On Saurday 17th September I will perform the penultimate concert in my series of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas. I will be joined by award-winning Croatian pianist Inja Stanovic and once again the venue is St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane, Sheffield.
In this programme I will perform both the G major sonatas (Op.30 no. 3 and Op. 96). Although there is a decade between their compositions the two sonatas have a number of similarities. G major tended to be a pastoral key for Beethoven, who was inspired and influenced by nature throughout his life, and both works have a feeling of the countryside and make use of folk-like melodies. Opus 96, which was his final violin sonata, opens with a figure like a bird call, followed by gentle arpeggios in both instruments which evoke summer breezes. The finale of the earlier G major sonata is an energetic folk dance often over a drone bass.
Another notable feature of the sonatas is Beethoven’s use of E flat major. In Op.30/3 he uses it as the key of the second movement, an elegant minuet, and in Op.96 he gives it almost as much importance as the tonic, including it in all four movements.
Alongside these works Inja will perform his twelfth piano sonata, in A flat major Op. 26. It was composed in 1801, the first of four piano sonatas that year, all of which are experimental in some way. It is unusual in that none of the movements uses the traditional sonata form structure. The third movement, described in Beethoven’s initial sketches as a ‘character piece’ is a funeral march; this was a popular genre during the era of the Napoleonic Wars.
Tickets can be reserved in advance through the contact page. £12 full price, £8 concessions.
On Saturday the second of my two charity concerts this year took place in St Andrew’s Church in Sheffield and I’m delighted to announce that £714.58 was raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The concert opened with Boyce’s Symphony no. 1 and a joyous sound from the string orchestra under the baton of Robin McEwan. I then performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Piano with the wonderful Tim Horton (pianist in Ensemble 360 and the Leonore Piano Trio). This work, composed when Mendelssohn was only 14, was new to many members of the audience, but several commented that it ought to be better known.
After the interval and a chance to enjoy some delicious cupcakes the fabulous Abbeydale Singers took to the stage and treated us to some more Mendelssohn in the form of his Four Sacred Part Songs. It is always a pleasure to hear the choir perform, especially in such a beautiful acoustic.
The orchestra then concluded the concert with Dvorak’s wonderfully atmospheric Nocturne for Strings and the rousing Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock.
This is the largest event I have organised to date and, although there were stressful moments along the way, it was all worth it for the amazing experience and to be able to give so much money to such a great cause. Many thanks to all the performers and those who helped behind the scenes and of course to the audience for supporting the event.
This year I am putting on two concerts in Sheffield, on 14th June and 20th September, to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Both events will take place in St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane, and tickets for the June concert are now on sale.
Marie Curie Cancer Care, originally known as Marie Curie Memorial Foundation, has been an official charity in the UK since 1952 and is dedicated to alleviating the suffering of terminally ill patients and supporting their families. It provides hospices and nursing for patients in their own homes and is committed to research into the best possible care and how to provide it. It is named after the scientist Marie Curie (1867-1934) who carried out pioneering research into radioactivity and was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
The concert on June 14th will be a violin and piano recital and I will be joined by York-based pianist David Hammond. The programme for the evening is as follows:
Brahms – Sonata movement in C minor
Saint-Saëns – Havanaise
Debussy – Violin Sonata
Mozart – Sonata in G, K301
Mendelssohn – Sonata in F
Please use the contact page to purchase tickets (£10/£5 concessions) and support this worthy cause.
Saturday 14th June 2014, 7.30pm
St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8YL