Within the “Migrations” program Xenia Jankovic and chamber orchestra “Camerata Novi Sad” perform:
Programm: P. I. Tchaikovsky: Andante cantabile op.11
Pezzo capriccioso op.62
S. Rachmaninov: Vocalise Op.34 No.14
A. Glazunov: Chant du Ménestrel op.71
A. Dvořák: Silent Woods op.68/5
I. Jevtic: Le rêve d’un amoureux (2014)
Allegretto – Lento
Molto Adagio – Moderato
Finale – Allegrissimo
Concert: 9th of April
CD recording: 11-13th of April
Saint-Säens: Concerto in a minor op.33; Tchaikovsky: Rokoko Variations in a minor op.33; Jevtic: Le rêve d’un amoureux
CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
Violin or Cello Sonata in A major (1886)
The violin sonata by César Franck was his wedding gift to the violinist Eugene Ysaye, and was presented to him on the morning of this special day, on 26th of September 1886. In that same period Franck was working on one of his most beautiful works, the Symphonic Poem Psyche for Orchestra and Choir.
As Franck mentioned to his pupil Arthur Coquard, he had been contemplating Psyche over many years in his mind, and composed it in his vacation retreat at Combs-la-Ville- Quincy over the summer of 1886, together with the violin sonata.
The story of Psyche is drawn from the second century Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius, which tells of Greek god Eros’ nocturnally veiled love for the mortal Psyche, Psyche’s wish to behold her lover face to face, and the lovers’ parting and then reconciliation. In Franck’s retelling, Psyche first dreams of Eros, then she is carried by zephyrs (gentle winds) to Eros’ secret garden, where they spend many wonderful nights together. Psyche is warned that she must never seek to see the face of her mysterious lover. But she does not obey, and thus loses Eros. The aftermath of her transgression is very dramatic; Aphrodite sets her impossible tasks, but due to Psyche’s unbounded love she receives help from Zeus and becomes a goddess herself. The story ends with the wonderful reunion of Psyche and Eros and their wedding.
In my personal reading, the music of this sonata also inhabits the world of this wonderful myth:
1st Movement: Psyche and Eros, their nocturnally veiled love.
2nd Movement: Psyche’s transgression, suffering and love.
3rd Movement: Aphrodite’s tasks, Psyche’s transformation
4th Movement: Psyche and Eros again together, their wedding, divine power.
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Cello Sonata Op.65 (1845-47)
From 1838 to 1847 Frédéric Chopin was in a romantic relationship with George Sand, who was a very famous French writer at that time. It was a relationship between a strong, extravagant, pragmatic woman and a sensitive, delicate man. Throughout his life Chopin had quite a sensitive, weak body and unstable health. He was not especially well organized in his everyday life, and spent most of his time teaching in high class society in Paris. Luckily, for several years he had the practical and emotional support of George Sand. He was mostly composing in Nohant, her country house, where he did not have to teach and where he felt physically and emotionally well enough to work. At the time when he was working on the cello sonata in 1845 they started to have bigger conflicts, mainly because of her children. (Chopin was very protective towards Sand’s daughter Sol.) 1846 was the last summer he was in Nohant.
The Cello Sonata Op. 65 turned to be Chopin’s last opus, written between 1845-47 in Nohant and Paris. This wonderful work is his only duo sonata. We know from the letters to his family that the process of writing was not easy (there are more then 200 pages of sketches), because he was looking for the perfect fusion between such different instruments.
In my opinion, Chopin felt that the best inspiration for writing for the cello is the voice, the Lied. Perhaps this is why he chose the cello for his duo sonata, and why the piece was such a success. The sonata is not only an enrichment for the cello repertoire, but also for the chamber music in general – it is such a wonderful example of combining or even “melting” a string instrument with the piano.
Right at the beginning of the cello sonata we hear the motive from the first song of Winterreise by Franz Schubert. The harmonies in the third movement of the cello sonata are the same as in Frauenleben und Liebe by Robert Schumann. Can it all be just a coincidence ? I don’t believe so. I think Chopin did know these songs and felt very connected to the world of Lied, he just did not have yet time or courage to develop and publish his own songs. The music of his cello sonata is also closely related to his own beautiful and unknown songs (op. posthum 74). He asked his friend to destroy after his death all the manuscripts of the songs he had written during his life. But fortunately for us, with the permission of Chopin’s family, some of these precious and beautiful songs were published posthumously. Many sad songs with texts about ‘Polish destiny’ under Russian occupation, about injustice, death, melancholy, songs about love, unhappy love and some light and funny songs.
The characters of the four movements of Chopin’s Cello Sonata could be described like the characters or stories in his songs:
1st Movement: Wayfarer destiny (like at the beginning of Schubert’s Winterreise) – Chopin’s wayfarer story looking back at his life, singing about injustice, love, generosity, pride, sadness, passion, patriotism.
2nd Movement: Dramatic Scherzo – alternating dancing and menacing moments. Trio – untroubled, comforting and openhearted waltz.
3rd Movement: Song from the deepness of the soul, conversation with death.
4th Movement: Tarantella/Rondo – alternately anxious, restless dance, beautiful song from his childhood and happy, light tarantella. The end is in G Major, happy and free.
Recording engineer: Jacques Doll
Artistic Direction: Dominique Chenu-Desmeules et Jacques Doll
Violoncello: Ragnar Hayn (Berlin 2012)
Piano: Steinway D (prepared by Francis Morin)
Photo Xenia Jankovic: Marco Borggreve
Photo Jaqueline Bourgès-Maunoury: Philippe Frémont
Producer: Benoit d’Hau
Label Manager: Maël Perrgiault
Graphisme: Pauline Pénicaud
Special thanks to Patrice, Pascale and Benoit Fallot.
ARAM KHACHATURIAN: CELLO CONCERTO (1946)
SERGEI PROKOFIEV: SINFONIA CONCERTANTE (1952)
Both these concertos were written in the Stalin era in Moscow, Khachaturian’s concerto before 1948, Prokofiev’s after. It was the terrible year that so seriously changed the lives of many Soviet composers. The best composers, including Prokofiev and Khachaturian, were unexpectedly accused in 1948 Zhdanov’s decree of writing incomprehensible and formalistic music and thus adopted an anti-state stance. As a result, both (and also Dmitri Shostakovich) had to apologize in front of the communist committee and promise to write different music in order to serve the people and the state better in the future!
Mstislav Rostropovich told us Khachaturian once said that he wondered if he might have become a better composer if had he not lived exactly at this terrible time. Regarding Prokofiev’s reaction to what happened in 1948, Rostropovich said that Prokofiev fled to an inner, somewhat naive world and was unable to deal with this senseless and cruel reality. Still, he suffered just as much from it. Khachaturian’s cello concerto was written in 1946, although he had planned it during his years at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow. Coming from a simple family, he moved from the Caucasus to Moscow at the age of nineteen and started his musical studies at the Gnessin Institute as a cellist. Only three years later he decided to switch to composition at the same institute before moving to the Conservatoire to deepen his knowledge with Nikolai Myaskovsky. In 1933 he completed his studies, married his fellow student Nina and from then on lived as a composer in Moscow. One of his first works, which also brought him international recognition, was his piano concerto, written in 1936 for pianist Lev Oborin. Khachaturian had planned to dedicate a concerto to each of the musicians of the piano trio Oborin / Oistrach/ Knushevitsky. In 1940, the Violin Concerto was ready and dedicated to David Oistrach. This concerto, often performed to this day, brought Khachaturian even more popularity and in 1941 also won him the “Stalin Prize“. Right after the war, in 1946, he finally composed his cello concerto dedicated to Sergei Knushevitsky. While this work naturally carries the darkness of the war, the music tells us about human suffering in very different facets, such as in the second movement perhaps a reminder of the genocide of the Armenian people during the First World War. All themes are connected to Caucasian folk music. It is all the more astonishing that this cello concerto was criticized by the communist committee and led in 1948 to the accusation of Khachaturian writing anti-proletarian music. What was probablyincomprehensible to the party members is the subtle poetic side in this music and it’s profound musical expression.
Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante op.125, one of his last works, was completed one year before his death. Unlike Khachaturian, Prokofiev came from an aristocratic family and emigrated after the revolution in 1918 first to the United States and from 1920 onwards lived in France. There he married and enjoyed recognition as a pianist and composer. Nevertheless, he travelled more and more frequently to Russia from 1927 and decided, in 1936, to stay there. It is interesting that his works for solo instruments with orchestra were written in his early years or during the years of emigration – five piano concertos (which he played himself), two violin concertos and the cello concerto written in Paris in 1935. Prokofiev only finished this concerto in 1938 in Moscow, and the premiere took place there with the cellist Lev Beresowski. Unfortunately, this piece found no recognition by the audience and colleagues. It was not until 1947 that Prokofiev heard his first cello concerto again, now played by the twenty-year-old Rostropovich. His interest in the cello as a musical instrument really awakened. In 1949 he wrote the cello sonata, which he dedicated to Rostropovich. In 1951 he decided to work with Rostropovich on the op.58 concerto. Rostropovich told us that, for example, he was asked to write the whole cadenza himself and then Prokofiev would work with it. It is how our Sinfonia concertante was born and soon premiered with great success, in February 1952 in Moscow, by Rostropovich as a soloist and Sviatoslav Richter as a conductor. For us cellists, it is a fascinating and exciting concerto, as it shows our instrument from so many wonderful sides. The piece is technically very demanding and at the same time written so well for the instrument! It really is a masterpiece of collaboration between a composer and a performer. Interesting structure, contrasting atmospheres and wonderful melodies from Prokofiev’s mature creative period are combined with great eruptive energy of young Rostropovich in the fast passages and cadenzas, all that gives this work a very special beauty and strength!
Bringing the finest musicians from across the world in memory of IMS Prussia Cove’s founder.
Every year a group of musicians taught by IMS Prussia Cove’s founder – the great Hungarian violinist Sándor Végh – come together to rehearse and perform in his memory.
Beethoven String Quartet Op.59, No.1
Beethoven String Quartet Op.132
Florence Cooke, Kjell-Arne Jorgensen, Ulrike-Anima Mathé, Daniel Phillips, violins
Tim Boulton, Werner Dickel, viola
Xenia Jankovic, Christoph Richter, cello
Alongside the two-week master classes given by well-known, leading artistic personalities, isa also offers participants additional learning opportunities in the form of workshops, lectures, and coaching sessions.
For more information: click here.
Welcome to Ernen, the “Music Village”
In 1974, when György Sebök decided to found a music festival in a mountain village in the Goms, his vision was of an oasis of culture and music. Far removed from glamour and stardom, where stress is but a remote memory, he imagined a place of tranquillity, where performers would meet and make music together. While the scope of the festival has expanded over the years, Ernen continues to embody Sebök’s vision to this day, and remains a microcosm of charm, authenticity and the simple life. What will Ernen be for you? Sublime music performed by extraordinary musicians, hiking in the spectacular mountains, taking a literature course or a writing workshop, world-class Swiss cuisine coupled with a glass of regional Valais wine.
For programme and more: click here.
It is there that Musica Reservata, association of concerts and International Master Classes has chosen to set up, in partnership with the Academia Internacional de Música Aquiles Delle Vigne .
Installed since 23 years in Bruges (Belgium) for the Summer Master Classes, Musica Reservata found with Coimbra a city at the height for its Spring Master Classes.
We invite you to share one marvellous week with us listening to others and playing yourself. Our guest teachers are all great international soloists!!
Surrounded by the University’s influence, and with music as companion, the concerts during this week inspire you and make your stay …unforgettable.
Come and share this unique experience with us.
Coimbra is expecting you! For more information: click here.
Beethoven cycle with Uriel Quartet
7. October: Beethoven String quartets op. 127, op. 18/1, op 59/3
8. October: Beethoven String quartets op. 74, op.18/2, op. 131
9. October: Beethoven String quartets op 18/3, Great Fuge, 59/1
CD recording (Hamlet Trio)
with Uriel Quartet (Beethoven)
with Hamlet Trio (Haydn, Mendelssohn, Beethoven)
1. May 2016, 20:30
Theatro Olimpico, Vicenza
Schönberg Verklärte Nacht
Schönberg Verklärte Nacht, Project with the students