About the Album
This is the debut commercial release of recordings by internationally-renowned concert pianist, Marcelita Lopez-Kabayáo. Ms. Kabayáo has had an illustrious career spanning several decades since her first public solo recital debut at age four, and her public debut with full orchestra at age seven.
Her performance of the Bach Italian Concerto was recorded, mixed, and mastered in 2011 by Erik-Peter Mortensen, owner of Papagena Productions (and also her only son), and performed on her Steinway B Grand at her residence in the Morningside Heights area of New York City.
The Mozart and Schumann concertos were recorded live by the house engineer of The Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre, Columbia University in the City of New York, and subsequently mixed and mastered by Mr. Mortensen. Both concerts were offered by Ms. Kabayáo to benefit Brain Tumor Research.
The first Benefit Concert on May 16, 1996, with Sixten Ehrling leading the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto, benefited Brain Tumor Research at Columbia University, with a special tribute to Dr. Bennett M. Stein by his patient, Ms. Kabayáo herself! In May 1994 Dr. Stein removed a large tumor from her brain and just seven days after the major surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, she played selections from Scarlatti, Brahms, Schubert and Chopin for doctors and patients. Her short-term memory, which had been severely damaged, returned miraculously like a light switch being turned on again. The Benefit was dedicated to help raise funds for a chair for her famous surgeon.
The second Benefit Concert on May 7, 2002, with Conductor Ken-David Masur leading The Bach Society Orchestra of Columbia University in a peformance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Coronation"Concerto, was dedicated to Doctor's Hospital in the City of Iloilo in Central Philippines, where Ms. Lopez-Kabayáo had been hospitalized and diagnosed previously with the very same tumor later removed by Dr. Stein. The Benefit was dedicated to raise funds for a special equipment facility at the hospital to benefit patients in a community outreach program.
Maestro Sixten Ehrling, the Premier Royal Court Conductor of Sweden since his appointment by King Gustav VI in 1953, was the foremost Swedish conductor or the 20th century. His prestigious career spanned over five decades. As Music Director of the Detroit Symphony (1963-1973) he led an unprecedented number of concerts encompassing nearly 700 works and 24 world premiers. In addition to his numerous engagements throughout America, Asia and Europe, Maestro Ehrling conducted the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Vienna State Opera and at Covent Garden. He served as Chief Conductor and Musical Advisor to the three orchestras at Manhattan School of Music. A noted teacher, he taught at the Salzburg Mozerteum, and from 1973 to 1988 dedicated the conducting program at the Juilliard School of Music.
Maestro Ken-David Masur, Music Director of the Bach Society, was born in Leipzig, Germany. At the age of nine he entered the children's chorus of the "Gewandhaus zu Leipzig" where he received his first education in music theory and singing. In 1994, two years after he moved to New York, Mr. Masur began studies on the trumpet at the Westchester Conservatory of Music where he won the concerto competition the same year and performed with the Conservatory Orchestra. As a trumpet player, he was a member of several ensembles including the National Youth Guild Orchestra. Before co-founding the Bach Society of Columbia University during his freshman and sophomore years, he was music director of the Columbia Orchestra for Asian Music (COAM). While director of the Bach Society, Mr. Masur conducted all concerts of the ensembles regular seasons since its inaugural concert in March 2000.
About the Concertos
The Italian Concerto, BWV 971, original title: Concerto nach Italienischem Gusto (Concerto after the Italian taste), published in 1735 as the first half of Clavier-Übung II (the second half being the French Overture) is a three-movement concerto for two-manual harpsichord solo composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Italian Concerto has become popular among Bach's keyboard works, and has been widely recorded both on the harpsichord and the piano.
1. Without tempo indication
The Italian Concerto's two lively F major outer movements, in ritornello style, frame a florid arioso-style movement in D minor, the relative minor. Was influenced by Peter Van Riet.
An Italian concerto relies upon the contrasting roles of different groups of instruments in an ensemble; Bach imitates this effect by creating contrasts using the forte and piano manuals of a two-manual harpsichord throughout the piece. In fact, along with the French Overture and some of the Goldberg Variations, this is one of the few works by Bach which specifically require a 2-manual harpsichord.
Bach also transcribed Italian concertos by Vivaldi and others for solo harpsichord (BWV 972-987), and for solo organ or pedal harpsichord (BWV 592-596).