Duo for Violin and Cello

Composer: Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)
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Composer: Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)

Performance date: 09/07/2016

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1925

Duration: 00:18:16

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: 2vn, va, 2vc

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Instrumentation Other: vn, vc

Artists: Ella van Poucke - [cello]
Mairead Hickey - [violin]

was one of the many composers murdered by the Nazis in the concentration camps.
He was both Jewish and Marxist as well as a jazz pianist and a composer of Entartete Musik so he stood no chance.
He earned a temporary reprieve by becoming a Soviet citizen, which saved him
when the Germans occupied Prague in 1938 but cost
him his life when the Soviet Union was
attacked in 1941. He came from a family of Prague musicians and was a prodigious pianist
as well as a self-taught composer. As a virtuoso player he promoted music
written by his contemporaries, overcoming Czech-German differences in Prague and through his
brilliance at improvisation making contact with jazz. The rise of the Nazis led
him to become a Marxist.

Duo was written three years after the premiere of Ravel’s masterpiece but he
brings his own original voice to this unusual combination. It begins quietly
with a sinuous theme, which dominates the movement. Its calm progress is
punctuated by brief distractions, such as a short rhythmic episode and a
ferocious wild outburst. The coda achieves an impressive calm as it climbs out
of hearing into ethereal harmonics. The gypsy movement is exhilarating with its
typically exotic dance and opportunities for virtuoso display. The gentle muted
song of the Andantino is played against a pizzicato accompaniment, the song a reminder
of the opening moderato. This is again recalled in the closing movement along
with the harmonics. The final hectic gallop is heralded by a series of powerful
chords before the race to the finish.