Elisabeth Kufferath and Stephen Perry return to dazzle us with their artistry and virtuosity. Please join us for a special program of two beautiful sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms and the unrivaled Berio Sequenza. Listening to violin and piano in an intimate home setting is an experience not to be missed.
Sunday October 8th, 4:30pm
Monday October 9th, 7pm
FREE Lunch-hour Concert: Tuesday October 10th, noon at University Presbyterian Church
Sonata for Piano and Violin in E-Flat Major, Opus 12 Nr. 3 -Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata for Piano and Viola in E-Flat Major, Opus 120 Nr. 2 -Johannes Brahms
Sequenza VI for Solo Viola -Luciano Berio
Elisabeth Kufferath, Violin and Viola
Stephen Perry, Piano
Dear Music Lover,
Elisabeth Kufferath and Stephen Perry will open our season with a program of three “B”s : Beethoven, Brahms, and in this case, Berio.
The concert begins with Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin in E-Flat Major, Opus 12, Number 3. This is a youthful Beethoven, still in his twenties. Having arrived in Vienna several years earlier to study composition, Beethoven had established himself principally as a virtuoso pianist, playing in salons for a select clientele of invited guests. This particular sonata puts Beethoven’s trademark virtuosity on display like no other. The first movement is a blistering cascade of looping runs, often gregarious, but occasionally furious. The second movement reveals Beethoven at his most romantic, the piano and violin singing in sublime strains that evolve gradually toward a tragic climax. The final movement lets us in on a dirty secret: Beethoven, for all of his sophistication and humor, was not always the ideal salon guest, as he could have a tendency to become quite unruly.
After a period of brief recovery, Elisabeth Kufferath will exchange her violin for a viola, and we will proceed from youthful Beethoven to geriatric Brahms. The Sonata in E-Flat Major, Opus 120, Number 2 was the final published chamber music work of perhaps the greatest composer of chamber music, written three years before his death. This music is truly a distillation of Brahmsian expression. Every note, every musical gesture carries emotional implications, sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic. The intertwining of the piano and viola parts is complex, sophisticated, and remarkably intimate, requiring flexibility, sensitivity, and warmth.
The final work of the evening is Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VI for solo viola. In an editorial note, the composer describes it as, “a piece of great virtuosity.” In fact, that description would seem to be a nearly preposterous understatement. Violists consider the work to be essentially unplayable. And yet, Elisabeth’s recent CD recording of the work found itself on the Best Of list for the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. It is a wonder that during her performance the instrument manages not to burst into flames. Then again, you never know.
At Salon Concerts, after the music, we'll offer you a delicious buffet with fine wines. You'll have a chance to mingle with the musicians, the hosts of the charming house where the concert takes place, and your fellow music lovers. I look forward to seeing you there!