Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The French Connection: Spirited Swiss Duo at Christchurch

Rachel Kolly D'Alba  & Christian Chamorel at Christchurch Cathedral 

Fauré  Sonata in A 
Chausson Poeme op 25
Franck Sonata in A 
Raymond Deane Petit Phrase
Ravel Tzigane 

 Hearing  Suzy Klein interview Swiss violin and piano  pairing on a BBC radio programme ahead of their Wigmore Hall performance last week had heightened my sense of anticipation for Rachel Kolly d'Alba and Christian Chamorel's appearance in Christchurch Cathedral,  Waterford tonight. It did not quite prepare me though for the full impact of the live experience    It is not often we get to hear an authentic 18th century Strad. in Waterford but I suspect that the flame haired virtuoso could have made a factory Skylark sound sizzling.  The hallmark of this virtuoso  is not so much an genteel beauty of tone,  but more an unbridled, full blooded and  triumphant playing style that makes you cling on  to the side of your pew. With Chamorel,  they made a bracing pair of duetists with never a dull moment.

I was too late to hear more than the end of the Fauré but the rhapsodic Chausson was plenty hearty fare  to be going on with. The work was composed, the programme notes by Pat O Kelly informed us, at the behest of  French virtuoso, Ysaye. A second A major Sonata, composed as a wedding present for the same Ysaye, by Cesar Frank formed the mainstay of the second half.  A work by Raymond Deane was included with the customary opaque programme note. Petite Phrase  in Deane's own words was 'defined by the productive friction of contradictions' with some  allusion or other to Proust.  This was followed by a refreshing burst of violin  showmanship in Ravel's gypsy rhapsody, Tzigane.

Dressed in  a  vivid  floor length emerald green frock, Kolly d'Alba cut a colourful and  vibrant figure that could have stepped from a Pre Raphaelite canvas.  Have a look at the video for a glimpse at what you missed. If you are  the South East, you can still catch them in Wexford on Friday .  Among the afficionados we met were pianist Finghin Collins who has performed at Chamorel's Mont Musical Festival in Lausanne. It was  to good to meet local resident  violin virtuoso Teresa Costello of Waterford Concert Orchestra.

The pair are on an extensive tour that takes them to Donegal, Cork, Wexford and Dublin Full dates here

Venue Notes: I like a 7.30 start time but it is escaping patrons attention, particularly when the rest of the tour dates are at 8pm . A significant percentage of the audience missed the opening sontata which was a pity. 

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to this event in Wexford tomorrow night. We've shared your wonderful review on our Facebook page Cathy. Thanks, Catherine :-)