I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegro maestoso
III. Allegro appasionato
The following notes come from a source that is dedicated to the works of Antonín Dvořák:
Dvorak’s former colleague from the Provisional Theatre Orchestra Jan Pelikan gave private violin lessons to student Josef Kruis, who rented accommodation in the same house as the Dvoraks. Dvorak occasionally played the viola with them and initially wrote his Terzetto in C major for their modest ensemble. He was unfamiliar with Kruis’s violin skills at the time, thus, when the piece proved too difficult, he wrote a simpler trio, today familiar as Miniatures, which he then rewrote in a more attractive arrangement for violin and piano. Dvorak labelled the trio in its original instrumentation for two violins and viola as “Bagatelles”, however, the work was published (only in 1945) under the title Miniatures, in order to avoid confusion with the composer’s Bagatelles for Two Violins, Cello and Harmonium. A version for violin and piano was published by Simrock back in 1887 entitled Romantic Pieces.
The formal arrangement of the piece is simplicity itself, a sequence of four short contrasting movements in which no attempt has been made to tie them in as a cycle. Each movement is constructed upon a single theme and has a consistent mood which is also expressed in the chosen subtitles: Cavatina, Capriccio, Romanza and Elegia. Dvorak is extremely economical with his themes, above all, in the fourth movement, the entire content of which is essentially based on a single, three-note motif, whose masterful treatment is powerfully eloquent. The essence of the work is probably best captured by Dvorak himself in a letter to his publisher Simrock: “I am writing some short Bagatelles at the moment, just think, for two violins and viola. My work brings me as much pleasure as if I were writing a major symphony – what do you say to that? They are, of course, aimed at amateur musicians, but didn’t Beethoven and Schumann also once write little pieces, and look what they came up with!”
— všechna práva vyhrazena
© www.antonin-dvorak.cz | 2005-2020
I. Con moto
II. Ballade. Con moto
Janáček’s Sonáta pro housle a klavír (Violin Sonata), written as a response to Russian advances at the beginning of World War I, enjoyed a number of performances in Britain following its inclusion in the concert at Wigmore Hall in May 1926. The work is an impassioned one, juxtaposing full sections with thick writing in the piano and expansive thematic material in the violin with pizzicato subdued sections (reminiscent of his contemporary, Bartók’s own violin sonata). Although the work was started as early as 1914 (though there has been some speculation that it existed before that date), Janáček continued to revise the work up until 1920, when he was engrossed in the composition of Káťa Kabanová – the manuscript for the Allegretto third movement has a sketch for a vocal motif from Act One of the opera on the back of it.
© Gavin Plumley, 2002 – 2008
Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn, 1770 – Vienna, 1827)
The Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30 No. 3, the third of his Opus 30 set, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1801 and 1802, published in May 1803, and dedicated to Tsar Alexander I of Russia. This light-hearted and graceful sonata is characteristic of early/middle Beethoven in its solid sonata structure, although Beethoven was recognizing his encroaching deafness. Max Rostal, legendary violinist, describes this lovely sonata best in Beethoven: the Sonatas for Piano and Violin:
“We are in a realm of a kind of conflict-less perfection where the proportion on sunny gaiety of the first movement, the stately beauty of the Tempo di Minuetto, and the good-humoured bounce of the concluding Rondo combine to give us one of the most harmonious works of the set.”
Chamber Music Houston 2021
Chamber Music Houston is pleased to feature this CameraMusic presentation of Arnaud Sussman, violin, and Michael Brown, piano, who have collaborated frequently as a duo and as members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Enjoy Dvořák‘s Four Romantic Pieces Op. 75, Janáček‘s Violin Sonata, and Beethoven‘s Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No. 3.
This free one-night performance for you is co-presented by Chamber Music Houston, Chamber Music Detroit, Mostly Music, and New Orleans Friends of Music.
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