Liberation

Art of the Recital presents:

Spring, 2019: Liberation

Click to Reserve Tickets:

Sunday, May 19, 3:00 PM – Congregational Church of Topsfield, MA

Thursday, May 23, 7:00 PM – Payson Park Church, Belmont, MA


Ysaye               Solo Sonata No 4

Franck             Sonata

Schnittke         Sonata No 1

Messiaen         Last Movement from the Quartet for the End of Time

Dvorak            Songs My Mother Taught Me

Joshua Peckins, violin

Eliko Akahori, piano

Music is poetry, but sometimes music literally is poetry. Looking over the musical scores for this program, I am in awe of the beauty, emotion, and clarity of the words written by these composers. The Messiaen begins with instructions to the musicians: “Extremely slow and tender, ecstatic, expressive, as if in paradise.” (What a way to begin the day, as I pick up my violin and bow to practice!) Franck inspires and delights us with instructions including, “With all your strength!” “Dramatic!” and, my personal favorite, “With fantasy!” These are but a few selections from this powerful program, titled Liberation!

The 31-year-old Messiaen wrote his “Quartet for the End of Time” as a prisoner of war in Germany. Premiered in 1941 by three of his fellow prisoners and Messiaen himself, the final movement (Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus) is for violin and piano alone, and reflects back to us all that is pain and all that is freedom. Hauntingly beautiful, this piece demonstrates the power of music to transcend mere “entertainment,” and helps us discover new beauties and imagine new possibilities for the human experience.

Fiercely human and personal, the Schnittke Sonata has long been celebrated as a masterwork, yet many audience members may have the first chance to hear it live. If you have attended recent Art of the Recital performances, you will remember Schnittke’s “Suite in the Old Style,” as well as a variety of shorter salon pieces. This is a chance to discover one of Schnittke’s more substantial works, and to learn more about this important Russian composer.

The Franck Sonata needs little introduction to those who know it – it is one of the most beloved pieces in the recital repertoire. With its sweeping arcs of feeling and profound range of sounds and colors, it is emotion and passion embodied in sound.

The Solo Ysaÿe Sonata is famous not only for its dazzling virtuosity, but also for its depth of feeling. An interesting twist of programming, Franck dedicated his Violin Sonata to Ysaÿe – so you will have a chance to hear memories of the virtuoso violinist who inspired Franck!

Join us! I hope to see you at one of these performances, and to share this wonderful music with you!

Click to Reserve Tickets:

Sunday, May 19, 3:00 PM – Congregational Church of Topsfield, MA

Thursday, May 23, 7:00 PM – Payson Park Church, Belmont, MA


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