Tuesday, October 18, 2005

“I seek a balanced life” (Midori)

"I seek a balanced life," writes Midori. "To play music honestly, to expand my mind, to explore the many disciplines that interest me."

Midori, violin, and Charles Abramovic, piano, will be performing this coming Sunday evening, at the new Music Center at Strathmore, in North Bethesda, Maryland. Their program will feature:

Mozart: Sonata in A Major, K. 305 (1778)
Prokofiev: Sonata No. 1 (1946)
Schoenberg: Phantasy, Op. 47 (1949)
Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor (1802)

Program notes to the performance -- by Eric Bromberger -- are currently available at the presenting organization's (Washington Performing Arts Society's) website:


From Mr Bromberger's note to the Prokofiev:

"The somber first movement opens with an ostinato-like piano passage over which the violin makes its muttering, tentative entrance. Much of the main section is double-stopped, and in the final moments come quietly racing runs for muted violin; Prokofiev said that these should sound “like the wind in a graveyard,” and he marks the violinist’s part freddo: “cold.” The second movement, Allegro brusco (“brusque”) is in sonata form. The pounding opening subject gives way to a soaring second theme marked eroico; the brusque and the lyric alternate throughout this movement, which ends with the violin rocketing upward to the concluding high C. Prokofiev began the Andante, which he described as “slow, gentle, and tender,” before the war but did not complete it until 1946. Muted throughout, the violin has the main subject over rippling triplets from the piano. The concluding Allegrissimo brings back the metrical freedom of the opening movement: Prokofiev’s metric indication is 5/8 7/8 8/8. The alternating meters give the music an asymmetric feel, which is intensified by the aggressive quality of the thematic material. The cold winds from the first movement return to blow icily through the sonata’s final pages and to bring this music to its somber close....Violinist David Oistrakh, dedicatee of the First Sonata, gave the premiere performance in Moscow on October 23, 1946."

View of William Kentridge's video of animated drawings "Felix in Exile" newly installed in the Museum of Modern Art's Contemporary Art galleries. Artist Mark Barry describes the work as a "beautiful flow of consciousness".

Photo credit: Mark Barry via ionarts.org


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