Classical and Modern Music



Format: CD

Šifra: 114700
EAN: 3838898114700


Violinist Dejan Bravničar (b. 1937) 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 Karlo 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 centres 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 first-rate art was accessible only in rare centres, 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 is one of the most distinguished personalities among Slovenian musicians, having left an enduring mark with his artistic and pedagogical contribution.

Dr. Borut Smrekar


During a severe life crisis, after just a few months of a marriage that had turned out to be unfortunate in all respects, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) embarked on a long journey through Europe. During his stay in Switzerland, in Clarens near Lake Geneva, he was visited by the young Russian violinist Josef Kotek, with whom he had already struck up a friendship earlier. Kotek brought with him a suitcase full of various compositions, and the two musicians set about playing them together. Among them was Lalo’s Spanish Symphony. Tchaikovsky was fascinated by the work and began to think about composing a longer work for violin and orchestra himself. He began to work with great enthusiasm and, with Kotek’s help in shaping the solo part, soon completed the piece, despite the fact that he had rewritten the entire second movement. The concerto was initially dedicated to the great Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer, as it was crucial for the success of the work that it be premiered by a leading soloist with an established reputation. Auer, however, rejected the work, declaring that it was unperformable or “unviolinistic”. In later years, Auer actually acknowledged that some aspects of the work were very praiseworthy, perhaps as a kind of apology for his poorly considered rejection. Tchaikovsky then dedicated the concerto to the young Russian violinist Adolf Brodsky, who convinced the renowned conductor Hans Richter to give the premiere in Vienna on 4 December 1881. According to some sources, the first performance was very poor due to an insufficient number of rehearsals. For this reason, the orchestra played extremely quietly throughout, so that it would not be possible for the audience to hear the numerous mistakes. The initial critical responses were not favourable, with some critics even being strongly disapproving, but the work nonetheless soon made its way to the concert stage and took up a key place in the violin repertoire, which it retains today.
The concerto is an extremely lyrical work with the usual three movements. The first Allegro moderato is in sonata form. Like the composer’s celebrated Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, the Violin Concerto begins with a short orchestral introduction, which then vanishes and its musical material never appears again. The movement gains a “royal” seal thanks to the polonaise rhythm. Like Mendelssohn before him, Tchaikovsky placed the solo cadenza before the recapitulation, thus incorporating it more tightly into the tissue of the movement. The second movement is a relatively short Canzonetta, which is another expression of the composer’s extraordinary melodic gift and his ability to evoke narrative lyrical emotions. The concerto concludes with a brilliant finale Allegro vivacissimo, which is formally somewhere between sonata form and a rondo.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is among the most demanding concertante compositions for violin and orchestra, and is regarded as a touchstone for the maturity of the performer.

In the late 1930s, Béla Bartók (1881–1945) had little reason for optimism. He was a known opponent of fascism, which was taking hold in Hungary. This had a stifling effect on the composer and he was subjected to various attacks in the homeland. Thus he justifiably questioned his own future in Europe in such circumstances. It was in this atmosphere that he responded to the initiative of his friend violinist Zoltán Székely, with whom he had often performed, to write a violin concerto. Székely had decided to continue his solo career, and therefore needed a new concertante work with which he could make headway. Bartók initially intended to write a set of variations, as he had been occupied with this idea for some time, but Székely insisted on a classic concerto with three movements. Bartók eventually assented and wrote a three-movement concerto, but included a set of variations as the second movement. Thus both composer and performer were, in principle, satisfied. Székely did, however, feel that the original entirely orchestral conclusion to the third moment was more appropriate for a symphony than a concerto, as the soloist was silent for the last twenty-two bars. He therefore asked the composer to change the ending. Bartók consented to this request as well, which is why we know two alternative conclusions to the work today. Székely first performed the concerto on 23 March 1939 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam led by Willem Mengelberg. The violinist probably had no idea that earlier, in the period 1907–1908, Bartók had in fact already written a violin concerto, but had never published it. This earlier work did not receive its first performance until after the composer’s death.
Although he did not play the instrument himself, Bartók wrote a great deal of music for the violin and for other string instruments. In the second violin concerto, Székely nonetheless was of great assistance to the composer, just as Ferdinand David had helped Mendelssohn, Joseph Joachim had advised Brahms and Bruch, and Josef Kotek had assisted Tchaikovsky, to mention just a few examples of such collaboration.
The concerto reflects Bartók’s ability to capture the spirit of Hungarian folk music without directly using original folklore material. The variation approach is not only used in the second movement, but in many ways pervades the whole work, although not always in ways that the listener can detect. The Apollonian first movement, Allegro non troppo, is in sonata form. It is notable that, as in other places in the concerto, this movement contains a twelve-tone theme, although the concerto is by no means written as a dodecaphonic composition. The second movement, Andante tranquillo, introduces a theme with a narrative character, followed by six variations with contrasting characters. Rather than the expected rondo, the last movement, Allegro molto, is again a sonata allegro, with a rhythmically modified version of the main theme from the first movement. Today, the second ending is most often performed.

Dr. Borut Smrekar


Peter Iljič Čajkovski (1840-1893):
Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35
1       I     Allegro moderato                      19:09  (
2       II    Canzonetta: Andante                  6:57
3       III  Finale: Allegro vivacissimo            9:59

RTV Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra
Samo Hubad, conductor

Béla Bartók (1881-1945):
Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz. 112
4       I     Allegro non troppo                    17:15
5       II    Andante tranquillo                       9:36
6       III  Finale: Allegro vivacissimo          12:52

Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
Bogo Leskovic, conductor

Dejan Bravničar, violin

Recorded:: Slovenska filharmonija, dvorana Marjana Kozine, 21.9.1966 (1-3), 1978 (4-6).



Price: 11,07 EUR

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