DEJAN BRAVNIČAR

ANTOLOGIJA - DEJAN BRAVNIČAR: BACH, PORPORA, PROKOFJEV, BARTÓK, VERACINI, ČAJKOVSKI, PAGANINI

Classical and Modern Music

Format: CD

Šifra: 115134

EAN: 3838898115134

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Violinist Dejan Bravničar (1937–2018) is one of the most important Slovenian performers of the second half of the twentieth century. His family environment had an important influence on his personal and artistic development, as his mother Gizela was a ballerina and his father Matija Bravničar was a composer and violinist. The latter is regarded as one of the leading Slovenian composers of the mid twentieth century, and made an important contribution to shaping the cultural and social life of that time with his work as an artist, writer and teacher, not least as a professor and dean of the Ljubljana Academy of Music. His son Dejan became acquainted with the violin at an early age. On the secondary school level, his father entrusted him to Fran Stanič, and at the Ljubljana Academy of Music he studied with Karl Rupel. After graduating, he continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, with one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, David Oistrakh. During his stay in Moscow, he met a number of the world’s greatest musicians of the time. This was followed by a year of additional studies with renowned violinist Pina Carmirelli at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
After completing his studies, Bravničar settled in his homeland as a freelance soloist. In addition to numerous appearances at home, he performed in England, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Switzerland, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere, collaborating with top conductors such as Kurt Sanderling, Kirill Kondrashin, Paul Kletzki, Carlo Zecchi, Jean Martinon and others. He was also active in the field of chamber music, where he collaborated with cellist Ciril Škerjanc and pianist Aci Bertoncelj in the Tartini Trio, performing both in Slovenia and in world cultural centers such as Vienna, New York and Paris. In the mid 1960s, he began teaching at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, and later served as the institution’s dean for eight years. He educated generations of violinists who play in professional Slovenian orchestras and teach at music schools.
In his solo career, Dejan Bravničar performed more than fifty violin concertos. His repertoire extended from Vivaldi and Bach to Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Paganini, Brahms, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, Sibelius and Szymanowski, as well as the most important works of this genre from the twentieth century, such as the concertos of Bartók, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. With his work, he left an indelible mark on the Slovenian musical landscape. As a soloist, he introduced new and higher standards of musical performance to the domestic music scene. At a time when firstrate art was accessible only in rare centers, his numerous concerts around Slovenia enabled a wide audience to become acquainted with works of the world violin literature in superb performances. His contribution to the promotion of Slovenian music was also invaluable. As a soloist, he performed violin concertos by Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, Danilo Švara, Matija Bravničar and Primož Ramovš, as well as a number of other Slovenian works, many of which he also promoted aboard, either as a soloist or with the Tartini Trio. His pedagogical activities were enhanced with his editions of important world and domestic repertoire. He received numerous state awards and recognitions for his work, including the Prešeren Fund Award and the City of Ljubljana Award. He was appointed as a professor emeritus of the University of Ljubljana and as an honorary member of ESTA Slovenia.
Dejan Bravničar was one of the most distinguished figures of Slovenian music and left an enduring mark with his artistic and pedagogical contribution.
 

In the extraordinary opus of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) for solo violin, with which the composer opened up new compositional horizons for the instrument, Partita No. 2 in D minor is certainly the most celebrated work. The Baroque partita is a cycle of dance movements. The Partita in D minor is made up of the dances Allemande, Corrente, Sarabanda and Giga, and the whole is rounded off by the celebrated Ciaccona. The latter is regarded by many as the culmination of Baroque violin music and one of the most important works in the history of music in general.
Nicola Porpora (1686–1768) was a contemporary of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, as well as Haydn and the young Mozart. He takes his place in the history of music primarily as an opera composer and a singing teacher. Among his pupils was Farinelli, the most famous singer of the Baroque period. Porpora was active in his native Naples, where he always returned after sojourns in Rome, Vienna, Venice, London and Dresden. He is less known as a composer of chamber music. The most important of his chamber works is a collection of twelve sonatas for violin with figured bass opus 12, among which the second sonata in G major, with the movements Grave sostenuto, Fuga, Aria and Allegretto moderato, stands out. Although Porpora was not particularly original in composing for the violin, his compositions are characterised by a mastery of late Baroque and early Classical compositional technique, which is why concert violinists like to include them in their recitals.
Few twentieth-century composers left an opus of ballet music as extensive as that of Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953). Among his ballets, the most famous are Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, which have become part of the established classical ballet repertoire. The music of both ballets bears the unmistakable personal mark of the composer, who brought together the most successful numbers from both ballets in several orchestral suites, also usually publishing piano arrangements, which became very popular. The most famous and popular arrangements for violin and piano are the work of the celebrated Russian violinist Mikhail Fichtenholz. The present pieces – Gavotte, Passepied, Winter Fairy and Mazurka – are from his collection Five Pieces from Cinderella for violin and piano.
In his youth, Hungarian violin virtuoso Joseph Szigeti (1892–1973) became friends with composer Béla Bartók (1881–1945). Although Szigeti spent most of his time abroad due to his international career, he always kept in touch with the composer. In 1926, Szigeti wrote violin and piano arrangements of six of Bartók’s compositions For Children, which are themselves arrangements of folk songs. Bartók was impressed with his friend’s work and suggested only minor corrections to the harmony, voice leading and piano technique, as well as transforming the pieces into three attacca sets. Today, they are known as Hungarian Folk Tunes for violin and piano, while Bartók and Szigeti are both credited as the composers.
Like many Baroque composers, Francesco Maria Veracini (1690–1768) had a turbulent musical career that led him from his native Florence to the most important cultural centres in Europe at the time, including Venice, Dresden and London. Veracini was also a violin virtuoso whose playing was of such an extraordinary quality that it even frightened Giuseppe Tartini into withdrawing for some time to perfect his own bowing technique. Today, Veracini is known mainly for his violin sonatas, while his operas, with which he was an important competitor with Handel in London for some time, and his other works have been forgotten. His most popular work is the Largo in F-sharp minor from Sonata No. 6, which forms part of the collection Sonate Accademiche, Op. 2. On the present recording, we hear it in a version edited by violinist Mario Corti. Valse sentimentale by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) is the last work from the piano collection Six Pieces, Op. 51. The compositions were created during a difficult period in the composer’s life, when he was constantly travelling due to personal distress and unrest. During a short break in 1882, he finally found enough time and peace in a holiday cottage near Kamenka to fulfil a commission from his publisher to write six apparently light piano compositions. Each of the pieces is dedicated to a different woman. Interestingly, today, Valse sentimentale is more often heard in various arrangements than in the original.
Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) is still considered one of the greatest violin virtuosos of all time. His influence on violin technique was pivotal. Paganini was distinguished by unique technical skill on the instrument, but he also introduced a series of innovations into violin playing. Between 1805 and 1809, he wrote the 24 Caprices for solo violin, which are a summary of his violin technique and were, at that time, unachievably demanding for other performers. Although Paganini focused primarily on violin technique, he was also highly regarded by many as a composer. Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Lloyd Weber and many others were inspired by his Caprices and other compositions. Today, ironically, arrangements of Paganini’s works are more famous and popular than the original compositions.

dr. Borut Smrekar
 

Tracks:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):
Partita for violin solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004

1 Allemanda 3:33
2 Corrente 2:06
3 Sarabande 2:49
4 Giga 3:45
5 Ciaccona 15:33

Nicola Porpora (1686–1768):
Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 12 No. 2

6 Grave sostenuto – Fuga: Allegro 4:30
7 Aria: Lento cantabile – 3:12
8 Allegretto moderato 3:18

Sergej Prokofjev (1891-1953):
Five Pieces from the Ballet
Cinderella (arr. M. Fichtenholz)
9 Gavota 2:41
10 Passepied 1:52
11 Vila Zima 4:32
12 Mazurka 2:46

Bela Bartok (1881-1945):
Hungarian Folk Tunes (arr. J. Szigeti)

13 Parlando - Andante Non Molto - Allegro Vivace 4:37
14 Andante Sostenuto - Allegro 2:54
15 Andante - Poco Vivace 2:19

Francesco Maria Veracini (1690–1768):
16 Largo (prir./arr. M. Corti) o 4:02
 

Peter Iljič Čajkovski (1840–1893):
17 Valse sentimentale, Op. 51 No. 6

Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840):
24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1

18 Capriccio št. 9 v E-duru - Allegretto 3:04
19 Capriccio št. 13 v B-duru - Allegro 2:03
20 Capriccio št. 14 v Es-duru - Moderato 1:29
21 Capriccio št. 23 v Es-duru - Posato 3:51

 

Dejan Bravničar, violin
Marijan Lipovšek, piano *
Lidija Stanković, piano ⁰