Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
J.S. Bach: Solo Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003 (1720)
The unaccompanied opening piece was the perfect introductory showcase for the soloist’s technical mastery. From the large leaps in register obvious in the first bars to the lyrical simplicity of the third movement, we were reminded of Bach’s unique music: full of challenges and creative possibilities, so well captured in tonight’s rendition of the sonata.
Beethoven: Sonata No.8 in G. Op.30 No.3 (1802)
The well-versed dialogue violin-piano is evident throughout the piece, from the Allegro assai in 6/8 time to the light-hearted Allegro vivace finale. The musicians captured the tempestuous or the more delicate passages with suitably balanced aplomb.
Lera Auerbach: Sonata No.3 (2006)
The mournful introductory notes by piano are soon followed by delicate sounds and elegiac violin tones. A mixture of contemporary sound and familiar reverberations, the soaring harmonics skillfully captured the mystery of a less known piece.
Debussy: Sonata in G minor
Premiered a year before Debussy’s death (with the composer himself on the piano), the intricate and subtle mixture of moods and emotions that exude from the entire piece have expressed the intended melancholic theme.
Ysaÿe: Caprice, d'après L'Étude en Forme de Valse, Op.52, No.6 Saint- Saëns (1901)
Extravagant and mischievous, the piece was often played by the composer himself. This evening’s duo showcased convincingly Ysaÿe’s masterful arrangement in a lively and subtle performance.
Overall, Emmanuel Bach and Jenny Stern delighted the receptive audience with a rich and diverse repertoire spanning three centuries.