WHO IS AFRAID Of ARNOLD SCHOENBERG ? By Helga Hampton

 

 

Well, it seems that some of those often held fears were allayed for the many Amigos de Musica who came to the piano recitals that inaugurated their new venue on September 23rd and 25th, 2014. The beautiful Portuguese estate of “Os Agostos” opened their gates and premises to the Associacao de Amigos de Musica, erstwhile of Sao Lourenco, ensuring thus a continuation of their music activities that began 25 years ago in the Centro Cultural in Sao Lourenco.

For the first two concert evenings we had invited the Ukrainian pianist Evgeny Gromov from Kiev, a well-known virtuoso of mainly XXth century music, and he proceeded to set new music-listening standards for the Amigos by offering a program of compositions by Rameau, Debussy, Ravel and Schoenberg. In an enlightening combination of salient pieces by the old Baroque Master, Jean Philippe Rameau, whose 240th death anniversary was being observed world-wide this year, with representative excerpts of music by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, the first evening was dedicated to “La Musique Francaise de la Belle Epoque”.

On the second evening, again attended by a full-house audience, “Schoenberg and Debussy – two faces of Europe and Modernism” Evgeny Gromov’s intention was to present a vis-à-vis encounter of two music geniuses who radically changed the course of music evolution. The dialogue of these great contemporaries was to make evident “an allergic sensitivity to the musical narrative by both and, at the same time, a sophisticated ability to convey most delicate impulses of the human soul”, according to the Maestro. What a bravura performance which was delivered seamlessly without applause interruptions in order to make the desired point. The intent audience was then treated to two encores: a very lyrical piece by the Ukrainian composer Silvestrov and the beloved Debussy “Clair de Lune”.

The welcoming hosts of the new “home” for the Amigos de Musica at “Os Agostos” , Maria do Rosario and Antonio Farajotta, received the Amigos in great style with imaginative and elegant catering and we are all relieved and very pleased that the future of this Friends of Music “club” is ensured. We were even able to fit in our AGM before the second concert, in which all the changes and alterations resulting from the move of venue, could be put before the membership.

If you want to know more about becoming an Amigo or an Amiga or about the future concert programs, please visit our website:

Eugeny Gromov with his wife, members of the Amigos committee

Eugeny Gromov with his wife, members of the Amigos committee

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