DEJAN BRAVNIČAR

ANTOLOGIJA - DEJAN BRAVNIČAR: BACH, MOZART, BRAHMS, KREISLER, SARASATE, DEBUSSY, PROKOFJEV, YSAŸE

Resna

Format: CD

Šifra: 115141

EAN: 3838898115141

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.

 

There are six compositions that take a special place in the violin repertoire: the solo sonatas and partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach ( 1685–1750). These works represent the incontrovertible peak of the Baroque violin repertoire. In them, Bach ingeniously exploits the possibilities of applying polyphonic musical technique to a melodic instrument, with the polyphonic voice leading being executed using arpeggiated chords and double stops. As well as being masterpieces of performance and compositional technique, the works also exhibit exceptional musical invention. Bach arranged some of them himself for other instruments, and inspired generations of other composers. The Sonata in G minor is the first in this series of compositions. The introductory Adagio alludes to the French style. The central part of the sonata is the Fuga, the musical material of which was later used by the composer in arrangements for the organ and the lute. As its name implies, the Siciliana is an Italian-flavoured movement written in the contrasting key of B-flat major. This is followed by a virtuoso concluding Presto.
The Adagio for violin and orchestra in E major, K. 261, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was most likely written as a substitute movement for the Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219. Mozart wrote it specifically for violinist Antonio Brunetti, who complained that the concerto’s original slow movement was too “artificial”. The Adagio did n t, however, b ecome e stablished as a substitute movement for the concerto, and is today performed as an independent piece. Although not presenting a technical challenge for violinists today, the wonderful long melodic phrases in which “everything must be in its place” are a unique interpretative challenge. Many arrangements by Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler have in fact turned out to be completely original compositions. However, the present Rondo is a genuine arrangement of the fourth movement of Mozart’s famous Serenade No. 7 in D major K. 250, known as the Haffner Serenade. Even in the original composition – in which the orchestra, in addition to strings, features two each of oboes, bassoons, horns and trumpets – the solo violin part is particularly exposed. This is probably why Kreisler transformed the movement into an effective virtuoso solo composition.
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) encountered Gypsy music on the streets of his native Hamburg, where various groups of Roma who had fled the Hungarian Revolution performed. His collaboration with Roma violinist Eduard Reményi was also important in this regard. In 1868 and 1880, he published two collections of “Hungarian” dances for piano four hands, which were an immediate success. Brahms was so taken by Roma music, which he mistakenly thought to be Hungarian, that its echoes can be found in many of the composer’s other works. Due to the popularity of the Hungarian Dances, they were subsequently arranged for a great variety of ensembles. Some arrangements were made by Brahms himself, while others were undertaken by other composers, among whom Antonin Dvořák is particularly noteworthy. The most famous arrangements for the violin and piano are by Brahms’s friend Joseph Joachim, and it is these versions that can be heard on the present recording.
Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) was one of the most famous musicians of the first half of the twentieth century and is still regarded as one of the greatest violinists of all time. After completing studies in his native Vienna, his turbulent life path led him to further studies in Paris and the United States. After returning home, however, his rejection by the Vienna Philharmonic led him to abandon music and commence studies of medicine, but not for long. He soon returned to the violin and established a brilliant international career. Kreisler also left a notable opus of original compositions and arrangements. Violinists today most frequently perform his miniatures, which he wrote as encores for his concert performances. Particularly popular is the collection Alt-Wiener Tanzweisen, which comprises the pieces Libesfreud, Liebesleid and Schön Rosmarin, the last two of which are presented on the present disc. The light-hearted Viennese spirit is also represented by Caprice viennois, while La Gitana is based on an Arabic-Spanish-Gypsy song from the eighteenth century.
Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908) is among the exceptional violin virtuosos who composed primarily for their own needs, and his works therefore emphasise instrumental virtuosity. In his middle creative period, he published a series of salon compositions, among which we find Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43. Although perhaps not Sarasate’s most powerful work, it is extremely popular among violinists, as it is particularly suitable for a complete presentation of the performer’s abilities: virtuosity alone, without other interpretive qualities, is not sufficient for a convincing performance. Sarasate later orchestrated the piano accompaniment, which is why the composition is often performed within the framework of symphonic concerts.
Claude Debussy (1862–1918) found inspiration for the famous piano waltz La plus que lent in a sculpture by Camille Claudel entitled “La Valse”. The composition was first performed by a popular Roma ensemble at the Carlton Hotel in Paris, where it was presented in an arrangement for strings. Rather than suggesting an exceptionally slow tempo, the title alludes to a slow waltz that was particularly popular in Paris at the time. The composition is remarkably varied rhythmically and requires a great deal of rubato, giving the performer ample opportunity for display. It became very popular and exists in numerous arrangements. The arrangement for violin and piano is the work of Léon Roques.
The Love for Three Oranges is the most frequently performed and most popular opera by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953). The march from the end of the second act bears what is probably one of the composer’s most distinctive themes, and Prokofiev included it in the suite from the opera and arranged it for the piano. The arrangement for violin and piano is the work of renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz.
Belgian composer and conductor Eugène Ysaÿe (1858–1931) was one of the greatest violin virtuosos of his time and numerous works were dedicated to him by composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns, Cesar Franck, Claude Debussy and Ernest Chausson. He was also a celebrated violin teacher. Bach’s solo violin compositions were a major influence on his work as a composer, providing the inspiration for his most important collection of six sonatas for solo violin, opus 27. Each of the sonatas is dedicated to one of the most prominent violinists of Ysaÿe’s time, for whom they were tailor made. Sonata No. 3 in D minor is dedicated to the Romanian violinist and composer George Enescu. The composition is called Ballade and takes Chopin’s eponymous works as a formal model. It is introduced by a dark recitative in a slow tempo, which includes a presentation of the thematic material. In the rapid continuation, this material is developed in a very complex and often surprisingly polyphonic way. Both Ysaÿe and Enescu were great admirers of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the influence of the great Baroque master, especially his Chaconne in D minor, is more than obvious in the Ballade.

dr. Borut Smrekar
 

Tracks:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):
Sonata for violin solo No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001

1 Adagio 4:11
2 Fuga 5:26
3 Siciliana 3:38
4 Presto 2:56

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791):
5 Adagio for violin and piano in E major, K 261
6 Rondo for violin and piano in G major, K 250 (arr. F. Kreisler)
 

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897):
Hungarian dances (arr. J. Joachim)

7 Madžarski ples št. 1 v g-molu – Allegro molto 3:12
8 Madžarski ples št. 7 v A-duru – Allegretto 1:43
9 Madžarski ples št. 9 v e-molu – Allegro non troppo 2:32
10 Madžarski ples št. 20 v d-molu – Poco Allegretto 2:45

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962):
11 Caprice Viennois (Dunajski Capriccio), op. 2 o 3:52
12 La Gitana (Ciganka) o 2:55
13 Liebesleid (Ljubezenska bol) • 3:36
14 Schon Rosmarin (Lepi rožmarin) • 1:55
 

Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908):
15 Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43
 

Claude Debussy (1862-1918):
16 La plus que lente  (prir. L. Roques) o 4:06
 

Sergej Prokofjev (1891-1953):
17 March from the opera The Love for Three Oranges

Eugene Ysaye (1858-1931):
18 Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 27 No. 3 “Ballade”

 

Dejan Bravničar, violin
Aci Bertoncelj, piano *
Mojca Pucelj, piano ⁰
Lidija Stanković, piano ●
Marijan Lipovšek, piano ⁺