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University of Iowa News Release

July 11, 2003

Violinist Vogel Will Play Chamber Recital With Pianist Menelaou July 23

Violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, a member of the faculty at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a recital with pianist Ourania Menelaou, a graduate student in the School of Music, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their recital will be free and open to the public.

The recital is the second of two that Vogel has scheduled featuring performances of pieces that her violin students studied during the year, and rehearsed with student pianists. By performing the pieces, Vogel gave her violin students the opportunity to hear repertoire they had studied, some of which is not often performed, and also gave the pianists, who are advanced graduate students, the opportunity to perform music they had prepared.

The first recital was June 16 with pianists Hikari Nakamura and Agnes Wan.

Vogel will open the July 23 recital with one of the great challenges of the violin repertoire, the Chaconne from J.S. Bach's Partita in D minor, BWV 1004. Composed in 1720, the Partita in D minor is part of a set of six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin. Because the violinist plays without any accompaniment, the entire musical interest must be carried by the one instrument -- a daunting challenge to composer and performer alike.

Vogel and Menelaou will together perform Edvard Grieg's Sonata No.2 in G major. The leading Norwegian composer of the 19th century, Grieg was born into a musical family in Bergen in 1843. He began piano lessons with his mother at the age of six, and also studied composition. After studies at the Leipzig Conservatory, he moved to Copenhagen, then the cultural capital of Scandinavia, where he developed a strong interest in Norwegian folklore.

Grieg's chamber music output is small -- only six works, of which three are violin sonatas. The second was composed in 1867, soon after the composer's marriage. Grieg dedicated the sonata to the Norwegian violinist Johan Svendsen, but the first performance was given in Christianna (now Oslo) in November, 1867, by Grieg with violinist Gudbrand Boehn.

Following a gloomy introduction in G minor, the sonata changes to the major key and a much lighter mood. Norwegian characteristics dominate most of the sonata, including the so-called "Grieg Motive" -- actually a melodic motive derived from Norwegian folk music -- and the use of lively "Springdans" (jumping dance) rhythms in the outer movements.

The remainder of the program will comprise a series of shorter pieces, including both well known and less familiar works: the "Scherzo tarantelle" by Henryk Wieniawski, the "Sicilienne et Rigaudon" by Fritz Kreisler, and "Melody," op. 42 no. 3, from "Souvenir d'un lieu cher" by Tchaikovsky. Vogel and Menelaou will close the program with one of the best known virtuoso showpieces for violin, the "Zigeunerweisen" (Gypsy style) by Pablo de Sarasate.

One of the most brilliant and celebrated violinists of the 19th century, Sarasate is remembered today chiefly for the "Zigeunerweisen" and his "Carmen Fantasy" based on themes from Bizet's opera.

He launched his career as a virtuoso with a major concert tour when he was 15. His playing was known not only for his brilliant technique, but also extraordinary beauty of tone, purity of intonation and grace of manner. His tours, through all of Europe, North and South America, South Africa and Asia, were an uninterrupted series of triumphs. Early in his career Sarasate played mostly fantasies on popular operas, difficult and showy pieces that he arranged himself, but later he turned to more serious repertoire. Works written specifically for him include Max Bruch's Second Concerto and "Scottish Fantasy," Eduard Lalo's Concerto for Violin and "Symphonie espagnole," Camille Saint-Saens' first and third concertos and his "Introduction et Rondo caprissioso."

Vogel began studying the violin with her father at the age of four. She was admitted to the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, Germany, when she was 11, one of the youngest students ever admitted to the school, and played her solo debut at the Dusseldorf, Germany, Tonhalle (Concert hall) when she was 12. She continued studies with many of the leading violinists in Europe and America, including the famed violin teacher Dorothy DeLay at the University of Southern California. She received a degree with highest honors in violin solo and chamber music from the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen and an Artist Diploma from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.

At the recommendation of the Tokyo String Quartet Vogel was appointed artist-in-residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she taught on the faculty and was a member of the Monticello Trio. She has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Cybele and Highland labels, including music by Beethoven, Khachaturian, Smetana, Ravel, Richard Strauss and Schnittke.

Vogel's most recent CD recordings include "Strings Attached," a violin-cello duo CD of works by Fiorillo. Pleyel, Sibelius, Gliere; "Recital" with pianist Ulrich Hofmann featuring sonatas and pieces by Brahms, Enesco, Lutoslawksi and Reger; and "Hans Gal Chamber Music," including the Violin Sonata and Cello Sonata. All recordings are released on the Cybele label. An upcoming release will be dedicated to women composers: Louise Farrenc, Lili Boulanger and Pauline Viardot.

Menelaou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and received her first piano lessons from her father when she was five. Later she studied at the Prague Conservatory, where she also took part in many solo recitals and chamber music concerts. After graduation from the Prague Conservatory she was accepted to participate in summer courses in Lausanne, Switzerland, were she received a Laureate Diploma from the Lausanne Academy. She has also studied piano and musicology at the historic Charles University in Prague, receiving a master's degree in 2002.

Menelaou has presented concerts in many cities in the Czech Republic, as well as Norway, Iceland, Greece and Cyprus. She first came to the United States to perform with the Maia Quartet and violinist Peter Zazofsky in the UI Magisterra Chamber Music Festival in May, 2000. She has also performed at the 2001 Nevada Music Festival in Las Vegas. She has recorded for CBC Cyprus radio, the Icelandic Radio and the Czech Radio Cesky Rozhlas. Menelaou is currently a piano student of Uriel Tsachor in the UI School of Music.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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