Friday, February 4, 2011

CIM Faculty Recital: "Bohemian Nights"

Bartok: Selected Duos from the 42 Duos for for Two Violins (arr. for violin and viola)*
Mozart: Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K.423
Martinu: Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola
Dvorak: Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74
Annie Fullard, Mari Sato, violin; Marcia Ferritto, viola
(*- Teasing Song, Sorrow, Pizzicato, Fairy Tale, Mosquito Dance, Hay-Harvesting Song, Cushion Dance)

Based on the way I've been feeling for the past couple days, in all honesty, I shouldn't have gone to tonight's concert -- and the kind of whoa feeling standing during intermission confirmed that. But it's quite difficult attend an event with Annie Fullard playing and not have fun; likewise it's difficult for me to resist the draw of Dvorak.

The program opened with a seven of Bartok's 44 duos for violins, arranged for a violin and viola. Each of the seven moved swiftly and had a very distinct sound but were too short to really become engrossed in. My favorites were Pizzicato, which as its name implies was played entirety pizzicato, and the lively Cushion Dance.

Next up Mozart's Duo, K. 423. I am a fan of stringed instruments, with the violin being my favorite by a hair. However, the smallest member of the eponymous family can, at times, thanks to its high voice, sound a little screechy to my ear regardless of the talent of the musician playing it. Such was the case with the first movement allegro. The two instruments found a wonderful sound in the second movement, held through to the Rondo third movement.

During the pause fallowing the Mozart, I overheard the couple behind me discussing the upcoming piece: "Have you ever heard of him?" "Who?" "Martini, I think" "Who?" "Martini...Broccoli Martini?" "Never heard of him" "Oh." "What a weird name." "Would you even want to drink that?" I think it was the funniest thing I've heard this week (for the record the composer is Bohuslav Matrinu)

For a while it seemed that Ms. Fullard's typical practice of providing wonderfully helpful insight into the music mixed with humor may be omitted from the program. Those fears were put to rest during the transition into the Martinu piece, where Ms. Fullard linked the Mozart, Martinu, and Dvorak pieces and, perhaps more importantly, put to rest a debate that began brewing in my section of the audience about who was "mother" and "daughter" in the mother-daughter duo of Ms. Fullard and Ms. Ferritto.

As that tie was introduced, Martinu's Three Madrigals was inspired when the composer heard then Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster Joseph Fuchs rehearsing Mozart's K. 423 Duo with wife and violist Lilian Fuchs. Likewise interesting, while Googling for confirmation I stumbled across this Gramophone article from November 1953 wherein the person reviewing Mr. and Ms. Fuchs's recording of both remarked "There is a feast of interest to be found in these sophisticated pieces which unlike the Mozart Duos lie outside the scope of all but the most technically brilliant string players". Though some of the technical sophistication may be beyond me, I cannot help but to agree with the "feast of interest" description. Particularly interesting to me was a passage in the second movement where the viola was strummed rather than bowed or plucked-- the sound struck me as exceedingly harp-like.

Rounding out the program was Dvorak's Trezetto. Regrettably (and see my "I shouldn't have done this..." above) while I greatly enjoyed hearing it -- and it seemed to fly -- I have no meaningful reaction other than noting that one patron near the front of the hall was allowed to snore, loudly, through virtually the entire piece and at time this snoring had the unfortunate effect of overtaking and obliterating the quieter notes.


No comments:

Post a Comment