In Memoriam – Hailstork, Hamer & Strauss

Piotr Gajewski, conductor

Sunday, May 9, 2021 · 2:00 pm
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Sponsored by Rosalie Lijinsky, in memory of William Lijinsky, a founder of the National Philharmonic
Co-sponsored by Ruth Berman

Adolphus Hailstork, Essay for Strings
Janice Hamer, For the Uprooted
Richard Strauss, Metamorphosen, Study for 23 Solo Strings

In Memoriam is an opportunity for those who mourn the missing to celebrate them through the beauty and poignancy of classical music. From Adolphus Hailstork, whose style blends musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions, you’ll be treated to Essay for strings. This one-movement composition is a tribute to colleague Glen Hull. It is based on his initials,G. H., which in music are represented by the pitches of G and B-natural, heard throughout the piece.

Janice Hamer’s For the Uprooted (2016) is a nine-minute threnody for solo cello and string orchestra, inspired by the plight of refugees worldwide—their hardships reflected in the keening of the cello, the pounding strings suggesting fleeing feet, the concluding gasps. The work coalesces around a fragmentary quotation of a Mozart concerto, a melody conveying love and hope.   

Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen is scored for ten violins, five violas, five cellos, and three double basses. Composed during the closing months of World War II, from August 1944 to March 1945, the piece mirrors the agony, chaos, and destruction of the time.Towards the end, you will hear several bars of the funeral march theme from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony quoted explicitly in the bass part, accompanied by the words “In Memoriam!” in the score.

A special thanks to our 2020-21 Season Sponsors – Jean and Paul Dudek; Ed Grossman and Rochelle Stanfield; Ted Mirecki, NatPhil Board Member; Martha Newman; Doug and Emily Jacobson; and Potter Violins.

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