Oct. 16, 2007
Photo: Johannes Brahms
Two Brahms lovers play 'Two Evenings of Brahms' Oct. 29 & 30
Many classical musicians love the music of Brahms, but not all are lucky enough to have two full programs of music available to perform.
Two University of Iowa faculty members who are so lucky -- violinist Scott Conklin and pianist Uriel Tsachor -- will play all of Brahms' music for their two instruments together in "Two Evenings of Brahms," free performances at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29 and 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Brahms only wrote three sonatas for violin and piano, which together make up a single evening of music. But he also contributed to a collaborative sonata written with Robert Schumann and the largely forgotten Albert Dietrich for the 19th-century virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim. This joint effort, for which Brahms wrote a single movement, is known as the "F.A.E. Sonata" for Joachim's motto of life as a traveling violin soloist, "Frei aber einsam': "Free but lonely."
Brahms also arranged for violin and piano a pair of sonatas he had originally composed for clarinet and piano, making a total of six works that are available for a Brahms-loving violin-piano duo. It is those works that will be distributed across the "Two Evenings of Brahms."
On Monday, Oct. 29, Conklin and Tsachor will play the Sonata in G major for violin and piano, op. 78; Brahms' Scherzo movement from the "F.A.E. Sonata"; and the composer's transcription of the Sonata in F minor for clarinet and piano, op. 120 no. 1. The following evening they will play the transcription of the Sonata in E-flat major for clarinet and piano, op. 120 no. 2; the Sonata in A major for violin and piano, op. 100; and the sonata in D minor for violin and piano, op. 108.
"Uriel Tsachor and I love the music of Brahms," Conklin commented.
"A couple of years ago, I spoke to Uriel in the hallway at the School of Music about wanting to perform the three piano and violin sonatas and the F.A.E scherzo movement on a concert. Uriel suggested that we should go all out and play the complete Brahms cycle with the composer's very own transcriptions of the two opus 120 sonatas for piano and clarinet over two nights.
"We will be performing the complete cycle twice over back-to-back nights at the UI and during a residency at the University of Oklahoma in early November. Prior to these concerts, our very first performance of the cycle will be at Drake University on Oct. 23."
Conklin joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2005. An honorary "Kentucky Colonel," he has performed as a violin soloist with the Louisville, Nashville and Berlin symphonies. He was named a "Rising Star" and was a featured artist at the 2004 Music Teachers National Association Conference. He regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player and has appeared on a wide variety of concert series and college campuses throughout the country and abroad. For more information see http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGconklin.htm
Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, he was a winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and the Busoni Competition in 1985, and was a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983. Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung described him as "A musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry." See: www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/PIANOtsachor.htm.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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