Review: Chichester Music Society – Miriam Teppich (violin) & Pavlos Carvalho (cello)

Outstanding Duo

Chichester Music Society was pleased to welcome back Pavlos Carvalho [cello] and Miriam Teppich [violin] on 10 October at the University of Chichester in the intimate music venue, The Cloisters. This was an ideal location for the programme that had been chosen by these two outstanding musicians.

After a charming opening violin solo playing a Partita by Bach, the duo chose to play Ravel’s Duo for Violin and Cello. This piece reveals the extraordinary range of textures which Maurice Ravel obtained from the combination of these two instruments. As the programme notes for the concert say, “The cello has to sound like a flute and the violin like a drum. No one is going to play it except a virtuoso.”

This proved to be absolutely correct, as CMS had invited two hugely experienced and outstanding musicians. They revealed to us the wide range of textures which Ravel managed to obtain from this instrument combination, and they played with such talent that there is no other word than virtuoso to describe their musicianship.

Borrowing from jazz and folk music, the musicians interpreted the composer’s written notes into a passionate and ravishing musical experience. Ravel has been praised for his “irony, colour and novelty” and, even though the piece is 100 years old, both Pavlos and Miriam brought a new interpretation both in their playing with such refinement and sensitivity in the slow sections, whilst playing equally with energy, engagement and virtuoso precision in the faster moments.

After the interval and the cello solo Dialogo by Ligeti, the concert ended with another virtuoso performance of Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello. Here the two instruments were constantly changing roles, thus enthralling the audience with the passion and originality provided by the musicians. From the opening bars where the Hungarian flavours were noticeable, the artists either plucked notes or stated the principal melodic theme as the fiercer textures of the music developed.

After the Adagio the passion ramped up and Miriam and Pavlos played with energy and passion as the finale demanded and this led to an emotional and superlative ending. The audience loved it and were so appreciative that an encore arrived. A complete contrast as this was an Argentinian Tango.

Chris Hough, Chairman of CMS, said after the concert, “We are so privileged to have had two such exciting and innovative musicians to play for our Society. We are very grateful to them for such virtuoso performances.”

Chris Linford

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