On Thursday, October 24, 2019, Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt played
their first Miami Violin-piano recital program at the Wertheim Concert
Hall at Florida International University. The program opened with Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 6 in A, Op. 30, No. 1. Although Beethoven was famous for his piano playing in Vienna, he was not known as a violinist, although his violin sonata showed the influence of his violin study with Ignaz Schuppanzigh, a quartet leader whom Beethoven admired.
Joseph Szegeti noted that the Beethoven Violin sonatas showed musical
and violinistic challenges more difficult to realize than the purely
technical challenges of Paganini and/or Ravel’s Tzigane. Tetzlaff, playing a modern violin made by Peter Greiner (now living in Israel), and Vogt’s pianistic skills projected the music beautifully.
The Shostkovich Violin sonata in G, Op. 134 was said to have been
composed as aa result of a mistake. Shotakovich had written his Second
Violin Concerto in 1967 to celebrate what he thought was David Oistrakh’s 60th birthday. When he learned that Oistrakh’s 60th birthday was in fact not until 1968, Shostakovich wrote the Violin sonata Op. 134 in 1968 to “correct” his mistake. The demanding violin sonata, brilliantly played by Tetzlaff and Vogt, evoked a standing ovation to close the first half of the program.
Tne second half began with the Tre Pezzi, Op. 14e, a short contemporary work by Kurtag (b. 1926). The program ended with Cesar Franck’s demanding Violin Sonata. The stunning performance again evoked a standing ovation. The audience was rewarded with the third movement of Brahms’ Third Violin Sonata. It is difficult to think of a major violin-piano duo today who perform regularly with such perfection.