Last night I attended a recital by my friend William Fitzpatrick and his pianist William Ransom. Though no admission was charged it was quite an impressive concert. Both have impressive credentials as you will see in the links with this piece. They also played some very animated violin and piano music for an intimate audience at the Musishare location just down from the Spectrum Mall. There William keeps a grand piano in a room available for Master classes and Performance classes. Before I arrived that evening the performance students had been having master classes with William Ransom.
I was pleased to see some of my students there to hear Maestro Fitzpatrick play Violin Sonatas by CLaude Debussy and Edvard Grieg. Even one of our 6 year olds from TEC was sitting in the front row with her older sister and father. I was frustrated not to see more of my students there. This was an opportunity to hear difficult and interesting music played at a high level of artistic skill at a very parent friendly, free admission. Best of all students could sit close to the front and meet the musicians in person afterswards.
These are pieces that students do not often get to hear because of the technical difficulty, not to mention the problems of ensemble. Ransom also treated us to two well known Chopin works: The Scherzo #1 in B Minor, op. 20 and the Ballade #1 in G Minor, op. 23. The low ceiling did not seem to take much away from a dramatic and expressive performance of the piano.
Both the Debussy and the Grieg Sonata for Violin and Piano had elements that were very contemporary. Debussy can sometimes sound like a piece of Jazz that someone has written down. A very real part of what makes it difficult. The Grieg has many haunting folk and gypsy fiddle like melodies from his national experience in Europe, that are challenging for most violinist. It reminded me of what John Williams has done with the music for Lord of the Rings.
For an encore the play favorites from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin and Meditation from Thais. I wish Miguel could have seen the way William plays the Meditation. It was certainly one of the jewels of the evening.
Links about Fitzpatrick and friends: