On the final day of the festival, extra attention is paid to the New Generation Artists who were coached by Janine this week Jansen and Amihai Grosz and who also have in recent days played during the evening concerts. In the afternoon they play together with Janine Jansen a duo for two violins and a string quartet for four violins. The four New Generation Artists who together created the Norwegian string quartet Opus13 forms open the concert with Mendelssohn’s Second String Quartet.
The talented Felix Mendelssohn was only eighteen when he took his Second string quartet wrote. That he was a Sunday child carefree growing up in a wealthy family is clearly audible in this one attractive and melodious music. He completed work one month after Beethoven’s death in 1827. In tribute to his recent deceased idol, Mendelssohn eagerly drew on Beethoven’s last string quartets. Where Beethoven ended his last quartet with the exclamation in musical notes “Es muss sein!” began to be Mendelssohn quartet with the question “Ist es wahr?”, based on the same name love song he had written a few months earlier. And just as in Beethoven’s late string quartets, Mendelssohn begins almost all parts with a slow introduction. The first violin plays in all these introductions star with mesmerizing, meditative melodies, but in the fast passages the division is between the four instruments equivalent. The solos of the four instruments alternate and the accompanying motifs are at least even important. Note, for example, the virtuoso viola part at the end of the first part.
Sergei Prokofiev composed his Sonata for two violins in C major in 1932 during a vacation near Saint Tropez,
commissioned by the Parisian chamber music group Triton. However, the world premiere would not in Paris but taking place in Moscow in November 1932 by the violinists of the renowned Russian Beethoven Quartet:
Dmitri Tsyganov and Vasily Shirinsky. Brought out a few weeks later two other top violinists the French premiere in Paris: Samuel Dushkin (for whom Stravinsky had written his violin concerto) and Robert Soetens (for whom Prokofiev would write his Second Violin Concerto to write). Indirectly, Prokofiev gives a nice one in his autobiography explanation for his choice to compose a piece for this one special line-up: “After I played an unsuccessful piece for hearing two violins without a piano, I suddenly realized that it despite the limitations of this occupation, it is probably quite possible is to write a duet interesting enough to entertain about ten fifteen minutes to listen to.” And indeed he succeeded to write an impressive and fascinating piece for two violins of more than a quarter of an hour. Partly because of the contrast between virtuoso solos, striking rhythmic figures and dreamy melodies the two violinists together tell a fascinating story. Janine Jansen recorded the work in 2012 for Decca Classics with violinist Boris Brovtsyn (one of the international festival musicians of the IKFU 2022), this afternoon she will play the sonata with her promising student Hana Chang.
Grażyna Bacewicz was one of the first Polish women national and international fame as a composer. That they
had a father and two brothers who were also successful composers wares may have played a role in this. Bacewicz studied violin, piano and composition in Warsaw and in Paris among others Nadia Boulanger. As a violinist and pianist, she has performed throughout Europe and she won several prizes and she was also concertmaster for a while the Polish Radio Orchestra. After World War II, she started as teacher at the conservatory in Łódź (nowadays named of her and one of her brothers) and in the years that followed they mostly compose a lot of music. The many violin concertos, she performed violin sonatas and recital pieces that she has written often premieres itself. The String Quartet for four violins from 1949 is a pedagogical piece for her students that remains to this day is today regularly performed by conservatory students. It is a challenging piece for an unusual line-up, in which all four violinists alternately play an accompanying role or just one play a more solo role. Because the usual cello and viola lacking, this string quartet has an unusual, clear timbre. Become attractive and swinging folk melodies interspersed with lyrical passages, frivolous trills, playful pizzicatos and wild chords. What a luxury that the New Generation Artists have this work together with Janine Jansen!