Elizabeth Pitcairn Mesmerizes with Her Stradivarius Red Violin
By Mittie Roger
San Miguel’s darling, Elizabeth Pitcairn, returns for Pro Musica with her famous and fabulous Stradivarius, The Red Violin, accompanied by Louise Thomas on piano. Both nights will feature Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata, a Faure sonata and Tommaso Vitali’s Chaconne in G Minor, together with many different virtuoso pieces on each night.
Pro Musica Concert Series
Violin: Elizabeth Pitcairn
Piano: Louise Thomas
Fri, Mar 6, 5pm and Sun, Mar 8, 4pm
St. Paul’s Church
Crafted in 1720 by Antonio Stradivari, who made his instruments in his small shop in Cremona, Italy, and remains the most famous violinmaker of all time, the “Red Mendelssohn” violin disappeared for more than 200 years after it was built. The violin’s original owner is still a mystery, inspiring theories by historians, writers, journalists, and critics, as well as the Canadian filmmaker, François Girard. Girard’s imaginative idea took form in the narrative for his 1999 film, The Red Violin, which won the Academy Award for Best Musical Score.
Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata, composed in 1803, came at a productive stage in his development when he created several major masterpieces, including the Waldstein and Moonlight Piano Sonatas, as well as the Eroica Symphony. His compositions of this time were becoming progressively unique, perhaps a response to his imminent deafness and do not follow the traditional pattern of classical compositions of the time.
One striking feature of the Vitali Chaconne’s style is the way it wildly changes key, reaching the far-flung territories of B-flat minor and E-flat minor, modulations uncharacteristic of the Baroque era, as change of key signature became typical only in Romanticism. It is the most famous of all Vitali’s music and has been ever popular among violinists.
Fauré was appointed choirmaster at St. Sulpice Church in Paris prior to composing the Sonata No. 1. Since then, the already famous church has acquired additional fame as a setting for Massenet’s opera, Manon, and Dan Brown’s popular novel and movie, The Da Vinci Code. The Sonata in A Major was first played at a Sociétè Nationale concert in January 1877, and it was this performance which firmly established Fauré’s career.
Tickets for the concerts are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca; La Conexión (only at Aldama 3), the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22; and at the concert half an hour before performance time.
The film The Red Violin will play at the Teatro Santa Ana in La Biblioteca on Monday, March 2, at both 4pm and 7pm.