INFO COVID-19: Due to the French government decisions, Château de Versailles Spectacles has to cancel this show.
Renaud Capuçon Violin
Kit Armstrong Piano
2020 is the year of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in Bonn in 1770, making him the exact contemporary of the Royal Opera of Versailles! If a composer was the embodiment of the musical revolution that took place at the turn of the 19th century, and the passage from classicism to romanticism, it would undoubtedly be Beethoven who reached maturity in 1800. Beethoven, heir to Haydn, Mozart and Gluck is both the last prodigy of classicism and the composer who opened the way to new freedom in music. His staunch independence led him on an atypical path, influenced by the progressive ideas of the French Revolution and Bonaparte’s epic, before rejecting all despotism and devoting himself to the exaltation of the sublime, as expressed in his Symphony No. 9. A pivotal musician, cruelly struck by deafness at the age of thirty, he leaves a work of unimaginable power, a true song of the human soul, and one that is universally recognised.
Beethoven’s Sonatas for violin and piano were the chamber music laboratory for his new vision of music. The sonata’s intimate format is fertile ground for innovations, giving both instruments a wonderful opportunity for a voluble dialogue, voicing the composer’s passions. Their composition took place mainly between 1798 and 1803, in parallel with the beginning of the piano concerto and symphony cycles, also following their progression to greater scope, a more intense musical discourse, a deeper dimension leading to the absolute. The first – still very Mozartian – sonatas are very hedonistic, for instance n° 5, Spring (1801), but Beethoven then took the following sonatas into his “heroic” period and gave them a similar treatment as his symphonies. A torrent of romantic beauty flows from the two instruments, alternating unbridled virtuosity and visionary dimension, to include the tragic of fate. The Kreutzer Sonata (n°9) deploys all the heart-breaking possibilities of the violin and pushes the musician to his very limits, to an unimaginable dimension. Renaud Capuçon is the best guide for this initiatory voyage into Beethoven’s cycle of violin and piano sonatas, at the same time whimsical and devilishly precise, he draws the line of these ten sonatas without releasing their passionate tension and taking the listener into the exalted melting pot of Beethoven’s creation, freed from any material contingencies: absolute Beethoven, in a marathon of three concerts at the heart of Versailles (Opera and Chapel), the works interpreted in the order of their composition. Playing with the brilliant young pianist Kit Armstrong, Renaud Capuçon brings Beethoven’s violin to an apogee!
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Sonatas No. 1, 2, 3 and 4
Complete sonatas for violin and piano → more information.
Royal OperaMore info
Royal Opera - Access map