Dear Friends of Music,
Herewith, you’ll find a live recording of a performance I gave with cellist, Elizabeth Dolin, at the University of Victoria on November 18th 2015, during a successful concert/teaching Tour in British Colombia, Canada. We were welcomed with such care,
warmth and generosity throughout the tour. It was a memorable journey !
A heartfelt thank you to Elizabeth for her inspiration, to the organizers for their remarkable work, to the warm and enthusiastic public, to the teachers and their students for their exceptional welcome at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria, and to our wonderful hosts !
Another year comes to an end ! As always, I would like to express my gratitude for your precious support towards the Art of Music by attending concerts.
I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season, and hope that 2016 brings you happiness, health and prosperity !
Photo credit : A. Othenin-Girard
Chers Amis de la Musique,
Le temps passe vite et nous voilà déjà à la veille d’une autre année qui s’achève, remplie de beaucoup de musique, de voyages, de belles rencontres, de partages et d’émotions. C’est l’occasion de vous remercier très sincèrement pour le soutien continuel de beaucoup d’entre vous, d’année en année. Les musiciens ne seraient pas grand chose sans un public de fervents mélomanes qui sait apprécier et comprendre le grand Art de la Musique – cette parole universelle qui saura toujours atteindre le coeur du monde, quelle que soit la culture… La musique est un équilibre vital dont nous avons tous besoin. Comme le disait Nietzsche « Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur »… Ainsi, la communion qui naît dans une salle, entre les artistes sur scène et le public, crée l’inspiration propre à cet instant qu’est le concert. Cette énergie humaine contagieuse incite le musicien à créer, à donner le meilleur de lui-même et à communiquer un message au-delà de toute parole…
Je vous retrouverai sur scène dès le mois de février 2015 dans l’intégrale des superbes oeuvres pour violon et piano de G. Catoire au Conservatoire de Musique et d’Art Dramatique de Montréal et à la Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur à Montréal avec le pianiste Stéphane Lemelin, ainsi qu’auprès de mes chers collègues, Lambert Chen et Elizabeth Dolin, pour d’autres concerts incluant le Trio à Cordes en sol majeur op. 9/1 de Beethoven, le Duo de Kodaly et la merveilleuse Sérénade pour Cordes en do majeur op. 10 de E. Dohnanyi – Les Rendez-Vous du Dimanche : De l’Allemagne à la Hongrie.
Je vous souhaite à tous de Joyeuses Fêtes auprès des vôtres, et une nouvelle année 2015 heureuse et prospère !
Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Buon Natale, Merry Christmas !
Photographs : Loïc Oswald
Here are pictures of my stay near Annecy, France, where I performed this week with Georges Kiss (August 12).
The musical program was dedicated to Bach and Mozart. We ended up playing two encores, including J.-S. Bach’s Sarabande in D minor for solo violin.
The sound and the beauty of the church were breathtaking…We enjoyed it tremendously !
A heartfelt THANK YOU to the organizers of the Festival « Les Fêtes Musicales de Savoie » for their generous welcome, to my wonderful colleague, Georges, and to our awesome audience !!
Laurence on the road.
Photographs : A. Othenin-Girard
Chers Amis de la Musique,
Quelques mois se sont écoulés depuis ma dernière “carte postale” ! Le temps passe trop vite et les activités s’accumulent, toujours aussi passionnantes et inspirantes. Et entre temps, des éléments techniques du site devaient subir des mises à jour.
L’hiver fut très froid au Canada cette année ! Mais la Musique ne cesse d’illuminer nos cœurs, animant chaque instant de ma vie par le partage qu’elle inspire au quotidien…
Mes étudiants à l’Université de Montréal, en violon et en musique de chambre, ont merveilleusement bien travaillés cette année. L’investissement et les résultats de chacun d’entre eux furent très gratifiants en tant que professeur. J’ai eu le bonheur de voir naître des étincelles dans leurs yeux au sein de chacune de nos séances de travail. Et sans le savoir, nos élèves nous apprennent d’innombrables merveilles humaines, artistiques, et instrumentales. J’analyse sans relâche mon travail instrumental personnel, tels que les aspects techniques, la conception générale des œuvres etc., mais on ne cesse jamais d’apprendre (et heureusement !). Les caractéristiques de chaque élève, les éléments à développer ou à acquérir, me poussent à aller toujours plus loin dans mes recherches…
Nous avons conclu la saison musicale par une très belle sortie de classe le samedi 3 mai 2014. Je joins quelques photos de l’événement à ce texte !
Quant à mes concerts, l’hiver fut intense avec la reprise du Souvenir de Florence en février dernier, à Montréal, ainsi que des concerts violon et violoncelle avec la violoncelliste Elizabeth Dolin, au mois de mars, incluant une prestation à l’Eglise de la Visitation qui possède une acoustique tout à fait exceptionnelle pour les instruments à cordes. Quel bonheur que de pouvoir y interpréter les œuvres du grand J.-S. Bach !
Je me trouve actuellement en Suisse où je me produirai au Festival du Château de Bossey, près de Genève, en concerts de musique de chambre et dans la superbe Suite pour violon et alto no. 3, op. 19 que j’interpréterai avec ma sœur Céline, à l’alto.
Le Festival réunira sur scène les brillants violonistes de la Kayaleh Violin Academy, ainsi que des musiciens qui se retrouvent souvent à l’occasion du festival annuel du Château
Le programme du concert du 20 juin 2014 sera consacré à des œuvres écrites pour différentes formations de musique de chambre, mettant en valeur la beauté très complémentaire du violon, de l’alto, du violoncelle et du piano. Ce voyage musical vous transportera en Allemagne avec le pétillant Octuor de F. Mendelssohn et le Quintette pour piano de R. Schumann que ce dernier composa à l’âge de 32 ans et qui fut créé en 1843 avec Clara Schumann au piano. Les prochaines escales du concert auront lieu en Pologne avec la Suite pour deux violons et piano de M. Moszkowsky, au Royaume-Uni avec le Sextuor pour cordes du compositeur et merveilleux altiste, F. Bridge et enfin, en Russie avec le fameux Souvenir de Florence de P. I. Tchaïkowsky, œuvre d’une grande profondeur et d’une structure musicale exceptionnelle !
Le Concert Gala du Kayaleh Chamber Orchestra aura lieu le samedi 21 juin. Cette année, l’orchestre mettra à l’honneur la Scandinavie et la noblesse très intérieure de sa musique pleine de grâce, d’intimité et aux ambiances des plus inspirantes…
Ces deux concerts permettront aux mélomanes de découvrir les nombreuses couleurs et subtilités que renferment tous ces instruments et qui seront mises en valeur dans leur beauté la plus pure.
Aussi, l’artiste-peintre, Catherine de Saugy, exposera ses tableaux tout au long du festival.
Une belle semaine de partage artistique et humain s’annonce au cœur d’une météo déjà
très estivale !
Je me produirai également à Toronto, au Canada, cet été, où j’entamerai la préparation d’un nouvel enregistrement prévu en automne, ainsi qu’en France, près d’Annecy.
D’ici les prochaines nouvelles de mes aventures musicales, j’espère que vous profiterez tous pleinement d’un début d’été ensoleillé et reposant !
Avec mes pensées musicales d’Europe,
Dear Readers !
A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU for your amazing support throughout the year, for attending performances and for sending me some very touching messages !
The Art of Music is a vocation, a passion. Expressing oneself through this universal language is certainly a God-given gift and privilege … It is also very demanding, including self-discipline and a tremendous amount of daily physical and intellectual efforts, with some difficult moments as well ; questionings, fatigue, low energy and even, doubts. Despite those natural “ups and downs” of life, a musician is asked to “function” immediately, anytime, no matter the circumstances. And behind the musician, there is a human being living, with emotions, impressions, and vulnerability. The great Maria Callas would have turned 90 years old on December the 2nd, 2013. She represents for me this supreme combination of superhuman strength and human fragility, fears and need to be surrounded with care…
Therefore, I’m deeply grateful for a supportive public throughout the years, to my wonderful friends and brilliant colleagues, to my dear students from whom I’m learning everyday, and last but NOT LEAST, to my devoted and cherished parents and family who are my inspiration …
I wish you all a magical Holiday Season, and a New Year 2014 filled with happiness, good health, lots of great music and love !
I’ll be back in 2014 with new projects, including another complete work recording, concerts in France, exploring more violin teaching via Skype, and more :). Meanwhile, please check out my Official YouTube Channel for updates.
JOYEUX NOËL !!
Violin & Cello concert with Laurence Kayaleh and Elizabeth Dolin.
Le public peut souvent entendre ces deux instruments dans différents contextes, accompagnés d’un piano, d’un orchestre, ou encore aux côtés de divers instruments. Il est cependant assez rare d’apprécier les qualités de ces deux magnifiques instruments sans accompagnement. Ces concerts permettront aux mélomanes de découvrir les nombreuses couleurs et subtilités que renferment le violon et le violoncelle et qui seront mises en valeur dans leur beauté la plus pure.
Les instruments à cordes permettent aux artistes des possibilités d’expressions remarquables se rapprochant de la voix humaine, un défi de maîtrise technique complexe. La diversité sonore qui caractérise ces instruments est aussi variée que les humeurs qui définissent la vie. Être capable d’intégrer l’instrument au corps et savoir “parler” à travers cette voix très personnelle est sans doute le langage le plus intègre, qui dépasse toutes les barrières de l’artifice.
La communion de ces instruments à cordes nécessite une harmonie parfaite entre les artistes qui doivent alors sentir et anticiper le souffle de chacun pour un équilibre parfait, donnant ainsi l’impression d’écouter un seul instrument.
Les œuvres au programme comprendront le superbe et passionné Duo de Kodály imprégné de la musique hongroise populaire, la Sonate pour Violon et Violoncelle de Ravel écrite peu de temps après la première guerre mondiale – une œuvre aux contrastes et aux ambiances marqués – ainsi que des œuvres de Bach pour violon et violoncelle seuls.
Nous espérons vous y retrouver nombreux !
October 24, 2013 : University of Guelph (Toronto, Canada)
October 26, 2013 : Caledon Hills Chamber Concerts (Toronto, Canada)
October 27, 2013 : Private Event (Toronto, Canada)
November 17, 2013 : Brossard, Canada
December 1st, 2013 : Conservatoire de Musique et d’Art Dramatique de Montréal
Laurence Kayaleh (violin)
Paul Stewart (piano)
Laurence Kayaleh and Paul Stewart follow up their fine two-disc Medtner survey for Naxos with the only single disc of Honegger’s four violin sonatas currently available. It makes for fascinating listening as the three accompanied sonatas date from between 1912 and 1919, a time when Honegger was still finding his creative feet working with sonata procedures, whereas the Solo Sonata of 1940 revisits the Bach tradition from the perspective of an out-and-out neo-Classicist.
Kayaleh’s warm, gentle sound is especially well suited to the espressivo richness of the early D minor Sonata (‘no.0’), an astonishingly assured work dating from Honegger’s first year at the Paris Conservatoire. Kayaleh traces the music’s radiant contours with a heightened sensitivity to phrasing and an occasional portamento inflection, whose precision timing brings to mind the young Heifetz. The two numbered sonatas are exploratory works that require enormous skill and patience, and here Kayaleh and Stewart achieve a near‑perfect balance between youthful exuberance and a beguiling sense of inner calm, complemented by exceptionally well-balanced sound.
In the tricky four-movement Solo Sonata, Kayaleh produces a seductively cushioned sound on her glorious 1742 Guarneri, although here I wondered whether she might have thrown herself into the fray with an even greater sense of abandon.
Laurence Kayaleh, invitée spéciale, et l’animateur, Mario Paquet, couvrant la finale du Concours Musical International de Montréal les 14 et 15 mai 2013 – en direct sur Radio-Canada (Espace Musique) de la Maison Symphonique de la Place des Arts, Montréal, Canada.
Trio Reiner :
Laurence Kayaleh – Violon
Elizabeth Dolin – Violoncelle
Paul Stewart – Piano
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF – Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G mino
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN – Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65
ANTONIN DVORÁK – Four Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 75
ANTON ARENSKY – Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32
An enthusiastic standing ovation for the exceptional musicians of the Reiner Trio! While every selection in the carefully chosen program was special, each of the four Romantic pieces for Violin and Piano by Dvorak were precious gems, and Arensky’s Piano Trio in D minor with brilliant cello sang to this Slavic soul.
Wonderfully warm tones from all three artists. Perfectly shaped phrases, and energetic playing that should definitely speed up the arrival of warm weather. The light piano passage in the Chopin sparkled like silver.
Dvorak- violin strings that warmed our heart strings, and a pianist’s fingers that danced on the keys.
Arensky- Simply delightful- music that radiated beauty and passion and touched the listener.
Very beautiful, sensitive playing. Hats off to the performers for selecting some interesting, but less frequently played repertoire.
Extremely melodic. Three first- class musicians. The music flowed beautifully toward the audience. Most enjoyable.
Ye Seul Lee
It was awesome! I couldn’t find any mistakes. The Reiner Trio has three perfect musicians; they made my day! I will not forget this night. Thanks.
Paul McCullough Sr.
Four stars for the Reiner Trio.
On Saturday night, the Montreal-based Reiner Trio – violinist Laurence Kayaleh, cellist Elizabeth Dolin and pianist Paul Stewart – gave Virtuosi Concerts patrons the opportunity to hear some rarely-heard pieces, all by Slavic composers. The evening was just what the doctor ordered for a seemingly interminable winter in which the trio’s performances, so full of energy and life, were enthusiastically welcomed by the Winnipeg audience.
Stewart introduced Rachmaninoff’s Trio elegiaque No. 1 in G minor, a dramatic and emotional start to what would prove to be an immensely satisfying program, with a nod to the work’s elusive origins – the piece was written in the last decade of the 19th century and went virtually unnoticed until 1947, when its first edition was finally published.
Needless to say, it was a thrill to hear. Kayaleh and Dolin’s urgent strings played both with and against Stewart’s versatile piano, which navigated the piece’s countless twists and turns with flair and ease. Each artist alone seemed to be an organic extension of their instrument; together, the musicians’ chemistry was magical.
The intelligently-structured program gave each artist the chance to showcase their abilities both individually and within the context of a trio. Stewart and Dolin came together on Chopin’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65, which the composers collaborated on with, and dedicated the piece to, cellist Auguste Franchomme. The opening Allegro moderato established a dialogue between the two instruments, Stewart’s nimble piano lines rising to meet Dolin’s dulcet cello tones as the two began an exquisitely-composed courtship. Scherzo – allegro con brio, which incorporated elements of a mazurka – a nod to Chopin’s Polish heritage – featured beautifully complex and full-bodied work from Dolin, who captured the uniquely modern style and spirit of the movement.
Largo, a love duet between two instruments, was romantic and delightful; Stewart’s melodious piano played the part of a shy gentleman resolved to win the heart of the headstrong woman embodied by Dolin’s cello, a quest fulfilled in the movement’s final, gorgeous, faded notes. No sooner had the audience caught their breath than the duo surged forward into the lively Finale – Allegro, in which dazzling bow-work and richly-hued piano built toward a triumphant and ovation-worthy finish.
Kayaleh joined Stewart for an exceptional rendition of Dvorák’s Four Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 75. These “four little jewels,” as the violinist described them in an introduction, demonstrated Kayaleh’s impressive range and intuitive command of her instrument. She made the agile and powerful rhythms of Allegro maestoso come alive, mesmerized the audience during the extraordinary Allegro appassionato – a movement that concluded with a dazzling display of pizzicato – and, over Stewart’s fluid piano, brought the intricate melancholy of Larghetto to a place of pure emotion.
The trio came together once more for Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32. Stewart noted that the Russian composer wrote the piece two years after his pupil Rachmaninoff’s death and dedicated it to the memory of cellist Karl Davydov. Arensky’s work fittingly contained a breadth of moods and textures representative of a lifetime. Scherzo – Allegro molto featured a ‘music box’ texture, a light, playful feel and brisk tempo, whereas Elegia – Adagio, an elegy for Davydov, was mournful and touching. All this led to the energetic Finale – Allegro non troppo, where violin and cello sang together as the three players raced forward to the piece’s – and the evening’s – stunning close. Regrettably, no encore was offered. The concert was recorded by CBC Radio 2 for broadcast on In Concert on Sunday, June 30th 2013.
Chers Amis de la Musique,
Nous voici sur notre route en direction de Trois-Rivières après un court séjour de 24 heures à Saguenay. Demain, le 19 avril, marquera la dernière journée de jury au Concours de Musique du Canada (CMC) après une tournée de trois semaines à travers la province du Québec.
Ce fut à nouveau une expérience enrichissante sur les plans artistique et humain ! On nous a informés que les copies des commentaires du jury sont gardées environ cinq ans au concours et sont ensuite déposées aux Archives Nationales.
Nous avons entendu de brillants candidats durant toute la tournée. Le niveau général de préparation est assez remarquable et le talent et la beauté humaine couronnent l’événement… Je me surprends d’ailleurs souvent à retenir mes larmes en écoutant ces jeunes artistes en herbe et en discutant avec eux. Leur passion, leur maturité, leur curiosité et leur profond désir d’apprendre sont non seulement émouvants, mais très encourageants. Certes, le monde avance vite, ne laissant souvent plus le temps nécessaire au développement culturel. Mais tous ces jeunes ambassadeurs de la musique classique sauront défendre avec distinction cette noble cause. Il s’agit sans aucun doute d’une future relève musicale et de mélomanes avertis de grande qualité !
Un grand bravo à tous les candidats. Ils ont tous remportés à mes yeux un grand prix : celui d’un investissement artistique admirable au cœur d’une société où la musique classique est trop souvent
Je souhaiterai aussi remercier très chaleureusement mon cher collègue, Michel, avec qui j’ai échangé des instants musicaux intenses et passionnants, ainsi que tous les responsables du Concours de Musique du Canada, les directeurs des conservatoires et les bénévoles pour leur travail très précieux et essentiel visant à soutenir nos jeunes au sein de leur développement artistique (et humain !), pour leur grand dévouement et pour le mémorable accueil réservé aux membres du jury !
Laurence d’une route pluvieuse du Québec 🙂
I arrived last night in Quebec City. I was finally able to sleep and rest during the drive. Buses became very comfortable. It’s pleasant and relaxing. My short visit to Montreal was VERY intense. I couldn’t lose a minute as I’ll be on the road for quite a bit. And everyday reality goes on with bills, tax period, laundry, cleaning…life 🙂 !!
Quebec City is always an experience ! I almost forgot the peaceful feeling of being here. The hotel is gorgeous. We are all staying in a “Manoir” in the old city which has a distinctive charm. I’m used to standard hotel rooms, wherever I go. Such a place has its own character. How inspiring ! And I woke up and smell fresh croissants this morning !!
It’s good to meet again with the CMC team. We didn’t see each other for only two days, but I was starting to miss our crew ! When we share such intensive days on a long period of weeks, we also develop a wonderful bond of friendship.
The CMC sessions in Quebec are taking place at the music conservatory which is the province second in size, after Montreal. We were warmly welcomed by the director of the conservatory, Louis Dallaire. The coincidence of this meeting in Quebec during the CMC is special as Louis used to be the general director of the competition from 1995 to 2009. This year, he has been named Honourary Patron for the CMC in Quebec. I had the privilege to cross the whole country for two months in 2009 as a jury for the CMC during his last tour as general director. It was memorable, with laughter, stress, rushes, last minute planes, music, long drives, the Rockies and Lake Louise, good restaurants, spinach salads tasted all over the country, lots of great talents etc. etc. etc ! He was the Soul of the competition. His dedication was exceptional.
I’m practicing my violin during breaks for my upcoming concerts. At the time we were touring with Louis, he organized all the practice rooms for me in universities and concert halls. Today, he does it again but in the institution that he is leading ! Life is surprising.
Gifted people are not always necessarily born in big cities and I’m often impressed by the number and the level of talents when I’m visiting smaller cities. Today, while listening to the candidates, I could see (again !) how crucial is a healthy lifestyle in the demanding vocation of music !
Every Art has its own challenges, but music embodies so many elements. First the natural sense of style and phrasing, or the ability to create symbolic colours through the only tool of sound, untouchable and subjective, is one of the most inspiring but also very challenging element to develop. This is also what characterizes a musician ; the Sound ! It is like a fingerprint, a signature !! A deep introspection of one’s own thoughts and feelings should guide a musician in this continuous search which also reflects the human behind the artist, life experience etc.
The intellect, while analyzing a music score or performing it, is also continuously active. And feelings or emotions without a brain can never be balanced and controlled.
This concentration on stage can be sometimes experienced to such an extent that a musician can really have the impression of being away, in “another world”. When this happens, it is probably one of the strongest feeling that can be experienced.
The instrumental reflexes are conditioned. This is why a daily, intensive and well thought practice is crucial. It is like a sportsman. Such a discipline is the key to the tools which will allow a musician to “speak” through the language of music, and go beyond the sole instrumental technique.
I believe that a musician needs a heart that is able to give everything and a mental of steel. Not easy and certainly a lifelong challenge !!
Here is a special thought to my students who are working hard and progressing beautifully, and to all the young artists embracing music with passion and sincerity…
Until next time, enjoy the pictures and I thank you for your loyalty !
Laurence from the road
It is 07:22am and I’m already on my way back to Montreal for a 24 hours “transit” ! I’ll go to the violin maker for my upcoming concerts, change luggage, practice a few hours, have a good night sleep before heading to Quebec City !
I enjoy to travel and to discover new places ! I like airports, train stations atmospheres. I always feel that it’s also a good way to “stop the clock” for a short while. I can’t go anywhere while flying or driving. I have no choice but to rest, read and…write !
It is snowing, it is grey, it is cold but at least, I don’t feel it as I’m spending time in concert halls, enjoying the sunshine of the talented musicians I’m hearing all day !
Upon my arrival to Rimouski, I was welcomed by Marie-Josèphe at the station. She is partly in charge of the tour and assisting us (the jury) with travel facilities, scores, transmitting the comment sheets and announcing the final results to the candidates. What would we do without her help and smile ?
Once at the hotel, I realized that the heating wasn’t working in my room. The weather was windy and very cold. It was already 11:30pm and we were starting the next session early in the morning. I asked for another room but the night was (too) short !
The conservatory concert hall was renewed a few years ago. Wood is the primary building material of the hall which gives warmth and roundness to the sound. The hall possesses very good acoustics. No excuses for the candidates :). The conservatory facilities are quite impressive. Practice rooms are very well settled, isolated, clean and welcoming. We were received by the director of the institution, Benoît Plourde, with whom I worked at the time I was a professor there. It was quite moving to meet after all these years. He is admirably supporting the cause of classical music. The major cuts and the critical financial situation of the conservatory throughout the province isn’t easy on the administration and the professors …
Rimouski chapter of the CMC is well organized and the people in charge are all very helpful and generous. We were spoiled !
We heard lots of string players on Friday. Surprisingly, there weren’t many violinists in Montreal. The majority of the candidates are usually pianists. Maybe this is due to the fact that the violin is more difficult and challenging than the piano (sorry pianists…I’m kidding !). We heard many cellists in Montreal as well. I was particularly happy to hear more violinists yesterday. They are all very well guided. The professors are doing a tremendous work. Teaching remains a heavy responsibility. I’m questioning myself before each teaching session (being often more nervous than before a concert performance !), always wondering if I’ll be ready enough to assume it. We have a part of each student’s future in our hands … Thanks to the parents who play an essential role as well !
As my colleague Michel said to the public : “it is remarkable to see young people of that age devoting hours, months and years of their lives to culture, arts and to the elevated discipline that classical music requires, knowing that they are evolving in an effortless society, where mass media are praising artists “instant careers and success” … It is indeed very encouraging !
We ended up at the Cathedral of the city where the last candidate performed on the organ. This Casavant instrument (1921) is impressive. It was restored in 1979. The organ pipes are three floors high ! Even though I’m 6 feet tall, I felt VERY small next to it with my violino piccolo !!
I’m thanking all the candidates for expressing their happiness, satisfaction and gratefulness towards our comments and our mission to help them as much as we can in their artistic development !
I’ll now take a short nap before reaching my city of adoption, Montreal !
A bientôt for the next story. Enjoy an excellent weekend !
Laurence from the road
Last week’s CBC-Radio concert in the Virtuosi Concert Series, University of Winnipeg, was a treat. I enjoyed performing again in the series and Paul and Elizabeth played beautifully as always. We were warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic public and by the committee members, especially by the director, Harry Strub and his wife, Cathy, who invited us with such generosity. The CBC crew was very efficient and it was quite wonderful to play a CBC concert again considering the major budget cut of the past years… I remember most concerts being radio broadcast at the time I started to perform in Canada. It used to be a great way for the public to discover and follow musicians nationwide, throughout the years and encourage culture as well. But this is unfortunately another topic…
Stay tuned on June the 30th 2013, on CBC-Radio !
There was a snow storm during the night following my concert in Winnipeg and I’m now traveling to Rimouski, Quebec, where snow is welcoming us tomorrow again ! Where is Spring 🙂 ?
I’m joining the jury of the Canadian Music Competition for the second time. The first time took place on a two months national tour. I got invited to join the jury for the national tour again this year but my other artistic activities and responsibilities didn’t allow me to do so. Therefore, I’ll be touring the Province of Quebec this time !
The competition is celebrating its 55th edition which started officially on April the 1st, in Montreal. We spent an intensive week. My colleagues are all wonderful, very helpful and they are doing everything in order to support young talents in their musical development. We heard some very good candidates in Montreal. The general level is excellent and I’m always thrilled to see young people already devoting an important part of their activities to Arts, Music and Culture.
As a member of jury, our responsibility is challenging. A typical day would start around 9am and finish…12 hours later ! We are asked to write all the detailed comments on each work while listening to the candidates. They all keep the jury’s written comments. We need to be coherent, which isn’t always easy while listening, analyzing and following bar numbers in the scores !! We are commenting on artistic and technical elements, always in a constructive manner as the mission of the competition is to support young musicians. The CMC offers also the rare opportunity for the candidates to meet with the jury after their performance to discuss the comments and ask questions. I enjoy this part a lot as it is very pedagogical (and human !). Such an experience brings a lot into my teaching activity and even into my own playing !
We need our maximum concentration, adding to it frequent traveling hours. We all try to be very careful with sleeping hours and healthy diet. One can easily lose control of a healthy natural rhythm due to irregular schedules and heavy fatigue !
In all this, I’m trying to fit in some violin practice hours as I’ll be performing concerts soon…and my students who will be presenting their exams, masters and doctorate recitals in a few weeks ! Days are too short !!
Next stop : Rimouski Conservatory of Music ! Can’t believe I used to travel 14 hours from Montreal every week at the time I was teaching there…!
Looking forward to Quebec City !
Until next time, be well and continue to encourage classical music ! We all need your support !!
Laurence from the road,
My upcoming concert in Montreal, Canada, will take place on February the 21st in a musical program dedicated to chamber music featuring composers from Russia and Hungary ! I’ll be performing with my colleagues, pianist Paul Stewart and cellist Elizabeth Dolin.
The Trio Elégiaque no. 1 in G minor by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) will open the evening. The work was written by the young nineteen-year-old Rachmaninov. He wrote his second Elegiac trio in October 1893, just after Tchaïkowsky’s death. Unlike most chamber music works, the Trio Elégiaque in G minor was written in one movement. The piano is opening the trio with the elegiac theme in the first part Lento Lugubre, softly accompanied by the strings, reminding us of his famous piano concerti. Later, violin and cello are dialoging on this gorgeous theme, while the intensity is progressively growing until the Appassionato segment. The thematic motif is ending the work as a funeral march (Alla marcia funebre).
Interesting : played backwards, the four notes of the first theme of the work remind us of the opening of Tchaïkowsky’s first piano concerto…in a minor key !
Rachmaninov was a student of Anton Arensky at the Moscow Conservatory. Arensky’s Piano Trio Op. 32 will end this concert !
The second work on the program is the Duo Op. 7 for violin and cello by Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály, which I’ll be playing with cellist Elizabeth Dolin.
The Duo was composed in 1914 and was premiered only four years later, in 1918. Most of his chamber music works were composed during the first World War. Kodály (1882-1967) was extremely involved in the musical activities of his native country, and highly contributed in areas such as music history, educational language, linguistics and history of literature. Kodály and Bela Bartok are both considered as Hungary’s greatest Twentieth Century composers. Like his colleague and friend Bartok, Kodály’s work was very inspired by authentic folk music reflecting centuries of traditions and history. The Duo for violin and cello has a very specific character based on folk music rhythmic patterns, melodic figures influenced by Magyar folk music (gypsy music).
“To write a folksong is as much beyond the bounds of possibility as to write a proverb. Proverbs condense centuries of popular wisdom and observation. In traditional songs, the emotions of centuries are immortalized in a form polished to perfection.” (Zoltan Kodály, 1941)
Kodály devoted a considerable part of his life to music education in his country. He was the father of The Kodály Method, a concept of music education that he developed, and which became internationally known and applied in various schools.
“Music education is necessary for the development of the total person (music should be at the core of the curriculum – affective, cognitive, psychomotor).” (Zoltan Kodály)
Mrs. Dolin and myself are planning a concert tour in Ontario and Quebec, Canada, during the fall 2013, in a program involving only violin and cello instruments, including Kodály’s Duo and Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for violin and cello.
Back to Russia, the concert will end on Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32. Arensky (1861-1906) was born in Novgorod, Russia.
Arensky’s magnificent chamber music works include two piano trios, a piano quintet and two string quartets. Like many young composers of his time, including Rachmaninov, Arensky was strongly influenced by Tchaïkowsky’s music to such an extent that his work was hardly considered for a long while. The general impression was that Arensky was a composer lacking personal style. Nowadays, Arensky’s works are regularly performed and recorded.
Very young, Anton Arensky demonstrated exceptional musical abilities. He studied under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory and became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. After retiring from his position as music director of the Imperial Choir in Saint-Petersburg, he devoted his life to composition, to piano and to conducting.
His superb Piano Trio in D minor Op. 32 was dedicated to Russian cellist and composer, Karl Davydov.
Note : The Antarctic Arensky Glacier was named after composer Anton Arensky.
Program notes by Laurence Kayaleh
Program notes by Laurence Kayaleh
Thursday, February the 21st, 2013 at 8:00pm
Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur, Montreal, QC, Canada (General information : (514) 872.5338)
Concert of the Reiner Trio
Laurence Kayaleh, violin
Elizabeth Dolin, cello
Paul Stewart, piano
I have been thinking for quite a while to keep an online Diary !
Since a young age, I have always felt the need to write. Dissertation was my favorite subject at school, after music of course 🙂 ! Like music, writing is an extraordinary way to introspection… As Carl Jung said : “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens”.
I’m continuously fascinated to see how many words could define a specific impression or feeling ! Writing is an art in itself ; probably the one of Thinking… And when words cannot express anymore the depth of moods, feelings or emotions, the language of Music finds its fundamental importance in its undefinable and sublime ways to nourish the world’s Hearts and Souls…
English isn’t my first language, but I’m working on it every day 🙂 ! You’ll find my online Diary on this Website in which I’ll be sharing general impressions about music, violin, Arts or about my artistic experiences and concert trips adventures !
My articles in My Diary will be written alternately in English and in French.
Looking forward to meeting you through my online Diary or better, in a concert hall !
Dear Friends of Music !
Welcome to my new Website ! You’ll find updated news on my musical life : upcoming concerts and Masterclasses, articles, available recordings in music shops, live performances recordings, my biography, testimonials, pictures on various occasions and finally, my online Diary !
I warmly thank you for your support and for your contribution towards the cause of classical music, simply by appreciating it !