New England Conservatory; #5 (Reel 2)
From. The Aspen man. Forget.
It's not a number nine or. A minus. This 47. And this point use another. Performance by Rudolph calling. The rescue from. Members of the faculty here at the new conservatory of music. A. These are disturbing we call for the. Performance of this. Virtual show. Another number 9. Thank you.
And before. You. Get off calling. Us. Shaming we. Will return to Jordan Hall for the performance of the final sonata on this program Sonata number eight. By Beethoven. But now it's my great pleasure and privilege to speak with Rudolph Kolisch. A student of composition with Arnold Schoenberg and found founder of the famed Coley string quartet internationally known for first performances of many important 20th century works by Schoenberg Baber and Bayard by talk and many others. And being a student of Schoenberg forms for us here at the conservatory an important link with that first step away from tonality.
Mr. Carr wished the Beethoven Sonata program that we're hearing on this series of three concerts at the conservatory. Whose idea was it to present these programs of all 10 Beethoven sonatas. It was my idea. As you might know I am a bit of an addict. And I spent a great part of my life performing the string quartets as I am unfortunately not able to do that anymore. I found it a kind of substitute. To perform these pieces. Besides I have found an ideal partner. For these puppets in Mr. Sherman which you have performed I know throughout your career the Beethoven string quartets and have faced the challenge of performing some of the most difficult string quartet literature that exists even in modern writing.
Having turned to the sonatas Now I wonder if you could sort of draw a few comparisons for us between the writing for the violin and these Beethoven sonatas with the writing of the quartets now the Beethoven Sonata as we discussed earlier we know that they lie within in terms of compositional output somewhere between the Opus 18 quartets and the Opus 59. And I wonder if you might comment on exactly what has happened in Beethoven's writing for the instrument in this particular period comparing it with these quartets. It is not possible for me to conceive. Of no use of the piece in terms of dramatic writing. That never danced to my mind how a piece is written for an instrument.
A composer and especially Beethoven. I did not think in these terms either. No the instrument was only a means. To realize his musical ideas and he did not care a bit about your might the considerations that means How well as the instrumentalists call it is written for the instrument. In this respect he could be compared with Bach I suppose. Not in terms of the actual writing but in the conception of music without any particular instrument. As a matter of fact the sonatas are not necessarily for violin either. This or not as are not for bi only and they are for piano. With the compliment of the violin except for DS one concert done to be the so-called quotes of some not.
But in general the piano is the more important part. At least quantity as it plays of course the themes and the base. You think this is because Beethoven was such a great pianist himself. The fact that Beethoven was a pianist of course affects his way of treating the piano as an instrument. Yeah I must partly retract my former statement and he writes in many of these pieces for the piano you know brilliance. Which he does not for the violin but mainly here only for. The musical idea dictates the way it is transposed for the
instrument and never will the instrument function as an independent autonomous source. For effect apart from the idea. No that's a very important point to make. And I was wondering if the same point could be made about all of Beethoven's writing. All of his composition writing for the orchestra writing for the string quartet. Writing for the piano. Is this a generally true statement. Most definitely so. You know that. His music has been considered and play improved from many points of views especially from the string players. You might remember. The answer he gave to super antique
when he complained about them and play a passage in one of just bits he said I don't consider your lousy fiddle. When the Spirit comes over me here you have to prove to his thinking in this direction. Of course. His music is not one prayer not even the great fuel walk which was considered saw until a short time ago. The fact is that instrumentalists are very slow to accommodate requirements of progressive idea which changes of course technical requirements for teens. Woman I know I
condemned the position of the mentalist in this case. For me everything is labor which is physically produce a book on an instrument. I could give you an example of this kind of more recent times namely the sort of canard of talk to troops really undisclosed. This was commissioned by a famous what was taught and been part of shortening the script first and asked me very pointedly whether everything was playable. You know I was very surprised because he had at this time already written five string put to violin sonata to violin concert
and knew perfectly well what was playable for the violin but I am face one understood that and astute. He said I looked at the manuscript and I told him. Shortly after that everything was playable. Hold on many things are very difficult to play which is perfectly legitimate. After some while he told me that the. Violinist who had commissioned the piece found many places where you had to expect. Well the next question then have you ever been faced with music which you did consider unplayable. Practically not because you can expect
from any serious composer to Norm want the support you would support on an instrument. I don't remember having been very rare and dances where. The composer really wrongness only wrote something which is not proper to some group or voice and central. It's like you know writing an orchestra score don't reach an instrument cannot put you would be just out of range for the instrument that can happen. But basically not because comp composer has an idea which transcends the conventional situation of.
Technical development in an instant. I think I know the violinist you're referring to. And certainly. There must have been. More in his complaint than just the physical play ability. Perhaps he was thinking in terms of more traditional use of the instrument and certain effects certain effects that he had in mind which in this case just didn't agree with the composers. But I would think that a virtuoso of that caliber would would know at a glance whether certain notes were playable on the instrument or whether it was just a matter of practice. Yeah I took the position towards the cutaway of unpredictability is different. You know I define their position. The ratio between effort and effect if the reassure is you know unfavorably played unplayable.
That is merely semantics but to the owner of this particular. Word you also I must say that he later retracted disposition and declared everything. Of course again and then after that he edited the piece. In addition many central features ought to my great regret. Tell me are there any passages in the Beethoven Sonata that give the violinist any sort of. Fear or trepidation. They are practically only such passages. Because he definitely writes Not for the instrument. I mean after what we had said before that becomes clear now.
It is always very difficult to perform. Would they be more comfortable. On the OBO. For example or the flute or some other instrument or are they simply a little bit. Awkward for all instrument. You know what might happen that some passages might being much easier to produce on winter instrument and especially on the piano. It's very characteristic that is very controlled too. Turned out to be an excellent piece for the piano you know you made conscription for the piano which is a much more into my dick then with a violin Thats why its statement might surprise you know the whole guild of string players but it's nevertheless true.
Well before we end this brief conversation I would like to ask you if in the body of the sonatas Now we've heard at the end of this program. We will have heard all 10 of us and not us but looking back over them now. Can one see my development as one can see for example in the symphony literature or in the quartet literature is there a similar kind of development in the sonatas. You. Know for the mere reason that more stuff the piece is written in a very early period of Beethoven's. Only the last one is written. In later and contained of course trades or free school position a position of time only to grant there are
far less important than the string quartets or the symphonies but horn compositions. And undoubtedly to be heard and known. And not only. Hope that the trip and the about. For me it was especially pleasant to be able to perform them. With Mr. Shrum and. You might note that I have a very. Peculiar position. Towards. The release of Beethoven. I consider it an honor you know. For and not representing his
idea. So for me the act of performing a series of his works is almost a polemic. And I try always to. Take his works out of the distortion which to a different tradition is a picture of them. And representing truly representing his idea. Well thank you very much Mr. Collins for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. We're very grateful that you feel this way about Beethoven and very grateful that we had an opportunity are having the opportunity of hearing these ideas
expressed in your musical performance and now without further ado we will return to Jordan Hall for the final work on tonight's program. This is the third concert in a series. Devoted to the performance of all 10 of the Beethoven sonatas and in a few moments we'll hear the final work not only on this program but on this series and that will be Sonata number eight in G major opus 3. Number three. Composed in 18 0 2. The G major Sonata. As well as the other two senators and Opus 30 belong to the fateful year 18 0 2. Although they were probably written before going to start and therefore before the formulation of the famed Testament. This and others were published by the BIA world is. An 18 0 3 and dedicated to the Emperor Alexander the first of Russia. Like most of the sonatas of Beethoven. Sonata number 8 is in three
movements opening with an Allegro aside. The second movement tempo the minuet Marmol to moderately gutsy always will. And the final movement Allegro Vivace. Once again we are laid off calling from Russell Sherman we have a recruiting work on this program. Sonata number eight making.
A. A. A little bit. More mole.
The I. Eat. The AM.
I'm. All. For. That. Thank you. Yes thank you for making us another number 8. You made you. The story number three more lethal than. Any performance by. Featured Artist receiving. It Off knowledge.
Russell film. A. And once again moving because of your nasty. FFS. FFS. And for a third time you. Get off calling for Mr. Sherman most members
here on the faculty of New England Conservatory of Music. Are being recalled with your nasty. Polish is presently artist in residence at the new conservatory and Russell Sherman is chairman. Of the family court. And for the fourth time. These artists are being recalled. For months. Thank you. For not a number 8. G-Major by Beethoven. Thank. You work which contributes not only this program but this series of three concerts
- New England Conservatory
- Episode Number
- #5 (Reel 2)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- APA: New England Conservatory; #5 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-mc8rgv4s