Saint-Säens: Concerto in a minor op.33; Tchaikovsky: Rokoko Variations in a minor op.33; Jevtic: Le rêve d’un amoureux
Franck & Chopin Sonatas CD with Xenia Jankovic and Jacqueline Bourges-Maunoury. Recorded in Fallot Castle in Switzerland. Click here for more information.
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