lunedì 21 novembre 2022

Fantasy for clarinet, piano and happy audience

It's Monday evening, the cold and darkness have slowly conquered Copenhagen. But outside the Aksel Mollolers Have metro station, from a small glass-walled building, Metronomen, a warm light invites passers-by to take a break from their hurried walk home.

Inside are the final preparations for a gala concert. An elegant clarinetist, impeccably dressed in shades of green and black, is arranging his music sheets and smiling at the pianist. The pianist, in a green and blue pleated dress, is ready. They've worked for this moment, it's the night when months of effort turn into a gift to the audience. That's how concerts are, like a Christmas that the musicians prepare with great calm and seriousness.

The audience is also prepared. The hall seems smaller and smaller as the seats fill up. How better way to start the week than with a concert? The atmosphere is serious, we are at a chamber music concert, which requires an elegant and sober attire.

So it begins the concert, with an intricate piece by Francis Poulenc, Sonata for clarinet and piano, in three parts. The audience applauds with joy, the first moment successfully passed. Nearly two hours of music follow. Perhaps it will be too long? Will we be able to follow it all carefully?

The next two pieces take the audience into other registers, Poulenc's Mélancolie and Tailleferre's Arabesque are invitations to travel, into the inner and outer world. The atmosphere is already warmer, the audience begins to find itself in the journey proposed by the two artists, it becomes a travelling companion. Jens Vraa presents the next piece, as he has done with each of them

We go to France for Moulin Rouge, a dance written by Georges Auric. Can you just play the theme on clarinet? asks, to his surprise, the pianist Carmen Liliana Mezei. Of course, I can. When the first notes are heard, the pianist stands up, like a colorful bird, her dress transformed into gala feathers, and dances in front of the audience, which suddenly steps into the Parisian world of the Grand Epoque. 

Another dance follows, a waltz to be precise, written by, who else, Johann Strauss, Paris-Walzer
The pianist invites a very elegant gentleman from the public to dance together in front of the audience, which instantly passes into the Viennese world of the 19th century. 

The first part ends triumphantly, with Adolf Schreiner's Immer kleiner. An hour has passed, and the audience only realizes this when the sound of applause brings them back to Copenhagen. It seems like two minutes ago that we walked through the door. The break is cause for greetings and joyful discussion. I was looking forward to part two, it seemed like such a long program, but it's not at all. 

What surprises do you have? We have more, the musicians reply with a smile, also happy for the joy of the audience.

Part 2 begins with the disturbing theme from John Williams' Schindler's List. How was that possible? It's a good thing they can play about it, so we won't forget. Sequences from the film flash before every viewer. Oblivion follows, a passionate musical piece by Astor Piazzolla. The audience is attentive and has reintroduced itself as a travelling companion.

The next piece is a piano composition by Carmen Liliana Mezei, Eternal return. Can the big lights be turned off? asks the pianist. Sure, the elegant gentleman rushes to find the control panel. The stage turns green, like an Irish fairytale. The notes that echo from the keyboards are full of magic, the audience walks on the path of eternal return, as if stepping on water that swirls around the piano. The energy of the audience takes the place of a watermill wheel, and it fuels the magical movement of the piano. I wonder how long this piece lasted? How long have we been away from here? The pianist closed with a sound in the lower register, covering the piano string with her hand, at which point the audience returned to the hall in time for the next song.

An elegant and sophisticated composition by clarinetist Jans Vraa, a Cappriccio that shows us what complex possibilities of expression the clarinet has, and what beautiful dialogues it can sustain with the piano. The applauses are well-deserved to reward this personal creation. What could be next?

The last musical moment is a joyful one, in contemporary rhythms, a bouquet of three compositions by Rolf Lovland. Applauses warm the hall and bring to the audience the joy from the stage, which they send back to the artists. When did the two hours passed? You have to play us some more, please. 

Of course we do. The final gift is cheerful and colorful, "Alley Cat Strut" by the American composer Charles Davis. During the concert, a multicolored bouquet of autumn flowers adorned the piano. The pianist calls the elegant gentleman and asks him to share the flowers to the ladies in the audience. His movements in the concert hall overlap the reprise of the musical theme, and he becomes a Charlie Chaplin without a hat but with a bow tie, carrying out the beautiful mission.

The audience leaves happy, in dancing steps. Music is a magical activity, cold and darkness have no power over it, and the two magicians, Jens Vraa and Carmen Liliana Mezei, deserve all the applause and handshakes. How better way to start the week than with a concert?

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento