Performed at Hobart Town Hall
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MUSICA VIVA TASMANIA PRESENTS

Nicholas Alstaedt & Aleksandar Madžar

Mon 25 Sep 2017 8:00pm

CLAUDE DEBUSSY – Cello Sonata
NADIA BOULANGER – Three pieces for cello and piano
SAMUEL BARBER – Cello Sonata, op 6
JAKUB JANKOWSKI – New work
DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH – Cello Sonata, op 40

Flamboyant young German-French cellist, Nicholas Alstaedt, has performed with major orchestras all over the world, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra. Aleksandar Madžar’s dazzling performance at the XII Leeds Competition propelled him into the UK music scene, playing with the Royal and BBC Philharmonics, after which he quickly became a much sought-after soloist with orchestras throughout Europe and Asia.

This all-twentieth-century program begins with Debussy’s Cello Sonata. Brief but technically demanding, it reflects the turbulent last years of his life, with its complex harmonies and daring atonalities, but ends on a surprisingly optimistic note. Nadia Boulanger’s delightful, ‘post impressionist’ Three Pieces, originally written for organ, take us from gentle meditation to wild dance. Although Samuel Barber’s youthful Cello Sonata is richly Romantic in spirit, its complex rhythmic structure situates it firmly in the twentieth century. The surprise of the evening will be Jakub Jankowsksi’s new work, specially commissioned for this Musica Viva tour. We end on a dramatic note, with Shostakovich’s intense Cello Sonata. Written in 1934, just before he fell foul of Josef Stalin, it expresses all the emotional turmoil of the time.

Photograph: Keith Saunders

NICOLAS ALTSTAEDT, Cello
ALEKSANDAR MADŽAR, Piano

[Madžar’s] playing was so tender and gently colored that his fingers barely seemed to be touching the keys.
Miami Herald
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