Many people associate the word virtuosity with empty, flashy playing. Not the against-the-grain John Cage, who wrote his Freeman Etudes expressly to be unplayable. The studies were supposed to be musical symbols of the intractableness of the great social and political issues of the time. But times change: in the meantime, Cage’s pieces have turned out to be playable, although the big issues will have to wait. This concert is a triptych of works intended to challenge a violinist, honour a composer, or do both at the same time. The first ‘panel’ is devoted to Cage, with among other things a short homage to him from György Kurtág. In the final panel, Elliott Carter and Morton Feldman give a ‘hats off’ to Aaron Copland. The programme revolves around the astonishing Sonata for solo violin that Bartók wrote in the US for Yehudi Menuhin. As far as he was from home, he was anything but estranged from his European origins, since you can hear the echoes of Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin music in nearly every bar.
"Everyone should have the opportunity of not being over-influenced." – Charles Ives (Postface to 114 songs, 1922)
John Cage: Freeman Etude No. 15
György Kurtág: Hommage à Cage
Béla Bartók: Sonate voor viool solo
Elliott Carter: Statement – Remembering Aaron
Morton Feldman: For Aaron Copland
Including mini-intro by Klaas Coulembier (Dutch)
Wibert Aerts will be familiar to faithful Festival 20·21 attendees as the violinist of Het Collectief, but he has also built up a solid reputation as a soloist in recent years. His hallmark is his versatility: he plays everything from the ancient classics to works written especially for him. With his flawless technique and penetrating sound, he gets the maximum impact from every piece he plays.