At the origin of Georges Enescu’s career stands the silhouette of a Romani virtuoso, met in early childhood; the dazzlement experienced then made the wonder of a lifetime, powerfully irrigating the music of the Romanian composer and finding one of his most spectacular achievements in his 3rd sonata for violin and piano, in the Romanian popular character (1926). All the processes specific to this folklore are used – heterophony, chromatic scales, quarter tones – even though no existing melody is mentioned. The violin appropriates the gypsy instrumental gesture while the percussive virtue of the piano, imitating the cymbalum, is strongly solicited. Later on, the Impressions of childhood will be less radical in their language – but will nevertheless remain deeply personal; 10 short pieces, most of which follow one another, describe with flavour the 24 hours of a child’s life, from morning to evening, then from evening to morning.
A leading composer, Enescu was also a highly talented violinist, and we find him alongside Ravel, the latter at the piano, when the Frenchman’s sonata was premiered in 1927. Three short and precise movements follow one another, inventively opposing the clarity of the piano to the warmth of the strings. However, the clarity of the subject does not prevent surprises: the initial allegretto and the stunning perpetuum mobile thus frame a blues with ironic accents, acting as a slow movement, Ravel having assiduously frequented New York bars during his recent American trip.
The gypsy virtuoso, written for the Hungarian violinist Jelly D’Aranyi, completes the programme with a fitting addition. We declare the Sion Festival 2019 open.
Impressions d'Enfance OP.28 / Georges Enescu
Sonate n°3 / Georges Enescu
Sonate pour violon & piano / Maurice Ravel
Tzigane / Maurice Ravel