St Martin-in-the-Fields Lunchtime Recital

13th May 2013, 1pm.

Diana Mathews – viola. Jonathan Beatty – Piano.

York Bowen

York Bowen

[audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/York-Bowen-Allegro-de-Concert-13.5.13.mp3|titles=York Bowen Allegro de Concert. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13]

York Bowen’s Allegro de Concert was originally written for cello and piano and the manuscript is dated February 1906. Influenced by the great violist Lionel Tertis, Bowen arranged the work for viola and piano soon afterwards and it seems likely that they would have performed the work together (Bowen was a virtuoso pianist who worked with Tertis on numerous occasions). Inspired by Tertis, Bowen also composed two sonatas, a concerto and also several smaller works for the viola, an instrument on which he was also proficient.

Joseph Joachim

Joseph Joachim

 

Joseph Joachim Romance in C major,

[audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/York-Bowen-Allegro-de-Concert-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Joachim Romance in C major. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13]

Born in 1831, the seventh of eight children, Joachim was a Hungarian conductor, composer and teacher and one of the most significant violinists of the 19th century. His performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto in London at the age of twelve under Mendelssohn’s baton was a triumph and helped to establish that work in the repertory. He remained a favourite with the English public for the rest of his career. Among the most notable of Joachim’s achievements was the revival of Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin. He was a close collaborator of Brahms, and Brahms, Schumann, Bruch and Dvorak all wrote concertos with him in mind although this did not mean that he took these works into his repertoire. His Romance in C major which we are to play today was originally composed for violin and piano.

Joachim’s own compositions are less well known. He has a reputation as a composer of a short but distinguished catalogue of works. Among his compositions are various works for the violin, including three concerti, and overtures to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Henry IV.. He also wrote cadenzas for a number of other composers’ concert, including the Beethoven and Brahms concerti. His most highly regarded composition is his Hungarian Concerto.

Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen Fantasy Pieces Op. 2,

[audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Carl-Nielsen-Romance-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Carl Nielsen Romance. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13] [audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Carl-Nielsen-Humoresque-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Carl Nielsen Humoresque. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13]

Born in 1865, Carl Nielsen is widely recognised as Denmark’s greatest composer. He appeared for many years on the Danish hundred-kroner banknote.  He was also a conductor and violinist. Brought up by poor but musically gifted parents, he began to show musical talent at an early age. While it was some time before his works were fully appreciated, even in his home country, Nielsen has now firmly entered the international repertoire. He is especially admired for his six symphonies, and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet.

His Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano, which we will play today on viola and piano, were composed shortly after the composer had taken up the post of second violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra when he was 24. They were first performed at the Royal Orchestra Soirée in Copenhagen. One report said: ‘In this the young, talented composer has revealed no mean knowledge of the peculiarities of the oboe as well as great technical skill in the structure of the composition. It is not ordinary, hackneyed motifs that Mr Carl Nielsen uses; calmly and steadily he goes his own way. For that reason one can safely pin great hopes on the future of the young artist.’

Transcriptions were made for violin and orchestra and violin and piano and it is known that Nielsen would have on occasion played the violin part.

In a programme note written at least 20 years after he composed them, Nielsen wrote: “The two oboe pieces are a very early opus. The first — slow — piece gives the oboe the opportunity to sing out its notes quite as beautifully as this instrument can. The second is more humorous, roguish, with an undertone of Nordic nature and forest rustlings in the moonlight.

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann 3 Romances Op. 94,

[audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Schumann-Oboe-Romances-No.-1.-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Robert Schumann Romance Op. 94 No. 1. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13] [audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Schumann-Oboe-Romances-No.-2.-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Robert Schumann Romance Op. 94 No. 2. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13] [audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Schumann-Oboe-Romances-No.-3.-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Robert Schumann Romance Op. 94 No. 3. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13]

Robert Schumann wrote his Three Romances for oboe and piano in 1849. In the same year he wrote the music to Byron’s ‘Manfred’ and he also finished his ‘Faust’. The parts of ‘Faust’ which were complete were performed in August 1849 to mark the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Goethe’s birth.

Georges Enesco Concertstuck.

Georges Enesco

Georges Enesco

[audio:http://www.diana-mathews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Enesco-Concertstuck-St-Martins-13.5.13.mp3|titles=Enesco Concertstuck. Diana Mathews – viola, Jonathan Beatty – piano. 13.5.13]

Born in 1881, Enesco was a Romanian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher and one of the great violin virtuosi of the 20th century. The Concertstuck was written when he was 25 and was his only work for viola. It was written as a competition piece for the Paris Conservatoire and was dedicated to Monsieur La Forge, who was a celebrated viola professor there.

Enesco entered his first musical competition age 5 and the Vienna Conservatory two years later. He graduated before he was 13, earning the silver medal. Shortly after this he moved to Paris to continue his studies. He studied composition with Massenet and Faure. Many of his works were influenced by Romanian folk music, including one of his most popular compositions, the Romanian Rhapsodies.