Sonata in D Major for Piano and Violin, Op. 12, No. 1: Ludwig van Beethoven
Allegro con brio
Tema con Variazioni: Andante con moto
Partita for Violin and Piano: Witold LutoslawskiAllegro Giusto
Fantasia No. 7 in E-flat major for Solo Violin: George Philipp TelemannDolce
Sonata for Violin and Piano: Claude DebussyAllegro vivo (1862-1918)
Intermède: fantasque et léger
Finale: Très animè
From My Homeland: Bedrich SmetanaModerato
Andantino - Moderato
Sonata in D Major for Piano and Violin: This is Beethoven’s first violin sonata, written in Vienna when he was 29, before his first symphony or his first string quartets. (I’m working on a project of playing all 10 of the violin sonatas over the course of a number of recitals.) While it’s an early piece, it still is clearly recognizable as mature Beethoven – the first movement is stormy and dramatic, while the last movement has a typical lilting Rondo theme.
Partita for Violin and Piano: Lutoslawski was one of the leading composers of the 20th century, and (with Chopin) one of the greatest Polish composers ever. The Partita was written in 1984, so it’s still a relatively new piece. The piece uses several unusual compositional techniques – in three sections, Daniela and I are told what notes and (approximately) what rhythms to play, but are also instructed that we are not to synchronize our parts in any way. The result is that each time we play these sections, the parts combine in unique ways; we can guarantee that you will hear a one-of-a-kind performance at the recital. Most of the piece is written more traditionally. While the harmonies are definitely modern, I hope listeners will find the piece exciting, dramatic, and interesting to listen to.
Fantasia No. 7 in E-flat major for Solo Violin: Telemann wrote a set of 12 Fantasias for solo violin. Frequent concert-goers may be familiar with Bach’s monumental Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. While the Telemann pieces are written at the same time, they are composed on a much more intimate scale – and are much easier to understand on a first hearing.
Sonata for Violin and Piano: This year is the 150th anniversary of Debussy’s birth, so playing his only violin sonata seems appropriate. (Next January is the 100th anniversary of Lutoslawski’s birth. So actually our concert is about 3 ½ months before Lutoslawski’s 100th birthday and a month and a half after Debussy’s 150th.) The sonata combines Debussy’s typical dreamy, ethereal style with some more direct and energetic sections.
From My Homeland: Smetana was a Czech composer in the generation before Dvorak. From My Homeland uses Czech melodies – or at least melodies that are similar to Czech folksongs. The piece features sweeping, lyrical melodies contrasted with fast and flashy sections.