Matinée Musicale Cincinnati Memorial Hall, Cincinnati October 2nd, 2022, 7 PM
The gifted young violinist Christina Nam was joined by the superlative pianist Rohan De Silva in the opening concert of the 2022-2023 season of Matinee Musicale Cincinnati.
In an auspicious opening to a superb recital, Nam’s playing encompassed the required disciplined elegance needed for the music of Jean-Marie Leclair, composer and violinist, founder of the French school of violin playing, and known for his many works for the violin, among them the lively Sonata No. 3 in D Major, Op. 9. Rather than tippy toeing her way through this music, the young violinist took her time, allowing the music of Leclair to breathe and resonate to its full value, with great support from her musical partner Rohan De Silva.
Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 3 in d minor, Op. 108 is a weighty, sizable, challenging work that clocks in at approximately twenty minutes. Sweeping through the opening Allegro, spinning a singing melody in the Adagio, breezing through the syncopated Presto, and dazzling in the closing Agitato, Christina Nam gave an impassioned performance, with De Silva ever the ideal partner at the keyboard.
It was a felicitous choice to include Ernest Chausson’s Poeme next to Wagner’s Ein Albumblatt, as they have much in common – the French composer was an ardent fan of Wagner, and his harmonically dense music reflects it. Christina Nam played both pieces with fierce intensity.
Christina Nam and Rohan De Silva brought their program to a close with a full speed ahead reading of Jenö Hubay’s Carmen Fantasie Brillante, a show-stopping display of musical fireworks that includes the Fate theme, Micaela’s aria, the Habanera, the Gypsy Song, and the Toreador Song from Bizet’s score, all interconnected by cadenzas, double stops, warp-speed runs, and just about every trick of the fiddler’s trade.
The audience gave the artists a rousing ovation and they returned to give as an encore Fritz Kreisler’s arrangement of a group of melodies by Antonin Dvořák
The Sunday evening concert left no doubt in the minds of many that Christina Nam is well on her way to a major career as a concert violinist.
Rafael de Acha © 2022