Classical Music Review: Princes Christina Concours winners 3

At the preceding concert, the information about music and composers had been minimal (see nr 2). It could be worse. On arrival, the church doors were still closed. When members of the public started to bang on the doors, a side-entrance opened. Everybody was told to wait, as musicians were still tuning and practising. First time here, the audience was kept waiting – outside.

After the large crowd had been allowed in and found a seat, a member of staff welcomed the public. As usual, she did not use a microphone. So as usual, members of the audience shouted across the church to please speak up, as – again as usual – she could not be heard in all nooks and crannies of this circular and compact church.

The message concerned the now nearly obligatory change to any concert’s program. The first two pieces would be played in reverse order. Worse: the cellist, student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where she is a student of mr Michel Strauss, had no time after her performance, to receive a standing ovation – nor wait till the end of the concert to receive another applause.

Burp? That was another first-timer: no time for the audience! I knew the main business of any Conservatoire, including this Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, is teaching musical talent. This must be one of the few conservatoires which nourishes talent but is not that much into customer relationship.

Right after this announcement, the musicians-in-a-hurry climbed on stage. In a dreadful hurry, there was no time for information about Dvorak’s Rondo op 94 nor Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody op 68. As Dana de Vries – the hurried cellist – and pianist Elena Malinova were so pressed for time they could hardly wait to leave, I won’t spend another word on their performance.

Too bad they had turned up at all. There was a huge contrast with the two musicians who concluded this concert. Mr Jelmer de Moed walked on stage and jokingly told his audience a bit about the two concluding pieces. He performed the first one, “Hommage á Manuel de Falla in A” by B. Kovacs, solo. One was transported to Spain! There were flashes from familiar Spanish songs; the sound of castanets, traces of flamenco music! This was brilliant!

Mr Stephan Harsono then joined mr de Moed on stage for Poulenc’s “Sonata for clarinet and piano FP184”. The interaction between both was a delight to see; especially after the preceding in-a-hurry cellist and nice enough pianist not interacting at all. It was clear both mr Harsono and mr de Moed enjoyed playing this sonata and playing together. They executed the allegro tristamente, romanza, and the allegro con fuoco perfectly, as well as with feeling.

Unfortunately, this church is being maintained. The side where I and about half the audience were sitting, could clearly follow the work-in-progress when it started during the last quarter of an hour. There were cables being dragged along the floor somewhere. There was drilling somewhere. There were mobile phones going off somewhere. There were doors being opened and closed somewhere. It was quite disturbing, yet both musicians continued and finished without blinking.

After the standing ovation for these two young men, the audience filed out. Several members quite rightly complained to staff: surely, building activities can be suspended during the latter part of a lunch-time concert which barely lasts an hour?

This concert’s performers:
Ms Dana de Vries, cello. Ms Dana de Vries has her own website.
Ms Elena Malinova, piano. Ms Malinova is on Facebook and part of the duo Albarus.
Mr Jelmer de Moed, clarinet. For a Youtube excerpt: Jelmer de Moed.
Mr Stephan Harsono, piano. For a Youtube excerpt: Stephan Harsono.

Living in Zürich? November 18th 2014, mr de Moed, mr Harsono, and mr Maarten Oomes (guitar) will give a concert there as guests of the Dutch Consulate.

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