Yet another Sunday afternoon concert is to be showcased at the Courtenay Centre, Newton Abbot, on the 19 November. Two wonderful musicians will perform together a concert of vision, passion and dreams: Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn, as well as Piazzolla and Vignieri.
An event to experience
Young Philadelphia-born cellist, Eliana Razzino Yang, has already a string of accolades to her bow. Her solo, ensemble and concerto performances have taken her world-wide, and she has a host of engagements ahead. A busy lady – this will indeed be an event to experience.
Velvet and steel
Eliana will be accompanied by illustrious British pianist Viv McLean. Described by Le Monde as having ‘… fingers of steel behind muscles of velvet…’ Viv will be making his third very welcome visit to Nadsaconcerts. His playing has power, precision, delicacy and flow, and he has vast experience as accompanist and solo recitalist.
Bold, tempestuous and rich
Eliana and Viv have chosen a programme of interest and delight. Beethoven (Cello Sonata No 5 in D Major, Op 102 No 2) and Brahms (Cello Sonata No 2 in F Major, Op 99) are the substantial works of their concert. Beethoven’s sonata, written in 1815, expresses groundbreaking ideas. Its finale is the first occasion that Beethoven used a fugue as the basis of a movement, and it heralds the new thinking which dominated his final years. Brahms’ sonata, written during a productive summer in Switzerland in 1886, was not well met at its premiere. It is bold, tempestuous and rich. Today, it is held as a highpoint in late 19th-century chamber music.
As the wold-celebrated cellist Raphael Wallfisch says, ‘They (Brahms’ cello sonatas) are of such intensity, and conceived on such a large scale, that they require every last morsel of your ability to play them.’
Eliana and Viv love contrasting styles. ‘When the dream’ was written for Eliana by American-born composer Tom Vignieri to be premiered in her 2023 concert in Ashburton. Living in Devon, Vignieri was inspired by the evening light at Southcombe on Dartmoor to write this piece based on three dream sequences.
Then they’ve chosen Piazzolla! A melding of traditional tango rhythms and jazz-inspired syncopation, his ‘Le Grande Tango’ (written in 1982) was published in Paris – hence its French rather than Spanish title. Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was a musical tour de force. Argentinian born of Italian parents, he lived in Argentina, New York, Paris, Italy and travelled the world performing his electrifying music in different bands.
Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words (Op 109) is Eliana and Viv’s delightful choice for their finale. Written in 1845, this short melodious piece was Mendelssohn’s last work for cello. It belongs to his series of Songs Without Words written from 1830 onwards.
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