Irrera Brothers Duo – Friday, April 6, 2018 at 8 pm

Irrera Brothers Duo
John Irrera, violin; Joseph Irrera, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”
Clara Wieck Schumann Three Romances, Op. 22
Igor Stravinsky Suite italienne
Tomaso Antonio Vitali Chaconne in G minor

The award winning Irrera Brothers Duo presents a concert of music which spans the gamut of human emotion and experience. The program begins with Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, a work both feared and loved by performers for its technical challenges. Its predominantly furious first movement leads to a meditative and tranquil second movement, before concluding with an exuberant Tarantella, which, interestingly, Beethoven had originally planned as the final movement for one of his earlier violin sonatas. Also on the program is the lush and poignant Three Romances of Clara Schumann. These gems were among the last pieces composed by her, and their simple yet achingly beautiful melodies fill the work to the brim making one long for a greater compositional output from this musical genius. The program continues with Stravinsky’s Suite italienne, which combines the noble and courtly styling of the classical period with Stravinsky’s own quirky style, making the music distinctly his own. The program concludes with Vitali’s Chaconne in g minor, a work of fiery virtuosity whose origin presents intrigue. Although credited to the Baroque composer Tomaso Antonio Vitali, the work features musical characteristics and a virtuosic flair that is more commonly heard in the Romantic period, leading many to question who truly wrote the work. Despite the ambiguity, the Chaconne has become a favorite of audiences the world over, and was a personal favorite of Jascha Heifetz, making for an exciting finish to the afternoon’s program.

Cited by the New York Concert Review as providing a “riveting and dynamic performance” at their 2013 Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall concert, the acclaimed Irrera Brothers Duo has captivated audiences throughout the United States and abroad, and have been hailed by the late world-renowned violinist and pedagogue Zvi Zeitlin as “two gifted boys.” Joseph and John have also performed at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Spivey Hall at Clayton State University, Rochester’s Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and internationally throughout Europe and Central America. They have released CD recordings, including Beethoven & Prokofiev and Vitali, featuring Russell Scarbrough’s Bow Shock, written for them and premiered at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2013. Currently, the duo is completing a multi-year recording project of the complete violin and piano works by Robert Morris, Professor of Music at the Eastman School of Music. Included on the album will be Drawn Onward – Fantasy for Violin and Piano, composed for the Irrera Brothers in 2014. In addition to their duo collaboration, Joseph and John Irrera are also celebrated soloists.