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AUGUSTIN HADELICH / CHARLES OWEN

Mozart, Janáček
Stephen Hartke's exhilarating 'Netsuke' takes centre stage in a programme of Mozart, Ravel and Janáček, as Augustin Hadelich showcases his phenomenal technique and versatility, with pianist Charles Owen.
Programme

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Violin Sonata No. 18 in G major K. 301

LEOŠ JANÁČEK
Violin sonata

STEPHEN HARTKE
NETSUKE, Six Movements for Violin and Piano

MAURICE RAVEL
Violin Sonata in G major

 

While Mozart described his violin sonatas as being for piano and violin, the violin is gaining importance by graceful No. 18: it introduces the flowing first theme, and is the only one to play the second movement trio’s minor-key melody. It’s possibly the wartime context you hear most strongly at the opening of Janáček’s 1915 Violin Sonata, although the work’s most continuous traits are its gypsy influences. Netsuke Japanese miniature carvings depict both folklore and everyday life, and Stephen Hartke’s musical versions use complex rhythms and extended techniques, with violin and piano often at odds. His evocative depictions include No. 3 of a raccoon playing a three-stringed Japanese lute. Violin and piano are often also at odds over Ravel’s colourful G major Violin Sonata of 1917, which indeed deliberately explores their basic incompatibility.