Monday 6 October 2014
Violin and Piano Recital
HAYK MELIKYAN / PIANO & HUGO TICCIATI / VIOLIN
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia / 8:30pm
Recognized internationally as one of the most versatile and imaginative performers of the 20th century and Contemporary Music and among today's most engaging virtuoso pianists pianist Hayk Melikyan returns to Cyprus to join forces with the fascinating violinist Hugo Ticciati, who has been described by the great Arvo Pärt as “an artist who has a rare ability to convey a profound understanding of the music and shed light on its spiritual intent”. The recital will include a number of contemporary classics by composers such as Messiaen, Lutoslawski, Pärt, Takemitsu, interspersed with works by the younger generation of internationally renowned composers such as Evis Sammoutis, Vito Zuraj, Esaias Järnegard and Albert Schnelzer.
The story of the genesis of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time (1941) is widely known, oft repeated, but what is often ignored in the telling is the remarkable nature of what was produced, given what one would have expected in the circumstances. Born in the midst of war, death, frost and famine, the Quartet, though explicitly apocalyptic, is not a fiery Requiem, striving to translate divine wrath, but rather an intensely devotional, transcendent composition, that reaches a realm in which such worldly troubles matter little, or not at all. Played in the chilly night for the prisoners and the German guards, Messiaen’s meditative chamber suite was received with rapt silence: “Never have I been heard with as much attention and understanding,” he later recalled. So impressed was his guard patron that Messiaen was smuggled back to Paris to continue his work. It is little surprise, for the Quartet is one of the most remarkable compositions of the 20th century. A deeply committed Catholic, Messiaen composed not a lament of war or death, or a bitter strike at oppression, but instead a paean to the world beyond (and above) of transcendence, redemption, and even, of joy. Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketches II (1992) was composed as a memorial piece for Messiaen, who was a strong influence on the composer. He had composed several pieces based on Kenzaburo Oe's short stories about the rain tree, whose many small curved leaves trap the rainfall then release the water to the ground over time long after the rain has ceased. "An ingenious tree, isn't it?" asks the story. The work is French in sound, somewhere between Messiaen and Debussy in harmonic language. The short piece is one of the most joyful and accessible pieces Takemitsu wrote. It was also his last piano piece.
Witold Lutoslawski’s fame rose to international stardom after the Second World War and the premiere of his First Symphony in 1948. He composed his Partita for Violin and Piano in the autumn of 1984 for Pinchas Zuckerman and Marc Neikrug at the request of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Consisting of five movements, three of which give the impression that they rhythmically belong to the tradition of the Baroque keyboard music, the Partita is nevertheless quite ground-breaking in terms of its harmonic and melodic material. Regarding his choice of title Lutoslawski has explained: "The word 'partita,' as used by Bach to denominate some of his suite-like works, appears here to point out a few allusions to Baroque music, e.g. at the beginning of the first movement, the main theme of the Largo, and the gigue-like Finale.
Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) is an Estonian composer, often identified with the school of minimalism, though he rejects this label (and, even more vehemently, the label of "holy minimalism", which he describes as meaningless). He composed Fratres, originally for string quintet and wind quintet, in 1977 for Hortus Musicus, an early-music ensemble in Tallinn. The title refers to the fraternal spirit of the Hortus Musicus. In the decades since then he has written versions of this popular piece for many different combinations: wind octet and percussion, strings and percussion, and string quartet— and versions in which violin, cello, or guitar take a solo role.
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): Louange à l’immortalité de Jésus from the Quartet for the End of Time (1941)
Esaias Järnegard (b. 1983): Stretto (2010)
Albert Schnelzer (b. 1972): Solitude (1999)
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994): Partita (1984)
Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) : Fratres (1977)
Vito Zuraj (b.1979) : Tango (2000)
Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996): Rain Tree Sketches II (1992)
Evis Sammoutis (b. 1979): Prelude (2002)
Albert Schnelzer (b. 1972): Apollonian Dances (2003)
HUGO TICCIATI / VIOLIN
“Hugo has a rare ability to convey a profound understanding of the music and shed light on its spiritual intent”
Hugo Ticciati is an exceptional violinist with a uniquely intellectual approach to his work, incorporating aspects of literature, philosophy, spirituality and meditation. Since his debut at the age of twelve, Hugo has performed concertos with orchestras in Britain, Sweden, Romania, Japan, Korea, North America and Estonia, and collected numerous international prizes. His carefully balanced programme is certain to soothe the mind and refresh the senses!
Ticciati embraces the world of contemporary music, collaborating with composers such as Sven-David Sandström, Albert Schnelzer, and Anders Hillborg, among others. In the coming seasons he will be performing world premières of concertos dedicated to him in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. He also loves devising concerts and events that combine music with the other arts, notably dance and literature. He is currently working with the English composer Bill Connor on An Improvised Violin Concerto. Last season’s highlights included concertos by Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Hartmann, Shchedrin, Piazzolla, Auerbach, Glass, Lutoslawski, Takemitsu and world premieres of concertos by Tobias Broström, Sergey N. Evtushenko and Albert Schnelzer in venues including Carnegie Hall, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall and Cadogan Hall (London). Next season features tours in China and the USA with his own string orchestra, a series of concerts at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam and a weekend of concerts at the Wigmore Hall.
Hugo Ticciati has a passion for chamber music and gives regular recitals in prestigious halls across Europe and the Far East, collaborating with artists such as Anne-Sofie von Otter, Steven Isserlis, Angela Hewitt, Evelyn Glennie, Michael Collins, Torleif Thedéen, Leslie Howard, Staffan Scheja, Michael Tsalka and Henrik Måwe. He is also regularly invited to renowned music festivals such as The Baltic Sea Festival (Sweden), Hermitage Music Festival (St Petersburg), St-Denis-Festival (Paris), Cervantino (Mexico), Edinburgh Festival (England), Gotland Chamber Music Festival (Sweden). Hugo is the artistic director of his own festival O/MODƏRNT at Ulrikdal’s Palace Theatre Confidencen, Stockholm, and a string festival in Kazan, Russia.
HAYK MELIKYAN / PIANO
“I am very grateful to Hayk Melikyan that he took the risk of creating that piece…”
Hayk Melikyan is recognized internationally as one of the most versatile and imaginative performers of the 20th Century and Contemporary Music and among today's most engaging virtuoso pianists. His international concert début took place at the “Concerto di Concerti” International Festival of the 20th Century Music in Rome in 2000. He leads an active concert life, playing throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
After having won the Second Prize in the International Piano Competition of the 20th Century and Contemporary Music “Premio Valentino Bucchi” in Rome in 2000 he included contemporary music as the leading part of his concert programmes. In 2012, Hayk Melikyan was awarded a Gold Medal by the Moscow Composers Union for his contribution and promotion of the World Contemporary Music, while in 2013, he was awarded the Title of an Honorary Artist of the Republic of Armenia. He is the first performer of numerous works by many composers of our time and dozens of pieces were especially composed for him.
In 2009, Melikyan initiated the Concert Series of “1900+”, which promotes the piano music of composers born after 1900. Several solo albums by Hayk Melikyan have been released since 2007 and in 2014 his solo album was released by NAXOS. Hayk Melikyan is regularly conducting master-classes on Contemporary music all over the world and he is regularly invited to perform in music festivals such as Festival de Valmagne and Festival de Musique en Côte de Nacre (France), Festival O/MODƏRNT (Sweden), the Geneva Piano Festival , the Warsaw Royal Arcades of Art Festival, and the Nuovi Spazi Musicali Festival (Italy). As a composer, Melikyan has produced a number of piano solo, chamber, instrumental, vocal and symphonic works. His piano transcriptions, concert paraphrases and arrangements are among the favourite ones in the repertoires of many pianists worldwide. Hayk Melikyan has earned a reputation as one of the most creative improvisators by world audience, which adds an unusual value to his recitals.
Information: Pharos Arts Foundation Tel. +35722663871 / www.pharosartsfoundation.org
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