Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bach - Beethoven Cello Fest - 9th - 12 May

Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas
Bach Cello Suites 
a Solo Piano Recital

Four programs by two talented French musicians

visiting Thailand at my invitation
First performance of Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas in Thailand

Performing all five Beethoven Cello Sonats from their newly recorded CD

"They deliver us a crystal-clear version of the Beethoven's sonatas, full of liveliness, in a burning range of colors. 
Here is a beautiful discovery to make, to get off the commercial beaten track and realize that Beethoven's language is always to be renewed." 
Jean Lacroix, Belgian musical critic at Revue Générale

Alexandre Vay, cello
Co-soloist, Munich Radio Orchestra
Alexandre studied cello at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon where he graduated with first prize. He was selected to be part of the European Union's Youth Orchestra in 2006, which was directed by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Alexandre then obtained a masters degree at Karlsruhe University. Alexandre was mentored by several famous cellists, including Janos Starker and Gary Hoffman. He has collaborated with Dimitri Papodpoulos for many years and together, they won third prize in the prestigious Max Reger Chamber Music Competition. 


Dimitri Papodopoulos, piano, 
Professeur de Piano, Conservatoire de Musique de Genève

Dimitri was born in Princeton, New Jersey, to a Greek father and Syrian mother but grew up in France. His father was a mathematician and Dimitri started his academic career following his father's footsteps with a degree in mathematics. He then moved to music, graduating with first prize from Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon.

Dimitri has won many prizes on the competition circuit: 1st prize Saint-nom-la-Bretèche, 1st prize Vulaines-sur Seine, 1st prize Lagny-sur-Marne, 2nd prize Incontro Internazionale Giovanni Pianisti Roma and in Germany,1st Steinway Forderpreis 2010 Dusseldorf.

Most recently Dimitri was appointed Professeur de Piano at the Geneva Conservatory after a highly competitive application process. His appointment commences in September.

Friday 9th and Sunday 11th May

Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas 

All five sonatas, Mozart and Handel Variations and The Ghost Trio

Beethoven around the time of 
composing the 5th Cello Sonata in 1815

Discover Beethoven's masterpieces for the cello! 

The cello sonatas comprise one of Beethoven's greatest collections of chamber music. They span all of his creative periods: early, middle and late period. They contain quirky structures (nos. 1 and 2), sweeping melodies (no. 3), jaunty melodrama (no. 4) and one of the finest, devastatingly profound, slow movements written by Beethoven in any of his works (no.5). 

I went to Manchester in March, last year, to listen to a program at the Royal Northern College of Music of all of the Beethoven string sonatas. I was infatuated with the violin sonatas at the time. The cello sonatas were an added bonus to the program but I wasn't drawn by them. However, on returning home, all I could listen to was the cello sonatas - so rich and satisfying they are.

As many of you know, I scour the world looking for great musicians. One such musician is Dimtri. I met him after a superb piano recital in a modest church in Paris in 2010. I've kept in touch with him since then. When he casually let slip that he had just recorded all of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Alexandre, early last year, I resolved to bring them here. I have since heard their recording of the five sonatas and they are first class.

If you don't know the cello sonatas I hope I have persuaded you. Now is your chance to take one of the great journeys of chamber music. Don't miss this. Mark your diary!

Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas Program 1: 6pm, Friday, 9th May, 2014
Beethoven early and middle period
Cello Sonata no. 1 opus.5 no.1
Cello Sonata no. 2 opus 5 no.2
Cello Sonata no. 3 opus 69
Variations on a Theme from Mozart's Magic Flute, 'Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen', Op.66

Beethoven's Variations on a Theme from Mozart's Magic Flute 
are based on a much loved Aria by Papageno

Beethoven Cello Sonatas and Trio Program 2: Sunday, 5pm, 11th May
Cello Sonata no. 4 opus 102 no.1
Cello sonata no. 5 opus 102 no.2
Handel Variations, "See the Conquering Hero" WoO 45
Beethoven's Piano Trio opus 70, no. 1, "The Ghost" joined by Tasana Nagavajara, violin

Tickets: one program 1,200 baht; both programs 2,000 baht 

Saturday 10th May, 5pm

Alexandre plays Bach Cello Suites

Bach around the time of composing the Cello Suites - he was around 35 years old!

Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009
Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012

Bach wrote six suites for unaccompanied cello. According to one critic,

Bach's six suites for the solo cello are among the most iconic works of music ever composed. They have been played by the world's greatest cellists, on disc and on film, at the fall of the Berlin Wall and at the memorial services for everyone from the victims of 9/11 to the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy. And they're on the "desert island" selections of nearly all classical-music lovers.

They were immortalized by the cello icon of the 20th century, Pablo Casals, who 'rediscovered the suites' and who said of them,

"How could anybody think of Bach as 'cold' when these [cello] suites seem to shine with the most glittering kind of poetry."

And Mischa Maisky, one of the greatest cellists of today, said that the cello suites are,

" a great diamond, with so many different cuts that reflect light in so many different ways.” 

Come and enjoy these masterpieces in the comfort and excellent acoustics of Eelswamp.

 1,200 baht per person

Monday 12th May, 6pm

Dimitri - solo piano recital

Piano Recital by Dimitri Papodopoulos

 Two Nocturnes op.62
Schumann: Carnaval
Chopin: First Scherzo
Beethoven: Waldstein Sonata

Chopin at the time of writing the Nocturnes Op.62

Chopin's Nocturnes Opus 62 are the last two nocturnes of the 19 nocturnes composed by Chopin. They are also of finest of this genre. Number 1 is, according to the Chopin Society, 

A work of pure luxuriance; the main theme is profusely adorned with difficult chain trills. In his book on Chopin, Camille Bourniquel writes, “The last Nocturnes complete the redemption of the genre and its final liberations-they possess a unique freedom.”
The second of op. 62 is one of my favourites and I have requested Dimitri to play this piece. It begins with a melody described by musicologist, Ernest Hutcheson, as "warm and luscious like the G string of a violin.” 

Schuman: 'master of the short melodic gem'

Robert Schumann's Carnaval, opus 9, comprises twenty short pieces, described by James Pegolotti as, "so different yet so appealing". He remarked upon Schumann's gift for "the short melodic gem". Each of the pieces provides a musical portrait. The final, rousing, march is, in Pegoletti's words, "Schumann's imagination at its peak." 

Chopin at the time of writing the first Scherzo.

Chopin's Scherzo no. 1
 is a youthful work, written when the composer was twenty years old. It starts with powerful chords and furious virtuosity which breaks away to a Polish Christmas carol, returning to the main theme and a dazzling coda.

Beethoven at the time of composing the Waldstein Sonata

Beethoven's Waldstein sonata
 is a middle period sonata and one of his greatest piano works. I heard Dimitri play this work in Paris a few years ago and it was a superb performance. Come and hear him at this Monday evening recital at Eelswamp.

Tickets: 1,200 per performance

Discounts for multiple programs

2,000 baht for both Beethoven sessions

All four events: 3,600 baht: 
1. Friday, 9th May: Complete Beethoven Cello Sontatas, part 1
2. Saturday, 10th May: Three Bach Cello Suites
3. Sunday, 11th May: Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas, part 2
4. Monday, 12th May: Solo Piano Recital: Chopin, Schumann, Beethoven

Reservation: Email or call 038 069681 office hours. Due to limited number of places payment must be received before the day.


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