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One violinist show at the National Philharmonic Hall

One violinist show at the National Philharmonic Hall

2008-11-24

A rare form of concert today, the violin recital, reminds of both an antiquated aristocratic genre and an original avant-garde position. It also balances between eccentricity (or acrobatics) and the high tension sound show. Violinist Sergei Krylov resolved to take a one man’s stand on stage: on November 26th, Wednesday, at 7 pm, he is going to present a retrospective of major violin works, ranging from Bach to Berio, at the National Philharmonic Hall. A programme of benchmark works serves as yet another motive for the classical music lovers, along with collectors of rare events, to visit this concert.

The context of a single performer is most often associated with home, salon or background environments – he/she may be a musician in the street or at a café, a rehearsing performer or a pupil at the music lesson – but it surely does not relate to the public appearance in front of a large audience, especially when the sole instrument on stage is a 40 centimetre-long violin and its four strings. As early as the beginning of the 19th century, before Paganini’s European tours gained fame, many regarded the violin recital as an absurd genre. For instance, when the violinist Ferdinand David was willing to organise a solo concert and perform Bach’s Partitas for solo violin (on Wednesday, Sergei Krylov is going to play Chaconne from Partita No. 2), he persuaded Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy to accompany him on piano, since “it would be simply ridiculous to appear on the concert stage alone.”

Bach’s figure will become the pivot of the entire recital, as the influence of his genius will resound in the Sonata No. 2 by the Belgian composer Eugene Ysaÿe and the Sequenza VIII by an Italian post-modernist Luciano Berio. In his sonata, Ysaÿe openly admits Bach’s influence, beginning with the title (“Obsession”) of the first movement, extending through the quotations of Bach’s music and ending with composer’s own words: “I simply wrote music for and through my violin, while trying to escape from Bach. I confess that I sweat blood and tears, and I nearly gave it all up, feeling crushed by the giant of music.” At any rate, Ysaÿe’s Sonata No.2, as well as his entire cycle of Six Sonatas for solo violin, is recognised as one of the fundamental works for this instrument, bridging the old and the new violin schools. By the way, the other “pivotal” piece of the programme, Niccolò Paganini’s twelve caprices from the famous series of 24 caprices, is attributed to the old era of violin technique.

Few violin players can present such conceptual and historical programme, demanding demonic virtuosity and cultured musical intellect. Sergei Krylov, presently identifying himself with Italy, is one of them. Several years ago, Mstislav Rostropovich rated Krylov as one of the world’s five best violin players. Critics often stress Krylov’s originality, his stunning technique, creamy brilliant sound and a refined musical taste. The violinist is bringing a fairly mature programme, which has already been performed for the audiences at the Brussels Music Festival, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Ashwell Music Festival and in numerous Italian cities and towns, including Milan’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, concert halls in Pisa, Cremona, Belluno, Campobasso and elsewhere.

 
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