Header image of page : LEONIDAS KAVAKOS / MAO FUJITA
chamber music


Mozart, Brahms, Bartók, Schubert

From heartbreak to folky vim, violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Mao Fujita join together for a musically multi-faceted programme of Mozart, Brahms, Bartók and Schubert.


Violin Sonata No. 21 in E minor K. 304

Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major Op. 78


BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945)
Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano Sz. 86

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Fantasy in C major for Violin and Piano D. 934

Mozart’s anxious two-movement Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 21 in E minor was composed during the fateful 1778 tour to Paris on which his mother, accompanying him, died. ‘Resigned reconciliation’ is how critic Eduard Hanslick summed up the emotional world of Brahms’s First Violin Sonata of 1879, and indeed it was written shortly after a death Brahms felt keenly – the 24 year old son of Clara Schumann; even its loving central Adagio appears to be wrestling with destiny, while its finale quotes his songs ‘Nachklang’ (Reminiscence) and ‘Regenlied’ (Rain Song). The darkness to Bartók’s Rhapsody No. 1 is merely of the brooding Slavic folk variety. Written in 1928, its two movements are based on Hungarian folk dances, the Lassú and the swifter Friss, with the handling of the violin equally folk-inspired. Schubert’s structurally groundbreaking Fantasy in C major of 1827 opens on a dreamy Andante molto, before moving to a folky Allegretto. Next come four variations on Schubert’s gently lilting 1822 Lied, ‘Sei mir gegrüsst’ (‘I greet you’), its melody adjusted to nod to the first movement of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in A major K 331, while its virtuosity honours Schubert’s violinist contemporary, Nicolò Paganini. A returns of the Andante molto then tips us into a radiant finale which also reprises ‘Sei mir gegrüsst.’