Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham
Gil Shaham, violinist

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite (1919), & The Song of the Nightingale | Henri Tomasi: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra | Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Tempest – Hunter Eberly, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Gabel – Friday, October 19, 2018, 10:45 AM EDT (GMT-4) – Livestream

An enchanted tale that has delighted generations. The first masterpiece of a musical genius. Experience Igor Stravinsky's "The Firebird" under the dynamic Fabien Gabel, plus Stravinsky's beguiling Song of the Nightingale, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's stormy "The Tempest". Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet Hunter Eberly plays the bright and lively Trumpet Concerto of Stravinsky's contemporary Henri Tomasi.

Friday, October 19
Los Angeles: 07:45 AM
Lima: 09:45 AM
Detroit, New York, Toronto: 10:45 AM
Brasília: 11:45 AM
London: 03:45 PM
Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw, Stockholm, Oslo, Cape Town: 04:45 PM
Athens, Kiev, Jerusalem, Beirut, Moscow, Ankara: 05:45 PM
Abu Dhabi: 06:45 PM
New Delhi: 08:15 PM
Beijing, Manila, Hong Kong: 10:45 PM
Tokyo, Seoul: 11:45 PM

Live on Livestream

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

♪ The Tempest, fantasy-overture for orchestra in F minor, Op.18 (1873)

Henri Tomasi (1901-1971)

♪ Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra (1948) *

i. Allegro and cadenza

ii. Nocturne
iii. Finale

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

♪ Le Chant du rossignol (The Song of the Nightingale) (1917)

i. Introduction

ii. Marche chinoise
iii. Le Chant du rossignol
iv. Le Jeu du Rossignol mecanique

♪ The Firebird Suite (1919)

i. Introduction – The Firebird and its dance – The Firebird's variation

ii. The Princesses' Khorovod
iii. Infernal dance of King Kashchei
iv. Berceuse (Lullaby)
v. Finale

Hunter Eberly, trumpet *

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Fabien Gabel

(HD 720p)

Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit

Friday, October 19, 2018, 10:45 AM EDT (GMT-4) / 05:45 PM EEST 

Live on Livestream

Hunter Eberly

Principal Trumpet of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hunter Eberly (b. 1985) is a native of Muskegon, Michigan. Hunter started playing the trumpet at the age of eight under the tutelage of his mother and continued his studies in high school with Charley Lea of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He attended Grand Valley State University, where he studied with Richard Stoelzel and earned his Bachelor of Music degree. Hunter continued his education by attending The Colburn School in Los Angeles. There, he studied with James Wilt of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and earned a Professional Studies Certificate.

Prior to his appointment in Detroit, Hunter served as Principal Trumpet of the Jacksonville Symphony. He has performed as Guest Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in China. He has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

In addition to classical playing, Hunter enjoys playing many other genres of music. Most notably, he has performed with a large number of Motown's greatest performers including Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, The 4 Tops, and Mary Wilson of The Supremes.

As a soloist, Hunter has performed numerous times with the Detroit Symphony, including his 2016 performances of the John Williams Trumpet Concerto, which were recorded and are to be released on the Naxos label.

Hunter has won several awards, including first prize in the National Trumpet Competition Undergraduate Solo Competition, first prize in the National Trumpet Competition Trumpet Ensemble division, and second prize in the International Trumpet Guild Mock Orchestra Competition.

Outside of performing, Hunter maintains a small private teaching studio and regularly coaches college students and young professionals in audition preparation. In addition to his private studio, Hunter has taught the trumpet studios at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. He has also given masterclasses at The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Florida, and numerous other colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Hunter currently resides in Eastpointe, Michigan with his wife Kimberly, son Archer, and dog Daisy.


Fabien Gabel

Hailed as "boldly evocative" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, conductor Fabien Gabel is recognized internationally as one of the stars of a new generation of conductors. A regular guest of major orchestras in Europe, North America and Asia, Gabel has been praised by the San Diego Union Tribune as "A conductor... able to both lead and follow", and has been the Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec since September 2012, and Music Director of the innovative Orchestre Français des Jeunes, since 2017.

Gabel's 2018-2019 season features a diverse range of repertoire and seven conducting debuts, including his highly-anticipated podium debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as return engagements with leading orchestras around the world. In his seventh season as Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, he leads the orchestra with a star-studded lineup of soloists, including Lisette Oropesa, Michael Schade, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux. The conductor continues to lead major orchestras across the United States, returning to the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Milwaukee Symphony where last season Gabel "showed astounding musicianship" (Shepherd Express).

Gabel's European engagements feature debuts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Vienna's Tonkünstler Orchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Warsaw Philharmonic, as well as welcome returns to the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, engagements at the Philharmonie de Paris with the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France and the Orchestre Français des Jeunes, and with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Outside of Europe and the United States, Gabel makes debuts with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony, and returns to the Seoul Philharmonic.

Recent major successful guest conducting collaborations include the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchester, Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Washington's National Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt's Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, and regular collaborations with the Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Fabien Gabel has worked with soloists like Emmanuel Ax, Seong-Jin Cho, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alina Pogostkina, Julian Steckel, Johannes Moser, Antonio Meneses, Marc-André Hamelin, Beatrice Rana, Gautier Capuçon, Simone Lamsma, Xavier de Maistre, and Bertrand Chamayou, and singers such as Jennifer Larmore, Measha Bruggergosman, Danielle de Niese, Natalie Dessay, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux.

Fabien had first attracted international attention in 2004 winning the Donatella Flick competition in London, which subsequently led to his appointment as the LSO's assistant conductor for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. Since then, the LSO has engaged him regularly as a guest conductor.

Born in Paris in 1975 and a member of a family of accomplished musicians, Fabien Gabel began studying trumpet at the age of six, honing his skills at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, which awarded him a First Prize in trumpet in 1996, and later at the Musik Hochschule of Karlsruhe. He went on to play in various Parisian orchestras under the direction of prominent conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle and Bernard Haitink. In 2002 Fabien Gabel pursued his interest in conducting at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he studied with David Zinman, who invited him to appear as a guest conductor at the Festival in 2009. He has worked with Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis as their assistant.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, fantasy-overture for orchestra in F minor, Op.18

There are two pairs of works in Tchaikovsky's oeuvre that are often confused, the first couple being the Op.3 opera Voyevoda (1867-1868) and Voyevoda, the symphonic ballad for orchestra, Op.78. The other confusable pair of siblings are the 1864 overture for orchestra The Storm, Op.76, and the work under examination here, The Tempest, from 1873, a later composition, despite the higher opus number of the first work. The Tempest is a fantasia inspired by the Shakespeare play of the same name. It is not as well known as Tchaikovsky's other orchestral work after Shakespeare, the Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, but is nearly on the artistic level on that powerfully dramatic work. Like Romeo and Juliet it followed a written-out program; The Tempest is less complex than Romeo and Juliet partly because that program is itself simpler in structure. The Romeo and Juliet program was written by the composer Balakirev and specified a complex correspondence of themes with the characters in the play, but the program for The Tempest, written by an art historian named Stasov, specified only a loose sequence of scenes.

The Tempest begins quietly with an air of calm and expectation, the music depicting a placid sea and Ferdinand's ship sailing along confidently. Soon the mood becomes intense and violent as Ariel, at the behest of the magician Prospero, summons a tempest. The music rages on; Tchaikovsky's orchestration is masterful in color and atmospheric splendor as the ship wrecks.

The music depicting the happenings on Shakespeare's fantasy island is finely imagined and intelligently structured throughout. The love theme used to express the burgeoning and then blossoming feelings between Miranda and Ferdinand is beautiful and convincing, if not quite as memorable as that in Romeo and Juliet. Ariel comes across quite colorfully here, too, with an air of fantasy always seeming to hover above the proceedings. In the closing section, the music reverts back to the calm, seafaring mood of the opening.

Source: Robert Cummings (

Henri Tomasi: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra

Written in 1948 in response to an order from the CNSM of Paris, this concert was then declared "unplayable".

The composer resolved to prove the contrary with a concert performed on the 13th of November 1948 by the Orchestra of Radio-Hilversum (directed by Albert Van Raalte) with the Dutch trumpeter Jos Joots.

The "challenge" was first taken up in Paris, France on the 7th of April 1949 by Ludovic Vaillant, playing with the Orchestre National which was directed by the composer himself.

Next it was Raymond Tournesac who played it under the direction of Tomasi on the 28th of July 1949 in Vichy. An interview provided the occasion for the composer to present his work:

"If the style of my Concert for Trumpet is classic by its three movements, the content is not. There is neither subject nor central theme. It is pure music. I tried to make a synthesis of all the expressive and technical possibilities of the trumpet, from Bach up to the present including Jazz. Up until this time the use of the trumpet was relatively unrefined. It was considered as a secondary instrument while the interest here is in discovering all of its expressive resources. Its use has indeed been expanded by our modern composers. I don't pretend to be a precursor; I find myself in the middle of a period where one is demanding more from the so called minor elements of the orchestra and hope to have made a useful contribution to this captivating research". ("Journal de Vichy", 28-07-1949)

Then it was Maurice André who integrated it into his repertoire and a first record was made of the concert played by the Orchestra of Radio-Luxembourg and directed by Louis de Froment in 1963. The same prestigious soloist interpreted the work in a ballet version choreographed by Joseph Lazzini at the Opéra de Marseille on the 10th,16th and 18th of March 1963.

Some comments by Henri Tomasi on the work follow: "The first movement (Allegro and cadence) begins by a trumpet solo; a brief introduction to the 1st theme and of a 2nd that is soft and melancholic. The development of these two themes ends in a dangerous cadence. The second movement (Nocturne) develops an extensive melody with chromatic progressions and offers the soloist brilliant variations around the main theme. The Finale, built upon the 2nd theme takes on the form of a very lively rondo that brings in all the instruments of the orchestra".

The Concert for Trumpet became a 20th century international trumpet classic and was interpreted by a multitude of other excellent musicians including Pierre Thibaud, André Bernard, Guy Touvron, Eric Aubier, Wynton Marsalis, Sergei Nakariakov, Geoffrey Payne, Haruto Yoshida, William Forman, George Vosburhg, Gabriele Cassone, Mark Inouyé, David Bilger, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Giuliano Sommerhalder, Andrea Lucchi, Wolfgang Bauer, Alison Balsom, Sergiu Carstea, Hakan Hardenberger, and young French virtuosos, David Guerrier, Romain Leleu and Alexandre Baty.

The warm, playful and joyous character of this work reflects one of the most happy and favourable periods of Tomasi's life, a post War time when he had regained faith in life and vigor and when his carrier became widely renowned in Europe: Conductor at the Concergebouw, creation of his operas in Munich, Bruxelles, Paris, etc... He composed the Concerto for Trumpet while he was the 1st conductor at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.


Igor Stravinsky: Le Chant du rossignol (The Song of the Nightingale)

In less than five years, Igor Stravinsky turned from a faithful disciple of Rimsky-Korsakov into one of the world's leading modernist composers, a revolutionary who sent some listeners into high raptures and infuriated others with his completely novel approach to rhythm and harmony. To appreciate the extent of these changes, one need look no further than the opera The Nightingale, whose first act was written in 1909 and the second and third in 1914. The interruption was due to the beginning of Stravinsky's collaboration with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, resulting in the three great ballets The Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring. By the time Stravinsky returned to the opera after a five-year hiatus, he was a different composer than he had been when he first started it.

Stravinsky's choice of the Hans Christian Andersen story, in 1908, was inspired by Rimsky's then-recent The Golden Cockerel (1906-1907), another opera about a magic bird brought to an Emperor's court. Although divided into three acts, The Nightingale lasts only 45 minutes and is, for all intents and purposes, a one-act opera in three scenes.

Its brevity and the stylistic break in midstream have prevented The Nightingale from entering the standard operatic repertoire. Conscious of this fact, Stravinsky welcomed the opportunity, offered by Diaghilev, to write a shorter ballet version of the opera. The symphonic poem Le Chant du rossignol, which derives most of its material from the opera's more advanced second and third acts, has proven highly effective both as a concert piece and as a ballet score.

Stravinsky himself likened the clangorous opening of the symphonic poem to the ring of the early telephones in St Petersburg around 1904. The cheerful and rhythmically active music that follows represents the festivities at the Emperor's court, which the Nightingale is called upon to grace with its song (flute solo in a slower tempo). The Emperor makes his entrance to the sound of the "Chinese March", introduced by the strokes of the tam-tam, an austere ostinato (stubbornly repeated figure) in the violins, and short flourishes in the bass. The march melody features the Chinese pentatonic scale, while the rhythmic development and the orchestration are strongly reminiscent of The Rite of Spring.

The nightingale's unaccompanied flute cadenza is followed by a slow passage in which a solo violin plays the mournful melody the bird sings to Death in Act III. Then the festivities resume.Soon the artificial nightingale – a present from the Emperor of Japan – is brought in, with the oboe as its orchestral representative.The repetitious music of the mechanical contraption is interrupted by an angry passage: the Emperor has just realized that while everyone was listening to the fake nightingale, the real bird has escaped. Pianissimo, the solo trumpet intones the peaceful song of the Fisherman that opens and closes the opera.

In the next passage, the Emperor lies ill in bed. The specters of his past deeds are evoked by a somber march theme played by the bassoons, the bass trombone and the tuba. The frightful atmosphere is dispelled by the return of the nightingale (solo violin, solo flute), which then proceeds to heal the Emperor with its magic song. The entrance of the tam-tam suggests a funeral march: the courtiers mistakenly believe that the Emperor is dead. Then, having demonstrated the superiority of nature to artifice, the nightingale returns home and rejoins the Fisherman whose song, played again by the solo trumpet, concludes the symphonic poem.

Source: Peter Laki (

Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite, 1919

Sergei Diaghilev's Paris-based "Ballets Russes" was one of the greatest ballet companies in history, and one that united many of the best dancers of its time. Diaghilev, the director, combined the soul of a brilliant artist with the mind and skills of a shrewd businessman. He was committed to exciting and innovative productions, and he sought out the best modern artists and composers available. Among musicians alone, he worked over the years with Debussy, Ravel, Falla, Prokofiev, and others. However, he never made a more sensational, nor a more fruitful musical discovery, than when he engaged the 27-year-old Igor Stravinsky to write the music for Michel Fokine's new ballet, The Firebird. It was the start of a long collaboration that was to give the world Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces, Mavra, and Apollon Musagète, and which ended only shortly before Diaghilev's death in 1929.

Since the end of the 19th century, there had been a great affinity between Russia and France. The political alliance between the two countries had brought Russia closer to France (France had always been close to Russia where French had long been the language of the educated classes). At the same time, the geographical distance and the difference in culture endowed things Russian with an exotic flavor in the eyes of the French. Both Debussy and Ravel admired and were influenced by the music of the 19th-century Russian masters Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

To create a story of an appropriately exotic flavor, Fokine and his collaborators used several Russian fairy-tales in the scenario of The Firebird. The stories of the beneficent Firebird and the evil ogre Kashchei the Immortal are combined in an ingenious plot, which Eric Walter White summarized in his standard book on Stravinsky as follows:

A young Prince, Ivan Tsarevich, wanders into Kashchei's magic garden at night in pursuit of the Firebird, whom he finds fluttering round a tree bearing golden apples. He captures it and extracts a feather as forfeit before agreeing to let it go. He then meets a group of thirteen maidens and falls in love with one of them, only to find that she and the other twelve maidens are princesses under the spell of Kashchei. When dawn comes and the princesses have to return to Kashchei's palace, he breaks open the gates to follow them inside; but he is captured by Kashchei's guardian monsters and is about to suffer the usual penalty of petrifaction, when he remembers the magic feather. He waves it; and at his summons the Firebird reappears and reveals to him the secret of Kashchei's immortality [his soul, in the form of an egg, is preserved in a casket]. Opening the casket, Ivan smashes the vital egg, and the ogre immediately expires. His enchantments dissolve, all the captives are freed, and Ivan and his Tsarevna are betrothed with due solemnity.

According to the original plans, the music for The Firebird was to have been written by Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945), and, after Tcherepnin's withdrawal, by Anatoli Liadov (1855-1914) or Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936). For various reasons, none of these more experienced composers worked out, so the score would not be ready on time. So Diaghilev approached the young Stravinsky, who had already worked for the Ballets Russes as an orchestrator. The young composer, honored by the commission, put aside the opera The Nightingale, whose first act he had just completed, and began work on the ballet.

To describe the magical world of fairy-birds and evil sorcerers, Stravinsky had a whole tradition to build on, a tradition he had inherited from his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In the last years before his death in 1908, Rimsky-Korsakov had written three operas on fantastic subjects, one of which was titled Kashchei the Immortal (the other two were The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, and The Golden Cockerel). In his fantastic operas as elsewhere, Rimsky-Korsakov made ample use of a special scale known to Russian musicians as the "Rimsky scale", which was subsequently adopted by the master's most famous pupil. The "Rimsky scale", nowadays called "octatonic", consists of a regular alternation of half-steps and whole steps: C-C sharp-D sharp-E-F sharp-G-A-B flat. This particular grouping of tones, lying outside the major-minor system, is always associated with the evil Kashchei. The music of the magical Firebird is also chromatic in nature, related in part to the Kashchei music. The motifs of the Tsarevich, on the other hand, are purely diatonic (using a traditional seven-note scale) and are derived from a central type of Russian folksong known as the "long-drawn-out" song (protyazhnaya pesnya). Both the story and the musical style of the ballet seemed highly original in the West, although in fact, both grew out of an indigenous Russian tradition.

Yet for all the Rimsky influence, Stravinsky's first ballet shows a remarkable individuality. The handling of rhythm in particular (with already a few typical Stravinskyan ostinatos, or "stubbornly" repeated figures) is quite innovative, and the orchestration reveals the hand of a true master. Stravinsky knew how to draw the most spectacular effects from his enormous orchestra. One may cite special items that have made history, like the harmonic arpeggios for strings in the introduction or the solos for the small D-clarinet at several points. But even more important are the multifarious new combinations of instrumental colors appearing on virtually every page of the score.

The 1919 suite is in five movements. The mysterious Introduction leads into the glittering Dance of the Firebird, followed by the slow and solemn Khorovod (round dance) of the captive princesses, based on a melancholy Russian folksong first played by the oboe. "Kashchei's Infernal Dance" is next, started by a fast timpani roll and dominated by a syncopated motif that arises from the lower registers (bassoons, horn, tuba) and is gradually taken over by the entire orchestra. This is the longest movement in the suite, including a lyrical countersubject symbolizing the plight of Kashchei's prisoners. The "infernal dance" returns, concluding with a wild climax. As a total contrast, the Firebird's Berceuse ("Lullaby") is a delicate song for solo bassoon. It leads directly into the Finale (the wedding of Ivan Tsarevich and the Princess), where the first horn introduces what is probably the most famous Russian folksong in the ballet. As this beautiful melody grows in volume and orchestration, it undergoes a significant metric change: the symmetrical triple meter (3/2) is transformed into an asymmetrical 7/4, bringing the music to its final culmination point.

The Firebird, a resounding success at the Paris premiere, remained Stravinsky's most popular work for half a century. Stravinsky himself conducted hundreds of performances of The Firebird, mainly in the form of the suites, of which the 1919 version became the best known. And though his style and artistic outlook had changed considerably (and repeatedly) during the intervening decades, even the 80-year-old Stravinsky had every reason to like the work that had catapulted him to fame at 28.

Source: Peter Laki (

Monday, October 15, 2018

Max Bruch: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra – Richard Lin, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin

Accompanied by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the American conductor Leonard Slatkin, Richard Lin – 1st prize winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis – performs Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op.46, in the final round of the Competition. Recorded at Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, on September 14, 2018.

Max Bruch was born eleven years after the death of Beethoven, hit his stride as a contemporary (and adoring fan) of Brahms, outlived Debussy and was acquainted with jazz. This longevity witnessed major changes in western classical music, but Bruch resisted their allure. He condemned the Wagnerian Music of the Future ideas, sniffed at twentieth century explorations into atonality and impressionism, and remained loyal to the traditions of Schumann and Mendelssohn.

"The violin can sing a melody better than a piano, and melody is the soul of music", he proclaimed. His trio of violin concerti became very popular. In particular, the G minor Violin Concerto was a huge success, and the Scottish Fantasy, arriving fourteen years later, though not a concerto, shared the reflected glory. In a letter to his publisher on July 30, 1880 Bruch stated "the title ‘Fantasy’ is very general and as a rule refers to a short piece rather than to one in several movements... However, this work cannot properly be called a concerto because the form of the whole is so completely free and because folk-melodies are used".

Bruch adored Scotland (some called him a Scotophile), read Sir Walter Scott, sometimes set Scottish poets to music, and collected Scottish folk songs (as well as those of Sweden and Russia) long before folksong collecting became fashionable or seriously researched as fodder for classical music. In 1863, he published twelve Scottish folk airs in four-part settings; while conductor in Liverpool (1878-1880), he also assiduously studied the indigenous music of Great Britain.

The Scots Musical Museum, a six volume compendium of Scottish songs, appeared between 1787 and 1803. This collection was a primary source for many 19th century composers (including Beethoven) and it was natural that Max Bruch turned to The Scots Musical Museum to obtain authentic musical ideas for Opus 46, written for the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate. From the collection, Bruch pulled three songs with poetry by Robert Burns, and the fourth by an unknown source. Bruch wrote his Scottish Fantasy while snuggly ensconced in his Berlin studio during the winter of 1879-1880. Sarasate premiered Opus 46 in September, 1880 at the Bach Festival in Hamburg.

Opus 46 has four movements, preceded by a lengthy, slow prelude. The first opens in E flat minor with a brooding introduction, reminiscent of the cloudy Scottish weather. Harps and Scottish rhythmic snaps are liberally sprinkled throughout to evoke the Scottish atmosphere and musical presence. Low brass murmur support as the solo violinist sings a sad tune. Sunshine emerges in the Adagio cantabile section which presents the Scottish tune Auld Rob Morris, now discretely harmonized in muted strings.

The second movement (Allegro) begins with small pieces of a musical idea which coalesce into the tune The Dusty Miller (with bagpipe drones [sung by the basses] and country fiddling). Bruch allows this to morph into a Scottish dance. The music relaxes toward the end, quoting Auld Rob Morris before leading into an Andante based on "I’m a' Doun for Lack of Johnnie".

A tiny recall of Auld Rob Morris in recitative style bridges into the third movement, Andante sostenuto. The soloist begins slowly and wistfully, followed by variations.

The finale explodes into fireworks with quotes from "Scots Wha Hae", commemorating the Scottish victory (guaranteeing their independence) at Bannockburn. This tune also became an unofficial national anthem of Scotland. Lyrics were written by Robert Burns in 1793, in the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce. Burns allowed the publication of the song in the Morning Chronicle of May 8, 1794, saying, "let them insert it as a thing they have met with by accident and unknown to me". The text reads:

"Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome tae yer gory bed,
Or tae yer victorie!"

A secondary theme also emerges. After a moment to catch one's breath, the soloist takes off in virtuosic display which is quieted momentarily by a calming interlude, with memories of the opening movement. Led by the orchestra, the war mood is quickly re-invigorated and the violinist enthusiastically joins the martial music before gleefully producing its own fiery cadenza.


Max Bruch (1838-1920)

♪ Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op.46 (1880)

i. Introduction: Grave. Adagio cantabile
ii. Scherzo: Allegro
iii. Andante sostenuto
iv. Finale: Allegro guerriero

Richard Lin, violin

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin

Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis, September 14, 2018

(HD 720p)

Richard Lin is a Taiwanese American violinist. He won competitions in Poland, United States, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. In 2013 he won the first prize in the Sendai International Music Competition. In 2015 he was the third prize laureate in 9th Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. In 2016 he was the fifth prize laureate in 15th Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition.

Born in 1991 in the United States and raised in Taichung, Taiwan, Richard Lin began his violin studies at the age of 4. In his native Taiwan, he studied with Gregory Lee. Since 2008 he has studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, under professor Aaron Rosand. Since 2013 he has studied at Juilliard School, under professors Lewis Kaplan. In 2011 he took the second place in 6th Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand. In 2013 he won the first prize in 5th Sendai International Music Competition. In 2015 he was the second prize laureate in Singapore International Violin Competition, and the third prize laureate in 9th Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. He has appeared as a soloist with Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Macau String Association Orchestra, and Academy of Taiwan Strings. He has also given many solo recitals in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. He currently resides in New York City.

2011: Second Prize in 6th Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand
2013: First Prize and Audience Prize in 5th Sendai International Music Competition
2015: Second Prize, Goh Soon Tioe Violin and Piano Recital Prize and Audience Prize in Singapore International Violin Competition
2015: Third Prize and JJV Community Award in 9th Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover
2016: Fifth Prize in Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition
2016: Fifth Prize in 15th Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition
2018: First Prize in 10th International Violin Competition of Indianapolis


More photos

See also

Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei, piano & cello arr. Op.47 – Ernst Simon Glaser, Torleif Torgersen (HD 1080p)

Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor – Nicola Benedetti, Jiří Bělohlávek

Friday, October 12, 2018

Markella Hatziano: Painting with notes and colour – Interview by Kosmas Vidos, the uncut version | Μαρκέλλα Χατζιάνο: Ζωγραφίζοντας με νότες και με χρώμα – Συνέντευξη στον Κοσμά Βίδο, χωρίς περικοπές

I choose to remain constantly in the light, feeling the existence of the darkness...

Painting with notes and colour: Markella Hatziano's interview by Kosmas Vidos (Νewspaper «To Vima», Sunday, October 7, 2018), the uncut version.

Kosmas Vidos: I do not wish to begin from the music, from the opera, the field that everyone knows you, but from another artistic activity that is not known to many. You paint. How did it occur? Is it something new?

Markella Hatziano: It came about in the most natural way, like a need you cannot ignore. A blending of life experiences that seek to be expressed through freedom of colors and movement without boundaries and perimeters. I would say that I came upon painting, in an early form naturally, almost at the age of 12. At the same time as I began my music studies in classical singing at the National Conservatory. Both of them have coexisted and have been walking together since then.

KV: Your paintings have been influenced by Pollock, a "strange" and "difficult" painter. What brought you near his artwork? What do you wish to express through them? What need created them?

MH: I saw my inner desire to create as an endless study and concurrently as a way of expression without analysis. Adoring since childhood all expressions of art, I was "walking" familiar paths, painting still life and landscapes. I had the sense though that my personal relationship with the canvas was highly cerebral and, I would even say, selfish. Seeing it now from a distance, the willingness to create a "specific subject", recognizable, came to a dead end when I realized that I was in search of a differrent, almost an absolute freedom of expression, just like I was always doing with my voice.

Flipping through an abstract art book one afternoon, stopped at the four Jackson Pollock's works hosted on its pages. At that moment I could sense a taste of freedom through the irregular flow of his few colors on the canvas. I would say that I was inspired in terms of the movement that was being communicated through his work and the energetic transfer of the painter's experiences I was receiving.

You are asking me what do I wish to say through my paintings. No matter how emotionally charged I might be feeling (before I enter the atelier) I choose to leave the negative emotions outside, keeping only my universal love for people, life and our planet. I desire my paintings to inspire feelings of harmony, love, oceans of communication of the heart and the senses. The natural consequence is to ask the viewers to touch the artworks. Crafted on wood, which holds an energy of inconceivable power, with infinite layers of unmixed acrylic paints, they create embossed surfaces that long for the touch, the joining.

KV: You had a solo exhibition in the US. Will there be another? I mean, do you continue to paint and intend to keep on painting? Are you planning to exhibit in Greece?

MH: Yes, this exhibition was quite pioneering and emotionally moving when it came to the viewers'-listeners' reactions. The exhibition lasted for two months and was accompanied by my recorded musical performances, recitals and concert work. During the opening of the exhibition a short live recital was given. It is my wish to share my artwork and exhibit in Greece. Music and visual arts were always going hand in hand for me. Now more than ever.

KV: And your singing? You have made a very important international career which at a certain moment you have interrupted and virtually withdrew from it. It was, I assume, your own decision, since you were in demand by all the grand theaters. Really, why did you stop?

MH: Oh... the singing and the career, a unique life relationship. Just thinking about your question, the rhythm of my heart changes... even more so if I am to respond to you.

Travelling 10 months per year for a significant number of years and for about 12 years with my beloved daughter Alexandra, there came a certain moment when I felt I had to make a decision about what was the most important for both of us at that time. To continue my fast-paced career which was running an excellent course and keep Alexandra living in this interesting way of life which was rich in experiences, though not always appropriate for her age, her needs as a child and later on as a teenager, or put a halt to my artistic career for sometime and be able to offer her some years of different stability?

Since I was very young I believed that motherhood was a unique and incomparable life goal. It is a sacred gift, to be given the opportunity to raise and take care of a child. The gift was even greater as Alexandra was adopted an hour after her birth. So when she reached about the age of 12 years, I stopped my career. Within a few days I made five enemies. The five agents who have represented me worldwide for a considerable length of time. It was my own conscious decision, with a start and a finish date. And I continue...

KV: You 've raised a family and built a career, so you are the most appropriate to answer me: Are they compatible in the end? Or does one or the other have to be sacrificed?

MH: For artists with an international career the combination of those two is extremely difficult to impossible. During the first period of my personal life I would say I've been favored, until my recent divorce. Naturally, I would also say that there are always beautiful exceptions, though usually the sacrifice of one for the survival of the other seems inevitable.

KV: You haven't sung for a long time but you have made some private recordings which you have presented on Facebook. It was like you were stating that although you were not performing in public, singing was always part of your life. Have you been daily singing and exercising your voice all these years? How significantly important is singing to you?

MH: Yes... it was a journey of exploring different ways of expression. A vocal and expressive experimentation began. Of course it didn't always meet my expectations and inner world... I surrendered myself for a while to the desires and recommendations of people who at the time had my trust. Some recordings have been created which I remember with a smile and others which I have already forgotten... and once again I smile. I felt like a creator who, through experiments and ineffective efforts, was discovering my particular strengths. Various private recordings... yes... possibly that's what I would call them. With calmness and positivity I lived away from the stage and my beloved audience, though nothing could stop the development of my voice through more unwonted paths thereafter, that led me to a clear recognition of my mission as a singer, which was and is the human communication.

I've been exercising the voice without restrictive boundaries. I silenced my busy mind, which was placing limits and was creating illusions as to what was musically "reachable". I developed the voice with the same freedom that I create my abstract paintings. Without borders, without labels like mezzo, soprano, classical singer, art singer, musical singer. Separations ceased to exist and although I made mistakes experimenting, through them I discovered other forces and sensitivities. As to how important it is for me to sing... I would say, as important as to feel the joy of life every single moment, and to be able to share it. Voice is the channel of a direct energetic union with people and nature.

KV: You mainly have served the classical repertoire, your works of art however are "children" of a very modern perspective. What is their connection? I can't hide from you that viewing one of your paintings and listening to one of your arias, I'm under the impression that one artist has created the painting and some other is singing the aria.

MH: If the works of art are, as you say, "children" of a very modern perspective, my answer lies in your question. Although I have sung and sing mainly the classical repertoire, my "position" is constantly adapting to the present moment. I interprete the classical repertoire in the same way that I create my artwork, with a new perspective, always present-day. The works of art also "hold" the energy of centuries and other eras. The composition of the supposedly two different worlds can be beautifully bridged by accepting the present moment as it unfolds. We create separations... which are actually nonexistent. These co-occurrences lead us to unexplored places, full of surprises.

KV: In your career you've also sung more modern compositions such as Vangelis Papathanassiou's works. Serving this genre as a classical singer, what do you like about this kind of "experiments"? Would you sing again modern, even easy listening music?

MH: Of course... I sang contemporary / modern composers since the early years of my career. I considered and continue to consider modern compositions for example the works of Manolis Kalomiris. Among them, the Symphony No.2 "Of the good and innocent people" which I interpreted at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus being rather young. There are composers that cannot easily become old-time. The way they composed remains timeless and always fresh. In the same way I am watchful on the evolution of my voice. "Cleansing it" from past memories, deterioration over time and the "repetition" of what we consider "conquered". The voice as an instrument changes color and the rendering fills with mannerisms. We find timelessness in the voice, no matter how much this seems strange.

The fact that I collaborated with Vangelis in a time when I was perhaps more devoted to the classical repertoire, while he was composing New Age, confirmed anew that there were no separations, boundaries and borders in Art. What we created years ago through our artistic coexistence was pioneering, modern and continues to be. The experiment is that, by possessing the vocal technique, I decided to surrender to the instinctive freedom of interpretation. That's what I like and fascinates me. Without any doubt I wish to interpret what offers the experience of unparalleled vocal expression without limits, in coexistence with the melodic line that roots in the strong expressive emotion.

KV: Among such "experiments" that you bravely did, is included there was also the song "Greece" that you uploaded on YouTube in the beginning of the crisis with the desire, I assume, to share a word of support, to express your feelings for Greece, your birth place that you love. There were those who ironically criticized your act. Were you bothered?

MH: How well you are describing what held a space of substantial dimensions in me then. I wanted to express my ample support from afar for my compatriots and my mother country. But perhaps I didn't choose the right way. Once the artist decides to create something and to release it to the public, it's only to be expected that there will be different and, in this case, negative opinions. I wasn't aware that "Greece" had been ironically used and criticized so heavily. A dear friend from Athens brought the matter to my attention. I remained silent for a long time and then, having "lived" the experience, I proceeded onwards. No, I was not bothered. I believe in the freedom of opinion and expression. It's been an excellent personal lesson.

KV: Further to the previous question, you have lived and live in a difficult and harsh, competitive but also full of pettinesses occupational field, the world of classical singing. Also as you are very well aware, even the sympathetic community of the music lovers, the public at large, can be very tough. How easily can you handle these situations without allowing them to wear you down?

MH: We create our own space in that very field and we choose to infuse it either with positivity or negativity. Everything grows out of our personal approach. Since the beginning of my musical studies at the age of 12 at the Greek National Conservatory, I was able to sense the beauty and the challenges this specific field was holding.

I do not believe that I identified myself with the negative side of my profession, except for 2-3 times that I had no other choice, as in the case of my serious conflict with Lorin Maazel. It is a world full of narcissism, vulnerability, insecurities, selfishness, competition and illusions. On the other pan of the balance scale though there is this tremendous need for communication, offer, sharing, expression. The intuition that we are transporting channels of rich emotions through our voice and speech allows us to practice our metaphysical skills that cannot be easily described. And at the same time there's the ackowledge that, though we seem strong, a negative word is enough to weaken and perturb us for a long time. I choose to remain constantly in the light, feeling the existence of the darkness... I refuse since I was a child to "infect" the gift that I was given. My singing voice exists not to compliment myself on how well I can sing, but to be used lovingly in the service of communication andexpression of human emotions.

KV: Which are you regarding to be the artist's mission in the modern world? Is there a mission? Are we here to leave something? And if so, of which nature would you like your personal offer to be?

MH: I would like to believe that an artist's mission is to keep the planet in balance, feeding and supporting it through creativity, positivity, harmony, brightness and optimism. A mission interwoven with the simple, essential naturalness of life. Our mission might be also the self-awareness and awakening of our consciousness. Whether we leave something or not after our passing, I do not think is of great importance. If artistic creation happened without self-interest and with the intention of offering through human communication, then maybe something remains... Perhaps what I share with you contains naivety and idealization but I wish to continue to sing and express myself through a powerful instinct now, with freedom and an inexhaustible desire to share, always at the forefront!

KV: Would you come back to your singing? Would you start to live again in the rhythm you lived at the times you were travelling from theater to theater? Or do you now have other priorities and other plans? Really, what are your plans for the future? What would you like to do? What are you dreaming of?

MH: I enjoy tremendously the way you are concluding your lengthy question! Yes, I constantly dream, sing and paint with my vocal chords, with my soul, my heart, my thinking. Nonstop I envisage and desire my communication with my audience. To inspire and be inspired by modern composers who share the same powerful dream. There is no room and no time to think about the demanding, intense and full of tensions rhythms of a life I know so well. When there is a natural flow of life and creation, the rhythm become part of the "musical phrase" and the coexistence seems remarkably harmonious. I wish to collaborate with Greek musicians on the creation of concerts, part of the profits of which would be used for charitable purposes, and not only.

KV: You hadn't been to Greece for a long time. How did you find her? Did she please or disappoint you? After living for so many years in a quite isolated area of the United States would you return back here again?

MH: Maybe someday I will write my story... Indeed, when I think of the number of years I've been away from the place I was born, I wonder how I managed. I never ceased to carry Greece inside of me in endless ways. The house I left had elements in its interior architecture inspired by Greece. Doric columns and a blue ceiling. The blue of the Greek islands dominated my life. The food and sweets that I cooked with my mother since I was a child. And the unique Greek hospitality that nothing in the world can be compared with! Treating people to food is part of our daily life, the hugs and double-cheek kisses. Our traditional dances, ethnic costumes, the revolutionary soul that usually puts us to trouble. The boldness we carry from our ancestral culture!

I know now first-hand how much the economic crisis has changed our rhythms. It have planted doubts about the values of others and our own... Nevertheless, on my recent visit I felt a boost, an optimism, even through the dramatic expressions and words of the people.This is because the Greeks do not remain too long in the depths. They rise and stare at the sun without wasting too much time. Wise men would say "my best teacher is my worst enemy". In this case, what we have been through and still dealing with, will bring us to the light sooner or later... Greece could never disappoint me. She is part of me and I am part of her. I always embraced her and I will continue to do so. My daughter is studying music at a university in the U.S. and is at an age of independence. Now I would love to spend a fair amount of time in Greece.

KV: Your daughter is a musician, a violinist. Knowing well the world in which she will be called to live and perform, what would you advise her? Do you fear that she might make the same mistakes you did? Have you ever thought "it would be best if she didn't get mixed up with this very world"?

MH: Alexandra lived most of her years very close to the orchestras and the stage. Now the time has come for her to find her place not only close to them but to be an active musician in them. I cannot advise her, because the "journey" is her own, not mine. I speak those words with boundless love and respect for what she has created and continues to create with her devotion to music, to her violin since she was 3 years old.

Mistakes? How could she make the same mistakes? Another person, another performer, another character, another path! Whatever I choose to share with her about my own experiences, I am certain that among a thousand, two might be similar. Mistakes ar an important part of life. As I often say... All is well!

I never ever thought "it would be best if she didn’t get involved with the artistic world". As I mentioned in the beginning, we artists, being channels through our creative expressions, emotions, ideas and visions, perhaps we keep the planet in some harmony. I would probably say that all Alexandra's artistic expressions where a gift to me and I did my best to encourage and support them.

KV: To someone who would discover you now, what would you suggest to listen to or see in order to understand who Markella Hatziano is?

MH: If it is the first time that someone will hear my voice, I would say, I would suggest he listens to my next concert or performance... Yesterday is part of us, though not as important as what we are creating at the present moment. Don't you think so?

September 2018

Επιλέγω συνεχώς να μένω στο φως, αισθανόμενη την ύπαρξη του σκότους...

Ζωγραφίζοντας με νότες και με χρώμα: Συνέντευξη της Μαρκέλλας Χατζιάνο στον Κοσμά Βίδο («Το Βήμα της Κυριακής», 7 Οκτωβρίου 2018), χωρίς περικοπές.

Κοσμάς Βίδος: Δεν θέλω να ξεκινήσουμε από τη μουσική, από την όπερα, τον χώρο για τον οποίο σας γνωρίζουν όλοι, αλλά από μιαν άλλη καλλιτεχνική δραστηριότητά σας που δεν τη γνωρίζουν οι πολλοί. Ζωγραφίζετε. Πώς προέκυψε; Είναι κάτι καινούριο;

Μαρκέλλα Χατζιάνο: Προέκυψε με τον πιο φυσικό τρόπο, σαν μια ανάγκη που δεν μπορείς να αγνοήσεις. Ένας συγκερασμός εμπειριών ζωής, που αναζητούν να εκφραστούν μέσα από μιαν ελευθερία χρωμάτων και κίνησης χωρίς όρια και περιμέτρους. Θα έλεγα πως συναντήθηκα με τη ζωγραφική, σε πρώιμη φυσικά μορφή, σχεδόν από την ηλικία των δώδεκα χρόνων. Την ίδια εποχή που ξεκίνησα τις κλασικές μουσικές μου σπουδές στη μονωδία στο Εθνικό Ωδείο. Και οι δύο λοιπόν συνυπήρχαν και συμπορεύονταν από τότε.

ΚΒ: Οι πίνακές σας έχουν επιρροές από τον Πόλοκ, έναν «περίεργο» και «δύσκολο» ζωγράφο. Τι είναι αυτό που σας έφερε κοντά του; Και τι θέλετε να πείτε με αυτούς; Ποια ανάγκη τους δημιούργησε;

ΜΧ: Την επιθυμία μου να δημιουργώ την έβλεπα σαν μιαν ατελείωτη σπουδή και μαζί σαν έναν τρόπο έκφρασης χωρίς ανάλυση. Λάτρης από παιδί όλων των εκφάνσεων της τέχνης, «περπατούσα» σε πιο «οικείους δρόμους», ζωγραφίζοντας νεκρή φύση και τοπία. Ένιωθα όμως πως η σχέση μου αυτή με τον καμβά ήταν άκρως εγκεφαλική και, θα έλεγα, εγωιστική. Βλέποντάς την τώρα από απόσταση, η διάθεση να δημιουργώ «συγκεκριμένο θέμα», αναγνωρίσιμο, έφθασε σε αδιέξοδο, όταν συνειδητοποίησα πως αναζητούσα μιαν αλλιώτικη, σχεδόν απόλυτη ελευθερία έκφρασης, έτσι όπως την αναζητούσα και με τη φωνή μου.

Ξεφυλλίζοντας ένα βιβλίο για την αφηρημένη τέχνη ένα απόγευμα, σταμάτησα στα τέσσερα έργα του Τζάκσον Πόλοκ, που φιλοξενούνταν στις σελίδες του. Εκείνη τη στιγμή μπόρεσα να νιώσω μια γεύση ελευθερίας μέσα από την ακανόνιστη ροή των λίγων χρωμάτων του πάνω στον καμβά. Θα έλεγα πως εμπνεύστηκα, ως προς την κίνηση που επικοινωνούσαν τα έργα και την ενεργειακή μεταφορά των βιωμάτων του δημιουργού που εισέπραττα.

Με ρωτάτε τι θέλω να πω μέσα από τους πίνακές μου. Όσο κι αν τα δικά μου προσωπικά βιώματα είναι «φορτισμένα» (πριν μπω στο ατελιέ), διαλέγω να τα αφήνω απ' έξω, κρατώντας μόνο μια συμπαντική αγάπη για τους ανθρώπους, τη ζωή, τον πλανήτη μας. Η επιθυμία μου είναι, οι πίνακες να εμπνεύσουν συναισθήματα αρμονίας, αγάπης, ωκεανούς επικοινωνίας καρδιάς και αισθήσεων. Φυσικό επακόλουθο είναι να ζητώ από τους θεατές να αγγίξουν τα έργα. Δουλεμένα πάνω σε ξύλο, το οποίο κρατά μια δύναμη ενεργειακά ασύλληπτη, με άπειρες στρώσεις μη αναμεμειγμένων ακρυλικών χρωμάτων, δημιουργούν ανάγλυφες επιφάνειες που αποζητούν το άγγιγμα, τη συνένωση.

ΚΒ: Κάνατε μιαν έκθεση στις ΗΠΑ. Θα υπάρξει και άλλη; Εννοώ, συνεχίζετε και σκοπεύετε να συνεχίσετε να ζωγραφίζετε; Στην Ελλάδα δεν θα κάνετε καμία έκθεση;

ΜΧ: Ναι, αυτή η έκθεση ήταν αρκετά πρωτοποριακή και συγκινητική ως προς τις αντιδράσεις των θεατών-ακροατών. Η έκθεση διήρκεσε δύο μήνες και συνοδευόταν από ηχογραφημένες μουσικές παραστάσεις μου, ρεσιτάλ και κονσέρτα. Στα εγκαίνια της έκθεσης δόθηκε ένα σύντομο ζωντανό ρεσιτάλ. Θέλω πολύ να μοιραστώ τα έργα μου και να εκθέσω και στην Ελλάδα. Η μουσική και η εικαστική δημιουργία πάντα συμπορεύονταν για μένα. Ίσως τώρα περισσότερο από ποτέ.

ΚΒ: Και το τραγούδι; Κάνατε μια πολύ σημαντική διεθνή καριέρα, την οποία κάποια στιγμή διακόψατε και ουσιαστικά αποσυρθήκατε. Ήταν, υποθέτω, μια δική σας απόφαση, αφού εκείνη την εποχή σάς ζητούσαν όλα τα μεγάλα θέατρα. Αλήθεια, γιατί σταματήσατε;

ΜΧ: Ω... το τραγούδι κι η καριέρα, μια μοναδική σχέση ζωής. Και μόνο που σκέφτομαι την ερώτησή σας, αλλάζει ο ρυθμός της καρδιάς μου... Πόσο μάλλον να σας δώσω μιαν απάντηση.

Ταξιδεύοντας δέκα μήνες τον χρόνο για πολλά χρόνια και σχεδόν μια δωδεκαετία με την αγαπημένη κόρη μου Αλεξάνδρα, έφτασε κάποια στιγμή που ένιωσα πως έπρεπε να πάρω μιαν απόφαση για το τι ήταν πιο σημαντικό εκείνη την εποχή. Να συνεχίσω την καριέρα μου με τον ίδιο ρυθμό, που βρισκόταν σε μιαν εξαιρετική πορεία, και να συνεχίσει για την Αλεξάνδρα αυτός ο ενδιαφέρων τρόπος ζωής, ο πλούσιος σε εμπειρίες, όμως επίσης όχι πάντα αρμόζων για την ηλικία και τις ανάγκες της ως παιδιού κι αργότερα ως έφηβης, ή να σταματήσω την καλλιτεχνική μου πορεία για κάποιο διάστημα και να μπορέσω να της προσφέρω μερικά χρόνια διαφορετικής σταθερότητας;

Από πολύ νέα πίστευα πως η μητρότητα είναι ένας στόχος ζωής μοναδικός, ασύγκριτος. Είναι ιερό δώρο, να μεγαλώσεις, να φροντίσεις ένα παιδί. Πόσο μεγαλύτερο δώρο ήταν, όταν η Αλεξάνδρα υιοθετήθηκε μια ώρα μετά τη γέννησή της. Έτσι, όταν έφτασε στα δώδεκά της χρόνια, σταμάτησα την καριέρα μου. Απόκτησα μέσα σε λίγες μέρες πέντε εχθρούς. Τους πέντε ιμπρεσάριους που με εκπροσωπούσαν παγκοσμίως για ένα σημαντικά μεγάλο χρονικό διάστημα. Ήταν μια δική μου συνειδητή απόφαση, με μια ημερομηνία έναρξης και λήξης. Και συνεχίζω...

ΚΒ: Κάνατε και καριέρα και οικογένεια, οπότε είστε η πιο κατάλληλη για να μου απαντήσετε: Τελικά συνδυάζονται; Ή πρέπει να θυσιάσεις κάποιο από τα δύο;

ΜΧ: Στους καλλιτέχνες με διεθνή καριέρα μάλλον ο συνδυασμός των δύο είναι εξαιρετικά δύσκολος, έως ακατόρθωτος. Στην πρώτη περίοδο της προσωπικής μου ζωής θα έλεγα ότι ευνοήθηκα, μέχρι τον πρόσφατο χωρισμό μου. Βέβαια θα έλεγα πως πάντα υπάρχουν οι όμορφες εξαιρέσεις. Συνήθως όμως η θυσία του ενός για την επιβίωση του άλλου μοιάζει αναπόφευκτη.

ΚΒ: Έχετε πολύ καιρό να τραγουδήσετε, κάνατε όμως κάποιες ιδιωτικές ηχογραφήσεις που τις ανεβάσατε στο Facebook. Σαν να δηλώνατε με αυτόν τον τρόπο πως ακόμη κι αν δεν εμφανιζόσασταν πια, το τραγούδι πάντα υπήρχε στη ζωή σας. Όλα αυτά τα χρόνια εξακολουθούσατε να τραγουδάτε καθημερινά και να γυμνάζετε τη φωνή σας; Πόσο σημαντικό είναι τελικά το τραγούδι για εσάς;

ΜΧ: Ναι..., ήταν ένα ταξίδι εξερεύνησης άλλων δρόμων έκφρασης. Ξεκίνησε ένας πειραματισμός φωνητικός αλλά και εκφραστικός. Βέβαια όχι πάντα έτσι όπως πραγματικά προσδοκούσα. Αφέθηκα για λίγο στις επιθυμίες και συστάσεις ανθρώπων που εκείνη την εποχή είχαν την εμπιστοσύνη μου. Έγιναν κάποιες ηχογραφήσεις που τις θυμάμαι με χαμόγελο και άλλες που ήδη έχω ξεχάσει... και πάλι χαμογελώ. Ήμουν σαν τον δημιουργό, που μέσα από πειραματισμούς και ατελέσφορες προσπάθειες, ανακάλυπτα τις ιδιαίτερες αντοχές μου. Ποικιλόμορφες ιδιωτικές ηχογραφήσεις... ναι, ίσως έτσι θα τις ονόμαζα. Με ηρεμία και θετικότητα έζησα μακριά από τη σκηνή και το αγαπημένο μου κοινό, όμως τίποτα δεν μπόρεσε να σταματήσει την εξέλιξη της φωνής μου, πλέον μέσα από πιο ιδιαίτερους δρόμους που με οδήγησαν σε μια καθαρή αναγνώριση της αποστολής μου ως τραγουδίστριας, που ήταν και είναι η επικοινωνία με τον άνθρωπο.

Γύμναζα και γυμνάζω τη φωνή χωρίς όρια δεσμευτικά. Σιγάνεψα τις ιδέες του μυαλού που έβαζε όρια και δημιουργούσε ψευδαισθήσεις ως προς τι μπορούσα να «αγγίξω» μουσικά. Εξέλιξα τη φωνή με την ίδια ελευθερία που δημιουργώ τα αφηρημένα ζωγραφικά μου έργα. Χωρίς σύνορα, χωρίς τεχνητές ετικέτες, όπως μέτζο, δραματική σοπράνο, κλασική τραγουδίστρια, τραγουδίστρια του έντεχνου, του μιούζικαλ. Οι διαχωρισμοί σταμάτησαν να υπάρχουν και παρότι έκανα λάθη πειραματιζόμενη, μέσα από αυτά ανακάλυψα άλλες δυνάμεις κι ευαισθησίες. Το πόσο σημαντικό είναι για μένα να τραγουδώ... Θα έλεγα όσο σημαντικό είναι να νιώθω τη χαρά της ζωής κάθε λεπτό και να τη μοιράζομαι. Η φωνή είναι κανάλι μιας κατευθείαν ενεργειακής ένωσης με τους ανθρώπους και τη φύση.

ΚΒ: Υπηρετήσατε κυρίως το κλασικό ρεπερτόριο, τα εικαστικά έργα σας όμως είναι «παιδιά» μιας πολύ μοντέρνας οπτικής. Ποια είναι η σύνδεσή τους; Δεν σας κρύβω πως βλέποντας έναν πίνακά σας και ακούγοντας μιαν άριά σας, νομίζω πως άλλος καλλιτέχνης έχει κάνει το ένα και άλλος το άλλο.

ΜΧ: Εάν τα εικαστικά έργα είναι, όπως λέτε, παιδιά μιας πολύ μοντέρνας οπτικής, μέσα σε αυτή τη φράση βρίσκεται και η απάντησή μου. Παρόλο που έχω τραγουδήσει και τραγουδώ κυρίως κλασικό ρεπερτόριο, η «θέση» μου συνεχώς προσαρμόζεται στην παρούσα στιγμή. Ερμηνεύω το κλασικό ρεπερτόριο έτσι όπως δημιουργώ τα εικαστικά έργα, με μια καινούργια οπτική γωνία, πάντα σημερινή. Τα εικαστικά έργα επίσης «κρατούν» την ενέργεια αιώνων και άλλων εποχών. Τη σύνθεση των υποτιθέμενων δύο κόσμων τη γεφυρώνουμε όμορφα και φυσικά με το να αποδεχόμαστε την παρούσα στιγμή έτσι όπως εκτυλίσσεται. Εμείς δημιουργούμε διαχωρισμούς... οι οποίοι ουσιαστικά δεν υπάρχουν. Αυτές οι συνυπάρξεις, μας οδηγούν σε χώρους ανεξερεύνητους και γεμάτους εκπλήξεις.

ΚΒ: Στην καριέρα σας τραγουδήσατε και πιο μοντέρνες συνθέσεις, όπως π.χ έργα του Βαγγέλη Παπαθανασίου. Παραμένοντας όμως μια κλασική τραγουδίστρια. Τι είναι αυτό που σας αρέσει σε αυτού του είδους τα «πειράματα»; Θα ξαναλέγατε σύγχρονη, ακόμα και easy listening, μουσική;

ΜΧ: Μα βέβαια... τραγούδησα σύγχρονους / μοντέρνους συνθέτες από τα πρώτα χρόνια της καριέρας μου. Θεωρούσα και θεωρώ μοντέρνες συνθέσεις π.χ. τα έργα του Μανώλη Καλομοίρη. Μεταξύ αυτών και τη Συμφωνία αρ. 2 «Των ανίδεων και καλών ανθρώπων» (Η γρηά η βαβά μ') που ερμήνευσα στο Ηρώδειο σε πολύ νεαρή ηλικία. Υπάρχουν συνθέτες που δεν μπορούν εύκολα να γίνουν παρελθόν, να γεράσουν. Ο τρόπος που συνέθεσαν παραμένει διαχρονικός και πάντα φρέσκος. Με τον ίδιο τρόπο προσέχω και την εξέλιξη της φωνής μου. «Καθαρίζοντάς» την από τις μνήμες του παρελθόντος και τη φθορά του χρόνου και την «επανάληψη» αυτού που θεωρούμε «κατεκτημένο». Το όργανο-φωνή αλλάζει χροιά και η απόδοση γεμίζει επιτήδευση. Και στη φωνή μπορεί να υπάρχει διαχρονικότητα, όσο και αν η ιδέα ξενίζει.

Το ότι συνεργάστηκα με τον Βαγγέλη την εποχή που ήμουν ίσως πιο δοσμένη στο κλασικό ρεπερτόριο κι εκείνος δημιουργούσε New Age / ηλεκτρονική μουσική, επιβεβαίωνε και πάλι, ότι δεν υπήρχαν διαχωρισμοί, όρια, σύνορα στην Τέχνη. Όσα δημιουργήσαμε πριν χρόνια μέσα από την καλλιτεχνική μας συνύπαρξη, ήταν πρωτοποριακά, σύγχρονα και συνεχίζουν να είναι. Το «πείραμα» είναι πως, κατέχοντας την τεχνική, αποφάσισα να αφεθώ στην ενστικτώδη ελευθερία της ερμηνείας. Αυτό μου αρέσει και με συναρπάζει. Χωρίς καμιά αμφιβολία, θέλω να ερμηνεύσω ό,τι μπορεί να προσφέρει την εμπειρία της άπλετης φωνητικής έκφρασης χωρίς όρια σε συνύπαρξη με τη μελωδική γραμμή που έχει ρίζα στο δυνατό εκφραστικό συναίσθημα.

ΚΒ: Ανάμεσα σε τέτοιου είδους «πειράματα» τα οποία με γενναιότητα κάνατε, περιλαμβάνεται και το τραγούδι «Ελλάδα» που ανεβάσατε στο YouTube στις αρχές της κρίσης, με τη διάθεση υποθέτω να πείτε μια κουβέντα συμπαράστασης, να εκφράσετε την Ελλάδα από την οποία προέρχεστε και εσείς αγαπάτε. Υπήρξαν και εκείνοι που αντιμετώπισαν ειρωνικά αυτή την κίνηση. Ενοχληθήκατε;

ΜΧ: Πόσο σωστά περιγράφετε αυτό που εκείνη την εποχή πήρε μεγάλη διάσταση μέσα μου. Ήθελα να εκφράσω την άπλετη συμπαράστασή μου από μακριά για τους συμπατριώτες και τον τόπο μου. Μόνο που ίσως δεν διάλεξα τον σωστό τρόπο. Όταν ο καλλιτέχνης αποφασίζει να δημιουργήσει κάτι και να το μοιραστεί δημόσια, είναι απολύτως αναμενόμενο να υπάρξουν διαφορετικές και, στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση, αρνητικές γνώμες. Δεν γνώριζα πως η «Ελλάδα» είχε χρησιμοποιηθεί και χαρακτηριστεί ειρωνικά τόσο βαριά. Ένας αγαπημένος φίλος από την Αθήνα, μου έστρεψε την προσοχή στο γεγονός. Έμεινα σιωπηλή για αρκετό διάστημα και στη συνέχεια, έχοντας ζήσει την εμπειρία, προχώρησα στο επόμενο βήμα. Όχι, δεν ενοχλήθηκα. Πιστεύω στην ελευθερία γνώμης και έκφρασης. Ήταν ένα εξαιρετικό προσωπικό μάθημα.

ΚΒ: Σε συνέχεια της προηγούμενης ερώτησης, κινηθήκατε / κινείστε σε έναν χώρο δύσκολο και σκληρό, ανταγωνιστικό αλλά και γεμάτο μικρότητες, τον κόσμο του κλασικού τραγουδιού. Επίσης, όπως πολύ καλά γνωρίζετε, και η συμπαθής τάξη των φιλόμουσων, το κοινό γενικότερα, μπορούν να είναι πολύ σκληροί. Πόσο εύκολα διαχειρίζεστε αυτές τις καταστάσεις, χωρίς να τους επιτρέπετε να σας καταβάλουν;

ΜΧ: Ο χώρος γίνεται έτσι όπως εμείς επιλέγουμε να τον φορτίσουμε, με θετικότητα ή αρνητικότητα. Όλα ξεκινούν από μια προσωπική αντιμετώπιση. Από δώδεκα χρονών, με την έναρξη των σπουδών μου στο Εθνικό Ωδείο, διαισθάνθηκα την ομορφιά αλλά και τις δυσκολίες που εμπεριείχε ο συγκεκριμένος χώρος.

Δεν νομίζω ότι ταυτίστηκα με την αρνητικότητα του επαγγέλματος, εκτός από δύο-τρεις φορές που δεν είχα άλλη επιλογή, όπως στη σοβαρή διαμάχη μου με τον Λόριν Μάαζελ. Είναι ένας κόσμος γεμάτος ναρκισσισμό, ευαλωτότητα, ανασφάλειες, εγωισμό, ανταγωνισμό και ψευδαισθήσεις. Στην άλλη πλευρά της ζυγαριάς πάλι υπάρχει η τεράστια ανάγκη για επικοινωνία, προσφορά, μοίρασμα, έκφραση. Η διαίσθηση, ότι είμαστε ενεργειακά κανάλια μεταφοράς πλούσιων συναισθημάτων μέσω της φωνής μας αλλά και του λόγου, μας δίνει σχεδόν μεταφυσικές ικανότητες που δεν μπορούν εύκολα να περιγραφούν. Και παράλληλα η παραδοχή πως, ενώ μοιάζουμε δυνατοί, μια αρνητική λέξη φτάνει για να μας αποδυναμώσει και αποσυγχρονίσει για πολύν καιρό. Επιλέγω συνεχώς να μένω στο φως, αισθανόμενη την ύπαρξη του σκότους... Αρνούμαι από παιδί να μολύνω το δώρο που μου έχει δοθεί. Η φωνή μου υπάρχει, όχι για να λέω στον εαυτό μου πόσο ωραία τραγουδώ, αλλά για να τη χρησιμοποιώ με αγάπη, στην υπηρεσία της επικοινωνίας και της έκφρασης ανθρώπινων συναισθημάτων.

ΚΒ: Ποια θεωρείτε πως είναι η αποστολή του καλλιτέχνη στον σύγχρονο κόσμο; Υπάρχει κάποια αποστολή; Είμαστε εδώ για να αφήσουμε κάτι; Και αν ναι, ποια θέλετε να είναι η δική σας προσφορά;

ΜΧ: Η αποστολή του καλλιτέχνη θέλω να ελπίζω πως είναι να κρατά σε «ισορροπία» τον πλανήτη, τροφοδοτώντας τον μέσω της δημιουργίας με θετικότητα, αρμονία, φωτεινότητα, αισιοδοξία. Μια αποστολή συνυφασμένη με την απλή, ουσιαστική φυσικότητα της ζωής. Επίσης, ίσως αποστολή να είναι και η αναγνώριση του εαυτού και η αφύπνιση της συνείδησης. Το αν αφήνουμε κάτι ή όχι μετά το «πέρασμά» μας, δεν νομίζω να έχει τόση σημασία. Αν η καλλιτεχνική δημιουργία συντελέστηκε χωρίς ιδιοτέλεια και με διάθεση προσφοράς και ανθρώπινης επικοινωνίας, ίσως τότε κάτι να μένει... Ίσως αυτά που μοιράζομαι μαζί σας να περιέχουν μιαν αφέλεια κι εξιδανίκευση, όμως επιθυμώ και συνεχίζω να τραγουδώ και να εκφράζομαι μ' ένα δυνατό ένστικτο πλέον και μιαν ελευθερία και με την αστείρευτη διάθεση προσφοράς στην πρώτη γραμμή.

ΚΒ: Θα ξανατραγουδούσατε; Θα ξεκινούσατε ξανά να ζείτε στους ρυθμούς που ζούσατε την εποχή που τρέχατε από θέατρο σε θέατρο; Ή τώρα έχετε άλλες προτεραιότητες και άλλα σχέδια; Αλήθεια, ποια είναι τα σχέδιά σας για το μέλλον; Τι θα θέλατε να κάνετε; Τι ονειρεύεστε;

ΜΧ: Τρελαίνομαι με τον τρόπο που ολοκληρώνετε τη μακροσκελή ερώτησή σας! Ναι, ονειρεύομαι συνεχώς, τραγουδώ και ζωγραφίζω συνεχώς με τις χορδές, με την ψυχή, την καρδιά, το μυαλό! Ασταμάτητα ονειρεύομαι κι επιθυμώ την επικοινωνία με το κοινό. Να εμπνεύσω και να εμπνευστώ από σύγχρονους συνθέτες που μοιραζόμαστε το ίδιο δυνατό όνειρο. Δεν υπάρχει χώρος ούτε και χρόνος για να σκεφτώ τους ρυθμούς που γνωρίζω πολύ καλά, πως μπορούν να είναι έντονοι αλλά και γεμάτοι εντάσεις. Όταν υπάρχει μια φυσική ροή ζωής και δημιουργίας, ο ρυθμός γίνεται μέρος μιας «μουσικής φράσης» και η συνύπαρξη μοιάζει άκρως αρμονική. Επιθυμώ να συμπράξω με Έλληνες μουσικούς στη δημιουργία κονσέρτων, μέρος από τα έσοδα των οποίων θα διατεθεί για φιλανθρωπικούς σκοπούς, και όχι μόνο.

ΚΒ: Είχατε να έρθετε πολύ καιρό στην Ελλάδα. Πώς τη βρήκατε; Σας ευχαρίστησε ή σας απογοήτευσε; Έπειτα από τόσα χρόνια σε μιαν αρκετά απομονωμένη περιοχή των ΗΠΑ, θα ξαναγυρίζατε εδώ;

ΜΧ: Ίσως κάποια μέρα γράψω την ιστορία μου... Πραγματικά όταν σκεφτώ τον αριθμό των χρόνων που πέρασα μακριά από τον τόπο που γεννήθηκα, αναρωτιέμαι πώς μπόρεσα. Δεν έπαψα ποτέ να κουβαλώ την Ελλάδα μέσα μου με ατέλειωτους τρόπους. Το σπίτι που άφησα είχε στοιχεία στην εσωτερική του αρχιτεκτονική εμπνευσμένα από την Ελλάδα, δωρικούς κίονες και γαλάζια οροφή. Το γαλάζιο των νησιών κυριαρχούσε μέσα στη ζωή μου. Τα φαγητά και τα γλυκά που από μικρή μαζί με τη μητέρα μου μαγείρευα. Και η μοναδική ελληνική φιλοξενία που τίποτα στον κόσμο δεν της μοιάζει! Τα φιλέματα που είναι μέρος της ζωής μας, οι αγκαλιές, τα σταυρωτά φιλιά. Οι χοροί μας, οι παραδοσιακές φορεσιές, η επαναστατική ψυχή που συνήθως μας βάζει σε μπελάδες, η τόλμη που κουβαλάμε από τον προγονικό πολιτισμό μας!

Ξέρω πια από κοντά, πόσο πολύ η οικονομική κρίση άλλαξε τους ρυθμούς μας. Μας φύτεψε αμφιβολίες για τις αξίες των άλλων και τις δικές μας. Παρ' όλα αυτά, στη δική μου πρόσφατη επίσκεψη ένιωσα μιαν αναπτέρωση, μιαν αισιοδοξία, έστω και μέσα από τις δραματικές εκφράσεις και τα λόγια των ανθρώπων. Αυτό γιατί ο Έλληνας δεν μένει για πολύ στο βυθό. Αναδύεται κι ατενίζει τον ήλιο χωρίς να χάνει χρόνο. Οι σοφοί θα λέγανε «ο καλύτερός μου δάσκαλος είναι ο χειρότερος εχθρός μου». Στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση, ό,τι περάσαμε κι ακόμα περνάμε, θα μας βγάλει στο φως αργά ή γρήγορα... Η Ελλάδα δεν μπορεί ποτέ να με απογοητεύσει γιατί είναι κομμάτι μου και είμαι κομμάτι της. Την αγκάλιαζα και θα συνεχίσω να την αγκαλιάζω. Η κόρη μου σπουδάζει μουσική σε Πανεπιστήμιο στις ΗΠΑ και πλέον βρίσκεται σε ηλικία ανεξαρτητοποίησης. Τώρα πολύ θα ήθελα να περνούσα ένα αρκετά μεγάλο διάστημα στην Ελλάδα.

ΚΒ: Η κόρη σας είναι μουσικός, παίζει βιολί. Γνωρίζοντας καλά τον κόσμο στον οποίο θα κληθεί να κινηθεί, να σταδιοδρομήσει, τι τη συμβουλεύετε; Φοβάστε π.χ. μήπως κάνει τα ίδια λάθη με εσάς; Έχετε σκεφτεί ποτέ «καλύτερα να μην μπλέξει με τα καλλιτεχνικά κυκλώματα»;

ΜΧ: Η Αλεξάνδρα έζησε τα περισσότερα χρόνια της πολύ κοντά στις ορχήστρες και στη σκηνή. Τώρα ήρθε ο καιρός να βρίσκεται όχι μόνο κοντά αλλά να είναι η ίδια ενεργή μουσικός. Δεν μπορώ να τη συμβουλεύσω, γιατί το «ταξίδι» είναι δικό της, όχι δικό μου. Το λέω αυτό με απέραντη αγάπη και σεβασμό σε αυτό που εκείνη δημιούργησε και δημιουργεί με την αφοσίωσή της από 3 χρονών στη μουσική, στο βιολί.

Λάθη; Πώς μπορεί να κάνει τα ίδια λάθη; Άλλος άνθρωπος, άλλη ερμηνεύτρια, άλλος χαρακτήρας, άλλη πορεία. Ό,τι και να μοιραστώ μαζί της για τις δικές μου εμπειρίες, είμαι σίγουρη, από τις χίλιες οι δύο μπορεί να είναι παρόμοιες. Τα λάθη είναι σημαντικό μέρος της ζωής. Όπως λέω συχνά... Όλα καλά!

Ποτέ μα ποτέ δεν σκέφτηκα «να μην μπλέξει με τα καλλιτεχνικά κυκλώματα». Όπως σας είπα και στην αρχή, εμείς οι καλλιτέχνες, όντας μέσω της δημιουργικής μας έκφρασης δίαυλοι συναισθημάτων, ιδεών και οραματισμών, ίσως κρατούμε τον πλανήτη σε κάποια αρμονία. Μάλλον θα έλεγα πως η κάθε καλλιτεχνική έκφραση της Αλεξάνδρας ήταν και είναι δώρο για μένα, που ενθάρρυνα και φρόντιζα όσο μπορούσα.

ΚΒ: Σε κάποιον που θα σας ανακάλυπτε τώρα, τι θα προτείνατε να ακούσει ή να δει για να καταλάβει ποια είναι η Μαρκέλλα Χατζιάνο;

ΜΧ: Αν είναι η πρώτη φορά που κάποιος θα ακούσει τη φωνή μου, θα έλεγα, θα πρότεινα να ακούσει την επόμενη συναυλία ή παράσταση που θα κάνω... Το χθες είναι κομμάτι μας, όχι όμως τόσο σημαντικό όσο αυτό που δημιουργούμε αυτήν τη στιγμή. Δεν νομίζετε;

Σεπτέμβριος 2018

Markella Hatziano's paintings at the Norfolk Arts Center, January & February 2016

More photos

See also

Μαρκέλλα Χατζιάνο – Αποκλειστική Συνέντευξη / Markella Hatziano – Exclusive interview, in Greek

Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem – Michèle Crider, Markella Hatziano, Gabriel Sadé, Robert Lloyd, London Symphony Chorus & Orcherstra, Richard Hickox (Audio video)

Manolis Kalomiris: Song Cycles – Markella Hatziano, Steven Larson (Audio video)

Maurice Ravel: Shéhérazade – Markella Hatziano, Steven Larson (Audio video)

Franz Liszt: Songs – Markella Hatziano, Steven Larson (Audio video)

Μαρίτα Παπαρίζου – Αποκλειστική συνέντευξη (Marita Paparizou – Exclusive interview, in Greek)