- BACH Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major
- GEORGE CRUMB Four Nocturnes (Night Music II)
- SCHUBERT Fantasy in C Major, D. 934
- ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Lachen verlernt
- RESPIGHI Violin Sonata in B Minor
At a Glance
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006
Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin have delighted listeners—and tested the mettle of performers—ever since their rediscovery during the 19th-century Bach revival. The E-Major Partita is a suite of five stylized dances prefaced by a bright, bravura Preludio.
GEORGE CRUMB Four Nocturnes (Night Music II)
George Crumb’s music is characterized by richly evocative poetic imagery and exotic timbral effects, often produced by unconventional instrumental techniques. These four short “night” pieces seem to emanate from a surreal world in which both the passage of time and traditional rules of musical syntax are suspended.
FRANZ SCHUBERT Fantasy in C Major, D. 934
Schubert’s richly melodious Fantasy is recognized as a masterpiece today, but it received mixed reviews at its premiere in 1828. One newspaper tartly observed that the lengthy piece “occupied rather too much of the time a Viennese is prepared to devote to pleasures of the mind.”
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Lachen verlernt
The title Lachen verlernt (Laughing Unlearned) alludes to Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, in which the narrator begs Pierrot to teach her to laugh again. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s somberly lyrical music is based on a repeated sequence of chords—half heard and half implied—that underlies the solo violinist’s increasingly agitated antics.
OTTORINO RESPIGHI Violin Sonata in B Minor
Respighi was still smarting from the disappointing reception of Fountains of Rome—the first of his symphonic poems and destined to be a concert-hall staple—when he wrote this bracingly virtuosic sonata in 1917. The two works share a lyrical, richly textured late-Romantic idiom.
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