Posts Tagged ‘Brahms’

From November 10th on Limenmusic Web Tv

From November 10th, 2010 on Limenmusic Web Tv (Channel 1): Danilo Rossi and Stefano Bezziccheri play J. Brahms, Part 1.

You can also enjoy:

Aki Kuroda plays Mochizuki – Sugiyama
Takahiro Yoshikawa plays Stravinskij’s Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka and Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante dèfunte.
Duo F. Dillon – E. Torquati in concert.
Fabrizio Meloni, Sauro Berti and Naomi Fujiya play Mendelssohn.
Quartetto Prometeo – Quartet in G minor Op.10 – C. Debussy

Look at the schedule.

We remember you that the concerts no longer present in the Channel 1 schedule will be avaible in the On Demand area of the Web Tv.

Corrado Rojac plays Gubajdulina.


Limenmusic updates: Danilo Rossi and Stefano Bezziccheri play Brahms

From November 10th, 2010 on Limenmusic Web Tv (Channel 1) you’ll be able to enjoy a concert by Danilo Rossi, First Viola Soloist of the Orchestra of La Scala Theatre in Milan, and Stefano Bezziccheri at the piano.

In homage to the great German composer Johannes Brahms, they will peform for us some tracks from the CD+DVD box set:

Danilo Rossi and Stefano Bezziccheri in concert – Sonata Op.120 N°1

For a trailer of the concert, please click here.

We remind you that the musicians will participate at the presentation of the latest discographical work of Danilo Rossi:

Johannes Brahms, SONATE
Op.120 N°1 and 2
CD+DVD Box set, Limen Classic & contemporary
Piano: Stefano Bezziccheri

Speakers Danilo Rossi and Stefano Bezziccheri.
Hosted by Oreste Bossini.

On November 18th, 2010 at La Scala Shop in Milan, 18:00 (GMT+2).


Stefano Bezziccheri at La Scala Shop, Milan

At the presentation of the CD+DVD box set:

“Johannes Brahms – SONATE”
Op.120 N°1 and 2
Limen Classic & contemporary

at La Scala Shop, November 18th, 2010 at 18:00 (GMT+2), together with Danilo Rossi, will partecipate Stefano Bezziccheri, who has collaborated with his piano to the creation of this ambitious project, whose Sonatas N°1 and 2 by Brahms are just the first step.
The idea of creating a collection of great music for viola and piano arises from the awareness that they deeply explored this repertoire during the concerts that filled the main national and international theaters.

This fruitful collaboration has lasted over twenty years, performing hundreds of recitals in Italy and Europe, playing the complete repertoire music for viola and piano.
In duo with Danilo Rossi and with chamber music groups he played in theatrical performances of words and music with Alessandro Baricco, Stefano Benni, Ascanio Celestini and recently with Licia Maglietta at Teatro alla Scala di Milano.
He played as solo piano in prestigious orchestras: Orchestra dell’Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Orchestra d’Archi Italiana, Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, Orchestra del Teatro di San Remo, Orchestra I Solisti di Pavia.
Currently Stefano Bezziccheri is teacher in G.B. Martini Conservatory of Bologna.

During a meeting with Virginio Sala, talking about the role of the piano in the relationship between the piano and the viola Stefano Bezziccheri said:

Playing with the viola surely requires a more attentive listening, because the main feature of the viola – it can seem trivial – is the sound, the dark color of its voice, it is an alto, a middle voice, in the orchestra too, and in some moments the sound of the piano can drown it – it can happen that the sound of the viola is not rightly emphasized. Brahms’s piano writing is always unconvenient – I think that the piano players will agree with me – it is always treacherous, doesn’t ever let you at ease, because Brahms doesn’t write as a pianist, or at least not always, so there is always a trap around the corner, technically speaking, because apparently he isn’t interested in things easy to play. <…>

You can find the complete biography of Stefano Bezziccheri in the Press Area.


In praise of the viola

By Virginio Sala

The viola is an interesting instrument, whose role unfortunately is often misunderstood by the layman (and for some time in the past also among the musicians) – partly because of its (sort of) intermediate position between the violin and the cello  in the bowed instruments family. But the great composers, of the past and of our time, has always been well aware of its meaning. It suffices to remember that Johann Sebastian Bach liked to play the viola in ensemble music: his deep concerns for the architectural building of music led him unerringly to this instrument, «as from this central location he could best observe the unfolding of the whole work», as Karl Geiringer observed.

We recently had a few occasions to hear a wonderful instrument, the «viola Maggini» played by Danilo Rossi, and to appreciate the enchanting qualities of the viola, when skillfully mastered by a great musician. The «viola Maggini» takes her name from Giovanni Paolo Maggini (1580-1632), who created it: it is, then, a four centuries old instrument, that at the end of the nineteenth century was owned by Count Antonio Freschi Cucanea di Cordovado (Padova), a musical instruments collector but also a musician, pupil of a well-known violin player, Antonio Bazzini. His nephew, Nicoletta Freschi in Piccolomini, gave the viola to Dino Asciolla (1920-1994), one of the most important performers of the twentieth century, as a soloist and as a member of many ensambles (among them, the unforgotten «Quartetto italiano») and dedicated teacher in many public institutions, in italy and abroad. Valeria Mariconda Asciolla then gave the instrument to Danilo Rossi, according to the will of her husband.

Danilo has a strong and affectionate relationship with this viola, whose beauty, as a craftsmanship’s masterwork and as a musical instruments, is still growing every year. You cannot play the viola as if it were a bigger violin – emphasizes Rossi: this instrument has its own personality and has to be played according to its own technique, in particular for the mastering of the bow. In 1752 Johann Joachim Quantz stated that «the viola was of little consequence in music and that its players lacked ability» – from there stems the bias against the viola, at best considered as a second choice for untalented violinists (but don’t forget: Paganini was also a great viola player: for him Berlioz wrote his Harold in Italy). From the instruments’ maker point of view, it is also a difficult object to build, and that can at least partly explain its unfortunate record, against the long and successful history of the violin; it certainly explains why there were many different designs, with different body lengths (the classical from 37,5 to 39,5 cm, or 14,75 to 15,25 in; more recently from 40 to 43 cm, 15,75 to 17 in).

A handful of great players battled, in the twentieth century, and were able to conquer again a central position for the viola: Roger Primrose and Lionel Tertis, Piero Farulli, Dino Asciolla, Bruno Giuranna, Yuri Bashmet reevaluated and further developed the specific technique of the instrument, and brought it again to the foreground, supported by many composers, who greatly expanded and improved the repertoire.

Back to the Baroque Era and to the early great violin-makers, a quote from Karl Geiringer Instruments in the History of Western Music:

Italy, which had first developed the modern forms of the stringed instruments, remained their center of production. In consequence of an unbroken workshop tradition, and favored by a lively demand – especially from France – certain towns of Italy and the neighboring Tirol achieved supremacy in this field. Although stringed instruments of every type were made, the main object of the master-craftsmen was the improvement and refinement of the «queen of instrument», the violin, The first important center of violin-making was Brescia; its oldes eminent master was Gasparo da Salò (1540-1609). The very few examples of his work that have come down to us are still somewhat old-fashioned in detail, but they none the less show the typical shape, which was later to become the norm. Gasparo’s pupil was Giovanni Paolo Maggini, in whose person the Brescia school reached its zenith. Following at first in the footsteps of his master, he eventually made his own richly ornamented model, notable for its low ribs and lightly waisted middle bout. Maggini’s instruments are distinguished by a mild, yet sonorous tone-quality.

The same general observations can be made for their violas: unfortunately, very few instruments of the Brescia’s school remain today, but they are witnesses of the high quality of the production of those workshops, decades before the leadership in this field moved from Brescia to Cremona and to the celebrated families of the Amatis and Stradivaris.

November 18 at the Teatro alla Scala we will have a chance to appreciate the viola Maggini and the powerful technique (but also the musical depth of interpretation) of its owner, Danilo Rossi, performing with Stefano Bezziccheri the two Brahms’s Sonatas for viola and piano. But if you cannot come to Milan for that occasion, don’t miss the new CD/DVD of the duo, where it will be possible to listen to that wonderful instrument and see it in the foreground. On the DVD there is also an interesting interview I made to Rossi and Bezzicheri; another one, with Danilo Rossi, will be soon on air on’s Channel 1, where Rossi describes at length his relationship with the great viola players and with his instrument.


Limenmusic Updates: Virginio Sala meets Danilo Rossi

From Monday, November 8th, 2010 on Limenmusic Web Tv (Channel 1) you’ll be able to enjoy a very intersting meeting between Danilo Rossi, First Viola Soloist of the Orchestra of La Scala Theatre in Milan, and Virginio Sala.
They will talk about his career, his instrument, the wonderful “viola Maggini” of the seventeenth century, which once belonged to the great Dino Asciolla and kindly loaned by Valeria Mariconda Asciolla, and the general layout of his recording project, that was created from the collaboration with Limenmusic.
Will be realized a collection of six box sets of great music for viola and piano, which pays tribute to the greatest composers who have written for this ensemble.

We remember you that on Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 18:00 (GMT+2) at La Scala Shop in Milan, on the occasion of this first outing:

“Johannes Brahms – SONATE”
Op. 120 N°1 and 2
CD+DVD Limen Classic & contemporary

will hold a meeting with the artists (Danilo Rossi and Stefano Bezziccheri) to present their latest discographical production.
Hosted by Oreste Bossini.

More info are avaible in the Press area of Limenmusic’s Blog

Visit La Scala Shop


Skrjabin’s Nocturne Op. 9

Alexsandr Nikolaevič Skrjabin (1872-1915) at the beginning of the Nineties was successfully building a career as a virtuoso piano player, although he already proved his talent as a composer (he wrote his first work at thirteen).

Unfortunately, in 1893 an illness made him unable to use the right hand – a condition very hard to endure. Only in 1895 he had the possibility to resume his career, but in the meantime he at least partly overcame the gloomy moods of that period writing two really challenging compositions for the left hand only: a Prélude and a Nocturne, that together form his Opus 9. A real tour de force for the daring pianist, the Nocturne in particular isn’t simply a showing of technical prowess, it’s also a turning point in his exploration of the music’s world. As Piero Rattalino wrote in his Storia del pianoforte [History of the piano], «It is possible to see the shift from conceptions of the sound that are still Chopinian-Henseltian, to Skrjabinian conceptions in the Nocturne op. 9 #2 for the left hand; the starting point, that is almost plagiarized, is the second movement of Haneselt’s Concerto, but the very quick movements of the hand, needed for jumping awesome distances across the keyboard, cause a different attack of the key and a sound tone that isn’t romantic anymore». His sound constructions are not movements of lines or masses, but «movements of light beams inside a nebula».

It will be possible to appreciate these first steps of Skrjabin towards his mature style in Aki Kuroda’s concert (tomorrow on Limenmusic Web Tv @ – Channel 1). Aki’s mastery of this

For a trailer of the concert, Click here

Equally remarkable is the taste Aki Kuroda shows in choosing the programs of her performances, often giving to her audience vibrant renditions of not-so-well-known works, and enlivening this way our appreciation of the musical universe. In this case, the theme is «the left hand»: the Skrjabin’s Nocturne is paired with one of the Piano Studies of Brahms, based on Bach’s Ciaccona from a Partita for Violin – not a lesser technical challenge.

As a conclusion, the complete Italian passage of the above quotation from Rattalino’s book:

Si può cogliere il passaggio da concezioni del suono ancora chopiniano, henseltiane a concezioni scriabiniane nel Nottuno op. 9 n. 2 (1894) per la sola mano sinistra; il punto di partenza, che quasi viene plagiato, è il secondo tempo del Concerto di Henselt, ma i rapidissimi spostamenti della mano, necessari a coprire enormi distanze sulla tastiera, provocano un attacco del tasto diverso e una sonorità non più romantica.

[…] Nella formazione del suo stile pianistico si possono così individuare influenze dirette o indirette di Chopin come di Liszt, di Schumann, di Henselt, ma il suo stile, in quanto ha di suo proprio e di irrpetibile, sic hiarisce nello sviluppo dei movimenti di parti interne fino a che le sue costruzioni sonore non si articolano come movimenti di linee e di masse, ma come riflessi, come movimenti di fasci di luce all’interno di una nebulosa.

(From Piero Rattalino, Storia del pianoforte, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1988, pp. 278-279)


The left hand of Aki Kuroda

The second update of October 1st on Limenmusic Web Tv will be a concert of the popular Japanese pianist Aki Kuroda.

She will perform a concert for the left hand, with music of Bach-Brahms and Skrjabin.

In detail:

A.N. SKRJABIN, Nocturne for the left hand

BACH – BRAHMS, Chaconne Linke Hand allein

A special performance, not to be missed!