IMF Kutná Hora 2017

12th IMF KH programme – 6th concert

Wednesday / June 5 / 7:30 p.m. / Jesuit College – GASK


Bach / Janáček


Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Piano, BWV 1014-10
  • Sonata B minor
  • Sonata A major
  • Sonata E major
  • Sonata C minor
  • Sonata F minor
  • Sonata G major
Leoš Janáček: On an Overgrown Path, Second Series. Piano cycle
  • Andante
  • Allegretto – Presto
  • Più mosso
  • Vivo
  • Allegro – Adagio


Corinne Chapelle – violin, Konstantin Lifschitz – piano

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Sonatas for Violin and Piano… actually the title is here, in the case of Bach´s cycle, somewhat misleading. The giant of Baroque music wrote these pieces as sonatas for concertant harpsichord with violin accompaniment. Significantly, it also marked the first time in music´s history that a harpsichord part was released from its confinement to the role of “mere” supplier of harmonies above figured bass, to assume a weight of its own, with each individual note being written down. These scores can indeed be regarded as immediate predecessors of Mozart´s and Beethoven´s sonatas. Almost all parts of this cycle, with the sole exception of the last, five-movement sonata, observe the standard Baroque-style slow-fast-slow-fast sequence of movements. The beauty and effect of this music is best showcased when played on harpsichord, correspondingly with Bach´s time, producing a succinctly structured, abundantly colourful tone.

The fact that Leoš Janáček did not attach to the five pieces of the second series of his cycle On an Overgrown Path programmatic names, as he had done for the first series (e.g., Unutterable Anguish, The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away! Our Evenings, etc.), by no means detracts from these compositions´ accessibility and emotional power. As in his operas, in his piano idiom, too, Janáček was an absolute original. In these five pieces headed merely by tempo indications, individual musical ideas or their fragments keep recurring with utter insistence, while a harmonic palette that occasionally evokes Impressionist hues intertwines with a quintessentially Moravian cadence and dance rhythm. Janáček´s score bristles with sharps, flats and dynamic marks, and the rhythm, seemingly very loose in performance, is actually specified with precision and in great detail, down to the minutest note values.   

Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka