About this Recording
8.572380 - Takako Nishizaki Plays Suzuki Evergreens, Vol. 3

Takako Nishizaki plays
Suzuki Evergreens • Volume 3


The German violinist Friedrich Seitz was born in Günthersleben near Gotha in 1848 and died in Dessau in 1918. He served as a conductor in Sondershausen, where he had studied, as concert-master in Magdeburg and from 1884 as Court Concert-Master in Dessau. He was particularly active as a teacher, and is remembered for his Schülerkonzerte, teaching concertos, which introduce pupils to something of nineteenth-century concerto technique and remain a part of teaching repertoire.

Franz Schubert wrote his Lullaby, D 498, in 1816, setting words by an unknown writer, Schlafe, schlafe, holder, süsser Knabe (Sleep, sleep, sweet boy, your mother’s hand rocks you gently). The original song introduces an air of sorrow, as the child is to sleep before long in the grave. The Lullaby, Op. 49, No. 4, by Johannes Brahms is one of a set of five songs published in 1868. Gently lilting, as a lullaby must, it sets the words Guten Abend, gut Nacht (Good evening, good night), taken from a folk-song.

Antonio Vivaldi was a native of Venice, the city where he made his principal career. Ordained priest, he was associated, intermittently at least, with a girls’ school famous for its music, the Ospedale della Pietà, but busied himself also in the opera house, while winning fame for his performances as a violinist. In 1711 he published in Amsterdam a set of twelve concertos under the title L’estro armonico for various groupings of string instruments. The sixth, the Concerto in A minor, RV 356 is for solo violin and strings. The first and third movements of the concerto are included, first for violin and piano and then in the original orchestral version. In both the solo violin remains prominent.

Johann Sebastian Bach was strongly influenced by Vivaldi, some of whose concertos he transcribed for harpsichord. His own concertos largely follow the pattern of the Vivaldi solo concerto. A number of these, written during his years as Court Director of Music to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, only survive in later arrangements Bach made of them for use in Leipzig. Three violin concertos, however, remain also in their original form, one of them the Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043. The two solo violin parts are equal in importance and difficulty and Volume 5 of the Suzuki Violin School offers the second violin part, which opens the concerto, to be followed by the first violin. The close interweaving and antiphonal use of the two violins is clear in the original version for two solo violins, strings and continuo. It will be noticed that the second and first violin entries are doubled by the orchestra, so that it is only in bar 21 that the first solo violin is heard with a sparse accompaniment, a passage that in the Suzuki second violin part is replaced by piano chords. Four bars later the second violin enters, echoing the first violin, a procedure followed in the rest of the movement, as one players follows the other.

Keith Anderson

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