Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2009, 2:00 p.m.
at the Old Capitol Senate Chamber

Wolfgang David, violin
David Gompper, piano

|| download program ||


Music in the Glen (2004)   David GOMPPER
Violin Sonata in D minor, op. 108 (1887)
        I. Allegro
        II. Adagio
        III. Un poco presto e con senimento
        IV. Presto agitato
  Johannes BRAHMS
Sonate in e-minor K. 304 (1778)
        I. Allegro
        II. Tempo de Menuetto
  Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Echoes (2007)
        I. Vivace, Fuoco
        II. Andante, Cadenza
        III. Presto



In the space of a few short years, Wolfgang David has ensconced himself on the international stage, both as a recitalist, and as a guest soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras. He has been well received by the press — the Washington Post writes that he has "scaled the heights of music-making," while The Strad praises his playing for being as "emotionally wide-ranging as one could hope for," and Thomas Frost, Senior Executive Producer at SONY Classical, foresees for him "a significant international concert and recording career."

Admitted to the University for Music in Vienna at the age of eight, David studied there for many years with Rainer Kuechl, the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He subsequently continued his studies at the Musikhochschule in Cologne with Igor Ozim, and at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Yfrah Neaman.

The winner of many competitions and prizes, David has performed in major halls such as Konzerthaus and Musikverein Hall in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York, Cerritos Center in Los Angeles, the Wigmore Hall in London, and Philharmonie in Cologne. He has concertized in over 30 countries and tours regularly throughout Europe, the United States, South Africa, and South Korea. In 2006 David recorded an album of compositions by the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) under the baton of Emmanuel Siffert.

Highlights of his career have included concerts at the Great Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York in the presence of Secretary General Kofi Annan, and a concert in Bangkok, given for the Queen of Thailand.

Wolfgang David performs on a violin built in 1715 by Carlo Bergonzi, Cremona, on exclusive loan to him from the Austrian National Bank.

David Gompper works professionally as a pianist, a conductor, a composer, and a pedagogue. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London and at the University of Michigan, and has for the past 17 years been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa.

Gompper's compositions are performed widely, with several receiving their premiere in London's Wigmore Hall, others at the Moscow Conservatory and at the ZKM Institute for Music and Acoustics in Karlsruhe Germany. He recently completed several new compositions: Ikon for violin and piano; Ikon II for violin and chamber orchestra; L'Icone St. Nicolas for the Manhattan Sinfonietta; and The Animals, a song cycle on words by Marvin Bell (premiered last week by Stephen Swanson). His Violin Concerto was premiered in Quito, Ecuador last April and will be performed this Tuesday night by the UI Symphony Orchestra, William Jones conductor, in the IMU Ballroom. It is also one of four works recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) in December 2009 for a release on Naxos in early 2011. Gompper is also recorded on the Capstone, the Centaur, and the Albany labels. For additional information, including a complete discography, consult Gompper's website.

As a duo David and Gompper have issued three CDs to date.


Notes & Bios

Johannes BRAHMS

Violin Sonata in D minor, op. 108

is the last in a triptych of violin sonatas composed between 1878 and 1887. Unlike Brahms' two previous violin sonatas it is in four movements (the others are in three movements). The sonata is dedicated to Brahms' friend and colleague Hans von Bülow, and was premiered in Budapest in 1888 with Jenô Hubay on violin and the composer at the piano.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART

Violin Sonata No. 21 in E minor, K. 304

was composed in 1778 while Mozart was in Paris. The piece was composed during the same period that Mozart's mother, Anna Maria Mozart, died, and the sonata's mood reflects this. It is the only work Mozart wrote whose home key is E minor.


Music in the Glen

draws upon portions of an Irish fiddle reel of the same name and the opening gesture of Pierre Boulez's Sur Incises, thus reflecting Gompper's interest in combining abstract tonal relationships (here derived from the Boulez) and music that is familiar (the reel). A slow introduction gives over to the two principal sections of the piece; the work is rounded off by a coda.

The audible division of the composition into four sections suggests an episodic design. And yet such a reading misses the stunning subtext predicated upon what at times are rather subtle interconnective threads that shoot through each section. Perhaps a better metaphor exists: the raw material of the piece — based on the morphing together of linear fragments from the folk tune and the Boulez-inspired verticality — represent dual light sources emitted at the head of the work that simultaneously pass through prisms variously located in the introduction such that the incident beams are refracted in the succeeding principal sections; the process is reversed in the coda where all events are refocused into an extremely intense singly directed ray of light. - Greg Marion

Echoes for violin and piano

serves as a proto-version of the Violin Concerto. Both works were written for the violinist Wolfgang Dávid. The musical material (the fifth out of twenty-nine possible collections) is generated from the idea of a continuous series of perfect fifths (the open strings of the violin are all tuned a fifth apart), but which are "broken" or interrupted by a number of minor seconds at various junctures. The composition is in three movements. The opening fast exposition alternates between a single note (G) and robust jabbing sonorities, where throughout the roles of horizontal and vertical materials are continually alternated between the soloist and the piano. The middle section presents a slow lyrical melody along with a series of contrapuntal lines based on the augmented triad. Following the cadenza, the finale is a driving romp in the form of a rondo (A-B-A-C-A etc.).