Adagio I - from Sonata no. I in G minor for solo violin, J.S. Bach BVW 1001
This is the opening movement of Bach's celebrated Sonata in G minor for solo violin. Structurally speaking, It is a prelude to a three voice fugue, and the music meanders in-between harmonic pillars. As such, in interpreting this work, I have been reminded of a prayer or petition against suffering - not unlike moments in St. Luke's Gospel. The opening G minor chord establishes dissatisfaction; a resignation to a certain event, along with a desire to avoid or amend it in some way. After arriving in the dominant key of D minor, we explore several human emotions linked to suffering - doubt, fear, uncertainty, despair, bravery, nobility and profound sorrow, before finally returning to the resignation to fate of the beginning. One of the most interesting things which Bach achieves in this composition is the demonstration of a sense of emotional change and confusion, against the backdrop of a rigid harmonic structure; which represents security and inevitability.
Adagio II - from Violin Concerto no. 3 in G major, W.A. Mozart K. 216
This is the second movement of Mozart's 3rd Violin Concerto. Mozart was 19 at the time of composition, and it seems (like many of his age today) romance was at the forefront of his mind in composing this movement. The whole movement is structured in the manner of an aria from one of his operas, and it inspires images of a chaste, intimate moment between the hero and heroine. The initial unison melody of the violins is carefully joined in accompaniment by the other instruments of the orchestra. As the orchestra gives way to the soloist, Mozart maintains the triplet rhythm in accompaniment almost throughout the entire movement; a trick Elvis Presley picked up on and used for many of his love songs. The solo violin melody begins in the spirit of purity and charity. After an initial statement, it begins to become a little more persuasive, whilst still maintaing a sense of nobility. The flute starts to the soloist's overtures, encouraging him to become bolder. After a brief exploration of the uncertainties of love, the risks of commitment and the shadows cast by the future, we return to the original statement, in a more emboldened and convincing manner. In the passage preceding the cadenza, we witness the most convincing and open display of affection and promise of security. The movement is rounded off beautifully by a brief coda.
About this release
This release is a prelude to an album of Mozart Concertos scheduled for sale in November 2013. It is the first fruit of a project which began in 2012 with the creation of my orchestra, the Stanfield Studio Orchestra. Like many of my colleagues, I graduated in 2009, one year after the global financial crisis. The aftermath of this event left many outstanding young musicians without the work their talent deserves. As a means of providing employment (as well as experience and exposure) to these fine young classical musicians, I eventually came up with the idea of creating a studio orchestra - an ensemble which comes together to record music in a short period of time. It has been a wonderful experience, and since inception, the orchestra has begun to work with other young soloists. As well as supporting and encouraging emerging talent in London, it has also helped me to have something to show for the amount of time I have been learning the violin. I hope it was worth it, and of course, we hope you enjoy what we have achieved together!
British Samoan violinist Keith Tasi Stanfield was born in Tooting in South London. He began playing the violin at the age of 3 and a half, and made his solo debut aged 6 in the Royal Festival Hall, London. He made his TV debut aged 9 on a BBC Christmas special, and studied the violin with Erik Huston at the Purcell School of Music in England.
He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2009 as a pupil of the renowned soloist Dr. Remus Azoitei, and co-founded the Stanfield Academy of Strings in that same year. Additional teachers include Alexandr Markov, Francesco De Angelis and Daniele Gay. Keith gives concerto performances & recitals in Europe. He is also a former international footballer for Western Samoa, scoring two goals on debut from central midfield, and played semi professional football in England.
He married American violist Ashley Giesing in 2010, and is currently based in the United States.
All notes above were written by Keith Stanfield in 2013, all rights reserved.