SUNDAY 11 March AT 2.30PM, French Suite No 5 in G, BWV816
Sonata in E, Optus 109 Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 21. No 1
Poco larghetto Three Mazurkas, Opus 59
Transcribed from J S Bach's Violin Partita No 2 in D Minor (BWV 1004) The Waikanae Music Society gratefully acknowledges
WAIKANAE MEMORIAL HALL
Johann Sebastian Bach
Gavotte - Bourrée - Loure - Gigue
The six French Suites of J S Bach differ from his other suites in that they have no
introductory prelude. The Name "French Suites" was added later and there seems little to
justify this title, unless it is that they are more brief and elegant than the more extended
English Suites and Partitas. Bach follows the traditional pattern of stylised dances - the
Allemande is graceful and flowing, the Courante lively and rhythmic, the Sarabande stately
and measured. Between the Sarabande and Gigue were traditionally one or two movements of the
composer's choice; here Bach uses a Gavotte and a Bourrée, both lively, and then, unusually,
adds the seldom used Loure, a slow dignified dance in 6/4 time, which serves here as a perfect
contrast before the jollity of the final Gigue.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Andante, molto cantabile ed espressivo
Beethoven's three last piano sonatas are vastly contrasted works which share one unifying
characteristic - a profound spiritual depth. Opus 109, published in 1821, is the first of the
three and has been described as a work of unique lyrical loveliness. The first movement is one
of Beethoven's most original and unconventional. It is brief and alternates between two themes,
one lively and the other more restrained. The restless Prestissimo second movement, in the moinor
key, is filled with passion and energy. The theme of the final movement is a gloriously simple
melody which passes through six variations of far-reaching beauty, returning at the end to bring
the sonata to a movingly quiet conclusion.
Opus 21, No 1, written in 1856 and first performed by Clara Schumann, is based on Brahams'
own theme, an unusally constructed melody consisting of two 9-bar phrases. The technique
which Brahms employs here is also unusual in that instead of following the Viennese tradition
of embellishing and elaborating on the melody, Brahms uses the harmony as the main basis
of his variations. The first seven variations do not stray far from the rather restrained
mood of the theme, but the tension builds through Variations 8,9 and 10, returning to the
original tempo in the final and more extended Variation 11. Here the melody soars over a
shimmering bass of trills and rapid broken chords, subsiding gradually into a peaceful ending.
Chopin's 57 Mazurkas, written between 1824 and 1849, offer an insight into the composer's
evolving style throughout his composing life. The Mazurka is a Polish national dance in triple time,
with frequent use of dotted rhythms and accentuation of the second beat. In Chopin's hands
these dance miniatures are exquisitely refined; there is great diversity of mood and tempo, with
use of exotic chromaticisms and modal scales. The three Opus 59 Mazurkas, written in 1845,
vary considerably in mood. The first, in A Minor, is a rather wistful sustained song, the second
in Ab Major is more dance-like in character, while the third, alternating between F# Minor
and F# Major, is fast and nimble.
Busoni, renowned as a virtuoso pianist and composer in his lifetime, was fascinated
by the art of transcription. He published several volumes of transcriptions of other composers'
works, the best known of which is probably Bach's famous Chaconne, the final movement
from the second Violin Partita. The Chaconne consists of a 4-bar theme with 32 variations -
a work which presents an enormous technical challenge to violinists in its oringinal form.
Busoni, for all his profusion, was precise in judgement, and kept within certain bounds
prescribed by the original notes and by Bach's intentions. Using a wealth of virtuoso
pianistic devices, Bach's original piece for solo violin is transformed into an
orchestral world of sound.
the support of the Lion Foundation,
The NZ Community Trust and the Waikanae Community Board.
SUNDAY 11 March AT 2.30PM,
French Suite No 5 in G, BWV816Allemande - Courante - Sarabande
Sonata in E, Optus 109Vivace ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo
Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 21. No 1
Three Mazurkas, Opus 59
Transcribed from J S Bach's Violin Partita No 2 in D Minor (BWV 1004)
The Waikanae Music Society gratefully acknowledges