A musical treasure
Aaron Rosand plays Beethoven,
appreciated by LAWRENCE BUDMEN
Few composers changed music like Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). His clashing harmonies, dissonances, elongated sense of formal structure, and other worldly musical sublimity would influence every composer that succeeded him. Even Arnold Schoenberg (who viewed Bach, Brahms, and Mahler as his artistic heroes) could not have written his revolutionary scores (Verklärte Nacht, Erwartung, Gurrelieder) without the influence of Beethoven's path-breaking late string quartets (with their clashing dissonances and unsettling harmonies) -- works that will always sound 'contemporary' and remain timeless. With the Sonata in A for Violin and Piano Op 47 (Kreutzer) in 1803, Beethoven effectively moved the instrumental sonata from the perfumed elegance of the salon to the modernity of the concert hall. Because of its symphonic scope and instrumental grandeur Beethoven referred to the Kreutzer as a 'Concerto-Sonata'. With his new vision of the sonata as a public concert vehicle, Beethoven tested the limits of instrumental technique. The consummate violinist Aaron Rosand gave a thrilling performance of this monumental score on 24 October 2004 at UM Gusman Concert Hall in Coral Gables, Florida, USA -- the centerpiece of the opening concert of the twenty fourth season of Sunday Afternoons of Music.
Aaron Rosand is one of the few living exponents of the nineteenth century Russian violinistic tradition. Rosand studied with Efrem Zimbalist Sr at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Zimbalist's teacher had been Leopold Auer (himself one of the founders of Curtis) who had given the première of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Rosand embodies all the virtues of the Russian school of violin playing: a richly burnished tone, suavely elegant rubato, and a searching musical intellect that revitalizes familiar music and makes rarely heard scores into exciting discoveries. After six decades on the world's concert stages, Rosand's artistry and technical brilliance remain undiminished. A Rosand performance is a true musical event!
Copyright © 18 November 2004
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA