ARTEK Recordings

Contents of CD 6 Booklet

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Frautschi - Stravinsky & Ravel


Stravinsky, ever the pragmatist, composed both the Duo Concertante and

Divertimento to fill a practical need: to play on tour with the violinist Samuel Dushkin.

The two met through Stravinskyıs good friend and publisher at Schott,

Willy Strecker. Early in 1930, Stravinsky spent time in Wiesbaden, where he

socialized extensively with Strecker. Strecker talked to him often of a

young, Polish-born violinist named Samuel Dushkin,

prodding Stravinsky to perhaps write something for him.

In his memoirs, Stravinsky explained the genesis of what was to become a

remarkable relationship:

In the course of our conversations [Strecker] asked me whether I should care

to write something for the violin, adding that in Dushkin I should find a

remarkable executant. I hesitated at first, because I am not a violinist, and I was

afraid that my slight knowledge of that instrument would not be sufficient

to enable me to solve the many problems which would necessarily arise in the

course of a major work specially composed for it. But Willy Strecker allayed my doubts by assuring

me that Dushkin would place himself entirely at my disposal in order to

furnish any technical detail I might require. Under such conditions the plan was very

alluring, particularly as it would give me a chance of studying seriously

the special technique of the violin. When he learned that I had in principle

accepted Streckerıs proposal, Dushkin came to Wiesbaden to make my


Stravinsky and Dushkin hit it off immediately, both personally and

artistically, and developed a close working relationship. Stravinsky set to

work immediately on a new violin concerto, relying heavily on Dushkin to

help him solve problems of technique and sound on the violin. Dushkin

premiered the concerto in Berlin on October 23, 1931, with Stravinsky


The two artists decided to continue their musical collaboration by giving

duo concerts, with Stravinsky moving from podium to piano. On their first

joint recital, given in Milan in March of 1932, they played the new Violin

Concerto with piano reduction, as well as a suite from Stravinskyıs ballet

Pulcinella that he had arranged for the violinist Paul Kochansky in 1925.

They fleshed out the rest of the program with Stravinsky playing his Piano

Sonata, and Dushkin some unaccompanied Bach. Needing material to fill a

complete duo-recital program with his own compositions and inspired by his

experience writing the Violin Concerto, Stravinsky began work on the Duo

Concertante. In his memoirs he wrote: ³Far from having exhausted my interest

in the violin, my concerto, on the contrary, impelled me to write another

important work for that instrument. I had formerly had no great liking for a

combination of piano and strings, but a deeper knowledge of the violin and

close collaboration with a technician like Dushkin had revealed possibilities I

longed to explore.²

In addition to the Duo Concertante, Stravinsky, with the active help of

Dushkin, rearranged his old Pulcinella suite into the Suite Italienne. They

unveiled their new duo program on Berlin radio on October 28, 1932, when

they premiered both the Duo Concertante and Suite Italienne. The Violin

Concerto was the third work on the program. In later recitals they mixed in

lighter fare, such as shorter arrangements they had made from two other

Stravinsky ballets, Firebird and Petrushka, and from his opera The

Nightingale. It was in this vein of finding lighthearted music to balance

the weight of the Duo Concertante and Violin Concerto that Stravinsky made

yet another arrangement for violin and piano at the end of 1934. This time

he used the Fairyıs Kiss, a ballet in four scenes he had composed in 1928.

The first performance of the suite, Divertimento, was given by Dushkin and

Stravinsky in Strasbourg on December 12, 1934.

Ravel, as well, was motivated to write his violin compositions by close

relationships with specific performers. One of these was the French

violinist Hélène Jourdan-Morhange, who Ravel met during World War I when she

participated in a hastily organized wartime

performance of his Piano Trio. Her husband had been killed in the war, and

she became a very close friend of Ravelıs; in fact, his closest female

friend. It is even rumored that he at one point proposed marriage to her. In

the end, their relationship remained strictly platonic, and she eventually

remarried the painter Jean-Luc Moreau.

One of the other performers in Ravelıs life was the popular Hungarian

violinist Jelly dıAranyi, who, among other things, collaborated extensively

with Béla Bartòk. In July 1922 while in England giving concerts, Ravel

attended a private musical soireé at which she and cellist Hans Kindler

performed his Sonata for Violin and Cello. After the performance, Ravel

asked to hear some Hungarian gypsy tunes and dıAranyi obliged him, playing

the night away with tune after tune. This encounter inspired him to start

thinking about a violin gypsy piece of his own.

Meanwhile, Jourdan-Morhange had premiered Ravelıs Sonata for Violin and

Cello in March 1922. Later the same year she gave the first performance of

his short work for violin and piano, the Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel

Fauré. Around this time Ravel conceived the idea of

writing a sonata specifically for her. However, by the time he had begun

sketches in 1923 she had given up performing for physical reasons. Instead he promised the

first performance, which was already fixed for an all-Ravel concert in

London in spring of 1924, to dıAranyi. Never terribly quick to finish his

compositions (he had spent a year and a half on the Sonata for Violin and

Cello) he struggled with the Sonata for violin and piano through the

beginning of 1924. Finding that he was not making any progress, he turned his

attention two months before the slated premiere of the Sonata to his gypsy

work. About Tzigane he wrote to dıAranyi, ³I am writing specially for you

[Tzigane], which will be dedicated to you and which will replace in the

London programme the Sonata which I have temporarily abandoned.²

Ravel ended up completing Tzigane only two days before the concert which

took place on April 26, 1924, and in fact did not complete the Sonata for

another two years. In the spring of 1927, the French publisher Jacques Durand presented two recitals

featuring compositions his firm had recently published. It was there that

the Sonata was finally premiered by Georges Enesco and Ravel. 

It was subsequently given its American premier in New York

in January 1928 by Joseph Szigeti and Ravel, in the midst of a highly

successful US tour that Ravel undertook.

-Jennifer Frautschi


Jennifer Frautschi, Violin

Jennifer Frautschi is one of the most refreshing and original young

violinists on the musical scene today. Since making her debut with the Los

Angeles Philharmonic at the age of sixteen, she has been heard in concerts

throughout the world. Ms. Frautschi has won several First Prize awards in


competitions, including the Washington International Competition, the Irving

Klein International String Competition, the Juilliard Concerto Competition

and GM/Seventeen Magazineıs National Concerto Competition. She was named a

United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 1990 and was awarded an

Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1999.

Ms. Frautschi has performed with orchestras, at festivals and on recital

series throughout the United States. She has appeared at Lincoln Centerıs

Mostly Mozart Festival, Ravinia Festivalıs Rising Stars series, the Phillips

Collection and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at the Gardner

Museum in Boston. She is an avid chamber musician and has performed at the

Caramoor International Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and

La Jolla Summerfest. In Europe, Ms. Frautschi has toured Switzerland and

Belgium, given live recital broadcasts on Radio Suisse-Romande and has

performed at the Monnaie Opera House of Brussels and with the Royal

Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders. This CD of Ravel and Stravinsky works

for violin and piano marks Ms. Frautschiıs debut recording for Artek.



Marta Aznavoorian, Piano

Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer has said of pianist Marta

Aznavoorian, ³[She is] a pianist of

exceptionally finished technique and purity of musical impulse.² Ms.

Aznavoorian, a Chicago native, is an accomplished performer, having been a

soloist with the Chicago Symphony and the New World Symphony as well as

appearing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Sydney Opera

House in Australia. Richard Kirchoff of the Salt Lake City Spectrum

commented, ³Very rarely is one able to hear music that [seems] that

it is being created anew and that the new creation is being heard for the

first time. This experience was available to all who attended the recital of

pianist Marta Aznavoorian.²

Marta Aznavoorian has won numerous competitions, including the Seventeen

Magazine/General Motors National Competition, the Aspen Music Festival Piano

Competition, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Competition. Ms.

Aznavoorianıs awards include a Level 1 scholarship from the National

Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and being named Presidential Scholar

in the Arts.

Ms. Aznavoorian holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University,

where she studied with Menachem Pressler and Lev Vlassenko and was awarded

the coveted School of Music Performerıs Certificate. Ms. Aznavoorian

recently completed her studies at New England Conservatory, where she earned

a Masterıs degree under Patricia Zandor. She is currently a faculty member

of the Community Music School at De Paul University.


Igor Stravinsky

Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano

[1] Cantilène (3:05)

[2] Eglogue I (2:15)

[3] Eglogue II (2:55)

[4] Gigue (4:20)

[5] Dithyrambe (3:16)

Divertimento for Violin and Piano

[6] Sinfonia (6:33)

[7] Danses suisses (4:51)

[8] Scherzo (3:04)

Pas de deux

[9] a) Adagio (3:16)

[10] b) Variation (0:59)

[11] c) Coda (2:10)

Maurice Ravel

Sonata for Violin and Piano

[12] I Allegretto (7:36)

[13] II Blues (5:21)

[14] III Perpetuum mobile (3:51)


[15] Tzigane (Rapsodie de Concert for Violin and Piano) (10:37)


Producer: Laura Harth Rodriguez

Engineer: Francisco X. Rodriguez

Editing and Mastering: Laura Harth Rodriguez, Francisco X. Rodriguez;

Digital Dynamics Audio Inc.

Graphic Design: Jim Manly, Judd Robbins

Cover Photo: Christian Steiner

Recorded on August 29, 1999 at Colden Center, Queens College, New York City


Jennifer Frautschi, Violin

Marta Aznavoorian, Piano

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