Download Janine Sowden

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

History of sonata form wikipedia , lookup

Janine Sowden
Thursday 26 November 6pm, Salon
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
Janine Sowden piano
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Sonata No.13 in E-flat, Op.27, No.1, Quasi una fantasia
I Andante–Allegro–Andante
II Allegro molto e vivace
III Adagio con espressione
IV Allegro vivace
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
Gaspard de la Nuit: Trois poemés pour piano d’aprés Aloysius Betrand
I Ondine
II Le Gibet
III Scarbo
George Percy Grainger (1882–1961)/Richard Strauss (1864–1949)
‘Ramble’ on the last love duet from Der Rosenkavalier
George Percy Grainger (1882–1961)
Pastoral from In a Nutshell
Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
Toccata, Op.11
Often overshadowed by its Op.27, No.2 companion (the Moonlight Sonata), Beethoven’s Sonata No.13,
Op.27, No.1 is similarly titled Quasi una fantasia, and heralds the transition into Beethoven’s middle
period with the ‘heroic’ key of E-flat major. Written in 1800–1801, it features Beethoven’s innovative
exploration of the classical sonata form, where he veers away from traditional composition structures.
The first movement isn’t in the usual sonata form but in ternary form, beginning with a soft, expressive
first theme written like a string quartet. By contrast, the middle section is fast and in C major. Beethoven
swaps the classical order of the second and third movements so that the scherzo appears before the
slow movement. The last movement is a spritely rondo. A brief quotation of the theme from the slow
movement appears, followed by a cadenza. The coda, marked Presto, consisting of a tightly compressed
version of the main theme, signals the end of the piece. The four movements are performed
continuously as Beethoven writes ‘attacca’ at the end of each movement, to ensure that all movements
are integrated to create a unified whole.
19th-century French Romantic poet Aloysius Betrand’s poems from the Gaspard de la Nuit collection
are the inspiration for Ravel’s own piano suite by the same name. Ravel’s scintillating keyboard wizardry
and impressionistic nuances bring to musical life, three vivid and compelling scenes. In the first piece
Ondine, the composer conveys the love song of a water nymph to a man, trying to entice him to visit her
underwater Kingdom and concluding with her inevitable failed seduction. Le Gibet depicts a lone corpse
hanging from a gibbet at sunset, against a desert’s reddened horizon. A bell tolls in the distance, which
Ravel writes as an unrelenting B-flat octave in the middle register. This is heard throughout the entire
movement, and binds the layers of exsanguinous chromatism. With fiendish technical challenges,
repeated notes and virtuosity of the final movement, Ravel fully explores the nightmare scenario in the
form of Scarbo, the malicious dwarf whose ‘lightning’ movements create hallucinations in the darkness.
Ravel says, “I wanted to write an orchestral transcription for the piano. I wanted to make a caricature of
Romanticism. Perhaps it got the better of me”.
In the footsteps of Liszt, Grainger draws from his own formidable and highly personal piano techniques
to write inventive transcriptions. ‘Ramble’ as the title suggests is an imaginative, improvisatory ‘meander’
inspired by the melodies of Richard Strauss’ last love duet from Der Rosenkavalier. Grainger’s
idiosyncratic pedal markings are evident throughout and in particular, his special use of the sostenuto
pedal (middle pedal), where piano keys are silently depressed at the beginning and then heard ringing,
add to the coruscating ambience. The Pastoral is the third movement out of four, from Grainger’s own
orchestral suite, In a Nutshell, which was considered one of his significant original compositions. It is
Grainger at his most ambitious, where he creates a serious and sustained work of evolving chromatic and
polymodal complexity.
Prokofiev’s Toccata was written in 1912, when the composer was just 23 years of age. It was a
revolutionary composition, not only reflecting the ‘mood of the times’ but steering Prokofiev’s style into
new territory. Like Scarbo, it also begins with repeated notes, however these notes are mechanical and
driving. The incessant percussive, dissonant and explosive trajectory climaxes at the end, to complete a
sheer pianistic feat.
© Caroline Almonte, 2015
Janine Sowden, celebrated Australian pianist, producer and pedagogue is renowned internationally
for her powerful interpretive style and skilful sensitivity. Her UK debut performance was hailed by
The Times, London as ‘a delicate mixture of poetry with virtuosity.’ Prior to graduating from the Victorian
College of the Arts, Ms Sowden studied with Ronald Farren-Price, Margaret Hair and Roy Shepard.
Further postgraduate studies with Joan Havill were undertaken at the Guildhall School of Music and
Drama in London, where she won major prizes, including the coveted BP scholarship and the Concert
Recital Diploma, Premier Prix. Ms Sowden was later appointed to the teaching staff at the Junior
Guildhall School.
Ms Sowden has recorded and produced several CDs. Since returning to Australia, she enjoys an active
career and is currently on the teaching staff at the University of Melbourne, faculty of the Victorian
College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Janine Sowden would like to thank Guy, Joel and Tim Fredman for their enduring support, Stephen McIntyre
and Caroline Almonte.
Discover more about Melbourne Recital Centre:
31 Sturt St, Southbank, Victoria 3006 P 9699 3333 F 9207 2662 E [email protected] W
Principal Government Partner