Sunday, 17 July 2011

Guitares en Cormatinois – Poulet and Saraglou

So far I have not mentioned the concert of Adèle Bracco – vocals and Thierry Moncheny – guitar. Unfortunately the concert was planned on one of the few rainy days of the last weeks, hence the venue was moved from Saint-Hippolyte to the church of Bonnay. The concert was announced as “Vocal Jazz – Viva Brasil!”, and since I am not terribly keen on Brazilian music, and to me a jazz evening is something more than 2 hours filled with bossa novas and sambas, I will not further elaborate on it. I am sure that someone who is more interested in the dancing side of music would have had a wonderful evening.
Yesterday however there was a concert in the romanesque church of Chazelle by Gérard Poulet – violin and Dimitris Saraglou – piano.
One of the short comings of the programs for these concerts I always find the description: this is often non-descriptive. “Le violon virtuose” could have described a primas of a gipsy orchestra, forcing a singing canary from his instrument, or Stéphane Grapelly performing an up-tempo jazz classic, or a classical violinist playing de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen without a flaw. “Sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms” makes taking a decision on attending or not attending a lot easier.
Anyway, for whatever reason I had a feeling that this could well become a very good concert. Both musicians are well known, and both teach at established institutions, the one in Japan, the other in Belgium. The program looked promising as well, with Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata (one of my favourites) prominently there. The church of Chazelle turned out to have far better acoustics than those of Bonnay and Cormatin. The duo started off with an excellent rendition of Mozart’s sonata no. 13 KV 454, followed by a superb interpretation of the Kreutzer sonata. The last piece on the program, Brahms sonata no. 3 was played equally well, but being a great admirer of Beethoven’s work I would have preferred that to be played last (as was originally programmed). For me a concert is perfect when the best piece is kept for last. Having said that, a Brahms lover might be very happy with the change in the play order.
The two received a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the concert, and the French way of asking for an encore (applauding, gradually changing into rhythmic handclapping) was rewarded twice by the musicians. And even though it was not easy to discover any connection in the programming with guitars in general, the consensus of most people present was that this was by far the best concert in the series “Guitares en Cormatinois”.

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