The Violin Will Take You – An interview with Varvara Tarasova and Kamila Bydlowska (Part 2)

International Interview Concert at St Paul’s on Easter Sunday, 1st April. Doors open at 3:30pm pm starts 4pm prompt

Kamila Bydlowska, violin (Poland) & Varvara Tarasova, piano (Russia)

Live performances staged In the Round, plus live interviews, including audience questions, with two role-model musicians from among the highest calibre around Europe. The cafe-bar is open, it’s intimate, it’s close-up.

For classical music fans, lovers of the Tango or just those looking for a special evening of music and conversation, this weekend sees the second Interview Concert at St Paul’s.

Coming hot on the heels of a number of very successful events, we expect demand to be high for this unique experience.

As the date approaches we have some breaking news, following last year’s great review of pianist Varvara Tatasova’s first CD by Gramophone Magazine, The American “Fanfare Archive” has joined in with further praise of her interpretation of Brahms and Schumann. More information at the bottom of this blog.

There is a reason why these highly respected world experts agree on how good Varvara is, she has imagination, verve, feel and passion and plays with a talent that belies her young age (She is not yet 30) and Kamila has a range and virtuosity that allows her to bring her talents to a wide range of musical styles and formats from solo to trio to orchestra to duet. All this heightens anticipation of Varvara’s Interview Concert with violinist Kamila Bydlowska at St Paul’s on Easter Sunday afternoon.

During her performance with Kamila she will be include a piece of music by Schumann. And, who knows, on an afternoon of surprises, there may be something by Brahms. Many of those who have already secured their tickets are drawn by a love of the Tango; Kamila is a Tango expert and is a member of a four-piece tango band who regularly plays live around the country. On Sunday she will present an authentic tango from the Argentine, created by the famous arranger and composer Astor Piazzolla.

This Interview Concert will be a unique experience, with its distinctive “in the round” format, in which the audience sits around the performers listening up close to interviews with them as well as to the music they perform. It’s connective, interactive, inclusive, intimate, insightful and – most of all – exciting. All of this in St Pauls’ relaxing “café” style atmosphere, much like the salons and coffee houses where this music was performed before concert halls were built.

As you’ve already seen in our previous Interview Concert blog, we have already had a chance to speak with Varvara and Kamila.

This will be Kamila’s first Interview Concert although Varvara who is already much-loved by Worthing audiences, played solo, in April 2016 and was in the audience for Duo Arnicans’ concert in November. So we asked her . . .

Varvara, you have been an Interview Concert performer and an audience member, what can Kamila expect on her debut?

Yes, I know both feelings, and both are great! My experience as a performer was memorable for several reasons: it was the first time I spoke to an audience, which was very unusual, and difficult at the beginning. But then I relaxed and enjoyed it a lot! It is a wonderful opportunity to communicate to the public, not only through music but in friendly conversation.

My experience as an audience member? I had never been to that type of concert before, with such a relaxing atmosphere, and I wished for the concert to last longer. It was extraordinary!

I think Kamila can expect everything! It is a special, new feeling to talk with and open up in front of many people.

Kamila, do tell us what you have in common with Varvara and why you are excited to be playing together.

I sense we are both open and up for experiment. She is excited about this, as am I and she is and not afraid of any part. That was very encouraging.

What memories do you have of your previous visit here to play Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No 2 with Worthing Symphony Orchestra in January 2016?

When I came on stage, I started playing and my top string broke almost straight away, it wasn’t very funny then but it is now! There I was in front of everybody, holding a violin with a broken string. No one knew what to say, the look on people’s faces was priceless, and it seemed to take an eternity replacing it. That’s something you don’t forget.

Tell us about your Tango band, Kamila

It’s called La Tango Terra Quartetto – ‘The Tango Earth Quartet’. We play all over the country. It’s me on violin, with a bass, a piano, and a singer playing guitar and bandoneon.

Bandoneon?

Yes, that’s a type of accordion which is played in authentic Argentinian tango ensembles. Astor Piazzolla was a composer, arranger and brilliant bandonoen player. As you know, I’ll be playing one of his pieces, maybe two. There are two guys in my band who are dance instructors – so I am learning to tango!

But I play all sorts of other music – concertos, obviously, but I’m in a professional string trio and in the London Electronic Orchestra. I suppose I’m a bit like Nigel Kennedy – you can’t tie me down!

Varvara, back to you:  what do you think you have in common as a duo that enhances the performance?

When I met her in person I felt that we share the same values, that she is full of energy (this is our common thing) and like me she wants to explore new opportunities in the music world. From my own experience I know that personal contact between musical is a crucial thing for successful communication on stage.

We are both professionals open for a new collaboration and we are excited about this project and presenting you this Interview Concert. That’s why I believe it’s gonna be great!

On Easter Sunday Varvara and Kamila will bring you music from around the world including:

Nocturne & Tarantella (Szymanovski) – Polish night and dance music flavoured by Spain and the Middle East
Andalusian Serenade (de Falla) – Romantic and aromatic and rhythmic Spain
Violin Sonata No 1 (Robert Schumann) full-blown emotional Romantic German music by one of its greats.
Tango Etude No 4 (Piazzollo) – Argentine tango by its legendary composer, in a special violin version
Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Frolov) – American Deep South jazzy-bluesy fizz

Plus many more surprises on the day.

Extracts from Fanfare’s new review of Varvara Tarasova’s CD of Brahms and Schumann – on sale at the Interview Concert. The concert includes Schumann. There may even be some Brahms . . .

Lately we’ve been exposed to both through the outstanding Brahms surveys from Jonathan Plowright and Barry Douglas, along with single discs like the recent one from Nelson Freire. Happily, Tarasova exhibits the same depth of understanding. My hope was that Tarasova approached Freire’s refinement and touch. In fact, she’s at least his equal and, I think, is more sensitive and beautiful in No. 3.

As the muffled thunder of the bass line rises up in the first Capriccio of op. 76, you know immediately that this pianist feels a natural emotional connection with Brahms. Technically, Tarasova has a big, rounded tone; she never bangs, and she balances chords from the bottom up, giving her playing a rich foundation.

There is so much variety in these 21 miniatures that it’s rare to hear a pianist who successfully conveys the complete range of Schumann’s capricious imagination. Too many performers can only hold the audience’s attention with a one-size-fits-all virtuosity. Tarasova overcomes this problem by using her imagination to make each miniature a true character piece. I got the sense that Carnaval, despite its mood swings, was a unified work.

Get your tickets from St Paul’s cafe counter or online here

Watch out for more great live music at St Pauls Worthing and check out my blog Womu, a Worthing music blog at worthingmusic.wordpress.com

Rob Kelly

https://stpaulsworthing.co.uk/blog/event/the-international-interview-concerts/

http://twitter.com/KamilaBydlowska

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/varvara-tarasova-schumann-brahms

https://www.facebook.com/varvara.tarasova.piano

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