Early Music Festival Utrecht 2014: part 20

Fringe concert: Duo Graziani

From one duo (see part 19) I walked to another one. The concert was in the “Orangerie” of the University Museum, at the back of the former hortus botanicus. Any concert here, gives you a chance to walk through the beautiful garden, or have a look at the enormous leaves of the enormous waterlily  victoria amazonica.

As mentioned earlier (see part 17), various members of the public had noticed that there were people fiddling with access to the fringe concerts in small venues. When I had heard about it, while queueing for tickets to three of my four fringe concerts this day, I started to pay attention. Sure enough, when a volunteer at the entrance of the museum told a young lady and her boyfriend that no ticket meant no access to the concert, she threw a tantrum, then tried pressure and bullying, finally went for “tea” at the museum café – only to show up at the doors of the “Orangerie” without tea or coffee.

She was not the only one to manage to get inside without a ticket at this venue – despite volunteers having been made aware of the issue. So unsurprisingly, other members in the audience remarked loudly: why do we need to queue for tickets each day, if others are allowed in like that and take our seats? Needless to say, that none of the volunteers bothered to remove the persons without tickets. I was glad I had arrived in time for a seat.

Alexandra Cárdenes introduced the audience to “Berlin around 1780”. As with the fringe concert that morning, (see part 19), the musical scene was the court of Frederic the Great, but also the court of his nephew. So pieces by composers who worked at Berlin as well as Potsdam. First there were to pieces by a Bach. A sonata in G by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach played quite lively; followed by a really delightful polonaise F.12 n.5 by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

However, the sonata II op. III by Carlo Graziani seemed to go less smoothly. The piece itself sounded very romantic, but there seemed to be something not going perfectly with the cello. Regardless, the sonata a 2 by Christoph Schaffrath went well enough and came across as slightly “Scarlatti”-like.

If the performance seemed to have had a slight cello-hiccup, this was totally forgiven when the duo gave in to the applause and performed an encore. As far as I’m concerned, this duo should return to the festival in 2015 for another encore.


Duo Grazianivare:
Inés Salínas Blasco, cello;
Alexandra V. Cárdenes, harpsichord

At the time of publishing this post, I was unable to find the duo’s webpage.
For info on the Utrecht Universiteitsmuseum and its hortus botanicus: universiteitsmuseum



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