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Janacek; Beethoven; Prokofiev; Finney, with Miranda Cuckson (violin) and Blair McMillen (piano)
Friday, October 27, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm$40
Miranda Cuckson and Blair McMillen, two internationally celebrated artists, noted for their innate expressivity, musical dexterity, and boundlessly evident love for music and live performance return to PS21.
“Her command of line and naturalness of expression leave little doubt that Miranda Cuckson is an artist to be reckoned with” – Gramophone
“When played by the formidable Mr. McMillen, any piece sounds terrific” – The New York Times
Leoš Janáček: Violin Sonata
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major
Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, op. 80
Ross Lee Finney: Fiddle-doodle-ad: Eight American Folk-Tunes
Each of the four pieces on the program come from a very distinct personality and time and place, but they have one important thing in common – they reflect on a similar experience. Whether overt or indirect, each work can be heard as its composer’s response to war and wartime.
Audiences will hear two very different and personal reactions in the aftermath of World War II. Sergei Prokofiev’s haunting, visceral Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, composed 1938-46, is juxtaposed with Ross Lee Finney’s tender, optimistic suite of folk tunes, Fiddle-Doodle-Ad (1948). The sunny, rambunctious disposition of Beethoven’s 8th Violin Sonata sets the context for some of Beethoven’s inner turmoil in the early 1800s. Beethoven was conflicted: he admired Napoleon Bonaparte, but he also sensed that Napoleon had his military eye on Austria.
Shortly after the publication of this work, Napoleon marched into Vienna and brazenly declared himself Austrian Emperor. Leoš Janáček’s turbulent Violin Sonata is steeped in Moravian folk music. “I wrote the Violin Sonata at the beginning of the war when we were expecting the Russians in Moravia,” he said. But those hopes were dashed on August 1, 1914, when Germany declared war on Russia. Janáček later dramatically inscribed this momentous date into the manuscript of the Sonata, which he published in 1922.