College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1 Page: 59
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Jiirg Baur was born in 1918 in Dtisseldorf, Germany. He made his first appearance as a
composer at the age of 18 when his first string quartet was given its premiere by a professional
quartet at the DUsseldorf Hindenburg Secondary School. Between 1937 and 1948 he
attended the Cologne Musikhochschule as a pupil of Jarnach (composition), Karl-Hermann
Pillney (piano) and Michael Schneider (organ and sacred music), though his studies were
interrupted by the war; he later studied musicology at Cologne University (1948-1951).
In 1946 he was appointed lecturer in music theory at the Dusseldorf Conservatory and
from 1952 to 1960 he was choirmaster and organist at St. Paulus, also in Dusseldorf. In
1960, Baur held a scholarship from the Federal German government to study at the Villa
Massimo in Rome for six months; he returned to Rome for a second stay in 1968 and was
guest of honour there in 1980. He was director of the DUsseldorf Conservatory (1965-1971)
and was appointed professor in 1969. In 1971 he succeeded Bernd Alois Zimmermann as
teacher of composition at the Cologne Musikhochschule, remaining there until 1990. Baur's
many distinctions include the Recklinghausen Young Generation Prize (1956), the Robert
Schumann Prize of the City of Dusseldorf (1957), the Federal Cross of Merit (first class,
1970), and honorary membership of the German Music Council (1988), the North Rhine-
Westphalia Service Award and the City of Duisburg Music Prize (1994).
Composed in 1961/62 the Sonata for Solo Violin displays Jurg Baur's development in his
personal, compositional style. A similar, formal structure and clarity of other examples such
as the famous counterparts for solo violin by Bach and Bart6k can be seen in this work.
The entire sonata is composed as an atonal work and treats the formal concept of a classical
symphony arranged in four movements: Introduction (Toccata), Scherzo (Rondo), Variation
(Meditation) and Finale (Perpetual mobile). The first movement is in the style of a baroque
Toccata - originated from Italian "toccare" which means "to touch" or "to beat"- at first
a keyboard piece in one continuous movement characterized by its short note values, fugal
elements and freely improvisatory and rhapsodic style. The second movement is a Scherzo
in rondo form and entirely played pizzicato. A variety of rather unusual pizzicato technique
is required: pizzicato al ponticello, pizzicato with two fingers simultaneously, left hand
pizzicato, and the so-called Bart6k pizzicato. The third movement is a theme and variation
form. After the last of four variations, the theme (now in slightly modified form) occurs again
and concludes the arch form of this movement. The final movement, a Perpetual mobile, is
based on an octatonic scale that is characterized by alternating whole tones and semitones.
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114723/m1/60/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.