The Fondation Louis Vuitton is to dedicate an exceptional evening to a monument of the classical repertoire: the six Sonatas and Partitas of J.S.Bach.
Tedi Papavrami will play these complete works in two halves:
6-7 pm: performance with artist's comments of Sonata No. 2 and Partita No. 1
8.30 pm: Sonatas No. 1 and 3 Partitas Nos. 2 and 3
Tedi Papavrami will play the Stradivarius Reynier lent to him by LVMH.
Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas, a spiritual journey.
In the communist Albania of my youth, Bach was lucky enough to escape censorship. Or to be more precise, it was his purely instrumental music that was spared. We had Bach without the Passions, Cantatas, Chorales or Masses. As for organs – there were none in the country.
However, even stripped of his religious dimension, Bach gave us plenty of food for thought. The invisible weight of his oeuvre was there – albeit unacknowledged by the regime: an immense unfathomable sea, keeping us nourishinged, and profoundly so, via a violin concerto movement here or a Sicilienne or prelude for solo violin there.
I felt this presence even as a child, without ever being able to put my finger on it. To my mind, an ineffable and never-ending charm seemed to suffuse the pages of the Sonatas and Partitas, which I began to play at the age of eight. Little did I know back then that this music would accompany my entire life, providing comfort, unity and a homeland in a daily reality that was soon to stripped of these qualities.
What I was unaware at the time, and for long time thereafter, was the spiritual journey charted by this series of six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. While Bach was certainly a man of faith, he was too subtle and too human to deliver a pre-packaged spiritual message, even if he believed in it. As in the Confessions of St Augustine, this music transports us through all the stages of the passions, fascinations and grievances of humanity, before ultimately attaining a state of constant bliss. The label we attach to this – religious, spiritual or philosophical – hardly matters. From the days of Antiquity to the present, from India to the West, this same journey has been tirelessly mapped out by men of rare distinction.
While we cannot be sure that composers such as Bach or Beethoven reached these supreme levels of fulfilment in their daily lives. it is certain that they attained such heights in their art. Today we are lucky enough to be able to short-circuit the time and effort required to take them in. We can listen in to a specific work and thus access the serenity offered by these fleeting moments of virtue, captured by men of genius.
Tedi Papavrami, October 2014
Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Partita No.1 in G minor, BWV 1002
7. Tempo di Borea
Concert at 8.30 pm
Sonata No 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
2. Fuga (Allegro)
Sonate No 3 in C major, BWV 1005
2. Fugue (Alla breve)
4. Allegro assai
Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006
3. Gavotte en Rondeau
4. Menuet I
5. Menuet II
6. Tempo di Borea