Season Addendum Milestones
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, L.140
I. Allegro vivo
II. Intermède: Fantasque et léger
III. Finale: Très animé
Reena Esmail (b.1983)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Alberto Ginestera (1916-1983)
About the program:
While there are a variety of justifications for entitling this recital “Milestones,” it is important to note the most important ones. This marks the first time that the duo, comprised of pianist Francine Di and violinist Jose Garza, perform together on a concert stage. Many smaller milestones were required to make this a reality and partnering with The Ponce Project as the last concert of their season proved to be a final and most joyous milestone. We are proud and honored to share this wonderful music from around the world with everyone.
About the music:
Indian American composer Reena Esmail (b.1983) wrote Jhula Jhule in 2013, inspired by two Indian melodies: a Gujarati lullaby and a folk song, Ankhon vina andharon re. The piano’s lilting phrases evoke the steady rocking of a cradle and a sense of nostalgia. This helps balance the violin’s meandering lines, in which bending pitches echo the microtonal contours common in classical Indian melodies. Both parts employ ornamentation and improvisation as well, which are also traditional elements of Indian music. Esmail calls the piece a “point of resonance” for her culture in her American surroundings.
Claude Debussy wrote the Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor in 1917. It is the third sonata out of his cycle of Six Sonatas for Various Instruments. Depressed by the events of WWI, and in pain from cancer and debilitating treatments, Debussy took more than a year to write the piece. It was his last completed work, and its premiere, part of a fundraising concert for French soldiers, marked his final public performance. Despite the circumstances surrounding its inception, the sonata mixes moments of light with darkness, constantly shifting from serenity to tension and back again, creating an unpredictable and mercurial drama.
Pampeana No.1, named for the vast, open pampas (pastures) of South America, resonates with Alberto Ginastera’s signature sounds. Written in 1947 during his period of objective nationalism, the work was among many inspired by the gaucho tradition. The introduction depicts the grassy plains of Argentina via the soaring lines of the violin and the arhythmic harmonies of the piano. After a rhapsodic solo by the violin, the piece enters a livelier phase by what can only be described as guitar effects and dance-like piano rhythms. Its conclusion is marked by a fervent glissando, cluster chords, and horse race to the end!