Press Release: Review of Tim Hugh/Katerina Nazarova Concert

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PRESS RELEASE: by Helga Hampton, President

TIM HUGH / KATERINA NAZAROVA

Concerts: September 5th and 8th, 2012-09-09

The new membership year of the Amigos de Musica began with two string concerts at the habitual venue in the Centro Cultural in Sao Lourenco, and what a kickstart it was !

 

The cellist Tim Hugh, who is enjoying a successful international career as soloist alongside his position as Principal Cellist with the LSO, is no stranger to the Amigos – this was his fourth time we have had the luck and pleasure to experience him and witness his mastery in the intimacy of the gallery auditoria. He came accompanied by the violinist and pianist Katerina Nazarova, a beautiful young musician, originally from Tasmania, who introduced herself to us as a very accomplished violin virtuoso.

The abundant programme they presented made considerable demands on the experienced audience in its variety of masterworks by Kodaly, Bach, Bruch, Glasunov, Ravel, Ysaye, Britten, Faure, Rachmaninov and O’Connor.

It is difficult for me to single out certain pieces, but on Wednesday a full house audience found itself immediately spell-bound by the dramatic performance of Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for violin and cello, op. 7. Even the expert introduction by Tim Hugh did not prepare us for the passion with which these artists took us into the luxuriant world this composer shared with Bartok, by playing yearningly the lyrical and o

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ften characteristically dramatic folk elements of this difficult piece.

To follow this with the Bach solo sonata for violin, and, after the interval, with the grandest of Bach’s Cello Suites, No. 6, was almost too rich a fare. However, as if to leaven the rich dough of musical substance, they offered us Max Bruch’s “Kol nidrei” an adagio on Hebrew melodies and Glasunov’s “Minstrel Song”. Applause then was rewarded by 2 lively encores. What an evening of world class performances.

Last night, while elsewhere the Last Night of the Proms was enjoyed from many couches, the Amigos and many erudite music lovers again had their own Hausmusik in the shadow of Sao Lourenco’s Almancil temple. The excellence of

an equally varied programme was characterised for me by the 2 central pieces: Katerina elegantly shouldered her violin and threw herself into

the Ysaye sonatas No. 3 land 6 as if she had never done anything else. Fearlessly she took on the music by the acknowledged “best” (and probably fattest) violin virtuoso of the 20th century, Eugene Ysaye. And how she pulled this off ! She confided afterwards that it had taken her 1 week each to prepare these 2 monsters.

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World look out for this budding virtuoso !

Tim Hugh then endeared himself further to the internationally assorted audience, by playing Benjamin Britten’s Solo Cello Suite No. 1 – what a treat !

These generous artists rounded up their Algarve performance with a dazzling encore in which they exploited the extraordinary range of effects possible on one string in Paganini’s variations on a G string.

The Amigos have 16 concerts planned during their 2012/13 season; for all information, including membership, visit our website: www.amigos-de-musica.org, or send me an email: helga.hampton@btinternet.com.

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