Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Ravel's Blues

Home > Melbourne > Food and Wine | Festivals | Concerts | Classical Music | Wineries
by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne and happy to spread the love for funky town with the WeekendNotes readers.If the feeling is mutual you can subscribe to my articles or share them with your friends.Or visit my website at diywoman.net.
Event:
'Ravel's blues' an early Peninsula Festival highlight
'Ravel's Blues' part of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival program had as its backdrop the bucolic setting of the Moorooduc Estate and featured Sophie Rowell on violin and Kristian Chong on piano.

Ravels blues, Ravel, Moorooduc Estate, Sophie Rowell, Kristian Chong, violin, piano, sonata, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, PSMF, peninsula, summer, music, festival, Beethoven, Mozart, Mornington Peninsula
Moorooduc Estate


Maurice Ravel famously called the piano and violin 'incompatible instruments', before composing his 'Sonata for Violin and Piano'. He was right in a sense: the piano is all hard-edged percussive sounds and the violin smooth long-phrased bow strokes. But that incompatibility is also the source of the greatest strength of the partnership between the two instruments. It provides the contrast, the light and shade, in a dialogue between two equal but different partners.

This performance showed how effective and moving a musical partnership can be when the partners have played together for a long time. The musicians' enthusiasm for and knowledge of the music added hugely to audience enjoyment. We learned that in Mozart's day, the role of the pianist in such a duo was not the support act we are accustomed to today, but the dominant role. Kristian Chong gleefully advised that Mozart named his work a sonata for 'piano and violin', not 'violin and piano'.

Kristian Chong and Sophie Rowell


The three pieces in this concert gave us an insight into the roles of the two instruments. The move to a more equal partnership was mirrored in the strong communication between the performers.

The Mozart sonata was an exuberant and delightful piece and performance was enhanced by the setting. A gentle afternoon breeze wafted through the open doors of the winery music room and the sounds of birdlife added local colour.

Ravels blues, Ravel, Moorooduc Estate, Sophie Rowell, Kristian Chong, violin, piano, sonata, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, PSMF, peninsula, summer, music, festival, Beethoven, Mozart, Mornington Peninsula
Moorooduc Winery


The Beethoven sonata (No 4, Opus 23), was an early work and showed the composer in the process of establishing his own authentic musical voice. Sophie Rowell regards the key of A-minor as 'the most selfish key - driven by turbulent self-absorption'. Her energetic, balletic performance had her balancing on tiptoes occasionally on just one foot so carried away was she in the anguish and pathos of the music. She took the audience with her every pirouette of the way.

The finale was Ravel's Violin Sonata No 2, written in 1927 and inspired by the new craze in Paris for jazz. Rowell described the first movement as 'two people walking side-by-side in the Tuileries Gardens', each talking but not listening to the other. The second movement -listed simply as 'Blues moderato' - showed its provenance with clear reference to Gershwin and other standard jazz classics. The third (unnamed) movement brought the performance to a speedy and exhilarating conclusion.

Ravels blues, Ravel, Moorooduc Estate, Sophie Rowell, Kristian Chong, violin, piano, sonata, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, PSMF, peninsula, summer, music, festival, Beethoven, Mozart, Mornington Peninsula
Sophie Rowell and Kristian Chong


The performance was a generous sharing of love for and appreciation of the music by two performers in sync with each other and their audience. It was an absolute privilege to be there.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  13
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Chamber music in a winery
When: 6.30pm, 3 January 2019
Phone: 0413 448 283
Where: Moorooduc Estate
Cost: $75.00
Your Comment
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions