By paqueklavier Wednesday April 24th, 2019
Spring Feelings – Music with reading from the “Kreutzer Sonata” by Tolstoy
Dear Friends of Music and Literature,
On May 4, 2019, the duo Sis, consisting of the sisters Huei Chiang (violin) and Yin Chiang (piano) played two works by Ludwig van Beethoven. As a motive for this concert, they chose the transition into the spring, which seems, for now, to have yet to decide when he is coming.
Thus, it was not surprising that the famous Spring Sonata was first on the program, whose first movement everyone should be familiar with, even though the name might be unknown. If you suspect that two sisters can play together beautifully, then you are absolutely right! The dynamics of the two instruments were well balanced right to the last rows, so that neither player overshadowed the other. Yin and Huei Chiang played this concert full of fervor and devotion, which sent several shivers over the listeners back during the fast passages, which both musicians played masterfully and musically excellent, whereas the calm passages sent the listener into an imaginary blooming garden.
However, the program was not limited to a concert alone. The two musicians were accompanied by a reading by Dr. Marc Herrmann with the passages from the “Kreutzer Sonata” by Lev Nikolajewitsch Tolstoi, who based this tale on the eponymous composition by Beethoven, which was composed almost a century earlier. The story describes a man who out of jealousy murders his wife. But it should not be so tragic in this concert. After the first movement from the Spring Sonata, Marc Hermann took the floor and gave the protagonist of the narrative a great deal of empathy. It soon became clear that this person was somebody who had a very staid attitude, even for those days. At the same time, however, it is visibly difficult for him to act in accordance with his own moral standards, blaming his “corrupt” environment for his behaviour. So all the ladies he met were not innocent and pure enough for this gentleman until he thought he had finally found the right one. The three remaining movements of the Spring Sonata followed, and the listener might wonder how such a person as the protagonist could be associated with these lively and positive feelings.
After the intermission the first movement of the Kreutzer Sonata by Beethoven immediately followed and it’s wild temperament impressively aroused the mind of the listener. Between the two other movements, Marc Herrmann once again lent the protagonist his words, who spent at least as much energy on his revulsion against the said sonata that dared to put the listener in such a mood. After all, music must fulfill a purpose, such as dancing or marching. But music without purpose and peppered with emotions – that’s really unheard of! And so it especially displeased this gentleman that just his wife, who incidentally also played the piano, now also regularly rehearsed together with a professional violinist, for example also the said Kreutzer-Sonata. While the protagonist presented himself as extremely polite and courteous towards the musician, he imagines how his formerly pure wife is subject to the scheming seductions of this musician. Hearing this was especially funny, since Marc Herrmann addressed these accusations towards Yin Chiang who also happens to be his real wife.
Yin and Huei Chiang presented together with Dr. Marc Hermann a wonderful program, with which they truly understood to awaken spring feelings in their audience. Especially the eccentric nature of the protagonist in Tolstoy’s story gave the whole event a cheerful note. With their second concert in the music studio, the two musicians again fully convinced the audience of their abilities, while the Kaps-Flügel from 1875 and the violin from the beginning of the 20th century perfectly reproduced the timbre of these compositions.
Dear friends of music and literature,
Today there is once again an extraordinary concert combining Beethoven’s music with the literature of L.N. Tolstoy. The Duo Sis, consisting of Yin Chiang (piano) and Huei Chiang (violin) is performing for the second time in the music studio, after it celebrated its first very successful appearance in the music studio in 2017. The literary design of the program will be carried out by Dr. Marc Hermann. The focal point of this evening is the Kreutzer Sonata by Beethoven, which also Tolstoy dedicated himself to in literary terms.
Beethoven composed the sonata in 1803, initially titled “Sonata per il Pianoforte ed uno violino obligato in un stile molto concertante come d ‘ un concerto”. He dedicated the sonata to George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1778 – 1860), a star violinist with African and German roots from Poland who lived in England. Beethoven and Bridgetower got to know each other when they performed together in Vienna in 1803 and Beethoven must have been very enthusiastic about his abilities. The dedication reads “Sonata mulattica composta per il mulatto Brischdauer [Bridgetower], gran pazzo e compositore mulattico” (mulatto sonata, composed for the mulatto Brischdauer, a great madman and mulactic composer).
The 1889 published novel by Tolstoy is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing his wife: in his analysis, the root causes for the deed were the “animal excesses” and “swinish connection” governing the relation between the sexes.
Also on the program is the so-called Spring Sonata by Beethoven, which he composed in 1801. It was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, a patron to whom Beethoven also dedicated two other works of the same year – the String Quintet in C major and the Fourth Violin Sonata – as well as his later Seventh Symphony.
So look forward to the musical entrance to spring, full of wild passion and zest for life!
Saturday, 4th of May 2019
Reading (in German): The Kreutzer-Sonata by Tolstoy
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24 (Spring Sonata)
2. Adagio molto espressivo
3. Scherzo: Allegro molto
4. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Violin Sonata No. 9 A Major, Op. 47 (Kreutzer-Sonata)
1. Adagio sostenuto – Presto
2. Andante von Variazioni
3. Finale. Presto
Entry: 18,- € / 10,- € red.
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