Saturday 19 September 1.00pm
Violin and Piano Recital
Venue: Unitarian Chapel
Charlotte Scott violin and Katya Apekisheva piano
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in D major, Op. 12, No. 1
Johannes Brahms - Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1
Jenö Hubay (1858-1937) - Zephyr for Violin and Piano, Op.30 No. 5
Charlotte and Katya are both internationally known musicians and have played as soloists with many orchestras and are renown chamber musicians. Charlotte plays the ‘Galiagno’ Stadivarius violin of 1685.
Beethoven was renowned in Vienna for his prowess as a pianist – especially his improvisations - but he was also intimately familiar with the violin. He had taken lessons as a youth in Bonn, and later, at the age of 24, he sought further study with Ignaz Schupannzigh, who was he first violin in Count Razumovsky’s string quartet. As a result he knew about the technical evolution of the violin. Gut strings bound with metal thread were much less prone to snap and enabled higher bridges and therefore greater tension. All the violin family as a result became more powerful, more colourful in tone and expressive. Beethoven made ever greater demands and with the new pianoforte under his hands the two voices became one unified partnership. Beethoven wrote his first violin sonatas, a set of three (Op. 12) in 1797-98. As with all his compositions at this time there is an urgency, high energy levels and a sense that he was destined to change music, reaching forward into a new era.
Brahms wrote three exquisitely beautiful violin sonatas. The first sonata was published in 1879 when he was 46. He burnt at least three previous sonatas in the fire of self-criticism. The Sonata in G Major, Op. 78 thus emerges as an astonishing ‘first’ sonata by any standard; it is a magical work full of graceful tenderness, bursting in intense nobility beautifully crafted but above all serene. Its song-like inspiration is drawn from one of Brahm’s songs to a poem by his friend Klaus Groth that provided him with the germ of this sonata, sometimes known as the ‘Regenlied’ sonata (Rain Song). This is a great Romantic masterpiece.
Pour, rain, pour down, Awaken again in me those dreams That I dreamt in childhood.
The Hungarian composer Hubay’s Zephyr is the fifth of set of six short pieces which are known as Blumenleben (‘A Flower's Life’) based on the poems of Geza Zichy. It is a fanciful tale of a flower's life from bud to bloom. A Butterfly flits by and lands on the flower who falls in love. But the feckless Butterfly soon flies off. Zephyr conveys the picture of the butterfly as it leaves the flower.
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