The St. Cecilia Series Presents: St. Mark's Second Sundays
January 10, 2021 7:00pm
The program is as follows:
Four Pieces for Piano, op. 119 -- Johannes Brahms
- Intermezzo in B minor
- Intermezzo in E minor
III. Intermezzo in C major
- Rhapsody in E-flat major
Violin Sonata no. 2 in G major, op. 13 -- Edvard Grieg
- Lento doloroso - Allegro vivace
- Allegro tranquillo
- Allegro animato
Both works on this program are highly expressive, personal journeys from the Romantic period in the 19th century. Composed toward the end of his life, Brahms's op. 119 is his last set of works for piano. Each movement offers a unique emotional perspective; the first is isolated, bittersweet, and searching, but patient; the second is more agitated and anxious, with the respite of a lullaby in its center; the third is a jovial, mischievous dance; the fourth offers an uncharacteristically grand ending, first in a glorious major key that eventually turns to the fierce and tragic minor. Brahms began his musical career as a pianist, and composing from the piano. It is fitting that he would return to the piano toward the end of his life for his opuses 117, 118, and 119 to create some of his most intimate works.
Among Grieg's three violin sonatas, the second is the most "national," even according to Grieg. His interest in Norweigian folk music is most apparent in this sonata, which is filled with nostalgic melodies and exuberant dances in the style of his home country. For that reason the sonata is heartfelt, lyrical, dramatic, and highly varied in texture. Some of the more joyful themes might have to do with his personal circumstance: he wrote this sonata just a few weeks after being married.
A soloist, chamber musician and educator based in San Antonio, Texas, pianist Daniel Anastasio combines an intellectual curiosity with “technical prowess and emotional sensitivity” (Rivard Report). His performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3, conducted by Leon Fleisher with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra, was “the highlight to everyone’s ears, if the full-house of standing ovation were any indication” (ECM reviews). Anastasio was a concerto competition finalist at Cornell University, Stony Brook University, and Juilliard, where he won the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. He received fellowships to Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall, Tanglewood Music Center and Yellow Barn Music Festival.
Anastasio is the co-founder of BLUEPRINTS Piano Series in Manhattan, Agarita Chamber Players in San Antonio, and Unheard-of//Ensemble, a group dedicated to commissioning composers and premiering their works. He is currently on faculty full-time at San Antonio College, where he serves as the Director of Keyboard Studies.
Anastasio received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and philosophy at Cornell University under Xak Bjerken, and a Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under Jerome Lowenthal. He recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, under Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl.
Sarah Silver Manzke:
Described as an “eloquent soloist” (Boston Globe) who plays “with lucid heat” (New York Times), violinist Sarah Silver has a multifaceted and international musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. After spending the past four seasons as Assistant Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, she is currently the Acting Associate Concertmaster.
Championing contemporary music, Ms. Silver is particularly passionate about sharing the works of living and recent composers. As part of the 2014 Tanglewood Music Center’s Festival of Contemporary Music, she became only the second violinist to perform Steven Mackey’s violin concerto, Beautiful Passing. After spending three summers as a fellow, where she won the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize, Ms. Silver was invited back to be a member of the New Fromm Players, a distinguished chamber music ensemble devoted to performing contemporary music.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Ms. Silver received a Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with Andrés Cárdenes, followed by a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, studying with Malcolm Lowe. An avid teacher, she also pursued a minor in music education, earning K-12 certification as an undergraduate following student teaching placements in both general music and instrumental instruction. Following graduate school, Ms. Silver was a fellow for two years at the New World Symphony in Miami.
Ms. Silver is thrilled to be a founding member of Agarita, an innovative chamber music series in her new and beloved home of San Antonio. Simultaneously expanding her career into the business world, Ms. Silver also served as Marketing Coordinator for the San Antonio Symphony since November 2017 and recently earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance at the University of Texas San Antonio.