24. The Extraordinary Vadim Repin in Recital
Vadim Repin, violin
Mari Kodama, piano
Debussy, Sonata no. 3 for Violin and Piano in G minor
Grieg, Violin Sonata no. 3 in C minor, op. 45
Tchaikovsky, Eugene Onegin, op. 24: Act II “Lensky’s Aria”
« Kodama is widely experienced and her performances of sonatas she calls “lyrical islands” are graceful, fluent and musically transparent. Everything proceeds in a faultless flow of sound » – Gramophone
“I finally finished the Sonata,” wrote Debussy in 1917. “In a very human spirit of contradiction, it is full of a joyous tumult.” The Violin Sonata premiered that same year in what would be the composer’s last concert appearance. The opening Allegro alternates between passion and almost hypnotic calm, while the capricious Intermède begins with a violin somersault and features a sinuous, seductive second theme. Both second and third movements display Spanish influences; Debussy described the Finale’s main theme running in circles “like a snake biting its own tail.”
Grieg considered his three sonatas among his very best works and remarked on the comparatively “wider outlook” of the 1886 Violin Sonata, which focuses more on bold, expressive structure and harmony than specifically Norwegian traits. After the dark and stormy Allegro, the central movement frames an upbeat dance with poignant outer sections; structured ABA’B’, the swirling finale brings violin and piano into rapid-fire dialogue.
The celebrated tenor aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin concludes this recital. Lensky, the poet, muses on his premonitions of death and his love for his fiancée Olga as he waits for his sometime friend, Eugene Onegin, to arrive to the duel that will shortly kill him. The famed first and last line: “Where have you gone, o golden days of my spring?”
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