From the dance to the legend

The flamboyant first half combines substance and pleasure. It opens with the poignant yet festive variations on a folk theme from Slovakia. Two more pieces by Martinů follow and serve as a fanciful conduit between classical and popular traditions, introducing listeners to the world of Kapustin’s jazz and Piazzolla’s tango.

B. Martinu / Variations on a Slovakian Theme
B. Martinu / Ariette H188b  # 2 [in ragtime/jazz style]
N. Kapustin / Three jazz pieces: Nearly Waltz Op. 98, Elegy Op. 96,
        Burlesque Op. 97
B. Martinu / From Sept arabesques H201a: Moderato [in tango style]
A. Piazzolla / Le grand tango

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R. Schumann / Märchenbilder Op. 113
F. Chopin / Sonata in G minor Op. 65

Polyphony throughout the ages

The works on this programme are convincingly linked. The programme opens with a sonata by J. S. Bach, the preeminent master of polyphony. The Agate Rosary by Michael Oesterle is a contemporary work whose aesthetic draws from the Renaissance, the golden age of polyphony. This wonderful piece is inspired by the epistolary relationship between Galileo Galilei and his daughter Maria Celeste, a nun at the San Matteo convent.  The first half concludes with Beethoven, the second half with Brahms. Both were great admirers of Bach and pay homage to him with masterful finales in fugal style.

J. S. Bach / Sonata for viola da gamba and keyboard in G major
        BWV 1028
L. van Beethoven / Sonata for cello and piano in D major Op. 102 No. 2

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Michael Oesterle / The Agate Rosary for cello and piano
        / 2007,*written for YD
J. Brahms / Sonata for cello and piano Op. 38 OR Op. 99            

2 Russian programmes: “Buffoons’ Quarrel and other follies”

This recital traverses Russian musical spirit, from emotional weight and gravity to farce and satire. The listener will be equally enthralled by the fairy tale humour of Prokofiev’s Chout and Cinderella, as by the powerful and deeply moving Sonata by Schnittke. The commedia dell’arte spirit of Prokofiev’s Pulcinella contrasts sharply with the dark and sarcastic humour permeating expansive passages in both the Shostakovich and Prokofiev Sonatas. This eclectic programme explores a truly surprising range of Russian cello and piano repertoire. Expect to be even more surprised by the encore!..

Igor Stravinsky / Suite Italienne / 1932, Suite from the ballet Pulcinella
Alfred Schnittke / Sonata (1978)

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Sergei Prokofiev / The Tale of the Buffoon / Suite from the ballet
Sergei Prokofiev / Sonata for cello and piano

Alternative second half

Sergei Prokofiev / from the ballet Cinderella: Adagio; Waltz-Coda
Dmitri Shostakovich / Sonata for cello and piano Op. 40

France: Shadow and Light

The works here illustrate the different facets of French genius. Each work illuminates the others in a manner that allows the listener to enjoy the typical French qualities shared by these works, while appreciating the diversity of inspiration and aesthetics unique to each piece. Each Sonata is concise, uncluttered and tightly-knit, often possessing a sense of lightness, even humour. The Sonata by Debussy is written in his typical “fantasy in sensibility” style and oscillates between sarcastic humour and poetic melancholy. Vierne’s melodies are of great generosity and suit the cello particularly well in his sonata. Its second movement is of almost miraculous perfection, evocative of the mystery and depth of the sonata by Fauré. Poulenc’s festive work concludes this recital with wit and brilliance.

Claude Debussy / Sonata for cello and piano
Louis Vierne / Sonata for cello and piano

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Gabriel Fauré / Sonata for cello and piano in G minor Op. 117
Francis Poulenc / Sonata for cello and piano

20th Century Recital

A compelling journey from Eastern Europe to America via England, this programme is as diverse and varied as it is engrossing. There is a sense of discovery through storytelling in the richly folkloric music of Martinů, Bartok and Janacek.  Britten’s mesmerising sonata, a truly original yet accessible masterpiece, illustrates his art of miniature and economy of means.  Barber’s juxtaposition of European music tradition and New World flair is rather astonishing for a composer only 22 years of age.

Bohuslav Martinů / Variations on a Slovakian Theme
Léos Janacek / Pohádka (Fairy Tale)
Benjamin Britten / Sonata for cello and piano

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Béla Bartók / 1st Rhapsody for cello and piano
Samuel Barber / Sonata for cello and piano

Special Project: Complete cello & piano works by Beethoven

A monumental cycle: 5 sonatas, 3 sets of variations and the Horn Sonata Op. 17. Beethoven was the first to empower the cello and give it life as a major solo instrument. The five sonatas are a chamber music cornerstone and deliver incredible impact when played in a single recital. The variations are masterful manifestations of important aspects of Beethoven’s creative genius: simplicity, humour and virtuosic fantasy. The Sonata for Horn has been a long-time inclusion in the cello and piano repertoire and is a wonderful complement to the complete works presented here.

Complete works in TWO recitals OR a selection of works in ONE recital or all Sonatas in ONE large recital

Recital One
Sonata I Op. 5 No. 1
Twelve Variations on the theme Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen
    from Mozart’s Enchanted Flute
Seven Variations on the theme Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen
    from Mozart’s Enchanted Flute
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Sonata IV Op. 102 No. 1
Sonata V Op. 102 No. 2

Recital Two
Sonata for horn (or cello) and piano Op. 17
Sonata II in G minor Op. 5 No. 2
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Twelve Variations on a theme from Händel’s oratorio Judas Maccabäus
Sonata III Op. 69

Recital of all 5 Beethoven sonatas
Sonata I Op. 5 No. 1
Sonata II in G minor Op. 5 No. 2
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Sonata III Op. 69
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Sonata IV Op. 102 No. 1
Sonata V Op. 102 No. 2

Solitary Cello

An engaging exploration of the cello – from the intimate to the flamboyant – through music of different times and cultures. The recital ends with the explosive finale of Ligeti’s Sonata.

Max Reger / Suite op. 131c No. 1
Johann Sebastian Bach / one of the 6 Suites

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Paul Hindemith / Sonata op. 25 No. 3
Ana Sokolovic / Vez (2006, *written for YD)
György Ligeti / Sonata (1948-53)

Canadian works, a selection

…to complement recital programs as needed.
These works have all been very well received by audiences and have been prepared in collaboration with the composers, all of which the artist has had the privilege of knowing personally. The Aria from Jacques Hétu’s Sonata was recently performed at Hétu's memorial concert.

Christos Hatzis / Atonement for cello and piano
        / 2013, *written for YD   [13 min]

Jacques Hétu / Sonata for cello and piano Op. 63 
        / 1999, *written for YD   [15 min]

Michael Oesterle / The Agate Rosary for cello and piano
        / 2007, *written for YD   [18 min]

Ana Sokolovic / Vez for solo cello / 2005, written for YD   [7 min]

André Prévost / Sonata No. 2 for cello and piano    [14 min]

André Prévost / Improvisation for cello solo   [8 min]