Textures In Classics

Sang-Hie Lee piano
John Corina oboe

Release Date: August 12, 2022
Catalog #: NV6448
Format: Digital
Classical
Romantic
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Oboe
Piano

TEXTURES IN CLASSICS from renowned pianist and music scholar Sang-Hie Lee explores the rich musical possibilities offered by the piano. To do so, Lee performs works from some of the seminal composers in Western music including Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. The album captures Lee’s unique pianism at the height of her maturity as an artist. While contemporary performers often place an outsized emphasis on virtuosic technical skill, Lee’s performances examine the notion of texture in piano music; this ranges from the clean, crisp soundscape of Mozart’s early pianoforte to Beethoven’s exacting technique and lush harmonies. There is little doubt that TEXTURES IN CLASSICS will cement Lee’s legacy as a scholarly-artistic pianist.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109: I. Vivace, ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo Ludwig van Beethoven Sang-Hie Lee, piano 4:03
02 Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109: II. Prestissimo Ludwig van Beethoven Sang-Hie Lee, piano 2:30
03 Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109: III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung - Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo Ludwig van Beethoven Sang-Hie Lee, piano 10:03
04 Preludes: No. 8, La fille aux cheveaux de lin Claude Debussy Sang-Hie Lee, piano 2:41
05 Preludes: No. 9, La sérénade interrompue Claude Debussy Sang-Hie Lee, piano 2:53
06 Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281: I. Allegro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sang-Hie Lee, piano 3:49
07 Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281: II. Andante amoroso Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sang-Hie Lee, piano 3:19
08 Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281: III. Rondeau (Allegro) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sang-Hie Lee, piano 4:15
09 Sonata for Oboe and Piano: I. Allegro poco vivo Herman Schroeder Sang-Hie Lee, piano; John Corina, oboe 3:35
10 Sonata for Oboe and Piano: II. Lento cantabile Herman Schroeder Sang-Hie Lee, piano; John Corina, oboe 4:10
11 Sonata for Oboe and Piano: III. Vivace Herman Schroeder Sang-Hie Lee, piano; John Corina, oboe 3:14
12 2 Konzertetüden, S. 145: No. 2, Gnomenreigen Franz Liszt Sang-Hie Lee, piano 3:56
13 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Aria Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:52
14 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 1. Piú vivo Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:52
15 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 2. animato Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:43
16 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 3. dolce Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:47
17 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 4. risoluto Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:51
18 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 5. espressivo Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:01
19 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 6. sempre Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:04
20 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 7. con vivacita Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:39
21 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 8. Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:29
22 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 9. poco sostenuto Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:59
23 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 10. Allegro energico Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:37
24 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 11. dolce Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:58
25 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 12. soave Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:55
26 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 13. Largamente, ma non più Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:25
27 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 14. sciolto Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:48
28 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 15. Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:40
29 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 16. ma marcato Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:46
30 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 17. più mosso Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:14
31 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 18. grazioso Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:46
32 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 19. leggiero e vivace Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:02
33 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 20. legatissimo Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:12
34 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 21. dolce Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:48
35 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 22. Alla musette Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:47
36 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 23. Vivace e staccato Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:30
37 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 24. Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 0:43
38 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Variation 25. Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 1:00
39 25 Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24: Fuga. Moderato Johannes Brahms Sang-Hie Lee, piano 5:35

Tracks 1-8, 12
Recorded and performed live on August 12, 1977 at the UGA Balcony Auditorium, University of Georgia in Athens GA

Tracks 9-11
Recorded and performed live on May 16, 1977 at the UGA Balcony Auditorium, University of Georgia in Athens GA

Tracks 13-38
Recorded and performed live on May 13, 1975 at the UGA Chapel, University of Georgia in Athens GA

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Quinton Blue

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Mastering Melanie Montgomery

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Sang-Hie Lee

Pianist

Dr. Sang-Hie Lee, Professor of Music at the University of South Florida, is an active teacher, pianist, researcher, author, and cross-disciplinary administrator. As the founder of Ars Nostra, she performs piano duo music by significant living composers: her music is featured in six albums by Ravello, Centaur, Capstone, and Albany labels. Lee is the principal author of Scholarly Research for Musicians: A Comprehensive Strategy (Learning Solutions Division, The McGraw-Hill, 2012, 2013 and Routledge 2017), and Scholarly Research in Music: Shared and Disciplinary-Specific Practices, 2nd Edition (Routledge 2022). She is the primary editor of Perspectives in Performing Arts Medicine: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Springer 2020) and was the founding editor of the Cultural Expressions in Music Monographs Series (College Music Society 2008-2014).

Learn More

John Corina

Oboe

John Corina (1928-2014) taught composition, oboe, and theory at the University of Georgia, Athens, and performed with the Georgia Woodwind Quintet for 25 years. While there he was a full professor, served as Chairman of Theory and Composition, was a member of the graduate faculty and, in 1985, was awarded the university’s teaching excellence Professorship. He has been Professor Emeritus of Music since his retirement in 1991.

As composer of over 130 works, Corina has received 14 awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and other organizations. As an oboist, he has performed throughout North America and Europe, accepting nine invitations to appear at the International Double Reed Society. He was a church organist and choir director for 50 years until retirement, the last 24 years of which he held the position of organist/choirmaster of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens. He also directed and conducted the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra and the Athens Choral Society, as well as numerous other choruses, orchestras, and bands.

The premiere of This Endris Night was on December 24, 2004, at St. Stephen’s Anglican Catholic Church in Athens GA under the direction of organist/choirmaster William Coscarelli. This publication is the result of a performance by the University of Georgia’s Collegium Musicum conducted by Dr. Mitos Andaya as part of the University’s Holiday Concerts 2011.

Notes

TEXTURES IN CLASSICS captures the nuanced soundscape of live performance through digital technology. Beethoven, departing from his time, often used fantasy-like forms and sonority in his sonatas. Sonata Op.109 transcends the sound of the Broadwood piano and demonstrates Beethoven’s imaginative creativity despite hearing loss. Each movement has something of a sonata structure with profound and varied sound, foreshadowing the infinite textures of the modern piano. Hailed as the most revered pianist in Vienna, Beethoven’s techniques are exacting, dense, and beautiful. Debussy explores the full sonority by blending Western harmony and exotic oriental impressions, while classic Mozart demonstrates the pianoforte’s clean, crisp sound. In Schroeder’s Sonata for Oboe and Piano, each part contains difficult techniques that produce rigorous duo music and striking blends of disparate instrumental qualities. Gnomenreigen, one of the Two Etudes, displays the tightly-structured Romantic virtuoso pianism of Liszt. Brahms, also renowned as a pianist, used the ascetic Handel theme and expanded the piano techniques beyond his time, inventing variations with orchestral sounds and imaginative scenes and ending with a triumphant, heavily textured fugue.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROJECT

This collection of works by six great composers in a single album is an ambitious attempt to illustrate the varied textures of the acoustics of the modern concert grand piano. Performing the great pieces on an instrument that responds to the wide-ranging musical imaginations is a life’s privilege for a pianist.

Sang-Hie Lee

In Sonata in E Major, Op. 109, the first of the last three sonatas, Beethoven expands the Classic Sonata genre by exploring Romantic expressions and the “modern” piano’s multidimensional sound capabilities. Richard Good describes Beethoven’s late sonatas as indulging “in a wide range of emotions, meditative qualities, and the contrapuntal density within the formal structures with romantic freedom.” The sublime melodies, harmonies, and recitative-like passages in the first and second movements with textural variations in the third allow the pianist to experiment with the colorful sororities of a modern Steinway.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Debussy published the first of two volumes of Preludes in April 1910, completing all 12 pieces of the set in just less than two months in 1909. The Preludes with their intimate nature effective in a salon setting can also be efficient in the quietness of the large modern concert hall.

La fille aux cheveux de lin (The girl with flaxen hair) depicts an innocent young girl singing to herself appreciating her natural surroundings. The piece starts with a single voice expanding to rich harmonic progressions with an “ingenious blend of functional Western harmony and orientalism.” – Christopher Atkinson

La sérénade interrompue (The interrupted serenade) evokes the flavors of Spain and the sounds of the guitar. “Along with Spanish elements and guitar-like sonorities, this prelude is also quite a quirky creation, but absolutely Debussyian in its Impressionistic character. The piece opens with an introductory passage whose chief feature is its hesitant pizzicato manner. Already, the strains of the guitar come to mind, but when the ensuing rhythmic elements are heard, the unmistakable flavors of Spain emerge. The main theme slowly evolves, as if fighting for elbow room at first. It is not a combative force here, however, coming across as somewhat nocturnal in mood and having both nonchalance and allure in its lithe manner. The rhythmic elements appear throughout and close the piece in the same kind of hesitant fashion heard in the opening.” – Robert Cummings

Mozart played Sonata K 281 and K 282 during his travels to Salzburg and Munich in late 1774 and early 1775. There is clear evidence that this Sonata was intended for the newer instrument pianoforte. In the succinct and transparent first movement, the deeply felt second movement, and the Rondo, we find Mozart’s mature voice and virtuoso style. “The outer movements of K. 281 and the closing Allegro of K. 282 would have served as calling cards for the young virtuoso declaring his lyricism and dexterity.” – Hollywood Bowl 100 (https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/musicdb/pieces/3459/sonata-in-b-flat-k-281).

Hermann Schroeder (26 March 1904 – 7 October 1984), a German composer and a Catholic church musician has produced 924 works in 2,055 publications with sacred and secular distinctions. Schroeder’s music possesses “a high level of craftsmanship, and pushes bounds when appropriate and tasteful, while also adding to a long tradition of German polyphonic music stretching back to the Middle Ages.” “It took one hundred years for the mastery of Bach’s compositional brilliance to be widely recognized against his contemporaries as not merely ‘old-fashioned’ but ‘retro-progressive’, Neo-classical for its time, possessing a genius and truth of its own.” Perhaps, it will “take time for Schroeder’s music to emerge in contemporary musical thought as not ‘old-fashioned’ but as an artfully well-crafted and meaningful part of musical evolution in the 20th century, speaking not only to the future of music but also its past.” – Jordan Alexander Key

Sonata for oboe and piano exemplifies this high level of craftsmanship: the extreme interplay of varied textures between the oboe and piano requires skilled musical techniques and artful interpretation of the dialogue between oboe and piano playing.

“The pianistically demanding studies of Waldesrauschen and Gnomenreigen were written during the composer’s mature late phase, in which one does not necessarily expect such virtuosic pieces. Liszt composed them in 1862 in Rome for the Große theoretisch-praktische Klavierschule by Siegmund Lebert and Ludwig Stark. In so doing he honored a pledge he had made sometime before. Liszt was now teaching a large group of students. The two studies, published in 1863 and independent of the Klavierschule, were dedicated to his extremely gifted pupil Dionys Pruckner. He and other Liszt pupils often played them in concerts.” – G. Henle Verlag

First performed by Clara Schuman on December 7, 1861, in Hamburg, Brahms exhausts inventive pianistic techniques to portray ever-changing descriptive tone colors in these 25 Variations and Fugue based on a stately Handel theme. The entire human mind/body structures support the pianist’s nimble fingers to manifest multiple brush strokes to paint the intricate textures in sound.