Violin Solo



Ilja Zeljenka

Poem for violin solo
Monodrama for violin solo
Contrasts for violin solo
Bagattelli per violono solo
Symetries for violin solo
Sonata per violono solo
Sonatina for violin solo



Sonata No. 2 for violin solo

Ladislav Burlas

Cadence for violin solo
Sonatina for violin solo
Cadence for violin solo No. 2
Sonata for violin solo
Sonata Concertante for violin solo

belongs to the most significant and remarkable Slovak composers whose great creative legacy includes hundreds of opuses. He went through dramatic compositional development accompanied by varied responses to his work, from the admiration to scandals. Shortly after graduating from The Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 1956, his, for that time very progressively, post-Webern-like oriented Second Piano quintet (1958) caused a big sensation and strongly affected the development of Slovak music. In the 1960s Zeljenka adopted in his work various means of avant-garde music, which he creatively developed and innovated. They were different types of aleatoric, polymetric and poly-tempo organization, different types of voice expressions, sonic elements, etc. He experimented with electronic and electro-acoustic music and he also wrote film music (between 1957 and 1972 he wrote music for about a hundred films). His works were very demanded already in 1960s and they were performed at prominent European festivals of new music. In the 1970s Zeljenka reached the point of material reduction in his compositions and he discovered for himself a modal principle, based on working with four-tonal model, consisting of four-tone root and the combination of minor and major seconds that he named “the cell of the music organism”. All here presented compositions for solo violin; Poem, dedicated to Milan Rúfus (1988), Monodrama, dedicated to memory of Tadeáš Salva (1995), Contrasts (1997), Symetries for solo violin (2001), Bagattelli per violino solo (2001), Sonata per violino solo (2002), Sonata No. 2 for solo violin (2004) and Sonatina for solo violin (2004) are based on the principle of so-called cellular composition where the cell serves as a basis of the thematic work using the variation principle, transpositions and tone row permutations. Zeljenka dedicated ten years to the development and crystallization of the cell-principle based composing, which analogy he saw in physics and biology, and he remained devoted to it till the rest of his life. After the Velvet revolution in 1989 Zeljenka at first engaged upon the social life but already in December 1991 he voluntarily “retired” to his cabin in Harmony where he fully occupied himself with composing. Not only was he developing the cell-principle composition but he was also dealing with the problem of time in music. He was solving this mainly by metro-rhythmical and poly-metrical organization of the musical material. He created about 300 opuses in this period, which placed him among the most prolific and most frequently performed contemporary composers not only in Slovakia. Since the beginning of 1990s Zeljenka mostly composed stimulated by the musicians for whom he wrote mainly chamber and solo compositions. These have been performed not only in Slovakia but also in many other countries. Numerous organizers take it as an honour if any composition of this “genius” of Slovak music is to be performed on their festivals. With his productiveness and the creativity of his works Zeljenka could be compared to J. S. Bach. The mastership of the remarkable Slovak violinist Milan Paľa guarantees the great expressiveness, dynamic freshness and unforgettable experience from the performed masterpieces recorded on this CD.

In the personality of Ladislav Burlas are linked two professions, a musicologist and a composer. As a composer, Burlas was being formed in the 1950s during the predominating style orientation of so-called “Slovak national music creators”. He was one of those who not only theoretically criticized the mono-stylistic orientation of Slovak music but were also trying to overcome it practically with their work, enriching it by the inspiring elements of the progressive trend of the European music modernism of Bartok, Stravinsky, Hindemith and others. Burlas never belonged to the avant-garde group of composers. Then, and also in his later compositional development he followed the domestic and European musical tradition and from the avant-garde trends he carefully chose the latest technical expressive means. Violin and the strings are his favourite instruments (he also plays violin) and this close relationship is reflected in his numerous works for violin and strings: Metamorphosis of beauty for mixed choir with solo violin, Planctus for string orchestra, Music for violin and orchestra, and different compositions for solo violin and string quartets. Almost every work for solo violin recorded on this CD – Sonatina for solo violin (1968), Cadence for solo violin (1974), Sonata Concertante (1974), Sonata for solo violin (1975) was created within the seven years which is also reflected in their, very similar style. Only the Cadence for violin No. 2 was written in 1997. Burlas`s works for solo violin are at the beginning mostly filled by substantial expressive motif which undergoes the processing and transformation where the author uses the rich articulation, expressive alteration, accentuating the wide range of possibilities of this instrument. Dramatic zest of the works, excellent use of the possibilities of the instrument but mostly the opportunity to present the gift and abilities of the musician belong to the reasons why are Burlas`s compositions often included in the repertoire of the eminent violinists.




Evgeny Irshai
Omni tempore for solo violin
From Nowhere with Love for solo violin
Lost notes for solo violin
Pimpampunči for solo violin
Vodever for solo violin
Ex foedere for solo violin

Peter GrollPlay Violin for violin and PC processing


Matej HáaszFrammento di Epos for solo violin
Adrián DemočViolin for solo violin, Katharsis for solo violin, Apogeum for solo violin
Lucia KoňakovskáAt the Bottom of Nonsense for solo violin, Schizofrescoes for solo violin
Marián LejavaViolino solo for solo violin
Anton SteineckerPreludium for solo violin, Invention for solo violin
Lucia PapanetzováImagination 5. for solo violin

Evgeny Irshai

Adrián Demoč

Peter Groll

Matej Háasz

Lucia Koňakovská

Marián Lejava

Lucia Papanetzová

Anton Steinecker




Peter Machajdík – Torqued Images 
Iris SzeghyCiaccona , Slovak Dance 
Pavol Malovec – Invocazione I , Invocazione II 

Vladimír Bokes – Cadenza III, op. 63 , La Folia, Ciaconna, op. 3
Mirko KrajčiSonata 
Vladimír Godár – O Crux, Meditation , Sonata 
Oľga Kroupová – Quintessenz 
Hanuš Domanský – Dianoia

Ethnologists say that there has not yet been a society in which music would not exist. Historians reveal the metamorphosis of the musical medium thanks to which the monumental music evolved from its simple beginnings. History of music shows that human did not get satisfied with this “status quo” but carried on searching for music the unknown, yet anticipated way into future. To follow this way people needed the means, the media of their thinking with the help of which they could discover new worlds; mathematics, that helped to define intervals and handle the musical time, rhetoric, which interconnected music with human emotionality. There were also musical instruments that linked mathematical-logical abstractions and psychological categories with the human body and its physiognomy. It was violin (firstly made in 16th century), that together with keyboard instruments, mostly increased the tempo of European music development. Gabrieli, Marini, Farina, Fontana, Uccellini, Tartini, Corelli, Vivaldi, but also Walther, Biber, Muffat, J. S. Bach or Franz Benda were those who, with the touch of hand on fingerboard and bow, discovered new and unknown dimensions for music and for people. They set off for their journey without a compass and were too often accompanied by general mockery and scorn of the layabouts. Violinist Milan Paľa has been a part of Slovak musical culture for a decade. I know no other Slovak musician who would be discovering new dimensions of music more passionately and intuitively and who would so hopefully try to open them for others too. When attending the Vienna lectures of Kurt Schubert about the history of Hebrews I heard him mention three attributes of prayer according to Hasidic Jews: object (what one prays for), subject (who one prays to) and relish. One can notice them all for the first hearing when listening to Milan Paľa playing the violin. The third CD of the Milan Paľa`s cycle Violin solo in the works of Slovak composers consists of twelve works by the eight Slovak composers born between 1944 and 1968 – the three generations of composers creating in 70s (Domanský, Bokes), 80s (Szeghy, Godár, Malovec) and 90s (Machajdík, Kroupová, Krajči) of the previous century. The works were composed between 1967 and 2010 and contain four cyclic compositions – two sonatas for violin solo by Godár and Krajči, Dianoia by Domanský and Torqued Images by Machajdík, and eight compositional monoliths. Amongst the works presented on this CD are those trying to create the bridge of associations with the extramusical, sometimes even mystical ideas (Bokes, Malovec, Kroupová), those linked with other artistic media (Machajdík) and also those trying to create the dialogue between already existing musical models (La Folia by Bokes, Szeghy, Godár`s Sonáta). We can also distinguish between those compositions in which is used consistent realization of the compositional idea (Bokes, Sonata by Krajči, Kroupová) and those in which is preffered the fantasy of the solution (Domanský, Malovec). The predominating element of this CD is the orientation of the violin monologues to meditation (Domanský, Godár`s O Crux, Slovak dance by Szeghy, Malovec, Kroupová). The most used compositional techniques are variations that could also be understood as a honour to the three violin-composition-titans of Baroque (Bokes – La Folia with the Corelli model, Godár – passacaglia with the model of H. I. F. Biber and Szeghy – Ciaccona with the model of J. S. Bach, Krajči – variations on B-A-C-H)

Vladimír Godár




Tadeáš Salva – Burlesque
Juraj Tandler – Suite
Jozef Sixta – Recitative
Jozef MalovecPoem
Dušan Martinček – The Touches of Time
Pavol Šimai – Pyramid
Mirko Krajči – Calmnesses of Resurrections


Tadeáš Salva – Ballade
Juraj Tandler – Prelude and dances
Ivan Parík – Sonata
Peter Machajdík – Peroket
Juraj Beneš – Sonata , Lamento

Milan Paľa  is one of the most outstanding performers in Slovakia. His project of recording solo pieces by Slovak composers is remarkable and has an historical importance. Even in the international context we barely find a similar jewel. Therefore this project deserves respect and credit, particularly with regard to the economic circumstances in which this recording was made. We can sense obvious development in the soloist’s interpretation of the pieces that were recorded since 2009. His tools of expressiveness are wide and his interpretation is characterized by strict following of the notation while still managing to put his own personality into the interpretation of the music. These attributes are typical of only the most mature artists, who pass certain limits and master their instrument to the point where it becomes an inseparable part of their being. Milan Paľa brings to the listener authenticity, experience, professionalism, brilliant technique and his unique interpretative view. Thanks to avoiding frequent cuts of the recorded material, the result is smoothness and coherency of the works recorded.The charismatic recording reminds us of the atmosphere of the early recordings from the 1930’s and 40’s. The resulting sound flows naturally and offers extreme differentiation in dynamics and emotional content.

This recording represents works which were written within the time frame of 1967 – 2011. The content of the pieces is obviously influenced by the esthetics of the individual composers, the social climate of the time, and stages in the development of the composers‘ thinking and concepts. Naturally , these works also reflect the solutions of various compositional schools in specific time periods. In the perception of some composers, a piece for solo violin is part of an imaginary cycle, with identical names, for different solo instruments. Because of the tuning in fifths and the similarity between the violin, viola and cello, some pieces are slightly modified versions of the works that the composer originally wrote for a different string instrument.

Anton Steinecker 




Ľudovít Rajter – Suite
Andrej Očenáš – Poem about the Heart
Ilja Zeljenka – Four Miniatures
Roman Berger – Convergence No. 1
Evgeny Irshai  – 3 Huslehubky




Juraj Pospíšil – Sonata
Tomáš Boroš – Bausteine
Juraj Hatrík – Ciacona Interotta
Daniel Matej – Stormy
Julius Kowalski – Partita in a Six-tone System
Ivan Hrušovský – Sonata


Ilja Zeljenka: Poem for violin solo: Andante con passione Ilja Zeljenka: Contrasts for violin solo: Alegro vivo Ilja Zeljenka: Bagattelli per violino solo: Energico Ilja Zeljenka: Sonata per violino solo: Allegro con brio, energico Ilja Zeljenka: Sonata No.2 for violin solo: Allegro Ilja Zeljenka: Sonata No.2 for violin solo: Epilog Adagio Ladislav-Burlas-Sonata-Concertante-for-violin-solo_Capriccio Evgeny Irshai: Pimpampunci for solo violin: Coccinella Evgeny Irshai: Pimpampunci for solo violin: Leppäkerttu Evgeny Irshai: Pimpampunci for solo violin: Simple song Lucia Konakovska: At the bottom of nonsense for solo violin