|Faculty perform Mozart's complete sonatas|
September 10, 2004
|For the first time in 20 years, Bay Area residents will have a rare
opportunity to enjoy all 18 of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin
in a four-concert cycle on Sept. 13, Oct. 5, 25 and Nov. 11. All concerts
begin at 8 p.m. in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts Building.
This performance is a seldom-attempted feat in the United States and is a first for SF State professors and accomplished musicians William Corbett-Jones and Jassen Todorov.
"This is truly an event," said Todorov. "I think the last time something like this was done was 20 years ago in Carnegie Hall in New York. I don't think this will happen again in the next 10 to 15 years."
Todorov, violinist, and Corbett-Jones, pianist, will perform the sonatas in chronological order so the audiences will be able to see the development of Mozart's compositional style.
The first cycle, on Monday, Sept. 13, includes six sonatas written by then 22-year-old Mozart during his trip to Manheim, Germany, and Paris, France. In KV 301-306, the violin and piano are treated on equal terms. The first cycle will feature one of only two pieces written by Mozart in minor key.
"When Mozart writes in minor key, it's very special because it signifies an event in his life that was of great importance and tragedy," said Todorov. "Mozart wrote this sonata [E minor, K 304] around the time of his mother's death."
The second concert cycle, Oct. 5, contains six more sonatas written from 1778 to1781. In the third concert, Oct. 25, Todorov and Corbett-Jones will present two sonatas that Mozart composed for his wife Constanza (K 402 and K 403). This cycle will also feature sonatas composed during Mozart's fascination of the polyphonic music of Bach and Handel.
"Some of Mozart's most mature compositions are his late three Viennese Sonatas, works of great depth and brilliance," said Todorov, describing the program of the last concert cycle, Nov. 11. "K 481 was completed in 1785, and in moments it reminds us of Beethoven's early works. Our cycle will end with K 526, perhaps the most colorful and virtuoso sonata."
Bulgaria native Todorov is an internationally respected solo and chamber violinist described as "a violinist of rare technical ability who brings musicality to his performances" by British music journal The Strad. Twenty-nine-year-old Todorov was also the youngest musician, at 26, to record all six violin sonatas of Eugene Ysaye, a visionary Belgian composer and violinist known for his difficult compositions. He has also recorded the three Brahms violin sonatas with critical acclaim.
Last semester, Todorov spent four months teaching actor Richard Gere to play the violin for his role as Saul Naumann in the upcoming film "Bee Season." Todorov is also the conductor of the University's Symphony Orchestra.
Legendary pianist Corbett-Jones has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and the Far East as a recitalist, as an orchestra soloist and in collaboration with internationally-renowned colleagues. Corbett-Jones often makes appearances at festivals such as the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival and the Meiringen Festival in Switzerland. The San Francisco Chronicle has said that "under [Corbett-Jones’] hands the piano sings."
Admission is free for students, faculty and staff with SFSU ID.
Tickets for individual concerts are $10 for general admission and $7 for students and seniors and are available at the Creative Arts box office located in the Creative Arts building, outside of McKenna Theatre. A discount package for the entire series is available for $30 general admission and $20 for students and seniors.
For details, call (415) 338-2467 or visit the College of Creative Arts Web site.
Writer Audrey Tang with William Morris
1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111