Julian Rachlin & Itamar Golan
Beethoven / Šostakovič / Dvořák / Brahms
Date of EventWednesday, 16.5. 2018 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 22.00
Event placeRudolfinum – Dvořák Hall
Price200 - 900 CZK Sold out
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 6 in A major Op. 30
- Dmitrij Šostakovič: Viola Sonata Op. 147
- Antonín Dvořák: Romantic Pieces Op. 75
- Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor Op. 108
- Itamar Golan - piano
- Julian Rachlin - violin, viola
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“Julian Rachlin’s performance in his Brahms recital with Itamar Golan could hardly have been more remarkable (…) Mr. Golan’s achievement at the piano was scarcely less impressive..” The New York Times used these words to describe the concert of Julian Rachlin and Itamar Golan, two top musicians who are returning to the Prague Spring festival with a programme representing the best of what chamber music has to offer.
In the course of the evening, Julian Rachlin, the Artist-in-Residence for Prague Spring 2018, will play not only his famous Stradivarius “ex Liebig” (1704), but also a viola from the workshop of the master instrument maker Lorenzo Storioni (1785). This is an experience that definitely should not be missed, and not only for lovers of chamber music.
“Julian Rachlin’s performance in his Brahms recital on Wednesday could hardly have been more remarkable (…) Mr. Golan’s achievement at the piano was scarcely less impressive.” (The New York Times)
The Violin Sonata No. 6 in A major Op. 30 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) will open the concert. For the young Beethoven, the most important thing was to achieve a balanced sound between the instruments. In 1800, the piano was not yet sufficiently powerful, although piano makers were constantly trying to satisfy the demands for a bigger sound. The fact that Beethoven achieves this balance literally from the first bar to the last is primarily thanks to his compositional mastery, which he brought to perfection in this genre two years later in the great Kreutzer Sonata.
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) finished his Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 147 just a month before his death. In spite of the severe pain caused by the advanced stage of arthritis and distressing problems with his vision that hindered the composer in his work, the Viola Sonata is not as permeated by dark, even morbid moods in comparison with Shostakovich’s late quartets. To the contrary, this music evokes a feeling of resignation and conciliation, with melodies that flow with that strange inner peace that the ailing composer perhaps finally reached during the last moments of his life. According to the composer, the most expressive part of the composition, the vast concluding Adagio, was a tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven.
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was inspired to compose his Romantic Pieces Op. 75 by a former colleague from the Provisional Theatre, the violinist Jan Pelikán and his student Josef Kruis, who was living in a rented flat in the same building where the Dvořák family lived. The composer would occasionally play along with their violin duo, and it was for these occasions that he first composed the Terzetto in C major, but that worked proved to be too difficult for Kruis, so to replace it, Dvořák wrote a simpler trio, now known as Miniatures, which he later arranged for violin and piano and gave the title Romantic Pieces. The attractive work in four movements was printed in 1887 by Dvořák’s publisher Simrock, and it is a beautiful demonstration of simplicity and economy of means. The four short, contrasting movements are constructed from a single theme – or in the case of the fourth movement, just a three note motif – which Dvořák handles in a very original manner.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) composed his Sonata No. 3 in D minor Op. 108 during the summer of 1888, which he spent by Lake Thun in Switzerland. The opening Allegro, written in the traditional sonata form, opens with a long, lyrical violin melody supported by a simple piano accompaniment, followed by a virtuosic, heroic theme in F major. The following Adagio is a lovely cantilena for violin, which plays a graceful, truly romantic melody, carrying the listener off to a peaceful world of dreams. The contrasting third movement, Un poco presto e con sentimento, then gives way to the highly virtuosic Presto agitato, full of difficult technical passages. This is an effective and well proportioned work by a mature composer.
Itamar Golan began his piano studies with Lara Vodovoz and Emanuel Krazovsky, then from 1985 to 1989 a scholarship from an American-Israeli foundation allowed him to further his studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston (Leonard Shure, Patricia Zander). During his wealth of concert activities, he has collaborated with such artists as Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, and Ida Haendel. Besides playing chamber music, he also performs as a soloist, having appeared, for example, with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. From 1991 to 1994 he taught at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He is currently a professor of chamber music at the Paris Conservatory.