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David Grimal,

Three sonatas, three composers, three different universes, but three pieces dating from the same period, the 1930s and 1940s, between the rise of the totalitarian regimes and the Second World War, and written for the same forces, a violin-piano duo.

It was the Paris Opéra that saw the 1928 premiere of the ballet Le Baiser de la fée (The Fairy’s Kiss), which Igor Stravinsky concocted from pieces by Tchaikovsky. Movements from this neo- classical score were rearranged in part four years later, with the help of the violinist Samuel Dushkin, under the title Divertimento.

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Having returned to his native country, which had become the USSR, Sergei Prokofiev began composing his First Violin Sonata in 1938 for the legendary David Oistrakh, its dedicatee. The work was not to be completed until 1946, and Oistrakh played its two Andante movements at Prokofiev’s funeral.

In the meantime, Francis Poulenc had conceived his own Violin Sonata in occupied Paris in 1942-43 with input from the great violinist Ginette Neveu, who premiered it at the Salle Gaveau in June 1943 with Poulenc at the piano.


Francis Poulenc – Sonata for violin and piano

  • Allegro con fuoco 6’20
  • Intermezzo 5’48
  • Presto tragico 5’33



Igor Stravinsky – Divertimento for violin and piano


  • Sinfonia 6’11
  • Danses suisses 4’15
  • Scherzo 2’54
  • Pas de deux (Adgio – Variation – Coda) 6’02

Sergueï Prokofiev – Violin Sonata no.1 in F minor, op.80


  • Andante 6’02
  • Allegro brusco 6’51
  • Andante 6’30
  • Allegrissimo 6’57
The Strad

“Poulenc’s Violin Sonata, by edgy turns and spiky, filled with nervy energy, cutlery and expansive. The Intermezzo is at times given in a breathy whisper. The finale combines mercurial charm with vigour and constant flashes of wit. (The Stravinksy) is ghostly and then muscular. In the Dances Suisses, dessicated staccatos give way to foot-stamping joy when he lets rip in fortissimo octaves […] his dextrous quicksilver playing is a delight.
Cumulative emotional power […] meltingly tender”

David Grimal


David Grimal has performed in the world’s leading concert halls for thirty years now and regularly appears as a soloist with a wide range of orchestras. Many of the major composers of our time have written for him. He is also a sought-after chamber musician and a guest at the great international festivals.

For the past fifteen years he has devoted part of his career to the orchestra Les Dissonances, of which he is the artistic director and founder. It is the only orchestra in the world that regularly plays the large-scale symphonic repertory without a conductor, and appears in the foremost European venues. Many traditional orchestras invite David Grimal to work with them on the model of Les Dissonances.

As a natural extension of this urge to share with others, he has also created ‘L’Autre Saison’, a season of concerts to benefit the homeless in Paris.

David Grimal was appointed Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008. He teaches the violin at the Musikhochschule in Saarbrücken and is invited to give numerous masterclasses around the world. He plays the ‘ex-Roederer’ Stradivarius of 1710, using bows by Pierre Tourte, Léonard and François Xavier Tourte or Pierre Grunberger as appropriate to the repertory.


Itamar Golan


Itamar Golan was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, and emigrated at an early age to Israel, where he began studying the piano under Lara Vodovoz and Emmanuel Krasovsky. The young musician gave his first recitals at the age of seven. From 1985 to 1989, he continued his training at the New England Conservatory in Boston (with Leonard Shure, Patricia Zander and Chaim Taug), benefiting on several occasions from a scholarship from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation.

Having chosen to devote himself almost exclusively to chamber music, he has performed with such leading artists as Barbara Hendricks, Maxim Vengerov, Tabea Zimmermann and Ida Haendel. His current artistic partners include Shlomo Mintz, Kyung-Wha Chung, Sharon Kam, Mischa Maisky and Julian Rachlin. He regularly travels the world with violinist Shlomo Mintz and cellist Matt Haimovitz. A regular guest at major festivals (including Ravinia, Chicago, Tanglewood, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Besançon, Ludwigsburg and Lucerne), he has also appeared as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta.

A former faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music (1991-94), Itamar Golan has been a professor at the Paris Conservatoire since 1994 and divides his time between teaching chamber music, concert tours and other artistic interests, such as poetry.

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