Kristiana Ignatjeva (Cello), Alison Rhind (Piano)

Monday 21st October 2019
7:30pm at the Penrith Methodist Church
Tickets: £16 (students £2), at the door or in advance.

Please note that we have had a late change of programme for this concert.

The Countess of Munster Trust provides a variety of support for young musicians both studying and performing. We are grateful for their support in this concert given by Kristiana Ignatjeva (cello) and, in a change from the original publicity, Alison Rhind (piano). Alison has considerable experience at the highest level, accompanying Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova on tours of the USA and Japan.

Kristiana has also changed much of her programme, which can best be described as eclectic, though no doubt it will show off her musical ability. The only piece to survive the change is Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso, whose opening lament belies the usually light-hearted connotation of such a piece. It was indeed written out of suffering, both his own and that of a friend. A short introduction ends in a two-note discord over which the cello begins a melancholy theme. A rapid, florid and virtuoso variation leads back to the lyrical theme and the coda reprises the rapid passage work.

The Russian Kabalevsky was a prolific composer and music educator. As leader of the Soviet Composers’ Union, he avoided the 1948 condemnation of his fellow composers, Prokofiev and Shostakovitch. A pupil of Myaskovsky, his cello sonata, published in the 1960s, shows a lyrical style somewhere between these two. The first movement of the sonata is something of an emotional tour de force, the second has a deceptively spectral opening which plunges into a dancing scherzo-like galop. The final movement combines elements of both its predecessors, quoting Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ love theme for good measure. The piece ends solemnly and quietly.

Elgar’s cello concerto is relatively familiar to audiences world-wide, thanks largely to the following by our current generation of young cellists following Jacqueline du Pre and Daniel Barenboim, such that it is now quite ubiquitous. It is music that wears its heart on its sleeve, so-to-speak, a summation of Elgar’s compositional ability, lyrical, dramatic, skittish – a perfect gem. Playing it with (reduced) piano accompaniment will allow you to hear the cello’s part to advantage, as well as ‘cleaner’ orchestral lines.

Lukas Foss’s Capriccio brings the concert to delightful close. Foss (originally Fuchs) was a child prodigy in his native Germany, from which his family fled, like so many in the 1930s. Finally settling in America, Foss was a classmate of Leonard Bernstein and went on to devote much of his time teaching at UCLA and Boston. The Capriccio begins with an accelerating arpeggio, and continues like a moto perpetuo, occasionally interrupted. There are some hints of syncopated jazzy rhythms, a slower reflective interlude, before the piece finally picks up steam again for its final destination.

This is a showcase recital for the Latvian cellist, who will no doubt have strong support in her accomplished accompanist. While the Elgar will no doubt be familiar to most of us, the rest of her programme consists of music that deserves a wider hearing and will, I hope, reward our attention and surprise our expectation.

Preview by Charles Ritchie


Tchaikovsky Pezzo Cappriccioso
Kabalevksy Sonata for cello and piano op.71
Elgar Concerto for cello and piano
Lukas Foss Capriccio

More about Kristiana Ignatjeva, Alison Rhind

Updated on 25th April 2020
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