
  • Allemande is a sweet, charming dance without much accent or over dramatic feeling.
  • Courante is a very lively but elegant dance with the triplets in the ¾ meter.
  • The Sarabande obscures the stressed second beat, which is a basic characteristic of the ¾ dance. It is full of double/triple stops and trills which enrich the texture and provides variety of color changes.
  • Bourrée I and II are contrasting dance forms. Bourrée I is bright and spirited with a faster tempo. Bourrée II is mellow and lyrical with a slightly slower tempo.
  • ·Gigue is a playful and cheerful dance, full of energy and fast notes. This exciting approach brings the piece to the highest peak to enclose the suite.

Strauss Sonata in F Major Op.6 

Richard G. Strauss (1864-1949) was a German composer, pianist, violinist, and conductor. He was one of the leading composers of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He represents late German Romanticism which pioneered the combination of an advanced harmonic style with subtleties of orchestration. His works cover a wide range of compositions: solo and chamber works, orchestral tone poems and symphonies, concertos, Lieders, and Operas.

This cello sonata was one of his early compositions, composed in 1883 when Strauss was nineteen years old. It is full of youthfulness, hopefulness, and victory. He dedicated the piece to his dear friend, the Czech cellist Hanus Wihan, who gave the premiere the same year. Soon after the premiere, this composition became a standard of cello repertoire. The sonata is in a classical three movements form:

  • Allegro con brio 
  • Andante ma non troppo 
  • Finale: Allegro vivo