DVOŘÁK / CHOPIN / MOZART
Antonín Dvořák: Sonatina for Violin and Piano
I. Allegro risoluto
III. Scherzo. Molto vivace
IV. Finale. Allegro
Roman Patočka – violin, Piers Lane – piano
Frédéric Chopin: Nocturnes for Piano (parts)
Piers Lane – piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Quintet for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola and Cello in A major, K581
IV. Allegretto con variazioni
Michel Raison – clarinet, Roman Patočka, Milan Pala – violins, Karel Untermüller – viola, Jiří Bárta – cello
An evening of timeless evergreen melodies of world music literature, and the comeback of Michel Raison to Kutná Hora: what more could one wish?
Dvořák´s Sonatina in G major is – similarly as the Bagatelles presented in the Festival´s closing concert – proof of a real Master being identifiable even through tiny details. This is how the composer himself characterized this piece: “It is destined for young listeners, but may grownups, adults, let it entertain them as much as they, too, may find appropriate…”. There, he has since been proved right, as the Sonatina still today figures on the repertoires of even some of the foremost violin virtuosos. However technically unexacting it may be, it is compositionally elaborate as well as original. Like other works from Dvořák´s American period, the Sonatina features pentatonic elements, syncopated rhythms and other devices which Dvořák discovered in the music of Native Americans.
While the genre of nocturne may not exactly be the “invention” of Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), it was he who gave it its unmistakeable character. At its base is an undulating left-hand accompaniment or broken chords, and a melody adorned by Chopin´s inimitable ornamentics in the right hand. An avid lover of opera and admirer of the potential of the human voice, Chopin achieved here something very much like bel canto in piano form. His overall output of twenty-one nocturnes dating from between 1827 and 1846 includes both works filled with plangent melancholia, and sterling virtuoso pieces.
The meeting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) with the clarinet player, Anton Stadler (1752-1812), his fellow-Free Mason, provided welcome impetus for the writing of a series of pieces dating from the final years of the composer´s life. These include most notably the Concerto in A major, and also the Quintet K581, inscribed for the combination of clarinet and string quartet, one of Mozart´s loveliest creations (in particular, its Larghetto). Originally, however, both of these compositions were written for basset horn, and are now usually performed on a larger A-clarinet. In Mozart´s time, this instrument was gradually integrated into orchestras, which was also why Mozart assigned it distinctive solos in his opera La clemenza di Tito. Stadler accompanied Mozart on his way to its Prague premiere in 1791, only two months before the composer´s unexpected death.
sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka