Two brilliant adventurers set out across an enthralling musical landscape when Nicolas Altstaedt and Aleksandar Madžar step onto the stage. This is how great artists play: with imagination, with attention to style, with flexibility of technique, and above all a great sense of being in love with the music. As a result, every recital feels fresh and exciting, glowing with a sense of discovery. ‘How will we play this worktoday?’
Nicolas Altstaedt is a leading light of his generation, with a diverse career that encompasses orchestral concertos, artistic direction, festival programming, and of course chamber music (usually the bit that all musicians like best!). Aleksandar Madžar is no less accomplished, as a busy soloist, teacher and a particularly sought-after chamber music colleague.
The tour repertoire chosen by this intrepid duo offers a delicious survey of cello sonatas. Brahms’s second sonata, the earliest music on the program, served in varying degrees as inspiration for all the others. Debussy’s Cello Sonata was a late work, written in difficult days; its satisfied composer mused on the ‘power of the right chord in the right place’. Nadia Boulanger’s Three Pieces give a tantalising, attractive glimpse of a composer more renowned for teaching. Possibly the only well-known American not to study with her was Samuel Barber, whose Sonata cellists love to play because ‘it lets the cello sing.’ Shostakovich’s Sonata is a relatively early piece, composed after he had broken up with his wife but before he married her again, which perhaps explains its extraordinary emotional journey. And a little homage to Shostakovich (a four-note motif based on his initials) sneaks its way into the Sonata by Britten. Taking us up to the present day is a new work from a young Australian composer, who happens to be a cellist as well: Adelaide’s Jakub Jankowski.
Join us for program 2 at the weekend concert on Saturday 16 September, 2pm.
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