Robert Schumann’s Andante & Variations for 2 pianos, 2 cellos & horn in B flat major, WoO 10 (original version of Op. 46): Martha Argerich, piano; Daniel Barenboim, piano; Linor Katz, cello; Kian Soltani, cello; Jorge Monte de Fez, horn.

Robert Schumann’s Andante & Variations for 2 pianos, 2 cellos & horn in B flat major, WoO 10 (original version of Op. 46): Martha Argerich, piano; Daniel Barenboim, piano; Linor Katz, cello; Kian Soltani, cello; Jorge Monte de Fez, horn.

Composed in 1843, this Andante and Variations is an interesting item in Schumann’s catalog. Written soon after the piano quintet and piano quartet, it is also piano-driven, scored for the unusual combination of two pianos, two cellos, and one horn. One can imagine the volume such a combination achieves and, therefore, can understand why Schumann gave up listening to his friends’ attempts to play it in his house. He eventually had to borrow a room at his publishing house, Breitkopf & Härtel. Arpeggiated chords and a cry from the horn introduce the Andante theme, which has an AB structure, with the latter section being an inversion of the shape of the lyrical opening motive. The whole theme is presented with chordal harmony and is passed between the two pianos. The cellos and horn round out the harmony. In fact, for much of the entire piece, the majority of the work is left to the pianists. The horn’s one showcase variation is a Romantic-era hunting call. There is also a processional variation that allows the cellos and horn to come through more. A variation that reduces the theme to almost a La Folia-like, bare-bones harmonic structure allows the cellists to set aside their bows, using pizzicato to accompany the pianos. There are also a couple of faster, knuckle-cracking and finger-tangling variations and an interlude, with the briefest of quotes from the opening of his song cycle Frauenliebe und -leben, before the final restatement of the theme and a delicate, meandering coda. Although Schumann was disappointed with the work and withdrew it from his catalog, he re-published it, omitting two variations — as well as the introduction and the interlude, in a two-piano form as Op. 46, at Mendelssohn’s suggestion. However, Brahms recognized the worth of the original form and premiered it with Clara Schumann in 1868, and it is more often recorded this way.

Linor Katz

Linor Katz
Cellist Linor Katz

Cellist Linor Katz performs throughout Europe, South and North America and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and as an orchestral player. She has performed as a soloist with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra at Dvorak Hall in the Rudolfinum in Prague, as well as with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israeli Opera Orchestra and the Israel Defense Forces Orchestra in a special concert in Milan. Ms. Katz performed chamber music with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Guy Braunstein (Concertmaster of Berlin Philharmonic) and members of the Takács string quartet and the Jerusalem string quartet.

As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Katz performed at some of the most prestigious concert venus, such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, Teatro Cologn in Buenos Aires, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Jordan Hall in Boston and the Staatsoper and Schillertheatre in Berlin.

As a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Daniel Barenboim, she toured all over Europe as well as in North and South America. Ms. Katz has also been a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in its 2006-07 and 2013-2014 season, and performed with them in Israel, Europe, North America and Japan.

She has graduated from the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she was studying with Mr. Laurence Lesser and Ms. Natasha Brofsky.

Kian Soltani

Kian Soltani
Kian Soltani. Photo: Juventino Mateo

By the time he won first prize at the “International Paulo Cello Competition 2013” in Helsinki, younc cellist Kian Soltani had joined the top rank of today’s new generation of cello soloists. His earlier first prizes include the Karl Davidoff International Cello Competition in Latvia as well as the International Antonio Janigro Competition in Croatia. Kian Soltani holds a scholarship at the “Mozart-Gesellschaft Dortmund” and is a member of the renowned “Anne-Sophie Mutter” foundation.

Born in Bregenz, Austria into an Persian family of musicians, Kian Soltani was only twelve when he was accepted into the class of Ivan Monighetti, with whom studied 11 years at the Basle Music Academy. Since October 2014 he is part of the Young Soloist program at the Kronberg Academy in Germany with Frans Helmerson. Other strong influences have come from his studies at the International Music Academy of Liechtenstein as well as from renowned artists such as Sol Gabetta, Wolfgang Boettcher, Valter Despalj, Gerhard Mantel, David Geringas, Pieter Wispelwey, Jens Peter Maintz, Antonio Meneses and Bernard Greenhouse. Kian Soltani regularly tours as principal Cellist with the “West-Easter Divan Orchestra” under Daniel Barenboim.

At the age of 19, Kian Soltani made his successful solo debut in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems. His appearances as a soloist and chamber musician have since included festivals and concerts with leading orchestras and at prominent halls in Europe, Asia and North America (the Vienna Musikverein, Hohenems Schubertiade, Kronberg Cello Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, iPalpiti Festival in Los Angeles, Eilat Chamber Music Festival in Israel, Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival, Next Generation Classic Festival in Bad Ragaz and the Sommets Musicaux of Gstaad). As a soloist, Soltani has appeared with such ensembles as the Zagreb Soloists, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra, Basle Sinfonietta, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and collaborated with conductors including David Geringas, Zlatan Srzic, Sebastian Tewinkel, Ivan Monighetti, Florian Krumpöck, John Storgårds, Yasuo Shinozaki, Jukka Iisakkila and Peter Csaba.

Kian Soltani’s first CD was a collaboration with his teacher Ivan Monighetti in Ireland, where he made world premiere recordings for the LCMS label of works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and other composers. The CD “Metamorphoses” appeared in October 2012.

Jorge Monte de Fez

Jorge Monte de Fez
Jorge Monte de Fez

(Automatically translated from Spanish)

Jorge Monte de Fez has been designated “Asturian of the month” December SPAIN NEW coinciding with the season opening of La Scala of Milan, for his Billante career that has led him to becoming the first Spanish who enters the Italian orchestra, where he holds solo horn. Despite his youth, he has worked with great masters of address as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado recently deceased and Gustavo Dudamel, among others. “Forget the pressure he helped me to enter one of the best orchestras,” he told this newspaper when he managed the plaza in La Scala, which came certainly encouraged by Barenboim. Recently, his girlfriend, viola Olga Gonzalez, Spanish has become the second of the orchestra.

Jorge Monte de Fez was born in Oviedo (1986), it has an outstanding curriculum as instrumentalist of world-class orchestras. In fact, it has been part of the “West-Estaerm Divan”, directed Barenboim. He studied at the Institute of School The Ería of Oviedo and the average degree of horn at the Conservatory; shortly after he moved to San Sebastián. At his age, it’s all a wanderer since he also lived in Berlin. In 2008 he won honors limit switch in “Musikene” (the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country). That’s where he made the top grade, with the help of Professor Rodolfo Epelde. Since then his career has been unstoppable, but even before, in 2007, had presented his credentials to achieve the first prize in the Villa Alba de Tormes national competition.

He also studied at the Queen Sofía College of Music, where he was distinguished as outstanding student of the chair of horn by Professor Radovan Vlatković. Until the following year (2011-2012) at the Academy Saatskapelle Berlin under the direction of maestro Barenboim said. Solo horn has participated, by invitation, in several symphony orchestras. As a soloist he has emphasized works of the great classics.

Jorge Monte of Fez is one of those talents who succeed outside their country. As he explains, “the life of a musician in Spain is complicated, or live to make bowls or anything.” Finally his great adventure has been awarded a large orchestra thanks to an impeccable track record


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. Please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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