Danjulo Ishizaka, cello
Markus Schirmer and the german-japanese cellist Danjulo Ishizaka have been good friends for many years and value each other artistically and personally. They feel closely bound together musically by a common set of artistic ideals, including a humble, but not debilitating, respect for the great composers. They express this in an approach to their works that is well-founded, yet also avoids being overly mannered or contrived. Intensive intellectual analysis of the material – especially style and form – but also a surety of taste are important criteria for them when preparing and interpreting musical masterpieces. Having so much in common awakens in both musicians the desire to set sail for uncharted chamber musical waters together again and again – in larger ensembles, but especially as a duo. It has become clear to them that they have very similar sensibilities, tastes and that they, in a certain sense, „breathe“ together artistically.
A few years ago Markus Schirmer and Danjulo Ishizaka played Beethoven’s early g-minor sonata together for the first time with great success at renowned Styriarte Festival, the Lucerne festival and London’s Wigmore Hall. This is the very piece with which the entire genre of music for cello and piano began, and this music, both uplifting and sobering, wouldn’t let both artists go. The fact that they come from the German Rhineland and Austria respectively – where Beethoven lived and worked – is a further emotional tie that binds them to his music. It became clear to them that they wanted more of it, more of this incredible, ground-breaking music – epochal and innovative beyond compare.
Created over the course of a long and full life, Beethoven’s music contains within it nearly every emotion of the human condition: exuberant joy, frantic doubt, rage, mourning, calm, wild exhilaration and deep warmth. In these masterpieces – pioneering compositions for both the cello and for Beethoven’s beloved piano – two equal partners have to come to grips with his manifold original ideas, feelings and internal conflicts. Once the challenge was clearly formulated in their minds, their artistic curiosity would not let them turn back. Danjulo and Markus decided to present his complete opus for cello and piano over the course of two evenings: all five sonatas, the horn sonata – Beethoven himself conceived this work for horn or cello – and the three sets of variations.
A special treat in the first program, entitled „Origins and Beginnings,“ is the inclusion of an early version of the first movement of the Op. 69 sonata in A-major. The later version is the only one usually heard in today’s concert halls and is part of the second program of their project. They differ in some harmonic aspects, but especially in their instrumentation. This performance affords a rare and exciting look into the creation and development of this extraordinarily beloved and popular sonata.
Markus Schirmer and Danjulo Ishizaka are very excited about this artistic challenge and thrilled to be able to share this captivating musical adventure together with their audience.
Twelve Variations in F major, Op. 66 on the theme “A Girl or a Little Wife”
from Mozart’s Opera “The Magic Flute” (live from Toppan Hall, Tokyo, Japan):
Further duo recital programs on request.