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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2009-10 Season

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
~ 3:00 p.m. ~
Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
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The Music of Antonín Dvořák
November 22nd, 2009
Program Notes

Scherzo capriccioso for orchestra, Op. 66 (B131)

Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904)

Allegro con fuoco

Written In: April/May 1883
First Performed: Prague, 1883
First U.S. Performance: Brooklyn, NY. Nov. 8, 1884

Dvořák's Rondo Capriccioso or "capricious joke" if you will, does indeed provide us with a peek at the composer's sense of humor in a number of ways. The piece was written during a time when his love for lush Czech folk tunes, watered by his association with Smetana was being fertilized with the solid writing of Brahms, and Dvorak was beginning to make a name for himself on the international stage.

The work begins with a horn solo in the "wrong key" of B-flat, and it's up to the orchestra to set things straight and find the signature D-flat key. As Beethoven, in his fashion, investigated new ways of bending the rules, Dvořák was experimenting with the same vigor, taking the typical scherzo form and shaking it up a bit. The expected form of ABABA-CDC-ABA is started, and once begun (and the audience settling into it), Dvořák starts to toy, first leaving out the third A section and skipping directly into the C and D sections of a trio, but leaving out the final C section to begin a recap of A and B. Now fully off balance, he brings in the harp, an instrument he rarely used, not to supplement the orchestra, but to play a cadenza just before a coda based perhaps on the A and C bits previously omitted?

Beethoven's audience was a bit harsh for such liberties, but by Dvorak's time such a joke was taken in the good nature it was intended, and the piece was well received.

Scored for: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, english horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion, timpani, harp, and strings.
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Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (B108)

Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904)

I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Adagio, ma non troppo
III. Finale: Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo

Written In: 1879. Revised in 1880/1882
First Performed: Oct. 1883, Prague. Frantisek Ondrícek, violin
And: Ondrícek also premiered the work in Vienna and London

Dvorak's popularity of the late 1870's, brought about in part by his new association with composers such as Brahms and Liszt, and the success of his recent Slavonic Dances, was further promoted by his association with names such as Simrock, his new publisher, and Joseph Joachim, one of the most respected European violin soloists in Europe at the time. It was an important combination of factors at this time in his life that allowed the name Dvořák to extend to England and the United States.

He began the piece with Joachim in mind after the success (and Joaquim's premiere) of Brahm's Violin Concerto earlier in that year, 1879. Joaquim, as he had done with Brahm's concerto, offered his editing assistance. Although Dvořák was an accomplished composer and violist, and and experienced violinist, he of course respected Joaquim's advice and completely revised the work. There were, however, some basic stylistic differences between the two and Joaquim's underenthused reception of it led to it's premiere by Ondrícek.

In many ways the concerto was similar to others written at that time, but in other ways, not so much. The soloist of course was usually given a major role, but this piece provided only a partnership between the violin and orchestra, opening with a powerful, but short introduction by the orchestra, and followed by a slightly longer opening from the soloist. The orchestra returns for a short phrase, followed by another short continuation by the soloist. The movement continues on with this companionlike relationship throughout, not allowing a flashy introduction, or final bravura at the end of the movement, Dvořák connects it directly into the Adagio with a flowing passage.

The Adagio is very lyrical, lasting almost as long as the first movement, and allowing soloists to fully express their instrument. The Finale consists of a recurring Czech furiant-like dance theme, similar to a few of his Slavonic Dances. It is, however, of a lighter nature than you would expect from a Finale movement.

Scored for: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 3 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, and strings.
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Selim Giray, violin

Selim Giray, violin

Dr. Selim Giray is Associate Professor of Violin, Viola and Chamber Music at Pittsburg State University. Between the years of 2000 and 2003, Dr. Giray taught at Interlochen Arts Camp. Selim Giray has performed extensively in four continents, and has appeared frequently on the national public radio and television. He has performed as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and conductor. Currently, he serves as Principal Second Violin of the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and as Concertmaster and Assistant Conductor of The Ohio Light Opera.

Also an active researcher, most recently, he has edited Adnan Saygun's Violin Concerto for the Peermusic Classical Europe. In addition, he recently recorded for the Albany Records with pianist Dr. June Chun. In 2003 Edwin Mellen Press published Dr. Giray's treatise titled A Biography of the Turkish Composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun and a Discussion of his Violin Works. The Minister of Culture of Turkey published the same work in Turkish, with a preface by then Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay.

Most recently, Dr. Giray performed "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Camille Saint-Saëns, and "Poème" by Ernest Chausson with Hays Symphony Orchestra. Hays Daily News review of that performance is as follows: "Giray captivated the audience... dazzled with spectacular cadenzas...and communicated both intense passion and serene bliss." During the summer of 2008, he visited Asunción, Paraguay for master classes and performed Emre Araci's violin concerto with the Camerata Orchestra. In 2004, the Rotary Foundation awarded Dr. Giray with a grant that sponsored him to teach throughout the summers of 2006-07 at Istanbul Technical University [Istanbul International Spectral Music Conference] in Istanbul, Turkey. In the summer of 2006, as part of his teaching, Dr. Giray was the only professor to have the honor of giving master classes with the foremost Turkish violinist, Prof. Cihat Askin at the CAKA project [Young Friends of Cihat Askin]. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Giray performed at the 34th International Istanbul Music Festival as a member of Istanbul Chamber Orchestra. Also, he played as Acting Concertmaster of Istanbul Chamber Orchestra in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he performed in front of an elite audience of foreign dignitaries. During that trip, Dr. Giray gave lectures and master classes at Istanbul Technical University, Bilkent University, and Yildiz University in Turkey, and Edison Academy in Germany.

Dr. Giray is also an active adjudicator; throughout the years he judged and offered clinics throughout the US. He has been the State Solo Judge in Kansas for the last two years, and recently, he presented with master luthier Anton Krutz at the Kansas Music Educators Association's In Service Workshop in Wichita, Kansas. Additionally, Dr. Giray and Mr. Krutz have offered a poster session at the ASTA National Conference in Kansas City.

As a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University, Selim Giray studied with Eliot Chapo, former Concertmaster of such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony. Prior to that, in 1992 he was awarded a joint fellowship from the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and East Carolina University, where he studied with Fritz Gearhart, juror of Fischoff Competition. A native of Istanbul, Selim Giray graduated from Istanbul State Conservatory and Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory, where he studied with Saim Akçil.

During his tenure at Pittsburg State University, Dr. Giray has recruited international students of the highest caliber. As a result, students from such countries as Romania, China, South Korea, and Turkey have enriched his upper strings studio. Within the years Dr. Giray's students won numerous competitions, including various Concerto-Aria and Chamber Music Competitions, and the coveted American String Teachers Association Solo Competition-Winner of 2006 Kansas Chapter. Dr. Giray's students found success, where some were accepted to graduate programs of such highly regarded institutions as Rice University, the University of Oklahoma, and the Florida State University with scholarships, and some moved on into the professional world and are members of such notable orchestras as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony. Dr. Giray performs on an exquisite modern violin made by master luthier Anton Krutz.

PSU Music Department bio

Symphony No.8 in G Major, Op. 88 ("The English")

Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
IV. Allegro, ma non troppo

Last SEKSO Performance: Feb. 5th, 2005
Completed/Written In: 1889
First Performed: Prague, February 2, 1890, Dvořák cond.

Dvořák's finest music is as spontaneous and unpretentious as the composer himself. His origins were simple. His father was the butcher of his tiny town ten miles north of Prague. Dvořák kept a lifelong preference for simple people, country surroundings, for the language, customs and folklore of his native landscape. The work was written amid a floodtide of inspiration and finished in less than a month in 1889. The score was first published as Symphony No.4, but has been renumbered to No.8.

I. Allegro con brio. The first movement opens with a pensive melody, which is brought back at crucial points as a sort of framework to the structure. The actual principal theme is an airy figure for solo flute. Some have suggested this might be reminiscent of bird-song. The movement continues with a profusion of catchy melodies, many of them with dance-like rhythms.

II. Adagio. The slow movement is built around several imaginative variants of its short opening phrase. One of the most appealing of these comes with a Schubert-like shift from C minor to the sunnier C major.

III. Allegretto grazioso. The waltz-like theme recalls some of Tchaikovsky's more graceful inspirations, yet at the same time it has a sturdy peasant lilt.

IV. Allegro ma non troppo. A festive trumpet call opens tile last movement, like a summons to some celebration. The theme of this finale is one more demonstration of the infinite variety and charm of Dvořák's dance melodies.

Scored for: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, and strings.
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Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904)

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