SDPA Faculty Recital - OKSANA GERMAIN
with guest artist, Pasha Tseitlin
Saturday, September 23rd, 2023 11:15AM
Five Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 81
La plus que lente
Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano, Op. 108
3. Un poco presto e con sentimento
4. Presto agitato
(Scroll below for program notes about the pieces and composers.)
OKSANA GERMAIN received her Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Professor Nelita True. She then went on to complete her Masters Degree at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria in the studio of Professor Oleg Marshev.
She has attended piano festivals in the US and Europe, including the Vitaly Margulis Piano Master Class at the University of California Los Angeles, the Colburn Academy Piano Festival in Los Angeles, Klaviersommer - John Perry Piano Festival in Germany, Southern California Music Institute with John Perry, as well as the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Florida and the Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy. These festivals enabled her to study with many great artists including Vitaly Margulis, John Perry, Mina Perry, Thomas Schumacher, Rebecca Penneys, Blanca Uribe, Gabriel Kwok, Jean-David Cohen, Dmitri Shteinberg, Christopher Harding, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Fr. Sean Duggan, Eunmi Ko, Roberta Rust, Ori Shihor, Andrew Park, and Wojciech Kocyan.
She performed as soloist with the San Diego Symphony in 2010, was a regularly featured artist for the Music 101 Radio broadcast on San Diego's classical station, 104.9 FM, and was a featured soloist with the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra performing Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3.
PASHA TSEITLIN made his solo debut at the age of 9 performing Vivaldi's Seasons at the California Center for the Arts. He has performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the St.Petersburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Ryazan Philharmonic, Prokofiev No. 1, and Berg Concerto with the La Jolla Symphony, and Paganini’s Perpetuo Mobile with the San Diego Symphony, among others.
Barbara Kraft of Time Magazine described Pasha's performances as "...cliff-hanging...crackling with visceral energy."
He made his television debut with vocalist Lizz Wright in a tribute to the jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. The program was nationally aired on PBS. As a chamber musician, Pasha was the recipient of the 2011 Grand and Gold prize medals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Pasha has had the great opportunity to work and collaborate with world-class artists including Midori, John Williams, Itzahk Perlman, Emerson String Quartet, Phil Ramone, Barry Manilow, David Chan, Vladimir Viardo, Monica Mancini, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, and Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, among others.
Aside from solo and chamber performances, Pasha’s musical passion is centered in teaching violin, viola and chamber music at the California Institute of Music here in San Diego alongside his father and mother, Michael & Irina Tseitlin. He will also be teaching and performing at the International Music Festival in Burgos, Spain in July of this coming summer.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Five Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 81
Sibelius, though best known today for his symphonies and Violin Concerto, could not live off these large-scale works alone. And so it was that during The Great War (1914-1918) he composed a set of five salon style pieces for violin and piano, Op. 81, expressly directed at the domestic market. The wistful carefree character of its eminently hummable melody encapsulates the period’s nostalgia for an age of parlour music that would soon slip away into memory.
Claude Debussy (1862, 1918)
"La Plus Que Lente", Op. 121
Claude Debussy composed La plus que lente in 1910, shortly after the publication of his Préludes, Book I. The brief waltz for solo piano ventures into the sultry, atmospheric world of Parisian café music. Lazy and hauntingly melancholy, it is a dreamy evocation of the sounds of a Gypsy café ensemble. Additionally, at moments, the music anticipates the bluesy strains of jazz.
The same year, Debussy visited Budapest and, in a letter, commented on a musician he heard there: “In an ordinary, commonplace café, he gave one the impression of sitting in the depths of a forest; he arouses in the soul that characteristic feeling of melancholy in which we so seldom have an opportunity to indulge.”
La plus que lente was a gentle parody of the valse lente genre which was sweeping Paris at the time. The title of the piece, which translates as “the even slower waltz,” carries a hint of the composer’s trademark sarcasm.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108
The D minor Sonata is distinctive from Brahms’s two other violin sonatas by virtue of its more extroverted and virtuosic nature. It is almost as though Brahms meant the work to be performed in a larger venue like a concert hall, rather than in a salon-type room, as the term chamber music suggests. The last movement in particular contains large-scale sections that can be characterized as symphonic, and the Sonata certainly needs ample space for the sound to resonate.
Both of Brahms’s first two sonatas for violin and piano were written in three movements; however the D minor sonata is in four movements. It opens with a lyrical theme of shimmering beauty played by the violin while the piano accompanies with syncopated rhythm creating a feeling of urgency. The syncopated rhythm or its variant (where the weaker beats are emphasized more than the stronger ones) persists throughout the movement.
The middle two movements offer great contrasts of tuneful simplicity and nonchalant humor. In the second movement, Adagio, Brahms takes ample time with elegiac pondering. The almost sentimental Scherzo, Un poco presto e con sentimento, follows in duple meter (2/4), rather than the expected, more conventional, triple meter.
The Finale, Presto agitato, offers fire and excitement, and is the most symphonic of all the movements. Syncopations are again a characteristic element. The work builds up to a climactic, if somewhat tragic, ending in the home key of D minor.