PROGRAM 1: ‘another state of being’
“Music makes me forget myself, my true condition, it carries me off into another state of being, one that isn’t my own: under the influence of music I have the illusion of feeling things I don’t really feel, of understanding things I don’t understand, being able to do things I’m not able to do” – Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
Inspired by the words of Tolstoy, the opening program of Tinalley’s 2017 Series features masterpieces of two Czech composers, Antonin Dvořák’s beloved ‘American’ Quartet and Leos Janáček’s Kreutzer Sonata. Janáček’s first quartet, the ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ was written in response to Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy’s provocative novella of the same name. Tolstoy’s writing in turn was inspired by Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata for Violin and Piano, yet the novella was not ‘classical’ in conception as one would expect, but rather a vivid portrayal of jealousy, obsession and violence. Janáček’s composition is a deeply personal reaction to the novella and the compact work is a compelling musical narrative of the shocking subject matter Tolstoy explored.
Continuing on from Janáček to Tolstoy’s muse- Ludwig van Beethoven, the ‘Harp’ Quartet may be considered one of Beethoven’s more peaceful outpourings. Inherently classical in style, the ‘Harp’ is the first of two Beethoven quartets Tinalley will explore from his ‘middle’ or ‘heroic’ period in the 2017 Series.
Dvořák’s ‘American’ Quartet was written when the Czech composer was holidaying in the small American village of Spillville, a favourite with Czech travellers. Surrounded by his fellow countrymen and speaking his native tongue once more, the music poured forth and one of the genre’s most beloved works was borne.
the 2017 series is a co-presentation between the tinalley string quartet & the Sydney opera House and the Melbourne Recital centre.
image credit: christie brewster.