Here is one sweet way to start a day! No, not Bach, there’s more than one composer that makes me feel enthusiastic at sunrise. For much too long I have neglected the Czech composer Leos Janacek, but the previous post on Bohuslav Martinu’s trio and the research it required made me discover quite a few recordings of Janacek’s orchestral music that I did not know about yet. Janacek’s Suite for String Orchestra (JW VI/2) was written in 1877; thus it is one of the composer’s earlier works. He was only 23 years old, a young musician, a poor student about to finish his education at the Prague Organ School.
Sadness. The feeling of being deeply hurt. Tragedy. The violin says it with a single, beautiful weeping melody. The violin – Julia Fischer. The piece – Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53. The outlook seems bleak, no hope, only desolation and despair. And yet… sadness can be overcome. Towards the middle of the first movement, there seems to be a spark of light, a ray, a beam. The violin no longer cries or moans, but sings a sweet, consoling, a comforting tune…
What a loss! On August 12, 1928 the Czech composer Leos Janacek died. And shortly before his death, he produced two of the works that I am tempted to label as the best he wrote. Who knows, what masterpieces Janacek would have composed, had he lived on! The Quartet for strings No. 2 was completed in 1928, five years after the Quartet for strings No. 1. We have met Janacek already as the composer of that beautiful piano cycle “On an overgrown path”, performed by the Luxembourg pianist Cathy Krier. Today I would like to present the French Quatuor Zaïde and it’s interpretation of the two mentioned chamber music works. Continue reading!
Cherchez la femme! A woman is leading again our way on this journey through the world of classical music. Today, it is the Luxembourg pianist Cathy Krier. She has recorded in 2013 a wonderful album with the piano cycle “On an Overgrown Path”, composed between 1902 and 1908 by the Czech composer Leos Janacek. Continue reading!