Patina : for violin solo
by Elena Kats-Chernin (2001)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
From the CD Elena Kats-Chernin. Vol. 5.
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Library shelf no. CD 1180 [Available for loan]
Patina for solo violin was written for Jane Peters and
was designed to make a pair with the Bach Chaconne for her NY
Weill Hall recital program. There is a fascinating mythology and
mystique about the Chaconne that is unique in the solo violin
repertoire and my piece has come out of my love for the piece and
Jane Peter's violin playing in general.
I find it fascinating to see how the Chaconne has evolved through the years - the way changing ideas about tempo, style and performance practice have changed the way people played the work. It seems similar to the way that the use of a violin through time wears away the varnish in places to create a unique patina - and creates a visual history of everyone who has ever played that instrument. I like to think of both the Chaconne, and the violin that Jane plays it on, having been altered and physically changed by people handling them through time and my piece is caught up in that idea somehow.
I wanted to write a piece that was a homage to the Chaconne that was baroque in its origins but that moved forward in time to take in harmonic elements of romanticism and ragtime just as the original Chaconne has been altered in performance through the years. I also directly borrowed a few key elements from the piece including the key of D minor and the overall architectural form. Both works are contemplative pieces rather than virtuoso works even though both are technically demanding at times. There is also something in the personality of the Chaconne, a contemplative, sombre, moody atmosphere which I wanted to recreate - that feeling one has in very old places or when one touches beautiful things that show the signs of years of use.
Ultimately this piece is a deep acknowledgement for a violinist I like and admire and who was personally responsible for inspiring me to write this work.
Duration: 9 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Jane Peters
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