The English Connection, by Ekaterina Docheva, Kultura

Culture – 13 June 2014

by Ekaterina Docheva


The English Connection

 Over the last 25 years a lot of changes have taken place in the musical life in the country. The negative changes related at the beginning with the impoverishment of the country and later on with the continued unreasonable distribution of the budget funds which causes damage mostly to the cultural practices, mandatory for each European country, are under discussions all the time. Unfortunately, the same are discussed mostly by those people who create the Bulgarian culture. The people who take on, sometimes quite self-confidently, the responsibility to distribute the budget funds, perceive as a normal practice to allocate less than half percent of the state budget to this sector. This issue is well known. It seems to be a topic for ever. The salvation for those organizing the musical life came with the many Bulgarians who went abroad to study music, found opportunities to realize their potential in various areas and build up a lifestyle and career where normal rules exist and appropriate funds are allocated to this sphere. For many years the Bulgarian musical managers have been focused on the most interesting and successful Bulgarian musicians abroad. The reasons are obvious – in most cases the Bulgarian musicians abroad offer professional art, often in an interesting combination with a repertoire that adds up the constant string of “classical hits” which are favourite for the greater part of the Bulgarian audience. These people almost always are ready to provide financial support – it is more important to them to be heard in Bulgaria too.

 The concert of Yana Burova, violin, and Fiammetta Tarli, piano, part of the Sofia Music Weeks, is an outcome of the “English Branch” of the Bulgarian instrument presence abroad. They both live in London, studied there, have their contacts and careers starting from there. They play solo as well as with other chamber music groups. They are in the stage of their careers when their popularity and experience encourage curiosity in the repertoire and provoke a new perspective to the standard classics. Actually Beethoven Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C Minor could hardly be considered standard classics. There are too many cores for the future in it, which avail to the sagacious interpreter opportunities for unusual and individual interpretations. The duo strived to achieve similar parameters in the sound aspect too, though such glitters came mostly from the violinist Burova’s performance. I could not connect in a common aesthetics for myself the articulation of sound of the two, however, both of them are wonderful instrumentalists. This somehow disappeared in the emotional performance of the Brahms Sonata No. 2. In the opening theme (many researchers highlight the connection between the main theme of the Walther’s Piano Preislied and The Mastersingers of Wagner) the two instruments demonstrated a convincing common sound with intensive music-making and a soft, supple transfer from a beautiful lyrical mood (the sonata was created during a happy and peaceful period of the composer’s life) to an energetic virtuosity.

The classical German part of the programme was combined with an interesting English section including works of Dobrinka Tabakova, who has been more than 20 years in London, and Benjamin Britten who is a symbol of the British music. Tabakova’s Rodopa is an early composition created in 2000. The name of the composition suggests the conceptual direction of the works which is a wonderful demonstration to realize a constructed, modal-harmonic and rhythmic development of one unison-presented melody in Dorian mode. However, in this technology timbre ideas, diverse melody and harmony development, notional imaginations, instinct and knowledge of structural integrity could be felt. The satisfaction the piece was played with showed the affinity of the duo to the popular music. The culmination point of the duo performance for me was the pieces of the Suite, opus 6, of Britten – another youthful composition. An impressive tone quality was achieved, especially in the waltz where the ensemble boldly stirred up the classical text towards a grotesque with interesting semantic accents in the author’s idea.

Ekaterina Docheva



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