The Romani people (commonly known as Gypsies) and their musicians (properly known as Lautari) have a great tradition of violin playing, with virtuosos frequently embroidering their music with extreme amounts of ornamentation. In his work as an ethnomusicologist before the field really existed, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók lugged heavy recording equipment around the region of Transylvania to record how Gypsy violinists practiced their trade. His Romanian colleague George Enescu went one better, spending a significant portion of his childhood in that area when it was part of his country, listening to the rhythms of folk dances and the sounds of the unusual instruments the Romani used. Eventually, Bartók wrote his swaggering Violin Rhapsody No. 1 and Enescu his Violin Sonata No. 3 by drawing on the sounds they heard among these country folks.
The Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, renowned for his precision, assertiveness, and delicacy, will be here at the Kimbell Art Museum to play both of these works, accompanied by Italian pianist Enrico Pace. In addition, they’ll play Beethoven’s celebrated Fourth Violin Sonata and Prokofiev’s incredibly dark First Violin Sonata, written while the composer was watching his friends disappear into the Soviet gulag system during Stalin’s great terror in the 1930s. The two musicians will be here for two days to give repeat performances for people who can’t make one, so you’ll have little excuse to miss this concert.
Leonidas Kavakos and Enrico Pace perform at 7:30pm Thu-Fri at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Tickets are $25-65. Call 817-332-8451.