Kalistos Chamber Orchestra
 group pic at Dean college

Concert @ Dean College
February 22, 2003 @ 1 pm
Kalistos Chamber Orchestra will present a Free program on the campus of Dean College. The program will include the following pieces:

Jeffery Cotton Elegy
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Eine Kleine Nacht Musik

Gabriela Frank Leyendas : An Andean Walkabout mvts 4 and 6
P.I. Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence

Kalistos Chamber Orchestra,

1 p.m., Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Dean College
 - The concert is open to the public, free of charge.
 For directions click here.

Our Next Concert
Saturday, 22th February 
dean college gif 

This concert was on
Saturday, February 22, 2003, 1 pm
on the campus of Dean College
for directions please click on the address
Performing Arts Center
for more info call
800-896-7340 or email info@kalistos.org

The concert is free and open to the Public.  This concert is possible via a generous grant from the Music department at Dean College.
Program notes

Jeffery Cotton's Elegy
click for composer's notes on his website

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Eine Kleine Nacht Musik

"According to my deep conviction, Mozart is the highest, the culminating point that beauty has attained in the sphere of music," Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky told his diary on September 20, 1887. "No one has made me weep, has made me tremble with rapture, from the consciousness of my nearness to that something which we call the ideal, as he has done.... The music of Don Giovanni ... awoke [in me] a spiritual ecstasy. By its help, I penetrated into that world of artistic beauty where only great genius abides. It is due to Mozart that I devoted my life to music. He gave the first impulse to my efforts, and made me love music above all else in the world." Other musicians have offered equally unstinting praise of Salzburg's most illustrious son. When Johann Adolf Hasse, one of the most respected opera composers of the mid-18th century, heard the fifteen-year-old Mozart play some of his own compositions, he predicted, "This boy will cause us all to be forgotten." The music of Mozart was both inspiration and model for the young Franz Schubert, who wrote in his journal, "O Mozart, immortal Mozart, what countless images of a brighter and better world thou hast stamped upon our souls!" Schubert also insisted that "you could hear the angels sing" in the G minor Symphony (No. 40, K. 550). At a performance of Mozart's C minor Piano Concerto (K. 491), Ludwig van Beethoven whispered to his companion, the noted German pianist and pedagogue Johann Cramer, "Cramer, Cramer! We shall never be able to do anything like that!" Rossini called him "the only composer," and the eminent 20th-century pianist Lili Kraus stated, "There is no feeling, human or cosmic, no depth, no height the human spirit can reach that is not contained in Mozart's music." The words of Franz Joseph Haydn, spoken to Papa Leopold Mozart in 1785, still ring true: "I tell you before God and as an honest man, that your son is the greatest composer I know, either personally or by repute."

How to explain the phenomenon of Mozart? In his brilliant play/movie Amadeus, author Peter Shaffer, after spending two years in reading and research in an attempt to understand the life, works and personality of the composer, summed up his findings in a single line spoken by the character of Antonio Salieri, the court composer to Emperor Joseph II who had built a distinguished career for himself in Vienna while, according to the dramatist, closely guarding his belief that he was just a poseur, his music technically proficient but emotionally shallow. "Music is the heart of God," says Shaffer/Salieri, "and Mozart is His voice." As has everyone else, the playwright came up against a solid wall of bafflement in trying to fathom this particular genius, which has never known an equal in the entire history of music, or, perhaps, in any other field of artistic creation. The perfection of form coupled with the depth and purity of feeling heard in Mozart's compositions cannot be explained by any exercise of mere human logic. It surpasses our limited purview, and, lacking any other inkling of comprehension, one is forced to admit that Mozart's inspiration might, indeed, have been "divine." George Bernard Shaw presaged the sentiments of Shaffer when he suggested that Sarastro's arias in The Magic Flute were the only music fit to issue from the mouth of God.

Though the essential nature of Mozart's innate genius will never fully yield to our probing, the manner of its nurture and development was essential to its efflorescence. The boy was carefully instructed in music from infancy by his father, Leopold, one of the outstanding violin pedagogues of the day and himself a composer of no small stature. By the age of three, little Wolfgang could pick out tunes at the keyboard. A year later, he was absorbing short pieces as quickly as Leopold could teach them, and at five he began to compose. In 1762, Leopold took Wolfgang to Munich on the first of many tours that introduced his phenomenal child to the aristocracy and music lovers of Europe, and much of the rest of Mozart's life was spend on the road: he made some twenty major trips during the remaining thirty years of his life.

Wherever Mozart traveled, he learned - absorbing the local styles, discussing the latest advances in the art, seeking out companionship with the best musicians, listening to all the music that came his way. He was, far more than his friend and colleague Joseph Haydn, an international composer, one who created in his works an unprecedented synthesis of Italian melody, French suavity, German instrumental technique and Austrian sentiment. It is reasonable to posit that Mozart would have been much less a master if he had not had such a wide experience of the musical world during his early years. He heard Haydn symphonies in Vienna, Gluck music dramas in Paris, Christian Bach concertos in London, Italian operas in Milan, keyboard sonatas in Munich and country dances everywhere. He could write in any of these styles, but, more importantly, he borrowed and transformed and synthesized elements of their techniques to create an art far greater than simply the sum of its geographically diverse parts. Mozart's music is at once the most universal and yet the most personally expressive of his time, simultaneously codifying the techniques of his contemporaries and looking forward to the idioms of the next century. It is exactly this Janus-faced quality in his mature works that caused the British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham to state, "He emancipated music from the bonds of a formal age, while remaining the true voice of the 18th century."

As a teenager and young adult in Salzburg, Mozart was employed, as had been his father for many years, in the musical establishment of the local Archbishop as a violinist and composer. The work was steady and not without rewards, but the young genius, who had experienced at first hand the exhilarating musical life of Europe's capitals, grew frustrated with the provincial attitude and the lack of professional opportunity during what he called his "Salzburg Captivity." In 1781, he left his hometown to make a career as a free-lance composer and pianist in Vienna. Mozart's chief ambition in Vienna was to gain an appointment at the Habsburg court as an opera composer, a post then held by Antonio Salieri, but while becoming established in the city he supported himself with commissions for new works, teaching fees, appearances as a keyboard virtuoso and income from producing concerts. He did well for the first five years, and even felt secure enough to undertake a marriage to Constanze Weber in August 1782. Music poured from him incessantly - concertos, chamber works, symphonies, operas. With every passing year, the skill and expression of his compositions was enriched, but after about 1786 the fickle Viennese public became reluctant to accept the new "Romantic" quality of his music, and his local support eroded. His debts mounted, his health and that of Constanze, almost constantly pregnant during the nine years of their marriage, began to deteriorate, and relations with his father became strained. Though he received a minor post at court as a composer of dances for the imperial balls, he waited in vain for the opera appointment that he so cherished. Yet amid all the difficulties of his life, he continued, with the generous help of a few supporters, to create one sublime masterpiece after another - Don Giovanni, Figaro, the three last symphonies, The Magic Flute, the string quintets. Finally, in the summer of 1791, his constitution broke. Frequent illness, overwork and thoughts of his own death, inspired by the Requiem he had been commissioned to write by a mysterious stranger, sapped his strength. On December 5, 1791, he died; he was 35.

More than two hundred years after Mozart penned his last notes, his music continues to enchant and revitalize all who pay it heed. Indeed, it seems that the principal qualities of his creative treasure - order and reason and sensitivity - are more elusive and more easily crushed with every passing generation. The most effective sources of renewal for these virtues are the manifestations of love - family, friends, religion - and art. More than perhaps any artist in Western history, Mozart, in his incomparable, inexplicable genius, provided a legacy to nurture these values, to refresh our humanity, and to renew our sense of what the late Joseph Campbell called "the rapture of being alive." Leopold Mozart once referred to his son as "the miracle that God allowed to be born in Salzburg." The miracle is still ours to share.

Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1787) is at once one of the most familiar yet one of the most mysterious of Mozart's works. It was the first piece of the serenade type that he had written since the magnificent C minor Wind Octet (K. 388) of 1782, and it seems unlikely that, at a time when he was increasingly mired in debt, he would have returned to the genre without some promise of payment. The simple, transparent style of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, reminiscent of the music of Mozart's Salzburg years and so different from the rich expression of all his later music except for the dances he wrote for the Habsburg court balls, suggests that it was designed for amateur performance, perhaps at the request of some aristocratic Viennese player of limited musical ability. Eine kleine Nachtmusik is an enigma, a wonderful, isolated chronological and stylistic aberration of Mozart's mature years that raises to perfection the simple musical gestures of his boyhood.
(c)2002 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

Gabriela Lena Frank
Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout [1999/2002] mvts 4 & 6

(excerpts originally for string quartet, arranged for string orchestra)

Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout draws inspiration from the idea of mestizaje as envisioned by the Peruvian writer José María Arguedas, whereby cultures coexist without the subjugation of one by the other. As such, this piece mixes elements from the western classical and Andean folk music traditions. "Toyos"  depicts one of the most recognizable instruments of the Andes, the panpipe.  The largest kind is the breathy toyo  which requires great stamina and lung power, and is typically played in parallel fourths.  "Tarqueada" is a forceful and fast number featuring the tarka, a heavy wooden duct flute that is blown harshly in order to split the tone.  Tarka ensembles typically play in casually tuned 4ths, 5ths, and octaves.  "Himno de Zampoñas" features a particular type of panpipe ensemble that divides up melodies through a technique known as hocketing.  The characteristic sound of the zampoña panpipe is that of a fundamental tone blown flatly so that overtones ring out on top. "Chasqui" depicts a legendary figure from the Inca times the chasqui runner, who sprinted great distances to deliver messages between towns separated from one another by the Andean peaks.  The chasqui needed to travel light.  Hence, I take artistic license to imagine his choice of instruments to be the charango, a high-pitched cousin of the guitar, and the lightweight bamboo quena flute, both of which are featured in this movement. "Canto de Velorio" portrays another well-known Andean personality, a professional crying woman known as velorio.  Hired to render funeral rituals even sadder, the velorio is accompanied here by a second velorio and an additional chorus of mourning women (coro de mujeres). The chant Dies Irae is quoted as a reflection of the velorio's penchant for blending verses from Quechua Indian folklore and western religious rites.  "Coqueteos"  is a flirtatious love song sung by gallant men known as romanceros.  As such, it is direct in its harmonic expression, bold, and festive.  The romanceros sang in harmony with one another against a backdrop of guitars which I think of as a vendaval de guitarras ("storm of guitars").
-Program notes by Gabriela Lena Frank

P.I. Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence Op. 70

It is interesting how some things experienced in childhood affect our perception for many years to come. Of the few things that I remember from my years at elementary school one stands out, perhaps because it proves its validity time after time. Our teacher showed us a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and said: "Now you all can move around the classroom, but keep looking at her, and you'll notice that Mona Lisa's eyes follow you wherever you go." After we had a jolly time enjoying this never-before-allowed freedom of movement during a lesson and indeed amusing ourselves with Mona Lisa's ability to "watch" us (Communist Party leaders, looking at us from the portraits on the walls, could not do that), order in the classroom was re-established, and the teacher asked us to give our own reasons and explanations for Mona Lisa's smile. Another round of jolly moments, as our interpretations were all so different. She summarized the subject with something like this: "One piece of great art makes all people feel the same, another piece of great art makes people feel a variety of emotions, but one thing is constant: great art always makes people feel."

If not for this lesson, perhaps today I would indulge myself in poking fun at some musicologists for describing Souvenir de Florence as, for instance "suffused with an atmosphere not often associated with this composer, of a calm geniality". Calm geniality? Well, perhaps indeed for some. (An old joke: Texas man, looking at Niagara Falls: "Our plumber could fix this leak in a couple of hours."). For me, this is one of the most turbulently passionate works in all music literature! Written in the winter of 1890, shortly after returning from Italy where Tchaikovsky had been working on his opera "The Queen of Spades", it was perhaps indeed intended to be a light detour from the dark drama of the opera. It did go this way, however. Tchaikovsky had complained to his brother, Modest, that he felt under great strain working on it. Yet he was very pleased with the results - until he heard it performed. Greatly dissatisfied, he completely rewrote two movements - it was at this time that the title "Souvenir de Florence" was added. Unlike "Capriccio Italien", composed some ten years earlier and full of Italian quotations, this work is decidedly Russian, with only the gorgeous bel-canto in the second movement suggesting a possible link to the title. Italy was a place where Tchaikovsky spent some of the happiest moments of his life which, perhaps, could be a key to the naming of the piece. The first performance of the revised version took place in 1892, led by the great Russian violinist and pedagogue Leopold Auer (teacher of Heifetz, Milstein and Zimbalist, among others), and had great success.

Tchaikovsky saw a great challenge in writing this work - a sextet for two violins, two violas and two cellos - in such a way as to give prominence to each voice. He succeeded magnificently. Performances of this work in string orchestra version are very common nowadays, and, strangely enough, multiplication of performing forces does not complicate, but rather helps in achieving the proper balance and allowing every voice to be heard. (There is actually a simple, albeit very technical, explanation of this phenomenon.)
-program notes by Misha Rachlevsky

Join Kalistos

Forged from the fires of musical passion, Kalistos has emerged as the newest Chamber Orchestra to beat its heart in harmonic motion.  Coalescing from many nations and backgrounds, the members bring fresh insight to traditional repertoire and a keen glance at the cutting edge.  Beyond just a musical choice for an evening, Kalistos is a force bringing energy to education and other community programs.
 Come witness the beauty and the tension.
 Come feel the energy and the passion.    
 Come join the community of Kalistos.   

bio of our musicians

Sasha Callahan
Andrew Eng

Lelia Iancovici
Adda Kridler
Nikola Takov
Viktoria Tchertchian
Shieh-Jian Tsai


Heidi Broschinsky*
Bradley Ottesen*
Dimitar Petkov


Nicole Cariglia*
Leo Eguchi
Nick Upton*


Brian Perry


Chris Younghoon Kim

*denotes guest artist


Our past concerts

May 19, 2002

September 27, 2002 

November 1, 2002

Phillips Exeter Residency
February 17-18, 2003

Dean College Concert
February 22, 2003

March 14, 2003

Bios of Musicians



 Origin of Kalistos:
Callisto   n.
Greek Mythology. A nymph, beloved of Zeus and hated by Hera. Hera changed her into a bear, and Zeus then placed her in the sky as the constellation Ursa Major. One of the four brightest satellites of Jupiter and the eighth in distance from the planet. Originally sighted by Galileo, it is the largest planetary satellite.
Contact Kalistos via
email: info@kalistos.org
web: http://www.kalistos.org
phone: 800.896.7340