Thursday, November 13, 2014

Russian Music for Viola and Piano Concert November 16th

It's not just Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) who is "neither fish nor fowl." Everyone here has influences from outside of Russia's borders. Even Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) who was born in Kiev, died in Moscow, and spent his entire career in Russia, became immersed with the folk music traditions from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. The four Preludes for piano (from Opus 30) are right at home (or perhaps would be better to say appropriately far from home) in this cosmopolitan program.

Alexander Winkler (1865-1935) was born in Besançon, a city near the German border of France, studied law and piano at the University of Kharkiv, and taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He wrote his Viola Sonata in 1902, and dedicated it to Auguste Joung. The final movement is a set of musically-cosmopolitan variations on a song in Breton, a Celtic language spoken in the lower part of Brittany, near the region where Winkler was born.

Paul Juon (1872-1940) was born in Moscow to Swiss parents. After studying with Arensky and Taneyev at the Moscow Conservatory, he left Russia to study in Berlin. He wrote his F minor Sonata, Opus 82 for clarinet and piano in 1923 and dedicated it to the clarinetist Ernst Orlich, who served as the University Rector at the Berlin Technical High School. He probably made the viola transcription for his own use.

Most people who read this blog live far away from Charleston, Illinois, but anyone within driving distance (or walking distance) is welcome to come! We plan to make a recording, so if you can't come would like to hear something from the concert, just let me know.

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