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UK Messiaen premiere

Pianist Matthew Schellhorn and violinist Elizabeth Cooney have managed something of a coup for their concert in the Jacqueline du Pre Concert Building in Oxford next Friday (29th) - the concert will include a UK premiere of Messiaen's Fantaisie which dates from 1933 but has only recently been published.

Fantaisie (1933) pour violon et piano
(from Durand press release)

Composed in Paris in 1933 and hitherto unpublished, this work is dedicated to the violinist Claire Delbos.

Messiaen's output for the violin is very slight, limited as it is to two extremely well-known pieces: the Théme et variations of 1932 and the 'Louange a l'immortalité de Jésus' from the Quatour pour la fin du temps. So violinists will be especially glad to discover his Fantasie, a work for violin and piano.
It is dedicated to 'Mi', as the composer affectionately referred to Claire Delbos his first wife, whom he had already dedicated a cycle of melodies with piano or orchestral accompaniment called Poemes pour Mi.
The Fantasie is a continuous composition of 161 bars with three distinct themes, though the different sections also comply with the standard structure of exposition, development and recapitulation.

The first theme, stated by the piano alone, has considerable rhythmic variety and anticipates the 'gigantic' music of the Danse de la fureur of the Quatour. The second theme is based on a triplet motif followed by four repeated notes and a trill.
The third theme is a melody (marked molto appassionata) sustained by a variegated piano accompaniment.
Fantasie for violin and piano has a duration of 15 minutes.

The full programme is:

FRI 29 JUNE 2007, 20:00

Elizabeth Cooney violin
Matthew Schellhorn piano

Schubert Sonata in D major, D 384
Ian Wilson Drive
Messiaen Thème et variations
Poulenc Sonata


Messiaen Fantaisie UK premiere
James MacMillan Kiss on Wood
Franck Sonata

Tickets £12 (concessions £10) available from TicketWeb or telephone 08700 600 100

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