Chopin Cornucopia

Chopin Cornucopia: 200th birthday celebration
Tucson: Sunday , February 21, 2010 @ 3p.m. – Scottsdale: Friday, February 19, 2010 @ 8p.m.
world premiere

This program is dedicated to the Memory and Artistry of Leonard Shure, in celebration of his 100th birthday
world premiere

a brief description
“When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.” – Frederic Francois Chopin

“His character was indeed not easily understood. A thousand subtle shades, mingling, crossing, contradicting and disguising each other, rendered it almost undecipherable at a first view Like the twisted folds of a serpent rolled upon itself, their feelings are half hidden, half revealed. It requires a most attentive examination to follow thecoiled linking of the glittering rings” Franz Liszt

This event ALL THE MUSIC FOR CELLO AND PIANO performed by The Clark-Schuldmann Duo with letters by and to Chopin read by James Reel

Aside from a few rather simple songs, Chopin composed exclusively for piano. Despite this narrow focus, his works rank among the most beloved and treasured of all music from the 19th century.

Luckily, for cellists and audiences, the other instrument he composed for was the cello and this was not by accident. Soon after Chopin moved to Paris from Poland with a brief stop in Vienna (he did not like this city), he was befriended by August Franchomme, Parisís foremost cellist. For two decades the two artists, Chopin and Franchomme, remained close friends and it was at Franchommeís urging that Chopin wrote two major works for him ñ his Polonaise Brilliant, and the final significant work of his Chopinís life, the Sonata in G minor. Chopin premiered both works with Franchomme; the performance of the Sonata being Chopinís final public offering before his too soon demise at 39 years of age. As well, with Chopinís guidance and permission, Franchomme made several arrangements of solo piano works for cello and piano. All these works will be heard on the program coupled with select letters from Chopin, Franchomme, and other musician colleagues to set the milieu and occasion for the works heard on this afternoonís program.

This program is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Shure, a great interpreter of music, and Sanda Schuldmann’s principal mentor.

About the music
This event is a rare opportunity to experience the entire output by Chopin for cello and piano, with the addition of several works for piano transcribed for this instrumentation.
From the monumental and rarely performed Sonata op. 65 to the beloved Polonaise Brilliante, with the ravishingly beautiful nocturnes and etudes.

James Reel, contributing editor to Strings magazine, is a freelance writer, appearing regularly in Fanfare magazine and the online All Classical Guide, among other venues. He has also covered border issues for, the National Catholic Reporter and Sojourners, and frequently gives pre-performance talks for such organizations as the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music and Arizona Opera. At the Arizona Daily Star, he was the arts and entertainment editor from 1995 to 1999; previously, he was that newspaper’s classical music critic. For the past ten seasons he was the arts and media editor of the Tucson Weekly. He also toiled at KUAT radio from 1976 to 1988, ending up as music director. He is the author of The Timid Soul’s Guide to Classical Music (currently available only online and you can get it by clicking here, and the guidebook CitySmart: Tucson (Avalon/John Muir Publications).

In three decades of music making, cellist Harry Clark and pianist Sanda Schuldmann have appeared on every important chamber music platform in the United States. The New York Times characterizes the Duo as an “exuberant pair, exhibiting artistic rapport and expressive unity with a quality of ardent commitment that shines through their work,” and the Washington Post comments, “leading a long line of pluses is the marvelous musical nature of everything they do.” Recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award, Connecticut’s highest artistic achievement, the pair has led the organization they founded – Chamber Music PLUS – to regional and national renown. Chamber Music PLUS has performed more than 1,500 concerts featuring over 2,600 works, and served for fifteen seasons as resident ensemble at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

As leaders in the production, promotion and presentation of chamber music, Sanda and Harry have commissioned, premiered or recorded over 100new works, many of which have been written specifically for them. Highlights include Benjamin Lees’ Double Concerto for Orchestra, Cello and Piano (premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall), Pulitzer Prize-winning William Bolcom’s Capriccio for Cello and Piano (performed at the Library of Congress), and multiple works by such diverse composers as Libby Larsen, Avery Sharpe and Robert Starer. Restoring women composers’ contributions, past and present, is a top priority for the duo, and premiere performances and recordings of works by Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, Amy Beach, Lili & Nadia Boulanger, and many others have brought these composers to the attention of appreciative audiences.