IMF Kutná Hora 2017

Sunday / August 22 /  8:30 p.m. / Church of St. Barbara



Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Piano and Violin in G major, No. 1

I. Vivace ma non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Allegro molto moderato

Pavel Šporcl – violin, Igor Ardašev – piano

    Ernest Chausson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D major, Op. 21

    I. Décidé – Animé
    II. Sicilienne: Pas vite
    III. Grave
    IV. Très animé

    Pavel Šporcl – violin, Igor Ardašev – piano
    Herold Quartet: Petr Zdvihal, Jan Valta – violin, Karel Untermüller – viola, David Havelík – violoncello


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    In these three violin sonatas, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) affirms his status as a composer of limitless melodic invention, peerless sophistication and sweeping Romantic gesture. The are rightly denoted as works “for piano and violin”, as the piano is by no means treated as mere accompaniment: rather, the two instruments are thoroughly equal partners, frequently swapping roles, the individual melodies linking up with one another in lively dialogue. The first Sonata in G major opens on a theme reminiscent of the well-known Lullaby or piano intermezzos by the same composer. Brahms composed the sonata in 1878, while staying in his favourite summer retreat at Portschach on Lake Wörth, and indeed the mood of summer virtually projects into this music. In the third movement the composer used a theme from his song Regenlied; hence the sonata´s moniker, “Regensonate” – “Rain Sonata.”

                The reason why the French composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) named his sextet for violin, piano and string quartet “Concerto” is not entirely clear, and nor in fact is it particularly relevant. We know that the work´s premiere in 1892 became Chausson´s real breakthrough as a composer: a trained lawyer, he gradually saw his passion for music prevail over his original occupation. Sadly, his premature death came at the very point in time when his music was beginning to earn recognition. Chausson was one of the most erudite figures of his time, turning his house to a gathering place of some of the foremost exponents of music (Henri Duparc, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Isaac Albéniz, among others)´, literature (Stéphane Mallarmé, Ivan Turgenev), and visual arts (Claude Monet). It is easy to see that this inspiring milieu should have impelled the writing – and subsequent performances – of  this concerto, whose tonal palette and emotional message, conveyed by way of an attractively conceived alternation of the two soloists set in contrast to the string ensemble have continued to draw the attention of interpreters ever since its premiere.

    sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka