Music: Resonance 2020 Music

SOTA Resonance 2020: Musical riches from the West

SOTA’s annual music series Resonance

SOTA’s annual music series Resonance  

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SOTA’s annual music series Resonance provided its audience with a taste of works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn

In a city where the awareness and taste for Western classical music are yet to reach maturity, concerts often carry the burden of being enriching and educative at the same time. The third edition of SOTA’s prestigious annual music series Resonance 2020 was a much-needed, rewarding step on that front. Transporting music enthusiasts to an era of classicists like Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn, and informing its audience of all the flourishes that have helped their compositions stand the test of time, a winter evening at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace was a conversation starter, full of musical warmth.

The introductory performance of Beethoven’s Razumovsky String quartet C major, Op. 59, No. 3 attained more significance in a year that would mark the legend’s 250th birth anniversary. The opening movement of the piece, i.e. Andante con moto - Allegro vivace surprised on several levels for its wavy musical texture. By the moment you adapted to the rather sombre, atmospheric beginning, the pacy Allegro vivace segment worked beautifully as an antithesis, exploring ideas of timelessness and enthusiasm at the same time.

The later movement, Andante con moto quasi allegretto, was rather obvious in its exploration of melancholy and yet wasn’t characterised by the heaviness you would associate with the same emotion. Instead, the section warmed you with its beautiful melody that almost felt weightless. The dominant use of viola and violin created a soothing effect before the piece progressed onto its later movements, Menuetto: Grazioso and Allegro Molto.

The Menuetto: Grazioso was a fine successor of its earlier movements in the piece, with a moderate yet an intriguing fusion of joy and drama. The culmination bore an air of mystery before leading you to a blistering finale.

The finale (Allegro Molto) was fitting in every sense of the word, with all its energy performed in breathless speed by the musicians. It felt like all the characters in a gripping novel had returned at once to establish their identity - the ending had a dash of joy, darkness and strength. The gamut of emotions a listener experienced through the piece was enough to make him wait for Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet In E Flat, Op.20 with bated breath.

Best of eight

In what was Mendelssohn’s personal favourite and hailed as his career-best work by several critics (which he had composed at 16 for his master Eduard Rietz), the piece was very meticulous in making the best use of the individualistic abilities of the eight instrumentalists (the instruments being violins, violas and cellos). Performed in a musical style prevalent in the romanticism-era spearheaded by Beethoven, the beauty of the rendition lies in how it captured the lightness of the composition and its organic flow quite effortlessly.

The Allegro moderato, ma con fuoco movement, classically dominated by the violin, felt more like a gracefully packaged mix of musical nudges, with an exuberant spirit and also trying to convey something heartfelt. The Andante segment, underplayed in its rendition was thoughtful too, though lacking the joie de vivre of its predecessor. The pacy Scherzo portion, reportedly inspired by the lines from the German legend Goethe’s poem Walpurgisnachtstraum, had a breezy quality to it, with subtle musical references to nature, indicating a deeper quest.

The musicians had reserved their best for the energetic ending with the Presto movement though - defined by its striking modulation and the cyclical structure where the composer revisits his previous movements in the piece at once. It’s so intricately put together and yet has a free-spirited vibe to it. Musicians across the globe including violinists Mari Lee, Julia Glenn, Ling Ling Huang, Aylin Amtmann, viola players Riina Piriirila, Yitong Guo and cello players Sarah Rommel, Han Bin Yoon, Aylin Amtmann were successful in introducing the musical riches of the West, staying true to the form through the evening.

Timothy Marthand played the perfect host at the event, being the bridge between the musician and the audience, putting together the essence of the compositions that the audience may not have been able to express. The event wasn’t without an element of surprise as Canadian opera singer Lauren Pearl Eberwein and Rosie Moon (double bass) gave a glimpse of their abilities too. Music, enthusiastic conversations with a sip of coffee made for a delectable combo indeed!

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:07:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/the-hindu-friday-review-telangana/article30535018.ece

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