Nothing beats sharing the stage with my best friend- Ivan Linn.
Ivan started the program with Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s “Fantasía Bética” (composed in 1919, commissioned by and dedicated to piano superstar Artur Rubinstein). I was particularly drawn to de Falla’s ability to mimic a guitar’s sound in writing for piano, and in this aspect Ivan did a superb job bringing out the lush harmonic colors while shocking the audience with its formal/motivic simplicity.
The second piece was “La cathédrale engloutie” by a composer whom I adore, Claude Debussy.
Whether or not Debussy admitted himself as an “impressionist”, this is a true programmatic piece of music, where he uses pentatonic scales to create spacious chordal ambience, then leads to the climax of the piece- where Debussy imitates the sound of a church organ (or the church bells), striking out the main pentatonic melody.
Ivan then played the third and fourth piece together in a pair: His own composition “Le Rêve 24” and his own arrangement of Yoko Shimomura’s “Veiled in Black (from Final Fantasy 15)”.
After the intermission we teamed up and started the second half with our arrangement of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s soundtrack of the movie “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)” (click here for full plot), followed by 19th century French composer César Franck’s violin sonata in A major: The piece was composed in 1886, as a wedding gift to the legendary violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, and it soon secured and remained a place in violin canon.
Dress rehearsal was a lot of fun too…in case you couldn’t tell by the photos