A dance between violin and cello

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Violine

Sol Gabetta, Violoncello


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Invention I C-major BWV 772 (1723)

Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001): «Dhipli Zyia», Duo for violin and cello (1951)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Invention VI E-major BWV 777 (1723)

Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967): Duo for violin and cello op. 7 (1914)

Allegro serioso non troppo – Adagio – Maestoso e largamente, ma non troppo lento

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Invention VIII F-major BWV 779 (1723)

Peteris Vasks (1946): Duo – commissioned by Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Invention XIV B flat-major BWV 785 (1723)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): Sonata C-major for violin and cello (1927)

Allegro – Très vif – Lent – Vif, avec entrain



Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja: From Bach to Peteris Vasks 

Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja play a programme that leads from Baroque to contemporary music. One often forgets that Bach was a remarkable pedagogue next to his compositional genius. During his years in Köthen he created the Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, a book of exercises for his eldest son. The second part of this booklet is comprised of thirty fugas: fifteen two voice inventions and fifteen three voice sinfonias, true gems.

Zoltan Kodály wrote the Duo for violin and cello op. 7 during the summer of 1914. It actually is a sonata, structured into three parts. Both the violin and the cello part make use of the flexibility of counterpoint like Bach in his two voice inventions and the madrigalists of the Renaissance.

Music and Mathematics

Jannis Xenakis was born in 1922 in Romania but was of Greek origin. He incorporates his like for architecture and mathematics and their numerical and spatial dimensions into his music research. He was the first European to use a computer for the process of composing. Metastasis (1954) is a typical piece of this new way of tone organization. Dhipli Zyia for violin (Patricia Kopatchinskaja) and violoncello (Sol Gabetta) was created during the same period.

Peteris Vasks first studied violin and double bass before going towards composition. In the beginning his style was influenced by the aleatoric experiments of Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Crumb. Later on he integrates elements of Latvian folk music into his compositions. Since the 90ies he is internationally known. Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja play his piece which was commissioned by the Gstaad Menhuhin Festival.

A music massacre?

The world premiere of Ravel’s piece for violin and cello took place on 6thApril 1922 in Paris. The press was shocked and spoke of a massacre. This was not written without a reason: the piece stands for a radical shift in Ravel’s music, as the composer later expresses in his Esquisse biographique. He explains that he abstained from the charme of harmony and strove towards a tonal sobriety and scarcity. Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja play Ravel‘s piece with a rarely heard intensity.

Sol Gabetta

Artist Description

You couldn’t have come up with a better name for Sol “The sun” Gabetta. She’s as radiant whenever she takes the stage, as when you meet her backstage. She’s kind and generous with her time. For nearly two decades Sol Gabetta has been a leading presence at Gstaad, having become something like the festival’s ambassador. Every year we are blessed with her new projects, often in form of world premieres.

The Gabetta family’s bear paws

We all heard about her great career, but little is known about how it started. Once at Saanen Sol Gabetta shared with us the following story: «I was three years old and my brother Andrés was eight. My parents gave both of us a violin. But – of course – Andrés played much better, because he was much older. However, one day I was offered cello lessons.» Thanks to the Suzuki-method Sol made very soon great progress. «I immediately sensed that the cello was right for me. It feels more natural than the violin. I’m small and have huge hands. We all have bear paws in our family. I can’t fathom how Andrés manages with his violin.»

Cappella Gabetta – For the Love of Old Music

So the years passed and the each of the siblings found their own way. «After Andrés got his diploma, he met Christophe Coin (the great cellist who specializes in the so-called period performance. He immersed himself in the Baroque Music. And even though I followed his journey with keen interest, I focused on the grand concert repertoire… up until I discovered the old music myself. That was whilst I was working on the first «Progetto Vivaldi» for Sony.»

Sol’s interpretation of Vivaldi, the so-called «Red Priest», was a huge success, so that Sony immediately wanted her to do another record. And Sol Gabetta realized that this would allow her to collaborate with her brother: Thus, the Cappella Gabetta was born! And from then on, the Cappella Gabetta became a regular at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival.

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Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Artist Description

Who ever doubted that musical interpretations could be spontaneous and unexpected, should come and enjoy a concert of Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The Moldavian violinist is full of vitality - every part of her body from her fingers to her feet (she often performs barefoot!) sparks with energy. Hence, it should not come as a surprise that she entertains a vivid dialogue between the music of the past and the present: She's a favourite of contemporary composers - they couldn't have found a better ambassador for their cause. In the past, we at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival have often been a witness of her new musical adventures: She introduced us (together with her friend and musical ally Sol Gabetta) to new masterpieces by acclaimed contemporary composers such as Jorge Sánchez Chiong, Mark Anthony Turnage, Pēteris Vasks und Francisco Coll.

Corelli in Moldavia

These days virtually every artist has a personal website. Most often however they're full of bland marketing. Patricia Kopatchinskaja's webpage is wonderfully different. Here you can find texts written by the artist herself sharing her thoughts on her work as well as personal ideas on diverse subjects («Why is one a musician?» or «With Terre des Hommes in Moldavia»)   Patricia Kopatchinskaja comes from Moldavia and maintains a strong connection to her homeland. She shows a particular interest in intercultural exchange: «Ever since the Roman Empire Moldavia with its Black Sea coast has had a close relationship to the Mediterranean and its people. You can picture the great Italian Baroque violinists (Corelli, Tartini) having played like the violinists in the Moldavian countryside nowadays: With an exceptional sense for rhythm and harmony. They're very open to new influences, especially from Arabia. » Patricia Kopatchinskaja embodies just that: The entire world in one single violin.
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