Someone asked me what concert I was most looking forward to this fall recently. It was a hard question as each concert brings something that is uniquely special to it: a new performer, a much-loved selection, a novel use of SL, educational value, etc.
However, from a personal point of view, I am most looking forward to Akito's concert this coming Saturday. Akito is not only a fine violinist, his concerts inform and inspire in so many ways. Akito gave the first ever concert at Music Island and became one of my best SL friends and one of the guiding spirits of Music Island in it's formative days. His style of informal introductions of the music that combined education with personal reflections on the work, set the style which has made our concerts unique and inclusive.
The fact that Akito is an amateur musician who plays at a professional level, has inspired audience members to get up from their armchairs and pick up an instrument--either one they used to play, or one they have always wished to learn to play.
Akito has been away from SL for a hiatus of about a year now due to professional commitments. He has said that this concert will be a one-time affair, so don't miss out on one of SL's shining stars. A new member of our audience wandered into the sound check and was entranced by the sneak preview saying, "Sneaking into the sound check was better than any SL concert I've ever been at!"
- Adagio from Sonata #1 BWV 1001 for solo violin, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
- Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins, by A. Vivaldi (1678-1741)
- Meditation from Thaïs, by Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
- Violin Concerto in A minor BWV 1041, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
- Chaconne in G minor for violin, by T. Vitali (1663-1745)
(faure - bis)
PROGRAM NOTES about the pieces & composers
• Adagio from Sonata #1 BWV 1001 for solo violin, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
The Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001–1006) is a set of six works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It consists of three sonatas in four movements and three partitas composed of dance-based movements. The complete set was composed during the 1720 period, and first published in 1843.
• Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins and strings, by A. Vivaldi (1678-1741)
L'estro Armonico op. 3 ("Harmonic Inspiration" in Italian) is a collection of twelve concertos for 1, 2 and 4 violins written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1711.
It largely augmented the reputation of Vivaldi as Il Prete Rosso; (The Red Priest). The collections were mostly put together in a chronological order. These concerti are often called concerti grossi due to their use of a concertino-style ensemble (solo cello is often used).
J.S. Bach later transcribed concertos from this work for harpsichord solo (no.9, no.12), for organ solo (no.8, no.11) and for four harpsichords and strings (no.10).
L’Estro Armonico, Op.3, Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins and strings, RV 522
* 1. Allegro
* 2. Larghetto e spiritoso
* 3. Allegro
• "Thaïs" is an opera in three acts composed in 1894 by Jules Massenet with a French libretto by Louis Gallet, based on the novel of the same name by Anatole France.
Act 2, scene 1 :
Exhausted after the feast, Thaïs expresses dissatisfaction with her empty life and muses on the fact that one day, old age will destroy her beauty. Athanaël enters at this vulnerable moment, praying to God to conceal her beauty from him. He tells her that he loves her according to the spirit rather than the flesh, and that his love will last forever, instead of for a single night. Intrigued, she asks him to teach her the ways of this love. He nearly succumbs to her physical charm, but succeeds in explaining to her that if she converts, she will gain eternal life. She nearly succumbs to his eloquence, but then reasserts her nihilistic worldview and drives him away. However, after a long Meditation she changes her mind.
• The Violin Concerto in A minor by J. S. Bach (BWV 1041)'s 3 movements are :
* Allegro moderato
* Andante — with an ostinato style theme
* Allegro assai
(Note : the Clavier Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058, is an arrangement of this concerto with piano or harpsichord.)
The motifs of the theme of the Allegro moderato appear in changing combinations and are separated and intensified throughout the movement.
In the Andante, Bach uses an insistent pattern in the bass part that is repeated constantly in the movement. He focuses the variation in the harmonic relations.
In the final movement, Bach relies on bariolage figures to generate striking acoustic effects.
• Chaconne in G minor for violin, by T. Vitali (1663-1745)
In music, a chaconne (Italian: ciaccona) is a musical form whose primary formal feature involves variation on a repeated short harmonic progression.
Originally a quick dance-song which emerged during the late 16th century in Spanish culture, possibly from the New World, the chaconne was characterized by suggestive movements and mocking texts. By the early eighteenth century the chaconne had evolved into a slow triple meter musical form. The chaconne has been understood by some nineteenth and early twentieth-century theorists—in a rather arbitrary way—to be a set of variations on a harmonic progression, as opposed to a set of variations on a melodic bass pattern (to which is likewise artificially assigned the term passacaglia), while other theorists of the same period make the distinction the other way around.
After the baroque period, the chaconne fell into decline, though the 32 Variations in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven belong to the form.
Tomaso Antonio Vitali (March 7, 1663 –May 9, 1745) was an Italian composer and violinist from Bologna, son of Giovanni Battista Vitali. He is well-known for his Chaconne in G minor for violin and continuo, which is generally thought by musicologists to be a musical hoax (it is presumed that the composition was originally composed by German violinist Ferdinand David).
Despite its dubious provenance, the piece has been ever popular amongst violinists.
The Chaconne first came to the attention of violinists when it was published as Vitali's work in a collection of pieces (Die Hoch Schule des Violinspiels) edited by the virtuoso and close friend of Mendelssohn, Ferdinand David, and issued in 1867.
What is known is that the stern and majestic G minor theme was extensively revised and made progressively more difficult in each successive variation, transforming it into a gripping tour de force of staggering technical difficulty. For this reason, it was selected as the opening work on the bill when Jascha Heifetz presented his debut recital at Carnegie Hall, and indeed, one could hardly imagine a more impressive curtain-raiser.
It is just as unclear whether David (who was highly regarded for his advocacy of Baroque music, largely ignored throughout the nineteenth century) wrote the Chaconne himself or possibly assembled it from a variety of motifs by obscure figures of the high Italian Baroque. But this convoluted puzzle doesn't end there. Another violin virtuoso, Frenchman Léopold Charlier, produced an alternative -- and if possible, even more taxing -- edition in 1911. Charlier not only enhanced the technical demands of the violin part, but also made significant improvements and added new harmonizations to the piano part, whilst reordering the sequence of the variations so that they become progressively more complex as this astounding piece unfolds.
One striking feature of the "Vitali" Chaconne's style is the way it wildly changes key, reaching the far-flung territories of B flat and D sharp minors, uncharacteristic of the Baroque era, and key signature changed typical only in Romanticism.
I have been presenting live violin recitals in Second Life since june 2007, and after a hiatus since july 2008 I am returning for a one-time recital today, november 28th 2009. I hope I will get the chance to perform at least several times a year in SL.
In first life, I have been studying violin in France for 26 years. I have the chance to be able to work with a great professor, who communicated me a real passion for violin. I also could study in famous international training and master-class sessions. It was a honor for me to win a few years ago, a first Prize at the international Leopold Bellan music competition in Paris.
I am now performing concerts and tours as an amateur, with various French symphonic and chamber groups, thanks to the musicians I know and meet.
I didn't choose music as a professional path and I want to keep violin in my life as a passion, but I always had the dream to become a solo performer. Second Life gives me the chance to make this dream come true.
Therefore, playing for you is a challenge and makes me very happy.
Thank you for listening !
• My SL group : Akito's Backstage List
Getting it Right: Consulting Projects
4 years ago