GRIEG: VIOLIN SONATAS FOR FLUTE
KALEB CHESNIC, flute
NATHÁLIA KATO, piano
World Premiere Recordings of New Transcriptions
PROGRAM NOTES“These three works are among my best compositions and represent periods in my development: the first, naïve, reflecting many antecedents; the second, national; and the third, with its wider horizons.” [Edvard Grieg, referring to his violin sonatas transcribed here for flute and piano by Kaleb Chesnic, in a letter sent on 16 January 1900 to his friend, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson].
When I set out to make these transcriptions, my purpose was to expand the Romantic sonata repertoire available to the modern flutist. What I have gained through this process is much more valuable than I anticipated. Just as the flute was overlooked as a solo instrument in 19th-century music, the first two of these sonatas are largely undervalued today, at least outside of Scandinavia. My purpose here is to present transcriptions that will help both flutists and violinists to recognize the brilliance of Edvard Grieg’s under-appreciated early sonatas, Nos.1 and 2, as well as to make No.3 available to flutists.
American flutist Kaleb Chesnic has been praised for his commanding presence, brilliant technique and thoughtful interpretations. Chesnic has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles around Colorado and the Western United States. He appeared as a soloist and as the conductor of the Colorado Flute Orchestra at the 2017 National Flute Association convention. Other awards and honors are First Prize at the 2018 Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Competition, MPIMC Prize at the 2017 Marina Piccinini International Master Class, winner of the Tuesday Musical Association’s Competition and Baldwin Wallace Concerto Competition, finalist in the Colorado Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition and quarter-finalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Rano Winds, the University of Colorado’s Graduate Woodwind Quintet. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Baldwin Wallace Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dwight Oltman, and twice with the University of Colorado Early Music ensemble, working with Music Directors Zachary Carrettin and Robert Hill. While attending the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, he had the privilege of performing with their Bach Festival Orchestra in the 80th and 81st annual Bach Festival. He has also been on the faculty of the Baldwin Wallace Community Music School and The Joyful Noise Neighborhood Music School. Chesnic received his Bachelor’s degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was a graduate Teaching Assistant and lead Teaching Assistant for the College of Music. His principal teachers include George Pope, Christina Jennings, Damian Bursill-Hall and Andrei Pidkivka. Chesnic’s other significant influences have been Brook Ferguson and Amy Porter.
Pianist Nathália Kato has immense experience in orchestral and operatic activities, and has worked with such renowned conductors as Marin Alsop and Steven Mercurio. In 2010 and 2015, Kato performed in both Portugal and Spain; in 2017 and 2018 she was awarded a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival. For her final DMA recital in March of 2020, Kato presented Schubert’s Winterreise in its entirety alongside baritone Erik Erlandson; the performance art project involved the recital and Kato’s own authorial photography projection. From 2015 to 2020, she held a teaching assistantship through which she served as a rehearsal and orchestra pianist, harpsichordist, and coach for the Eklund Opera Program working with maestro Nicholas Carthy. As an active professional in the collaborative field, Kato has served as staff pianist in music festivals and has worked at Teatro São Pedro opera house in São Paulo, Brazil. Kato’s pedagogical projects include online lectures, master classes, recordings, and other collaborations with private and university students from Brazil and the United States. In the fall of 2020, she joined the Department of Music at the University of Wyoming as the staff collaborative pianist. With her husband, violinist Andrew Giordano, she plays as the Duo Pragma in rarely-heard repertoire. Kato earned her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Brazil, and received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in collaborative piano from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she finished a second Master of Music degree, studying with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen.
PROGRAMEDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907)
SONATAS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO
Transcribed for Flute and Piano by Kaleb Chesnic (b.1991)
SONATA NO.1 IN F MAJOR OP.8 (1865)
I. Allegro con brio
II. Allegretto quasi andantino
III. Allegro molto vivace
SONATA NO.2 IN G MAJOR OP.13 (1867)
I. Lento doloroso – Allegro vivace
II. Allegretto tranquillo
III. Allegro animato
SONATA NO.3 IN C MINOR OP.45 (1887)
I. Allegro molto ed appassionato
II. Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza – Allegro molto
III. Allegro animato
Recorded in January 2021 at Grusin Music Hall, University of Colorado, Boulder. Producer: Emily Chesnic. Recording engineer: Kevin Harbison.