Utrecht Early Music Festival 2016 part 18: Duo Ranganathan – Fernández

They were having fun. The audience was having fun. What more is needed for an enjoyable concert? The venue was the large concert hall of Tivoli-Vredenburg and its sound-system did not play up. So like last year, the duo Ranganathan – Fernández gave an enjoyable concert.

Laura Fernández-Granero played fortepiano and it was a fortepiano with an impressive sound. Ajay Ranganathan played the violin. Together they played sonatas composed for violin and forte piano.

Just in case you are unfamiliar with the forte piano and its sound: it differs enormously from the modern piano. The sound is closer to the harpsichord than our modern piano. What most people are totally unaware of is, that Mozart and his contemporaries, even Beethoven, wrote for their works for the forte piano. It can not be stressed enough that what most of us are now used to hear, is actually not what sonatas and other classical music sounded like when first performed.

Personally, I prefer the forte piano. Its sound is kinder and less overwhelming. When a duo like Mr Ranganathan and Ms Fernández-Granero perform, there is a better balance between violin and piano. In fact, there usually is a better balance between the sound of a forte piano and any other instrument or authentic replica, than between a modern piano and other instruments.

The duo played sonatas by Dussek, Mozart, Rust. These composers were contemporaries. Yet Mozart does stand out. As with a previous concert focussing on teachers and students and Beethoven did stand out. Yet to hear works by teachers and students or contemporaries help understand something of the developments in classical music as well as why composers like Mozart and Beethoven are special.

Regardless: this was one sweet and highly enjoyable concert with a duo who are a joy to watch on stage. Too bad that as with most fabulous fringe concerts, there is no longer an interaction between audience and performers. Once musicians graduate or are promoted to the fabulous fringe concert, changes occur. Not in all ensembles, like Aerodynamic showed, but nevertheless: most fabulous fringers seem no longer interested in sharing knowledge and interaction with an audience.

The duo Ranganathan – Fernández will undoubtedly perform again next year, or at least this is to be hoped for. They guarantee a lovely performance which is a joy to listen to and watch. Which in turn is a very soothing experience, after getting lost in a wood of medieval and renaissance songs.

Duo Ranganathan – Fernández
Ajay Ranganathan violin
Laura Fernández Granero forte piano

Sonatas for forte piano and violin:
Jan Ladislav Dussec: Sonata Opus 5 nr 2 in Bes
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in G KV 379/373a
Friedrich Wilhelm Rust: Sonata nr 4 in F




2 thoughts on “Utrecht Early Music Festival 2016 part 18: Duo Ranganathan – Fernández

  1. Thank you for the review ! In fact, the organisers from the festival advise us not to talk during the concerts. I understand your wish of having more interaction with the musicians.

    • Thank you both, for the lovely concert. It is difficult to interact with an audience when using the big hall, but personally, I’d tell the organisation to mind its own business. They dropped another big bunch of stitches and still have not clarified their voting system & selection of the winners of the so-called “Publieksprijs”.
      Good luck with your careers!

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