17 March
Nicolas van Poucke – piano
Marta Kowalczyk – violin
Joanna Wronko – violin
Daniel Palmizio – viola
Pamela Smits – cello

“Art is the outlet of the mystical, emotional needs of the human spirit.” 
- Ernest Bloch

Daniel Palmizio and Nicolas van Poucke met many years ago at a festival where they played together for the first time. It marked the start of a long, inspiring musical collaboration. Before the intermission you will hear both companions in Bach's three-voiced sonata, in style related to the Brandenburg Concertos, and Paul Hindemith's great Viola Sonata. This version on viola and piano reflects Bach's own habit of arranging his music for other instruments as well.

Paul Hindemith was a great admirer of J.S. Bach, which is reflected in his music. Hindemith's use of rhythm, called "Motorik" by himself -a combination of Motor and Musik-, echoes the arrival of industrialization and the motor. Hindemith stated that he was as much at ease with words as he was with his “sounding blueberries”, as he once called music notes. He often wrote Gebrauchsmusik - music with a social or political purpose- and composed this sonata after he fled to Switzerland from the rising Nazism. Remarkably, the work is nevertheless full of humor and tenderness.

Bloch's piano quintet is considered one of his greatest masterpieces. Despite this, it is not often heard on the concert stages, unfortunately. “I'm interested in the Jewish soul”, he stated. “I want to translate all this into music”. He composed in a very personal style, the music of which is deeply rooted in romanticism. Also striking is his innovative use of quarter-tones as a means of expression. We are looking forward to hearing how these extraordinary musicians will bring the “sounding blueberries” back to life.

Sounding Blueberries

Gamba Sonata BWV 1029 No. 3
in G minor

Sonata for Viola and Piano (1939) 


Piano Quintet No. 1 (1923)

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