Janneke Hoogland, cello
Hillet Botha, piano
Prelude to Worship: Arioso . . . J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Musical Interlude: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor . . . Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Postlude: The Swan from “Carnival of the Animals” . . . Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Bach’s Cantata BWV No. 156 begins with a sinfonia, which is where his much-loved and often-performed Arioso is from. He also employs it as the second movement of his Harpsichord/Violin Concerto BWV 1056. An Arioso is a short composition in the style of an aria, and literally translated from Italian means “airy”.
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.
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.