Just to the right of today on the calendar is the first entry in the Gabriel Lefkowitz and Friends Concertmaster recital series at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday at 7:00, Gabe and pianist Kevin Class will perform Bartok's Rumanian Folk Dances and finish with Cesar Franck's landmark Violin Sonata. Principal French Horn Jefferey Whaley will join Gabe and Kevin in Brahms' Horn Trio, op. 40, to close out the first half.
Bela Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances are based on some of the many folk tunes that Bartok encountered in Transylvania in his quest to catalog them all. Different musical modes give each dance its own compositional palette. Starting with the Poarga Romanesca, the work accelerates to a delirious conclusion. The titles of the movements have always eluded me, as they were in Hungarian. Here they are translated, with each movement's mode indicated.
Joc Cu Bâtă = Stick Dance = Dorian and Aeolian modes
Brâul = Sash Dance = D Dorian
Pe Loc = In One Spot = Aeolian and Arabic
Buciumeana = Dance from Bucsum = Mixolydian and Arabic
Poarga Romanesca = Romanian Polka = D Lydian
Măruntel = Fast Dance = Mixolydian and Dorian
One of the most remarkable things to me about the Brahms Horn Trio is that I DON'T HAVE TO PLAY IT. My closest involvement with this work is to have turned pages for a pianist years and years ago. And no, there won't be three French Horns on the stage (Gabe and Kevin did not take up the horn while we weren't looking). It is just an identifying title, to differentiate the work from the typical piano trio comprised of violin, cello and piano. The presence of the horn makes for some soaring lyrical lines contrasting with some boisterous marziale passages. The trio was written in 1865 as a memorial to Brahms' mother, who had passed earlier that year.
A work that best embodies the Romantic ideal, Franck's Violin Sonata was written in 1886 as a wedding gift to the great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe et ux. The work is quite metamorphic in nature in that much of the material grows from the small lyrical fragments that open the work, and tunes from earlier movements reappear in later movements. This sonata stands alone as an uncategorizable masterpiece of the solo violin repertoire.
Tickets for this concert will be available at the KMA door for $20.
Ok, so everyone's just dying to know the Obscure Lyrics Quest answers, I can tell by all of the comments, lol...
1) “They say in the darkest night, there's a light beyond.”
A: I didn't mean to start with a trick question, it was just randomly chosen (and we hadn't rehearsed this yet when I posted the blog), but this line comes from Art Garfunkel's 1973 single, All I Know. You REALLY would have needed to know this song well, because we played it as an instrumental....
2) “I was so hard to please.”
A: Hazy Shade of Winter”
3) “Dogs in the moonlight”
A: Paul Simon's “Call Me Al.”
4) “I only kiss your shadow, I cannot feel your hand.”
A: The Dangling Conversation.
5) “The old men lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset.”
A: Old Friends.
6) “You better get your bags and flee.”
A: Keep the Customer Satisfied.
7) “Why don't you show your face and bend my mind?”
A: Cloudy. This is also a trick question, WE DIDN'T PLAY THIS TUNE...
8) “Gazing from my window to the streets below”
A: I Am a Rock
9) “I can snatch a little purity.”
A: Paul Simon's Loves me Like a Rock
10) “And the moon rose over an open field.”
11) "I'll play the game and pretend."
A: Homeward Bound