Lecture Demonstration

Today I am going to play Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata. I arrived at my interpretation by listening to various recordings by Daniela Kohnen, Gunter Schmidt, Leslie Howard, Philip Dukes and Yizhak Schotten.   I researched its context and background by reading essays by Bryony Jones, Liane Curtis and others. I found that this sonata is a revolutionary piece for Viola as there weren’t many pieces that featured the viola as a soloist and significant for women composers. It was composed in 1919 where it was anonymously entered in the Coolidge competition where it came second to Ernest Bloch’s Suite. Politically this was the interwar period between World War 1 and World War 2. This sonata is influenced by Debussy and Ravel and is fantasy like in character which was common in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This sonata begins in an attention grabbing and assertive way with a short introduction that begins with a Perfect 5th interval which is referred by Bryony Jones as a ‘bugle call’ which reappears often.   I would like to show a version of this Sonata by Daniela Kohnen (PLAY CD)     I particularly like the break between the two perfect 5th intervals as it immediately grabs the audience’s attention. However I also enjoy the use of an intense vibrato in Paul Coletti’s interpretation. (PLAY CD)   I decided to combine these two ideas to create this (PLAY HERE)
This melody (PLAY HERE) here is pentatonic like. I like to play this sul tasto because I imagine that in England in the 1900s the East was considered far, far away so by playing on the fingerboard it creates the idea of a distant place.
My teacher and I agreed that having two bars of exactly the same rhythm and nearly the same pitch needs to be played differently. In this case I have decided to differ the two bars in dynamics playing one louder than the other like this (PLAY HERE)
After this short introduction, begins the exposition. The tempo becomes ‘poco agitato’ – more agitated. In order to highlight this...