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Why "Between Friends" ?

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

Amahl and Petya, playing together, April 27. Stirling ON

We choose the title “Between Friends” for our SONATA series because the duo sonata is probably the most intimate in this most intimate of classical musical forms. With only two players involved the give and take is direct and most intense. It is in effect, the “Tango” of the instrumental world.

Composers write chamber music often for friends. Wanna have a good time Friday night? Come over to my house. I just wrote a string quartet. Works if your friends happen to be two violinists, a violist and a bass. You do that if you’re Beethoven! Have one good friend who plays the violin? Write a piano-violin sonata. That’s what you do if you’re Mozart and - oh, by the way, happen also to be a virtuoso violinist AND pianist yourself.

Often Chamber music turns out to have been written by composers for their musician friends to play, often with the composer sitting in one of the chairs. César Franck's sonata for violin and piano in A major was written to celebrate the marriage of the composer’s friend, virtuoso violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. Franck wasn’t able to attend the wedding, but sent the sonata along on the morning of the wedding with a friend as his gift to the couple. Ysaÿe took one look, called in another mutual friend who happened to be a pianist, ran the piece and then played it for the guests.

Just one of many stories about composers writing music to play with their friends at times of joy, times of sorrow, and probably times of “hmmm - nothing on TV. How about I write a string quartet and we go play it!”

Between Friends celebrates the friendship of artists, not only between themselves, but between artist and listener because, really, we are all artists are we not? All capable of beauty in our hearts, our minds, our lives? And capable of knowing it, making it, sharing it, enjoying it in others. I hope people will come to hear Amahl and Petya on the 27th in April. These are two beautiful musicians preparing to celebrate the spirit of friendship with all of us by sharing music that is all about what it is to share the things that matter, and the things that don’t, with all of us. "Between Friends, Two Oaks Entwined": Cellist Amahl Arulanandam and pianist Petya Stavreva, St. Paul's United Church, Saturday April 27. In Concert, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15. 2 p.m. Child and Parent Event, (Free Will Donation). More details here: Oh - and if you want to enjoy the wedding present, here is a lovely recording:

César Franck, Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major

Krystian Zimerman (piano), Kaja Danczowska (violin)

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