A Spring Gift at Kleinhans
by Jan Jezioro
Pianist Enrica Ciccarelli and violinist Edoardo Zosi offer a free recital
If you are a classical music lover, Kleinhans Music Hall is definitely the place to be this Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will sponsor a recital, only recently scheduled, by two very talented, visiting Italian musicians, that is free and open to the public.
Pianist Enrica Ciccarelli has previously appeared as a soloist with the BPO twice, in very well received performances. In November 2008 she delivered an exquisitely refined performance of Edvard Grieg’s ever-popular Piano Concerto in A minor, breathing new life into a work that can all too often become an excuse for overly virtuosic display. On her return engagement in January 2014, Ciccarelli demonstrated that she is also a gifted interpreter of the piano music of Mozart, in her sensitive performance of the Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491 as part of the BPO’s longstanding annual celebration of the composer’s birthday. In her performances, the elegant Ciccarelli embodied the uniquely Italian quality of “sprezzatura,” which has been described as “an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them.” Local classical music lovers may well have anticipated yet another return engagement by this elegant musician as a soloist with the BPO. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that after the lamented demise of the Ramsi P. Tick concert series, anyone would have expected to be able to attend a recital performance by such high profile, international classical musicians in Buffalo.
Joining Ciccarelli will be the young, rising violinist Edoardo Zosi. Born in Milan in 1988, Zosi began studying violin at age of three, going on to earn his Master’s Degree at the Conservatorio ‘Giuseppe Verdi’ in Milan, graduating with honors before completing his advanced studies with the legendary violinist Salvatore Accardo at the Accademia Stauffer in Cremona, birthplace of the very finest string instruments ever produced. Speaking of which, Zosi performs on a 1739 Carlo Bergonzi violin known as the “Mischa Piastro,” on loan from Fondazione Pro Canale. The violin is named after a previous owner, a now forgotten, but very talented Russian violinist who had the bad luck to have to try to establish an international reputation in the wake of Jascha Heifetz, a fellow pupil of the great Russian pedagogue Leopold Auer. Sometimes, in a career, timing means everything. Zosi, who made his orchestral debut playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Stuttgart Philharmonic in 2005, repeated that performance with the Berlin Symphony, and has since gone on to a appear as soloist with many of the leading Italian orchestras, including the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He is also a devoted chamber musician and performs frequently in many prestigious Italian music series and festivals.
On Saturday afternoon, Ciccarelli and Zosi will perform the same program that they will play in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City this Tuesday. The 18th century virtuoso violinist Giuseppe Tartini once had a dream in which the devil appeared to him and played a piece for violin that had an amazingly difficult “trill”—a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes—and when he awoke he attempted to write down what he had heard. The resulting work, known as the Devil’s Trill Sonata, was difficult enough to play, before the Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler edited the piece, adding a cadenza involving triple and quadruple stopping as well as two, and three note trills, which moved the work to a truly fiendish level of difficulty. And, speaking of the devil, the early 19th century violin virtuoso and superb showman, Niccolò Paganini, had such an extraordinary technique and stage presence, that it was sometimes rumored that he had to somehow be in league with that rather dubious individual. There is a legend that during a recital, Paganini broke one string after another on his violin, until only the lowest string, the G string was left, but refusing to stop he improvised a tune on that string alone. A nice story, but in any case Paganini did compose his Moses Fantasy, based on music from Rossini’s bel canto opera Mosè, solely for the G string. The result is the kind of fantastically difficult showpiece that can still strike fear into the hearts of violinists everywhere.
Stravinsky originally composed his delightful Suite italienne, based on music from his neo-classical ballet Pulcinella in collaboration with the Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, his then touring partner. A year later, in 1933, he made this equally successful version for violin and piano in collaboration with the violinist Samuel Dushkin. And, last but by no means least, Zosi and Ciccarelli will perform Beethoven’s Sonata No. 5 in F major, Opus 24 for violin and piano. It was only after Beethoven’s death that this work became known, not inappropriately, as the “Spring Sonata,” due to its generally sunny nature.
Admission to the performance is free. Information: 885-5000 or www.bpo.org.blog comments powered by Disqus
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