Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday Serenade, December 3, 2013 @ 7pm

Dr. Boyan Bonev, cello 

Please join us on Tuesday, December 3, at 7 p.m., when Jacksonville Public Library will host a free recital featuring cellist Boyan Bonev, a faculty artist from the University of West Florida.  Making his fifth Music @ Main appearance, Dr. Bonev will perform virtuoso works for unaccompanied cello by J.S. Bach, Dimitar Tapkoff, Georg Philipp Telemann, and Petar Christoskov.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
     Suite for Solo Cello No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009
     Prelude - Allemande - Courante - Sarabande - Bourree  I & II - Gigue [YouTube performance][Score at]
Dimitar Tapkoff (1929-2011)
     Sonata for Solo Cello (1990)
     Allegro - Cantabile - Rondo 
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
     Sonata in D Major, for unaccompanied Viola da Gamba, TWV 40:1 (from Der getreue Musikmeister, 1728)
     Prelude - Courante - Recitativo and Aria - Minuet [DailyMotion performance][Score at]
Petar Christoskov [aka Hristoskov] (1917-2006)
     Aria for Solo Cello (1999)
     Fantasia, op. 15 [YouTube Performance]

Award-winning Bulgarian cellist Boyan Bonev teaches cello and double bass at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, and previously taught in Georgia at Albany State University and Darton College.  Dr. Bonev is on the faculty of the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and performs with the Tallahassee, Pensacola, Mobile, Florida Lakes, and Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestras.  Active as a solo and chamber musician, Boyan Bonev has appeared in concert and educational programs for Bulgarian National Television and Radio, in performance at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), and as soloist with orchestras in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Bonev holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the National Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Once dismissed by many of his contemporaries as being too old-fashioned, the works of the great German Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) probably have been studied more than those of any other composer, making him perhaps the most influential musician of all time. Among works written for unaccompanied cello there is no doubt that Bach’s six Suites are the best known. Current research suggests that they were composed between 1717-1723, while Bach was Kapellmeister in the court of Prince Leopold (1694-1728) at Cöthen. Bach’s own manuscripts of the Cello Suites have never been found, but it is believed that they predate his well-known Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, which were written in 1720. All six of the Cello Suites follow a standard six-movement pattern, but with the fifth movement dance types varying among minuets (in Suites 1, and 2) bourrées (in 3 and 4), and gavottes (in 5 and 6).   For his Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009, Bach takes full advantage of the Cello's sonorous open strings (C-G-D-A), weaving a rich tapestry from the stylized, dancing rhythms.

Among numerous cultural positions, Bulgarian composer and pedagogue Dimitar Tapkoff (aka Tapkov and Tupkov,1929-2011) worked for Bulgarian National Radio, was Secretary General of the Union of Bulgarian Composers, and was Director of Sofia Opera. He was a professor at his alma mater, Bulgaria's State Academy of Music, and also taught at the Academy of Music and Dance Art. His compositional output includes works for symphony and string orchestra, chamber music, choral music, and music for the stage. Tapkoff's Sonata for Solo Cello (1990) was given as a 60th birthday gift to Bulgarian cellist Zdravko Yordanov (1931-2004). (Yordanov is regarded as the patriarch of the Bulgarian cello school, whose students included Boyan Bonev's teacher at Florida State, Lubomir Georgiev; Dr. Bonev himself had the privilege of knowing Yordanov while at the conservatory in Sofia.) Tapkoff's relatively short movements (2-3 minutes each) demonstrate the composer's capacity for lyric expression mixed with rhythmic vigor. Although the composer uses the highly-charged chromaticism typical of many composers of his generation, he also finds inspiration in Bulgarian folksong. This is especially evident in the concluding Rondo, with irregular rhythms reminiscent of Bulgarian folk dances.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific composer in history, with over 3,000 pieces including 1000+ church cantatas and 600+ suites, plus numerous operas (many now lost) and virtually every sort of composition there was.  He became the most famous musician in Germany, and his popularity extended throughout Europe. By all accounts the generous and affable Telemann was a man of great humor, and a personal friend of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) and J.S. Bach (1685-1750), even becoming godfather to C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788), one of  J.S.'s famous sons.  Largely self-taught, Telemann played a wide variety of keyboard, wind, and string instruments, and was involved in publishing as well, issuing both his own poetry and music. Between November 1728 and November 1729, he published a bi-weekly periodical called Der Getreue Music-Meister (The Faithful Music Master).  The 35 lessons were designed to provide amateur musicians with new pieces while improving their skills, and each issue included one large-scale piece for 1-6 instruments, plus, as space permitted, smaller pieces and counterpoint exercises. Telemann composed most, but not all, of the music himself, and mostly tailored the chamber music to skill levels of non-professional musicians.  But several of the pieces, especially those for solo harpsichord or solo string instruments, require more advanced technical skills, and among these is the Sonata in D Major, for unaccompanied Viola da Gamba, TWV 40:1. (The viola da gamba is an archaic, bowed instrument that looks vaguely like a cello, but with six strings and frets similar to those on a guitar; modern performances of gamba music are frequently performed on the cello.)

Petar Christoskov [aka Hristoskov] (1917-2006) was a Bulgarian violinist, composer and pedagogue. Having completed studies at the Bulgarian State Academy of Music in 1936, between 1940-1943 he continued is education in Berlin, and extended his performance experience in Germany and Austria. After moving back to Bulgaria, he toured Europe and Asia, and in 1950 he joined the faculty of the State Academy of Music. Christokov's orchestral works include solo concertos for piano, violin, and cello; a double concerto for violin and cello; and a triple concerto for violin, cello and piano. Most of his chamber music is for the violin, but he also wrote Improvisation and Presto for viola and piano, op.14, and the two works for unaccompanied cello performed this evening. Christoskov's Aria for Solo Cello was composed in 1999, and like the Tapkoff Sonata, it is dedicated to Bulgarian cellist Anatoli Krastev.  The Fantasia, Op. 15, dates from 1967.

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