Violinist and nominee of the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2020 Shin Sihan brings an adventurous program with works by Schnittke, Ernst and his musical friends Yang Yang Cai (piano), Won-Ho Kim (violin), Takehiro Konoe (viola) and Alexander Warenberg (cello), Ernst and Bartok.
With the music of Alfred Schnittke you never know what to expect. Each time he uses different styles to compose his music. In his first Violin Sonata, dedicated to violinist Mark Lubotsky, he quotes many different styles and finds the origin of the sonata in the Italian Baroque. If you listen carefully you will also hear quotes from various folk melodies such as the Russian Barynya and the Spanish-Mexican La Cucaracha.
In the words of poet Heinrich Heine, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst was 'perhaps the best violinist of our time' and in the eyes of renowned violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim 'the ideal violinist who even surpasses the ideal image I had for myself on many fronts'. He composed many virtuoso works, including the six Polyphonic Studies, works whose technical requirements exceed even the Paganini Caprices. The last of these "Polyphonic Studies", dedicated to violinist Antonio Bazzini, consists of five variations based on the Irish song The Last Rose of Summer. Using various violin techniques, Ernst transforms the simple folk melody into wonderful sound worlds.
Finally, the exciting Piano Quintet by the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok will be played. In this youth work you can still hear the influences of composers like Richard Strauss, Brahms and Liszt with Hungarian rhapsodic elements. A reviewer who heard the premiere spoke of 'inner fire, devilish fury, a sobbing adagio and an exuberant csárdás'. Young Bartok was satisfied with that. But he didn't like it when his youth work turned out to be a success many years later. He had drastically changed his style and was convinced of the superiority of this new style. The audience sometimes thought differently. Thanks to the familiar sounds and especially the exciting last movement, the Piano Quintet has always been able to count on enthusiastic responses. But, in 1921, when a few listeners confided after a concert with only his own work that they thought this old quintet was the most beautiful, angry as he was, he threw the manuscript in the corner to never want to look at it again. Fortunately, this masterpiece has not been lost!