FSPA Faculty Recital Series
1025 E Kearsley St
Flint, MI 48503
Class&Jazz Duo presents a program of all-French music for violin and piano written between 1886 and 1927. The sonatas by Franck, Debussy and Ravel are among the most famous compositions that represent impressionism in music. The diverse capabilities of piano and violin create colorful musical landscapes, where harmony often plays the leading role in developing and creating sonorities of the new musical era. Franck’s sonata introduces a short harmonic progression in the very beginning of the first movement that serves as a unifying foundation for all four movements of the piece. The idea of composition, where all the movements share common thematic threads defines a cyclic approach used by Franck. That was an innovative step in the long evolution of the ensemble sonata genre. In the compact Debussy’s sonata that last for approximately 13 minutes each of the three movements portrays ever-changing beauty of transient impression captured by the composer. Phrases are short, often abrupt; shifts of tempo and mood are capricious, sometimes powerfully erupting, sometimes earthbound and impotent, always intense; the magnetism of Debussy’s deeply musical personality in his last major work of 1917 invites listeners’ closest attention. In violin sonata by Ravel from 1927, which is also rooted in the impressionistic emphasis of the harmony, the composer expressed his deep admiration to jazz and blues. Ravel believed that these newly emerged genres of music create the whole new spectrum of possibilities for the classical music composers. In the second movement of his sonata he created one of the earliest examples of the instrumental blues written for the ensemble of violin and piano. On his American tour in 1928, Ravel used this movement to convince the critics that jazz was the way forward for American music.
We believe that this program will be of a great interest for the audience to better understand the era of French impressionism that has triggered the development of modernism if the music of the XX century. To add to the intrigue, I’m pleased to perform this all-French program on the French violin made by Pietro and Hyppolite Silvestre in 1837, and the French bow made by François Nicolas Voirin in 1875.