The Spring Sonata is probably the best loved of Beethoven’s sonatas on account of its irresistible lyrical invention – the slow movement in particular resonates most deeply with audiences and players alike. The quiet beauty of the theme is instantly and eloquently seductive. There is no passion, rather a gentle radiance and a hushed joyfulness, whose climactic moment is the pianissimo coda.
Vasks Little Summer Music is a gentle suite of six very short, folk-like movements totally unlike the works Vasks is best known for. Ravel’s gypsy music, Tzigane, needs no introduction, an extraordinary virtuoso display piece. We meet Sofia Gubaidulina again later in the Festival. Her Dancer on a Tightrope is a fabulous piece, an exhilarating paean to risk, overcoming, the flight from everyday life, art as escape into another existence.
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