AMPAG, Australian Chamber Orchestra Australian Chamber Orchestra:Beethoven & Janáček

Beethoven & Janáček

October 2020

Thu 01 

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Melbourne Recital Hall



It’s not enough that Beethoven’s charged and complex ‘Kreutzer’ is one of the greatest violin sonatas. It also spurred an infamous Leo Tolstoy story of jealousy and murder, and then a “response” to both a century later – both of which are presented here in arrangements by Richard Tognetti.

Tolstoy’s novella, The Kreutzer Sonata, turns on a man whose damaged attitude to love leads him to suspect his wife is having an affair with a violinist, with whom she is playing Beethoven’s intensely dramatic, and intensely demanding, sonata of the same name. It dives deeply into the idea of a woman “tormented and run down” for her desires. Unsurprising, given Tolstoy was an advocate for less passion and more reason in relationships.

In contrast to this, Janáček’s String Quartet No.1, after Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata, is driven by bursts of emotion and strong passions, and resonates with understanding, rather than condemnation, of love. Janáček said that in his writing “note after note fell smouldering from my pen”. This is a program full of unleashed passion.