“Another composer we had worked with in recent years was Jonathan Dove, whose radiant use of traditional tonality suggested him as a perfect match for Beethoven’s joyful first sonata in D.” Krysia Osostowitz
Jonathan Dove – Ludwig Games (companion to Beethoven Sonata no. 1 in D major, op. 12, no. 1)
“It has always given me pleasure to plunder the works of the masters, making off with a few scraps of their material to make into something of my own. I made free with snippets of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro to make Figures in the Garden; the same composer gave me the material for The Magic Flute Dances and An Airmail Letter from Mozart. Bach’s instrumental works from his Köthen period underpin my Köthener Messe. Of course, I chose fragments which I found particularly congenial, and chimed with my own musical interests. But the strength of personality in even the shortest quotation from Bach or Mozart had an impact on the music I was able to make, and led me to unexpected places.
Without Krysia Osostowicz’s invitation, I do not think I would have dared to attempt to pick Beethoven’s pockets. Even in his earliest violin sonata, Beethoven’s material is more volatile, dramatic and surprising than the classical and baroque sources I had previously drawn on. Nonetheless, tiny particles of the D major sonata seemed to stick to my fingers. Stealthily borrowing a phrase here, a juxtaposition there, Ludwig Games playfully extends an upbeat to the sonata.” Jonathan Dove
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Krysia Osostowicz impressed immediately with her graceful platform style. Her musical pedigree includes study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cambridge University and in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh. She founded the award-winning Dante Quartet, is director of the Dante Summer Festival and a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Daniel Tong is a teacher, writer and festival director. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, is founder of Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival and of the Winchester Chamber Music Festival.
He is also head of piano chamber music at Birmingham Conservatoire and teaches piano at Birmingham University.
The programme was titled the Beethoven Plus Project following the pair’s invitation to ten composers to write a five-minute companion piece inspired by, and perhaps including a phrase or two from, one of the sonatas.
Beethoven’s Sonata No.1 formed the basis for Ludwig Games by Jonathan Dove, a work full of variety in mood, tempo and tone with very dramatic effects. Osostowicz and Tong showed great rapport performing almost as one.
The piece gave Tong an opportunity to showcase his remarkable talent in the variations as well as in Sonata No. 1 with all its own changes of mood and style.
Beethoven’s Sonata No.4 provided raw material for composer Judith Bingham’s variation, The Neglected Child, inspired by a comment that it was the neglected child among the sonatas.
The great Kreutzer Sonata inspired the Tarantella Furiosa Op. 47 by Matthew Taylor. It certainly did reflect the hugely energetic Kreutzer to which Osostowicz and Tong did full justice, again playing as one. It was remarkable to experience two performers so totally in tune with one another.
Darlington and Stockton Times, Irene MacDonald
Wednesday, 04 November 2015
Contemporary music nowadays covers a wider range of compositional styles than ever before, and this year’s Sound Festival has certainly stepped up to the mark in this respect. In the Music Hall we heard the first in a series of five concerts given by Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong, who will play all ten of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano, each performed along with a new companion piece by a succession of living composers.