The Song of Love

November 18, 2020
Sibelius Academy R-house, Pohjoinen rautatiekatu 9, 00100 Helsinki

Kristina Bogataj, piano


J. S. Bach (1685–1750): Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (WTK I)

J. Brahms (1833–1897): Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 2 in G minor

L. van Beethoven (1770–1827): Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F major I. Allegro II. Allegretto III. Presto

S. Rachmaninoff (1873–1943): Etude tableau Op. 33 No. 8 in G minor

R. Vaughan Williams (1872–1958): Silent Noon (D. G. Rossetti) with Tania Sheratte (voice)

In constant search of balance, we often find peace in love – in whatever form. Opening with Bach’s pure love for exploration of musical texture and melodic lines provides a threshold for further ventures.

Darkness in Brahms’s Rhapsody catalyzes the rollercoaster of emotions out of balance – with a different textural hierarchy than Bach. Despite (rather rare) rays of gentleness, a “happy ending” eludes and is sent beyond the end of the piece, in its obscured existence.

Beethoven’s Sonata offers a different sort of contrast, although following the established sonata form rather clearly. The 1st and 3rd movement include numerous details that could be considered humorous, however the overall structure demands a special sort of respect and maturity also in these moments – especially when delivering the melancholic mood of the 2nd movement.

Rachmaninoff’s Etude carries a melancholic atmosphere that might be reflected in the 2nd movement of Beethoven – the emotion gains its depth with accepting it in its gravity rather than overdramatizing. The layering of the textures requires special attention in deciding the hierarchy between the lines, which could be considered as a pedagogical aspect of the etude, despite its strong emotional impact.

Searching for a balance in whatever context can be exhausting and is often per se rather uncomfortable. Accepting the duality and constant flow from one side to the other, life and relationships get a new sparkle and maturity. The program is closed by verbalizing the secret behind it all: although sometimes painful, the most sincere path towards the balance must be through love.