Jan. 30, 2009
Violinist Jakovcic will play 'compelling, complex and grand' music Feb. 15
Violinist Zoran Jakovcic, who is familiar to audiences as a member of the University of Iowa's Maia String Quartet, will play two works that have great personal meaning for him in a UI faculty recital at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI Pentacrest.
Jakovcic will be assisted on part of the program by UI faculty colleagues Hannah Holman, cello, and Réne Lecuona, piano. Their performance will be free and open to the public.
The two pieces that comprise the program could scarcely be more different: a challenging, contrapuntal work for solo violin from the Baroque period -- the Partita in D minor by J.S. Bach -- and a genial, charming work for piano trio from the Romantic period -- the Trio in E-flat major by Franz Schubert.
"These two masterpieces have profoundly inspired me throughout my life," Jakovcic said. "Both Bach and Schubert I've performed in different stages of my musical development. Like the great classics of literature or my ancestral home in the old country, every time I revisit them, I find them ever more compelling, complex and grand."
Bach's six solo sonatas and partitas are considered among the greatest monuments and most significant challenges of the violin repertoire. They were composed as a group in 1720, relatively early in Bach's career. At that time, the unaccompanied suite or sonata for violin was already an old German-Austrian tradition.
Bach's contrapuntal style, which relies heavily on the interplay of two or more distinct melodic lines, is maintained in the sonatas and partitas by having the different parts represented by alternate high and low notes or by playing on two strings at the same time. It is the performer's difficult task to make each of the "parts" sound separate and complete.
During the final three years of his life -- 1825-28 -- Schubert's health and finances declined steadily, yet during this time he produced a string of works that are considered some of the greatest pieces of the early Romantic era, demonstrating his mastery of instrumental as well as vocal music. Among those works were two spacious piano trios, in B-flat and E-flat, composed in the autumn of 1827. Although written around the same time as the gloomy song cycle "Die Winterreise" (The winter's journey), both piano trios are cheerful, optimistic works.
The works probably resulted from Schubert's friendship with several prominent Viennese musicians, especially the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh -- famous in music history for his association with Beethoven -- as well as the cellist Linke and pianist Bocklet.
Jakovcic joined the Maia Quartet, and the UI faculty, in 2005. A native of Croatia, he made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 12 and was a winner of a top prize at the National Competition in Zagreb. He has performed in recital and as soloist with various orchestras in Europe, Japan, China and the US. For more information visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~c025188/zoran.html
Holman is cellist of the Maia Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the University of Iowa School of Music. She has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra cellist, including principal cello with the Cedar Rapids Symphony. She joined the Maia Quartet in the summer of 2002 and is currently the principal cellist of the Quad City Symphony. For more information visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGholman.htm.
Since joining the UI faculty in 1990, Lecuona has performed solo and chamber music throughout the United States and South America, in Mexico and in the Caribbean. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall in 1993 with her UI faculty colleague mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle and has also performed in the Goodman Hall at Lincoln Center with soprano Rachel Joselson, also from the UI faculty. For more information visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/PIANOlecuona.htm.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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