Janneke Hoogland, cello
Lucy Faridany, piano
All Creatures of Our God and King…Hymn tune from Germany, 1623
Seven variations on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute)…Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor . . . Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Spiegal im Spiegal …Arvo Pärt (1935-)
The Swan from “Carnival of the Animals” . . . Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Beethoven wrote three sets of variations for cello and piano. This set written in 1801 is based on a melody from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. The tune is derived from a duet sung between Pamina, who has just learned that Tamino loves her, and Papageno who laments that he can’t land a date at all. Yet they celebrate in song how grand love is, whether found or in search thereof. The choice of theme may have been significant for Beethoven. The composer long desired a soul mate, and even late in life held to his enigmatic Immortal Beloved.
Chopin wrote only five chamber works, three of which are for cello and piano. His Cello Sonata in G Minor, from which the Largo we will be performing is from, was his last published work. Chopin composed this beautiful piece while struggling with his health as well as a personal relationship break-up. He wrote this sonata for his close friend, the virtuoso cellist Auguste Franchomme.
Spiegal im Spiegal, German for Mirror in Mirror, by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt exemplifies a style he invented and termed “tintinnabuli” in which simple fragments of sound recur, like the ringing of bells. The piece was commissioned by renowned Russian violinist Vladimir Spivakov in 1978 and premiered the same year. The composer later transcribed it for various instruments including cello, viola, saxophone, clarinet, and horn, each performed with the original piano accompaniment.
The Swan by Camille Saint-Saens is one of the most well-known and much-loved pieces written for the cello. It is from a larger work entitled Carnival of the Animals for orchestra in which each of the fourteen movements depicts a type of animal. When the thirteenth movement arrives, all of the orchestra is marked “tacet” (no part to play) except for the principle cellist and the harpist. The cello depicts the swan swimming serenely, while the harp, here played on the piano, depicts the rippling water.