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2016年11月23日 星期三

The Maisky Duo in HK (麥斯基家人在香港的二重奏)

I have attended numberless classical concerts. I have yet to attend one like last night's. It's not just that beautiful pieces were played by the performers one after the other. Nor that the composers came from different countries. What made last night's concert stand out was the number of encores we had. Not just the usual one or two, not even three or four, not five but six. It happened at the Cultural Centre. The artists were both of the same family: Misha Maisky, cellist, Lily Maisky, pianist.

The official program was an almost all French affairs, except for the last:
1. Faure's Elégie, Op 23
2. Franck's Sonata in A. in Allegretto ben moderato, Allegro, Recitativo--Fantasia ben Moderato-molto lento and Allegretto poco mossa
3. Poulenz  Violon (from Fiancailles pour rire No. 5)
                  C'est ansi que tu es (from Métamorphoses No.2
                  La Reine de Coeur (from La Courte Paille)
                  C (from Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon No.1)
                  Les Chemin de l'Amour
4. Saint-Saën  Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix (from Samson et Dalila)
5. Debussy    Minstels (from Préludes Book 1, No.12)
6. Piazolla      Le Grand Tango 

Misha Maisky is a Latvian born Israeli cellist, who learned cello from both Mstlislav Rostropovich in Russia and Gregor Piagorsky in America, has 6 children, two of whom are already concert artists, including Lily and another son Sasha, a violinist and has numerous recordings of the works of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar and Rachmaninoff. He has co-appeared in concerts with such other artists Argerich, Radu Lupu, Gidon Kremer and Janine Jansen.

The first work by Fauré is a very slow, melancholic and contemplative work, a bit sad and  requiring a lot of sensitivity, with the piano originally providing a steady background but later adding in some melodic contribution of its own and the cello taking over again and the two dialoguing more quickly and more forcefully  and then at a more relaxed pace until it reaches the quiet ending.



The next piece in the evening was Franck's Sonata in A Major, a very popular piece originally written for the violin, with a very unique cyclic treatment of its various themes and a wedding gift to the famous violinist of the day viz. Eugène Ysaye . It's first movement is rather slow and full of quiet harmony but the much faster second is full of passion although the main theme of the first is repeated with variation and  but then quietens down to almost a whisper and a complete stop after which the rhythm picks up again and the passion mounts again, slows and quietens down again before drawing to a very energetic close.The third also repeats the main motif of the first and gives the cello plenty of chance for displaying various kinds of subtle tonalities whilst the piano reverts to its role of providing various broken chordal background before the movement draws to a quiet close. The fourth picks up the main motif again and again a dialogue develops between the cello and the piano, playing sometimes faster, sometimes slower and sometimes louder and sometimes very softly but throughout the piece, there pervades a subtle sustained pressure on the cello theme which the piano helps along with it peculiar peculiar percussive rhythm and chords until the frenzied , abrupt and dramatic ending. .



After he changed the dark Indian shirt he wore in the first half of the concert, Maisky re-appeared in a very colorful purplish blue loose fitting silk shirt in the second half of the concernt and started it with Poulenc's Violon (from Fiancailles pour rire) , followed by his C'est ainsi que tu es, another very popular piece with a beautiful and tender melody, originally meant to be sung as an aria but Maisky does the singing with his cello where Delilah tempts the forceful Samson with her love.


The next piece is adapted for the cello and piano from another song, C from Deux Poemes de Louis Aragon" another very tender romantic piece.


This was followed another beautiful song from Poulenc: Les Chemins de l'Amour, again adapted for the cello.



Debussy is another French composer who pays a great deal of attention to the texture of sound. We had his Minstrels which was supposed to be inspired by the sound he heard from a black street band in Eastbourne. And the street music origin in the piece is certainly very evident in some parts.



Then we had the typical Piazzola tango sound in the last piece of the official concert. We got all the jerky and passionate sound of the Argentinian dance form in this piece. Maisky obviously enjoyed  the fun and excitement in this piece which concluded his concert. He seemed so happy with the audience's raving responses that he continued to give us first Thai's Meditation, then Tschikovksy' Autumn Song, followed by one of Bela Bartok's Dances, then the Allegro of Shastakovich cello and piano sonata and then another Tchaikovsky's song, his Waltz Sentimentale. But that's not all, he added in as a final encore,  Fritz Kreisler's Liebesleid. So the evening ended up feeling more like a party with two members of the Maisky family. It left the audience stark raving mad with happiness and a feeling of being blessed to be able to participate in that musical feast. .