Refined Sonatas

Lily Maisky, piano, Alissa Margulis, violin

Friday, 19 February at 20:30

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Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Scherzo from F-A-E Sonata

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)
Intermezzo from F-A-E Sonata

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Sonata number 3 in D minor Op.108
-Allegro
-Adagio
-Un poco presto e con sentimento
-Presto agitato

INTERVAL

 Leos Janacek (1854 – 1928)
Sonata
-Con moto
-Ballada
-Allegretto
-Adagio

Bela Bartok (1881 – 1945)
Rhapsody number 1
-Lassu
-Friss

Lily Maisky, piano
Lily Maisky was born in Paris in 1987, moving to Brussels soon after. She began playing the piano at the age of four, with Lyl Tiempo, also studying with Hagit Kerbel, Olga Mogilevsky, Ilana Davids and Alan Weiss. Lily was a pupil at the “Purcell School of Music” from 2001 till 2004 where she also studied jazz piano. She has received master classes and musical advice from renowned artists including Martha Argerich, Dmitri Bashkirov, Joseph Kalichstein, Evgeny Mogilevsky, Pavel Gililov, Vitali Margulis, Oleg Maisenberg and Marielle Labeque to name a few. She also participated in the prestigious Verbier Academy and the Oxford Philomusica piano courses.
Concert appearances have taken her throughout Europe as well as the Far East, and she has been invited to many renowned festivals such as the Verbier Festival, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, the Edinburgh Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Franz Liszt festival in Austria, Julian Rachlin and Friends in Dubrovnik, Rencontres de Bel Air in France, the Schlesswig-Holstein Music Festival as well as the English Chamber Orchestra Music Cruise. Lily has performed concertos under the batons of maestros Thomas Sanderling, Gerd Albrecht, Daniel Raiskin and Charles Olivieri Munroe amongst others. She has also performed solo and ensemble works in such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, Vienna’s Concerthaus, Munich’s Prinzregentheatre, Hamburg’s Leiszhalle, Venezia’s La Fenice, Bonn’s BeethovenHalle, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Rome’s Teatro Olimpico, Moscow Conservatory, Saint Petersburg Philarmonie, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Buckingham Palace among others.
Lily features on several Deutsche Grammophon and EMI recording releases, and has been frequently broadcasted on European and Asian radio and television. Lily enjoys playing chamber music as well as solo piano. She has also performed with such artists as Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Renaud Capuçon, Sergey Krylov, Nicholas Angelich, Frank Braley, Gérard Caussé, Chantal Juillet, Dora Schwarzberg as well as Alissa Margulis, Hrachya Avanesyan, Geza Hosszu-Legocky, Orfeo Mandozzi, Boris Brovstyn and Boris Andrianov. 

Alissa Margulis, violin
The Guardian describes Alissa Margulis’ playing as “exceptional“, Ivry Gitlis praises it as “a revelation” and Martha Argerich calls her a “strong musical personality”.
Appreciated for her expressive and very emotional performances, Alissa Margulis regularly plays in important concert halls such as the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Cologne Philharmony, the Vienna Musikverein, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Zurich, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Beethovenhalle Bonn, and the Schönberg Hall in Los Angeles.
Born in Germany into a family of Russian musicians, Alissa Margulis studied in Cologne with Zakhar Bron, in Brussels with Augustin Dumay and in Vienna with Pavel Vernikov.
She made her first public appearance at the age of seven with the Budapest Soloists and since then has performed with numerous orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Bilkent Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Belgian National Orchestra, the SWR and WDR Orchestras, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Kiev, Skopje, Ljubljana and Novosibirsk, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica, amongst others.
Alissa Margulis worked with famous conductors: Jacques Mercier, Arnold Katz, Jaap van Zweden, Enrique Mazzola, Daniel Raiskin, Fabrice Bollon, François-Xavier Roth, Howard Griffiths, Hubert Soudant, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Christian Arming, Augustin Dumay, Mikko Franck and Gerd Albrecht to name just a few of them.
Besides her solo career Alissa Margulis is an enthusiastic chamber music player and collaborates with artists such as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, David Geringas, Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Bruno Giuranna, Gabriela Montero, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexandre Tharaud, Alexander Lonquich, Polina Leschenko and Lars Vogt.
She appeared at various Festivals: at the Enescu Festival Bucharest, in Davos, Tours, Stavanger Festival, at the Mozartwoche Salzburg, “Spannungen”-Festival in Heimbach, “Progetto” Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Verbier Festival and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
In the framework of „Martha Argerich and Friends“ EMI Classics released 6 CDs with chamber music and duo repertoire in which Alissa Margulis appears. She recorded all pieces of Franz Liszt for violin and piano for Oehms Classics and for the label Novalis Alissa Margulis recorded Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 4 with the Camerata Switzerland under the baton of Howard Griffith.
Margulis’ recording of Alexander Glazunov’s violin concerto together with the Orchestra delle Svizzerra Italiana under the baton of Hubert Soudant will be released soon. As well as a klezmer CD together with Roby Lakatos, Myriam Fuks and Polina Leschenko. Alissa Margulis is a titleholder of many international competitions, amongst others the Wieniawski competition in Poland, Spohr competition in Germany, competition for violin in Novosibirsk, Viotti Vercelli competition in Italy, Osaka chamber music competition in Japan, UNISA competition in Pretoria and the Vittorio Gui competition in Florence.
She was rewarded with the “Pro Europa” prize of the European Arts Foundation (Berlin) in 2002.
In 2004 Alissa Margulis received the “Nouvelle Artiste” award of the Juventutis festival in Cambrai.
In the season 2014/15 Alissa Margulis performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theatre Cottbus. Furthermore she was a guest at the Mozart Festival 2015 in Mexico.

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Scherzo from F-A-E Sonata
The Scherzo is Brahms’ earliest extant piece for violin and piano, though he had already composed at least one full sonata for that instrumental combination that either he or Schumann lost on its way to the publisher. The piece (“good fun–and harmless,” according to William Murdoch) follows the traditional three-part scherzo form, with a rather stormy C minor paragraph at the beginning and end surrounding a more lyrical central trio. Though written when Brahms was still very young, the music bears his characteristic qualities: rich harmonic vocabulary, insistent rhythmic vitality, a sure sense of motivic growth and full textures (sometimes, indeed, too full, since the violin cannot always compete in volume with the fistfuls of piano chords–it took Brahms a quarter of a century to solve this problem before returning to the violin and piano genre). Brahms’ Scherzo was not only a charming memento of an important friendship, but was also further proof to Schumann that he had met a genius. On October 23, 1853, Schumann’s article “New Paths” appeared in the widely read journal that he edited, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (“New Journal for Music”).

“I thought that sooner or later,” he wrote, “someone would and must appear, destined to give ideal expression to the spirit of the times…. And he has come, a young blood at whose cradle Graces and Heroes kept watch. His name is Johannes Brahms.” Brahms was famous from that day forward.
kennedy-center.org

 

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)
Intermezzo from FAE Sonata
In 1853, Schumann joined forces with Brahms and a third, lesser-known composer to write a composite sonata in honor of violinist Joseph Joachim. His brief Intermezzo of this second movement, is built around the musical motif F-A-E, which had special significance for the members of Schumann’s circle.
Carnegiehall.com

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Sonata for violin and piano number 3 in D minor
Between 1879 and 1887, Brahms wrote his three numbered violin sonatas, all for Joseph Joachim, the Hungarian violinist, composer, and teacher. Brahms and Joachim met while Brahms was on tour in Hanover in 1853. Both were in their early 20s, and they fast became friends. Brahms was still an unknown at this point, but Joachim was already a rising star, and the two men spent a lot of time together. By the time Brahms wrote the D-minor Sonata, Joachim had introduced him to Robert and Clara Schumann as well, two more figures who would deeply affect Brahms’ musical and personal life.
The D-minor Sonata is the only one of the three in four movements. It is also much more agitated than the previous two sonatas. The beginning Allegro follows traditional sonata-allegro form, and is immediately stormy; the violin plays a very lyrical line and the piano enters high and dramatic. The violin’s music becomes more watery, and the piano echoes calmly. The instruments wind their way down and start over. There is a final restating of the theme across three octaves, and a cadence in D major, leading directly to the Adagio.
A violin melody in 3/8 fills the second movement, with piano accompanying throughout. The melody repeats itself up an octave and with more strength. The two softly repeat a chord together at the cadenza.
In the very short Un poco presto e con sentimento the piano plays a halting, disquieting theme accompanied by the violin. Violin and piano twist in and out of minor mode, and the violin interrupts the jittery line and rhapsodizes for a moment. The piano returns with the main theme, and the movement ends abruptly with two short chords.
In the Presto agitato, runs furiously fast, barely slowing. The frenzied tarantella-like 6/8 rhythm has piano and violin egging each other down and vying for attention, bringing each other to new heights. The ending arrives with a buildup leading to a thundering cadence.
Laphil.com

 Leos Janacek (1854 – 1928)
Sonata
-Con moto
-Ballada
-Allegretto
-Adagio
Although Janacek was born before the last wave of Romantic composers – Mahler, Strauss and Reger – his most characteristic music was written at the end of his life, in the 1920s, and belongs in sound and spirit with music of the young generation around him.
Almost all of Janacek works, whether vocal or instrumental, had a programmatic origin, although purely musical considerations generally predominated once the piece had been set in motion.

Bela Bartok (1881 – 1945)
Rhapsody number 1
-Lassu
-Friss
The violin rhapsodies occupy a very special place among Bartók’s works based on folk music. For one thing, they are the longest such works in the composer’s catalogue; moreover, Bartók did not limit himself to arranging the melodies themselves but incorporated their performance style in the compositions, too. The melodies he used were fiddle tunes to begin with, and Bartók insisted that Joseph Szigeti, the dedicatee of this First Rhapsody, listen to the original field recordings before the premiere. Zoltán Székely, for whom the Second Rhapsody was written, was familiar with the village performances as well.
The stylistic differences between the two rhapsodies have to do with the personalities and artistic temperaments of Bartók’s two violinist friends. Székely, the younger man, was a composer himself and an artist with more contemporary sensibilities than Szigeti, who in the 1920s was already a world-renowned champion of the classical violin literature. Accordingly, the First Rhapsody is smoother and more popular in tone, while the Second is wilder, more passionate, and takes greater artistic risks.