Palm Beach Arts Paper
March 7, 2017
Stephen Waarts is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Aaron Rosand, following earlier studies with Itzhak Perlman. He is currently at the Kronberg Academy studying with Mihaela Martin.
He has been a prizewinner at several competitions; e.g. Queen Elisabeth, Montreal and Menuhin, among others. He won a Young Concert Artists Audition in 2013 at the age of 17 and as a young artist from the YCA roster, he was presented Feb. 28 by the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach at the Rosarian Academy, located across the Intracoastal on Flagler Drive.
The Rosarian Academy auditorium has favorable acoustics for chamber music, nicely supporting Waarts and pianist Chelsea Wang in their program, which opened with MozartÕs Sonata in E minor, K.304. A work tinged with sadness, it was written in Paris, where the composer had journeyed in hopes of securing employment, in which effort he was unsuccessful. Compounding his lack of success was the death of his mother, who had accompanied him on his travels, on July 3, 1778, and who is buried in Paris.
The sonata, the twenty-first of the violin sonatas, is in the unusual key of E minor, the only one of his instrumental works in that key. Both movements are in the tonic minor. The Allegro hews to the older style of piano sonata with violin accompaniment and has a second subject in the major. The Tempo di minuetto has a plaintive arioso very much in operatic style, which is interrupted by a homophonic middle section in the major. The performance had exceptional intimacy, with both violin and piano very much equal voices when called for.