The ‘Red Violin’ Recital

Festival and Violin Competition
Data wydarzenia
Chamber Hall of CKK Jordanki


Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda under the 5th International
Karol Lipiński Violin Festival and Competition

Elizabeth Pitcairn - violin (the owner of Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius from 1720)
Louise Thomas – piano

Introduction: Małgorzata Lisecka

L. van Beethoven - V Sonata F-dur op. 24 "Wiosenna"
J. Corigliano – The Red Violin Chaconne
C. Saint-Saëns - I Sonata d-moll op. 75
G. Dinicu (arr. J. Heifetz) - Hora Staccato
J. Williams - Temat z filmu Lista Schindlera
P. Sarasate – Zigeunerweisen


The violin has many faces, especially this one...

The programme of the ‘Red Violin’ Recital includes classical, romantic and twentieth-century musical pieces, as well as two compositions made specially for cinema.

The Fifth Sonata in F major Op. 24 ‘Spring’ by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was written at the turn of 1801 and dedicated to Moritz von Fries, the composer’s friend and patron. The work marries lyrical tones with elements characteristic of the Sturm und Drang style (‘storm and stress’), combining long musical phrases with energetic narrative strands marked by chromatic ornamentation. This is Beethoven’s first four-movement sonata with an added scherzo. It was nicknamed ‘Spring’ for the associations it evokes with the season of the year when everything comes to life. This is little wonder, especially as the piece has an endearingly melodious and pastoral character. The first movement is an allegro, followed by an adagio, a short and playful scherzo (with a spirited ‘dispute’ involving all instruments that is punctuated by a short theme, the rhythm stumbling amusingly over a quaver. The final rondo returns to the dancing rhythm that pervades the sonata as a whole.

Sonata No. 1 in D minor Op. 74 by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), dedicated to the outstanding violin virtuoso Martin Marsick, is decidedly Beethovenian in character. It opens with a vigorous allegro, marked by a syncopated, heroically expressed rhythm, that is immediately followed by an adagio, revolving around a breath-taking dialogue between the violin and the piano. The third part, Allegro moderato, is an interlude leading to Allegro molto, the energetic virtuoso finale.

Hora staccato is a 1906 composition by the Romanian composer Grigoraș Dinicu (1889–1949), which has become particularly popular owing to the 1932 arrangement by Jascha Heifetz. This virtuoso masterpiece derives from a folk circle dance that is especially well known in Romania, Moldova and Israel.

In 1878, Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908) created his famous Zigeunerweisen Op. 20. The work draws inspiration from the music of the Roma people of Hungary. The form of this undeniably popular work developed from the Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt, whom Sarasate met in Budapest in the 1970s.

Music certainly exceeds the meaning of words, which are uncapable of mediating the experience of wartime atrocities. John Williams, who composed the soundtrack to Schindler’s List, is an artist who can do so by transcending words and images alike.

The music of John Corigliano (b. 1938) accompanies the narrative of the film ‘The Red Violin’ by François Girard. The film’s plot was inspired by the famous ‘Red Mendelssohn’, a Stradivarius violin from 1721, now owned by Elizabeth Pitcairn. This instrument is going to be the protagonist of tonight’s event.

Elizabeth Pitcairn has earned a stunning reputation as one of America’s most beloved soloists. She appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music and in the year 2000 gave her New York debut at Alice Tully Hall with the New York String Orchestra. She has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Fisher Center and the Kimmel Center. Passionate about youth and education, she serves as President and Artistic Director of the Luzerne Music Center which provides training for gifted young musicians ages 9 to 18 in upstate New York. Ms. Pitcairn attended the Marlboro Music Festival and is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she later taught alongside her former teacher, the renowned violin professor Robert Lipsett, and the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Her former teachers include Julian Meyer, Sylvia Ahramjian, Jascha Brodsky and Shmuel Ashkenasi. The artist performs with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy Award–winning film The Red Violin. Pitcairn is featured on the 10th Anniversary edition of The Red Violin DVD in a special feature called “The Auction Block”. Named the Red Stradivarius violin while in the possession of Joseph Joachim, it was a gift from her grandfather in 1990 at Christie’s Auction in London. Originally from a musical family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she began the violin at age three. Pitcairn believes strongly in philanthropy and is a frequent performer for such charitable events as the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Helping Hands and Hearts Foundation and the Nakashima Foundation for Peace.