Concert Hour visits the Beethoven Week | Music | DW | 20.11.2019
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Music

Concert Hour visits the Beethoven Week

The city of Bonn not only has a Beethovenfest but also a Beethoven Week, and both salute the composer born there.

Listen to audio 54:59

Concert Hour: Beethoven Week, part one

Concert Hour is your ticket to the German classical music festival scene. From the Schwetzingen Festival to the Bayreuth Festival, the Bachfest in Leipzig and the Beethovenfest in Bonn, we have the picks of the season: two hours of music renewed every two weeks.

Along with host Rick Fulker, the musicians themselves are on hand to give their insights into the events and the music.

This time, selections from the annual Beethoven Week in the composer's hometown. 

Listen to audio 54:59

Concert Hour: Beethoven Week, part two

The Beethoven Week takes place only feet away from where the composer was born. Now known as the Beethoven House, it houses a sleek, modern chamber music hall from which this Deutsche Welle Festival Concert comes to you. 

Welcome to a program with the Sitkovetzky Trio. Unlike many chamber music formations that meet ad hoc and on short notice, the Sitkovetzky Trio is a permanent ensemble. Cellist Isang Enders explained: "We are all individually occupied of course, but the trio itself is basically a very serious enjoyment. We created an environment in which we can delve into the very deep meaning of the repertoire itself. And by repeating pieces over again over the years, the musical development is much better."

Pianist Wu Qian pointed out another advantage to performing in this kind of ensemble: "The great thing about a trio is that as an artist, you have the flexibility to shine individually as well as within the group. So I think it's really the best of all combinations."

Beethoven's ear trumpets (picture-alliance/akg-images/Beethoven-Haus Bonn)

The Beethoven House Museum houses unique artifacts such as Beethoven's ear trumpets

Part one: 

Ludwig van Beethoven
Twelve Variations in F Major for piano and violin on the Cavatina Se vuol ballare from Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, WoO 40 
Alexander Sitkovetsky, violin 
Wu Qian, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio in B-flat Major for piano, violin and cello, op. 97 (Archduke) 
Sitkovetsky Trio:

Alexander Sitkovetsky, violin 
Wu Qian, piano
Isang Enders, cello

Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the Beethoven House, Bonn on January 28, 2019

The inner courtyard of the Beethoven House (DW/M. M. Rahman)

The inner courtyard of the Beethoven House

Part two:

 

The main work this hour: Tchaikovsky's magnificent A Minor Piano Trio.

One of this composer's very few works of chamber music, the trio was written after the death of Tchaikovsky's mentor and dedicated "In Memory of a Great Artist." 

As violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky explained to DW, "The piece is dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein who was the first ever director of the Moscow Conservatory, the greatest pianist of that time. It was Rubinstein who gave Tchaikovsky early support, after which he found his composing voice. So this is probably one of his most personal pieces. It has a very, very strong sense of tragedy and mourning."

That may remind one of the saying, "When a Russian musician is sad, he is very sad; when a Russian musician is very sad, then he is at his very best."  

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (picture-alliance/dpa)

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto for Violin and Piano in D Minor, second movement 
Alexander Sitkovetsky, violin
Dinorah Varsi, piano
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra 
Michael Hofstetter, conductor
on Orfeo C761092A

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
Trio in A Minor, op. 50 
Sitkovetsky Trio
Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the Beethoven House, Bonn on January 28, 2019

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