Saturday 28th January 2023

Sophie Rosa & Peter Liang (2 Violins)

Sophie Rosa is a local girl from Cuddington who plays a Joseph Gagliano violin dated 1795 with a Claude Fonclause bow, both made available through the generous support of the Stradivari Trust. She is one of Britain’s most exciting young violinists and is gaining quite an international reputation. Her 3 concerts for us were so enthusiastically received that we are delighted to have finally managed to book her again. This visit she will be accompanied by her husband Peter Liang who has played first violin for the Halle since 2011. He is a regular guest leader of the orchestra and is high in demand with orchestras throughout the country.

See details of Sophie’s previous concerts for us on Saturday 25th January 2014, Saturday 16th May 2015 and Saturday 10th November 2018.

Here is a PDF of the Poster for this Concert (click to VIEW or right click to SAVE). Please feel free to print and display the poster to help publicise this concert. 

Programme (announced 8th January)

Telemann: “Gulliver” Suite for 2 Violins
(5 movements)
Bartok: A selection from his “44 Duos for Two Violins” sz.98
Leclair: Sonata in E minor, op.3 no.5
(3 movements)
Vivaldi: Sonata in F major, RV70
(3 movements)


Mozart: Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat Major K.378
(arranged for 2 violins) (3 movements)
Bartok: A selection from his “44 Duos for Two Violins” sz.98
Gardel (arrangement by A. Hadelich): Por Una Cabeza
Handel/Halvorsen: Passacaglia

Brief Report “on the night”

An excellent concert. Sophie and husband Peter took it in turns to explain the background to each piece before they played it. The first piece follows Gulliver’s travels. After an introduction we meet the Lilliputians who are very small so Telemann  uses a very small time signature of 3/32 as a visual joke for the violinists, who have to read miniscule 64th and 128th notes. Then come the Brobdingnagians who are giants, so their music is in the equally eccentric time signature of 24/1, putting their music into enormous whole notes. Next come the Laputians who are impractical intellectuals who live on a flying island up among the clouds. The final movement contrasts two more creatures – the Houyhnhnms who have a Loure, (a refined French dance) played by the first violinist, while at the same time the second violinist portrays the scampering Yahoos. All in all, very good fun, and played as such with much enthusiasm.

Bartok’s “44 Duos for Two Violins” were written to be played by teachers and pupils, so the pieces are of wildly varying lengths and difficulty. We were treated to 4 samples including an Arabian Song and a Transylvanian Dance. The first half was completed with 2 lovely sonatas by Leclair and Vivaldi.

After the interval we were treated to a Mozart Sonata, then 4 more pieces from the Bartok (including bagpipes and a furious dance) and a piece by Gardel. Finally came Handel’s Passacaglia in a special arrangement for 2 violins, which was very exciting and was greeted by thunderous applause. A short encore followed of their favourite pieces from the Bartok, which were warmly applauded again.

Press Report
The violinists Sophie Rosa and Peter Liang captivated the audience in the Society’s first concert of 2023. This was a most enjoyable evening, helped by the informative explanations accompanying each piece. They started the concert with Telemann’s “Gulliver’s Travels” suite. He clearly had great fun with the communities depicted in the novel: a tiny score for the Lilliputians; the giant Brobdingnagians were loud and expansive; the Laputians dreamy; and the Houyhnhnms and Yahoos were treated simultaneously with contrasting rhythms.
The “44 Duos for Two Violins” by Bartok were intended to be teaching aids, some being technically very difficult. We were treated to eight of them altogether, with completely different styles and lengths, mainly based on folk songs and dances. They also played sonatas by Leclair and Vivaldi. These represented the contrasting approaches in France and Italy, the latter being much more flamboyant.
Apparently the arrangement of Mozart’s Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat Major K.378 took some liberties with the score, but it always sounded authentic. “Por Una Cabeza”, is a well-known tango, composed by Carlos Gardel, and played in Hadelich’s arrangement. The concert finished with the Passacaglia from the suite No. 7 by Handel, arranged by Halvorsen and to thunderous applause. As an encore they reprised two of the Bartok duos.
For more information about Sophie Rosa visit her own website (in a new window), by clicking HERE
Previous Concert Full Season Next Concert