Westside Connections 3 Music and Story, started with author Mona Simpson telling us a little about the pieces we would hear. Beethoven wrote his Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer,” which was the inspiration for Tolstoy’s novella, “Kreutzer Sonata”. The novella was the inspiration for Janacek’s piece, String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata.”
Not being familiar with Janacek’s music, the violinist slightly distracted me from the music at the start. When they played their whole bodies moved, feeling the music. When I looked away I found it easier to hear the music more fully. Though by the third movement “Con Moto; Vivo; Andante” I was able to watch and listen. It was that third movement I really enjoyed.It seemed to me, during that section the violin and the cello were having an intense argument which was slightly resolved by the end of the movement. I could feel some deep emotion emanating through Josefina Vergara’s violin solo at the beginning of the fourth movement, giving a feeling of sadness or regret of the previous fight.
Between the Janacek piece and the Beethoven piece we once again heard from author Mona Simpson. This time she spoke of herself, and her writing. It made me smile when she said, something to the effect of, “Every writer wishes to be a poet, and every poet wishes to be a musician.”
The Beethoven duet between piano and violin proved to be poetic, moving, and incredibly amazing. Jeffrey Kahane is a fabulous classical pianist. In conjunction with Margaret Batjer on violin you could feel the life of the music. Though you generally don’t clap between movements, at the end of the first movement people wanted to clap, and a few claps slipped out. “Presto,” the third movement, was awe striking. It lived up to its name, fast paced and full of energy. Mr. Kahane’s page turner was also very well trained, following the music note by note and even back turning quickly without getting in the way for the repeat.
The Beethoven movements were my favorite of the night. My applause to the series, and I look forward to future concerts.