St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Leonidas Kavakos (violin) and Nikolai Lugansky (piano)

Leonidas Kavakos (biography)
Nikolai Lugansky (biography)

Leoš Janáček
Sonata for Violin and Piano, JW 7/ 7

Johannes Brahms
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G Major, Op.78

Igor Stravinsky
Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano

Ottorino Respighi
Sonata for Violin and Piano in B Minor

The programme includes works for violin and piano that were composed over the course of half a century. The ears are at times grated on by the brutal sounds of the 20th century and, at others, caressed by romantic harmonies. The most avant-garde piece is Leoš Janáček’s sonata (1922). Almost all of the composer’s chamber works are programmatic, and several (such as the quartet Intimate Letters and the troubled and fantastical sonata) are connected with personal sufferings.
Johannes Brahms’ First Sonata (1879) is also known as the “Rain Sonata”: here the common theme of  Regenlied and  Nachklang to verse by Klaus Groth is developed (Op. 59, Nos 3–4). This music is not at all about grey rain – here there is happiness, there is tragedy, there is a romantic fullness of emotion. Igor Stravinsky’s concert duet (1932) was composed for the American violinist Samuel Dushkin with whom the composer frequently toured throughout Europe and the USA. This virtuoso duet is partially in the neo-classical style (Dushkin also dabbled in composition, claiming his works were written by 18th century composers). Ottorino Respighi’s sonata, although composed in 1916, returns us to the world of Romanticism; the final basso ostinato variations even bring Brahms to mind.
Anna Bulycheva

Age category 6+

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