During the Kerkenmarathon, two cellists are in the spotlight. While Pablo Férrandez gives a few parts in the Geertekerk Bach’s First Cello Suite, leave Zvi Plesser in the Lutherse church hear a few movements from the Third cello suite. In addition the viola also plays a prominent role in the Lutheran church: guest programmer Amihai Grosz plays Britten’s Elegy for viola solo and in Mozart’s Horn Quintet, no fewer than two violas can be heard. Horn player Chezy Nir plays the virtuoso solo part.
Although Bach’s Cello Suites are three centuries old, they have nothing lost in depth and eloquence. No wonder
many leading cellists regularly perform and record them. However, it is a source of frustration that Bach’s handwriting has been lost. Fortunately, his second wife Anna made Magdalena between 1727 and 1731 a copy of the Cello suites. There is also a copy of Bach’s pupil Johann Peter Kelner. Both Anna Magdalena and Kellner played not a bowed instrument myself and were unfortunately both very sloppy in adopting Bach’s arcs of articulation. Because the manuscripts are not complete, cellists must themselves at their own discretion insight make some decisions about strokes, phrasing and harmonies without ever knowing for sure if the ones around come to Bach’s original idea. The world famous cellist Anner Bijlsma aptly expressed this frustration in his book Bach, The Fencing Master: “Oh! Mrs. Bach! Why are your slurs so high about the notes? One more note under the slur, or one less, already turns my whole boarm machinery around!” Cellist Zvi Plesser has selected three movements for tonight the radiant and majestic Third cello suite in C major: a noble one Prelude, a philosophical Sarabande and an exuberant Gigue.
ELEGY FOR VIOLA
Who thinks the successful English composer and conductor Benjamin Britten only played the piano is mistaken: he was too viola player and even wrote a number of compositions for this instrument. Possibly mainly for self-study, because they were not published until after his death published. Britten’s Elegy for solo viola is a relatively recent one discovery. The first public performance took place in 1984 during the Aldeburgh Festival (founded by Britten himself), with as soloist the renowned viola player Nobuko Imai. Britten wrote this one Elegy in the summer of 1930, the day after, with the permission of his parents had left boarding school early. Although he himself had felt bad for two years at Gresham’s School in Holt saying goodbye is hard for him. “I didn’t think I would be sorry to leave,” he wrote in his diary. But he noticed he missed his friends and some masters anyway. This beautiful and compelling Elegy expresses his feelings at the time.
VIRTUOS HORN PARTY
Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart mostly chamber music for string instruments with and without piano,
he also composed a few starring works for blazers. Everyone knows the special bond that Mozart had with
clarinet virtuoso Anton Stadler, which resulted in the beautiful Clarinet Quintet (which last year during the online streaming of the IKFU sounded on December 28, 2021), the Clarinet Concerto and the arias for clarinet from the opera La clemenza di Tito. Slightly less Mozart’s friendship with Joseph Leutgeb, de legendary horn player he met at the court in Salzburg. At Leutgeb’s request, Mozart composed quite a few solo pieces for horn. First of all the Horn Quintet, KV 407, later also four horn concertos and some loose movements. With that, the receiver is in soloistically the best endowed wind instrument in Mozart’s oeuvre. The Horn Quintet is a unique work, not only because of the extremely virtuoso horn part, but also because of the unusual instrumentation of the accompanying string quartet: one violin, two violas and a cello. The ensemble gets through the two violas a darker sound than in the usual line-up for two violins and one viola. In addition, the quartet now mixes better with the horn part, because the viola and horn have the same range. The only violin part stands out extra because of this and gets a silvery shine in the height and the cello also gets a special color. Mainly the exuberant and optimistic third movement proves that Leutgeb is a must have been an extremely talented horn player.