Saturday 11 February 2023, 20:15
The Hague: Paleiskerk
three solos in The hague’s paleiskerk
Bach versus Paganini
Dana Zemtsov viola
Johann Sebastian Bach
Chromatic Fantasy, BWV 903
Arrangement for viola by Zoltán Kodály and Mikhail Kugel
Johann Sebastian Bach
From Partita no. 2 for solo violin, BWV 1004
Capricccio in c-minor, opus 55 Hommage à Paganini
Paganini's notoriously virtuosic variations in an arrangement for solo viola by Mikhail Kugel
Powerful tone and captivating narrative power
Violist Dana Zemtsov is praised for her “powerful tone and compelling narrative power” (NRC). Her interpretations are brilliant, full of fire and life, and benefit from the dark and rich timbre of her instrument.
Her solo programme juxtaposes solo pieces by Bach and Paganini, two composers who expanded the violin’s possibilities with their innovative and imaginative solo works. Bach made the violin sound more polyphonic and colourful in his Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, completed around 1720. A century later, Niccolò Paganini conquered European musical life with his unparalleled virtuosity.
Some critics still dismiss Paganini’s music as showmanship. They are wrong. His music is rich and complex. Paganini took La molinara, a popular song of the time, as a theme for breathtakingly difficult variations that only the greatest violinists dare to tackle. Dana Zemtsov takes on the challenge of playing the variations on her larger viola, adding even more depth and colour to Paganini’s masterpiece.
Dana Zemtsov: press quotes
“The beautifully radiant tone of Dana Zemtsov's instrument immediately draws your ears into Henk Badings’ Viola Concerto."
Jenny Camillery in De Volkskrant (on Dana’s recent CD of Dutch works for viola)
“There are points in Dana Zemtsov’s performance where her double-stopping is so perfectly tuned, so varied in colour and with such considerable distances in the intervals between the notes that you would be forgiven for thinking it sounded more like a chamber orchestra or, at least, a string quartet than simply a single viola playing more than one note at once.”
“Dana Zemtsov's powerful tone and compelling narrative power make a deep impression”
Joep Stapel in NRC
“Apart from being one of the greatest viola players, Mikhail Kugel is also a very special human being. He has changed the image of the viola, which was always seen as an uninteresting accompaniment instrument, by writing virtuosic and brilliant pieces for it. He turns it into a solo instrument with the same value as a violin or cello!”