IN CELEBRATION OF ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY
WOODEN FISH ENSEMBLE PLAYS FELDMAN & NA
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Braun Music Center, Campbell Recital Hall
541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
- Wooden Fish Ensemble -
Thomas Schultz, piano
Terrie Baune, violin
Ellen Rose, viola
Sarah Hong, cello
- Program -
Feldman: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
Na: Quadrangle of Light
Na: Weaving Variations
he San Francisco based WOODEN FISH ENSEMBLE presents concerts of music and musicians from a variety of cultural and national backgrounds working together in a collaborative way. The Ensemble has presented concerts of traditional music from Asia and new music by a diverse group of composers that includes John Cage, Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, Morton Feldman, Hyo-shin Na and Walter Zimmermann. They have given numerous world premieres. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the ensemble is playing the music of Korean-American San Francisco resident Hyo-shin Na, and the last, 75-minute long, composition of the American master, Morton Feldman. The program includes a World Premiere of Na’s “Quadrangle of Light” for violin, viola, cello, and piano.
- program notes -
WEAVING VARIATIONS (after Victor Jara’s Angelita Huenumán) was originally written for two violins (2020). On this concert, it will be played on violin and viola.
Victor Jara (1932 – 1973) was a Chilean musician – I first heard his song “Angelita Huenumán” back in the 1980s. Angelita Huenumán was a weaver who lived with a young son and 5 dogs on a little farm. I was struck particularly by the beauty of this part of the text:
By the light of a window
Angelita weaves her life.
Her hands dance among the threads
like the little wings of the chincol,
it’s a miracle how she weaves a flower,
giving it its aroma, too.
On your looms, Angelita,
are time, tears, and sweat;
there are the forgotten hands
of this, my creative people.
QUADRANGLE OF LIGHT for violin, viola, cello, and piano (2021) by Hyo-shin Na was inspired by a part of a series of Charles Reznikoff's long poem "By the Well of Living and Seeing”.
By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 33
by Charles Reznikoff
It was after midnight before I got into bed
and then I found that I could not sleep
and kept thinking about the vexations of the day.
It seemed to me an excellent idea
to get up and take a long walk through the quiet streets
but I was too tired to leave my bed:
even dressing again seemed too much.
As I kept turning my head restlessly
I caught sight of the garage in the yard:
the roof covered with a smooth level of snow.
From where I lay I could not see the moon
nor the yard itself
but the garage roof was shining like a quadrangle of light
against the darkness:
a quadrangle of night
against the darkness
Looking at it I forgot myself
and fell into a deep and untroubled sleep.
PIANO, VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO by Morton Feldman (1987) is Feldman’s last composition and is about 75 minutes long. Although very long by the standards of earlier European music - Schubert’s last Piano Sonatas (40 -45 minutes), Beethoven’s late String Quartets (25 - 30 minutes) - it’s surprisingly short compared to Feldman’s own “For Philip Guston” (ca. 4 hours) and “String Quartet II” (over 6 hours). The music is made of a certain number of what we have come to think of as “motives”, but which Feldman calls “images”. He had been interested for many years in “a sound world more direct, more immediate, more physical than anything that had existed heretofore”. The three strings and the piano often share pitches and play closely together in the middle register for long passages, making audible what Feldman called “placing things in the same space.”