Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 7. May 1, 1952
Classical Music. . . — Suite No. 1 in G, for solo cello—Bach. — Sonata Op. 11 No. 3 for Cello and Piano-Hindemith. — Sonata Op. 69 for Cello and Piano—Beethoven
Classical Music. . .
Suite No. 1 in G, for solo cello—Bach.
Sonata Op. 11 No. 3 for Cello and Piano-Hindemith.
Sonata Op. 69 for Cello and Piano—Beethoven.
It is a pity that whenever a Bach work is performed it almost invariably opens the programme, no matter what the nature of the concert At that time the performer is scarcely ever warmed up to his work and when the enormous technical difficulties of the Bach unaccompanied suites is taken into account it may be realised that the performance was not flawless.
Fortunately, there is not nearly so much double stopping and chords as in the violin solo sonatas which make performances of these works with a modern howeven by virtuos, a torture to the ear. Despite some technical flaws Marie Vander-wart played this suite very expressively and brought out a great deal of the beauty of the music, too often obscured in works of this nature by virtuoso display. The ample prelude was taken at a leisurely pace allowing time for the broadly-spaced harmonies to be effective. Of the dances the courante and the sarabande made the most impression.
The sonata by Hindemith new to nearly all the audience, revealed him in quite a different light from the "gebrauchmusik" which was for a time associated with his name. This sonata's richness and lyrical beauty are in marked contrast to the aridity of "gebrauchmusik" and it has more in common with Hindemith's later music. The texture is largely contrapuntal, sometimes polytonal, with strongly marked' rhythms in the piano part. Particularly impressive was the slow marchlike section at the beginning of the second movement and the lyrical theme immediately following the dissonant opening. Both performers were at their best in this work, the tone of the cello being very beautiful in the high passages on the A strings.
Beethoven's Sonata in A is in my opinion, the most enjoyable of his cello sonatas to hear—more logical and concise than the early Op. 5 sonatas, and less obscure than the two from Op. 102, which are rather transitional works. The greater portion of the cello's extended compass is employed in this sonata, from the opening theme on the lower strings unaccompanied, to above the treble stave. Beethoven in his cello sonatas avoided the problem of a slow movement until the last sonata, its place being taken in this work by an introduction to the last movement, which, with its melodious first theme, seemed to me to be the crown of the sonata. The cantabile was well brought out by Marie Vanderwart in the lyrical themes with which this work abounds. The piano writing is clear and forceful but was not always made so by Dorothy Davies, who tended to smudge some of the rapid passages.