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Duo for Violin and Cello

Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)

Ella van Poucke

Ella van Poucke

Composer
Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)
Composition Year
1925
Work Movements
1. Moderato
2. Zingaresa
3. Andantino
4. Moderato
Artists
Ella van Poucke [cello], Mairead Hickey [violin]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Schulhoff 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.

His 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. 

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Duo for Violin and Cello

Composer: Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)
Performance date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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Composer Erwin Schulhoff (b. 1894 - d. 1942)
Work Title Duo for Violin and Cello
Composition Year 1925
Work Movements 1. Moderato
2. Zingaresa
3. Andantino
4. Moderato
Artist(s) Ella van Poucke [cello], Mairead Hickey [violin]
Performance Date Saturday 9th July 2016
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Finale
Duration 00:18:16
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation vn, vc
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

Schulhoff 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.

His 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.