2nd

Concert


We welcome you to the 3rd Chamber Music Festival of Minoa Palace Resort & Spa. Faithfull to our autumn meeting, we tried this year to travel with you in a musical journey to the unlimited world of classical music. This time, with the conduct of 2 concerts, 8 important artists coexist in different musical combinations, presenting a series of unique works. Each one of these, has contributed in its own way to the evolution of formal music; novel musical “languages” in harmony, in rythm, in the adoption of local idoms, even in the combination of instruments, are presented in boldness and exquisite mastery from their pioneer creators. We urge you to identify them and enjoy them.

Richard Strauss - Strauss Violin Sonata

18'

Noe Inui - Violin
Vassilis Varvaresos - Piano

Richard Strauss - Strauss Sextet

13'

Dimitris Karakantas - Violin
Simos Papanas - Violin
Angela Giannaki - Viola
George Demertzis - Viola
Angelos Liakakis - Cello
Dimos Goudaroulis - Cello

Richard Strauss - Strauss Metamorphosen

38'

Simos Papanas - Violin
Noe Inui - Violin
Angela Giannaki - Viola
George Demertzis - Viola
Angelos Liakakis - Cello
Dimos Goudaroulis - Cello
Seraina Seidou - Bass

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Concert
Works

CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014

Minoa Chamber Music Festival - Richard Strauss - Violin Sonata

Richard Strauss

Violin Sonata

Op. 18

The Violin Sonata came at a pivotal point in Richard Strauss’ career. He wrote it in 1887-1888, when he was 24 and just beginning work on the symphonic poem Don Juan. The success of Don Juan would lead Strauss to concentrate on the symphonic poem and later on opera. Coming at so important an intersection in his career, the sonata shows features of both the world Strauss was leaving and the world he was about to enter. In its structure and harmonic language, the sonata looks back to the tradition of Brahms and Schumann, but in its dramatic scope, it looks ahead to the symphonic poems.
The Violin Sonata is considered Strauss's last "classical" piece. Still under the influence of his conservative father, his chamber output, of which he only left a handful of works dating from before 1890, follows the generally accepted classical patterns.The two parts, the violin and the piano, are densely written, and the melodic lines interweave, creating a symphonic texture. Even though it is a sonata, it is almost as if the two instruments are playing a double concerto.
Strauss composed the Violin Sonata under the romantic spell of Pauline de Ahna, who later became his wife. The work is full of youthful energy, hope, and anticipation. The ardent fervor of the song-like lines is evident, especially in the second movement, which often reminds the listener of the songs and operas that were to come later in Strauss's career.  Its virtuosic character comes from Strauss thorough knowledge of the instrument. He had played the violin since he was 8, and in 1882 had already written a violin concerto. Although it is not considered to be at the pinnacle of violin literature, Strauss's Violin Sonata has been in the active repertoire of most of the major violinists of the 20th century and it continues to offer its charm and heartfelt melodies to today's listeners.

MOVEMENTS

I. Allegro, ma non troppo
II. Improvisation: Andante cantabile
III. Finale: Andante - Allegro

Minoa Chamber Music Festival - Richard Strauss - Introduction (Sextet) to Capriccio for Strings

Richard Strauss

Introduction (Sextet) to Capriccio for Strings

OP.85

Capriccio, the last opera Strauss completed, in some ways represents the culmination of the composer's work in this genre. It was premiered in Munich on October 28, 1942, to an enthusiastic reception and was subsequently performed in several European opera houses during World War II. It is sometimes described as a "conversation piece," since the plot revolves around a discussion of the nature of opera and the shifting primacy between text and music. In some ways the opera is a metaphor for operatic composition, a topic with obvious resonance and significance for the compser. Strauss wrote, “The battle between words and music has been the problem of my life from the beginning, and I leave it with Capriccio as a question mark.” According to the plot, the singer (perhaps muse) Madeleine must choose whom she favors between between Olivier and Flamand, the opera's embodiment of poetry and music, respectively. However, she can never abandon one for the other, since she needs both. This leaves the dramatic situation at the opening of the opera unresolved though perhaps better understood by the conclusion. The string sextet from Capriccio, is in fact the opera’s introduction/ overture, played before the curtain rises and extended after it has risen. It is the only operatic overture of its kind, a piece of pure chamber music for strings which also contributes to the action of the story. The sextet was first heard six months before the work’s official premiere. It brings Strauss’ opulent harmonic palette and rich instrumental textures to his stylized recreation of elegant Rococo chamber music. The words of Michael Kennedy about the complete opera apply equally well to this beautiful Sextet: “Capriccio is Strauss’ most enchanting opera. It is also the nearest he came to unflawed perfection in a work of art. It is an anthology or synthesis of all that he did best, and it is as if he put his creative process into a crucible, refining away coarseness, bombast and excess of vitality.”

MOVEMENTS

Andante con moto

Minoa Chamber Music Festival - Richard Strauss - Metamorphosen

Richard Strauss

Metamorphosen

OP. 142

Not long after his final opera, Capriccio was performed, not long before his 80th birthday, Strauss learned of the terrible destruction of Dresden (where most of his operas had received their premieres), then the bombing of Munich and Vienna---in which the great opera houses of both cities were destroyed. Heartbroken, Strauss tinkered with a plan for a septet for strings, which at first bore the title “Mourning for Munich.” When Paul Sacher, the conductor of a chamber orchestral in Basel, Switzerland, commissioned a new work from Strauss, the septet became a Metamorphosen[Metamorphoses], “Study for 23 Solo Strings,” which was composed March-April, 1945 at the composer’s home in Garmisch, in the Bavarian Alps, during the terrible final weeks of the war. Sacher, an outstanding champion and patron of the work of many important 20th century composers (including Stravinsky, Bartok, Britten and many others), conducted the premiere of Metamorphosen on 25thJanuary, 1946. The title is commonly taken to refer to the continual process of development of the work’s musical structure. In fact, the “metamorphosis” heakens back to two poetic works written by Goethe in his old age(his great elegy “The Metamorphosis of the Plants” and the epic fragment “The Metamorphosis of the Animals,”). To quiet his deep anxiety in the final stages of the war, Strauss had re-read the complete writings of Goethe, seeking to find consolation in the greatest of all German poets.
In the final bars of the work Strauss cites, once again, Beethoven—the funeral march from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, and notes in the score: “In Memoriam.”     Strauss’s citation of the Eroica, together with the phrase “in memoriam,” would imply his rejection of the Hitler he once served. Like Beethoven—thus the Strauss scholar Timothy L. Jackson—Strauss “buries” and memorializes the still-living tyrant. More jaundiced critics have concluded, with handwringing, that the work is a memorial, instead, to the now collapsing, and thus metamorphosed, once grandiose Nazi regime, Hitler included.
 Strauss’s diary entry in early 1945, “The most terrible period of human history is at an end, the twelve-year reign of bestiality, ignorance, and anti-culture under the greatest criminals, during which Germany’s 2000 years of cultural evolution met its doom.”
With Metamorphosen Strauss may well have composed a requiem for a great civilisation, and for an unbroken music tradition extending from Beethoven (and the world of Napoleon) to his own last works (and the world of Hitler.) For many listeners, this work may also be heard as a great composer’s grieving expression of his own moral failure, and search for spiritual resolution.

MOVEMENTS

Andante-Agitato-Piu allegro-Adagio, tempo primo

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