French violinist brings classical compositions to capital

April 08, 2015


Vadim Tchijik plays the violin at a musical recital on Tuesday. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad
Vadim Tchijik plays the violin at a musical recital on Tuesday. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of France Martine Dorance hosted a classical music recital by famous French violinist Vadim Tchijik at the Serena Hotel. The programme featured pieces from Bach, Paganini, Kreisler and Ysaye.

Speaking on the occasion, Martine said: “We are very lucky tonight because we have an internationally renowned violinist in Pakistan for a week performing in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. I am grateful to the Serena Hotel for their support in organising and hosting this event.”

The violinist Tchijik said: “All the composers I have selected this evening were violinists and you will hear the developments and transitions in their musical compositions.”

Beginning with Bach’s 1st Sonata in G minor, Tchijik played both the adagio and the fugue. Written in 1720, the Sonatas and Partitas came at the exact midpoint of the three phases into which Bach’s creative life is divided. The Sonata followed the established model of the time to present a slow lyrical introductory movement, followed by a fugue.

He then went on to play four of the 24 Caprices for Solo Violin by Nicolo Paganini, an 18th century violinist. Caprice No 1 featured exceedingly modern sounds with a flurry of almost mechanical sounds.

Nicknamed ‘The Arpeggio’, this composition matches chordal playing with ricochet across all four strings.

Caprice No 6, which is called ‘The Trill’, exploited the use of left-hand tremolo on the violin by quickly alternating between different notes in the chord in one of the voices. The ninth caprice, called ‘The Hunt’, the violin’s A and E strings imitate the flutes, while the G & D strings imitate the horns.

The final caprice No 17 featured an incredibly difficult octave passage where numerous thirty-second note runs on the A and E strings went back and forth with double stops on the lower two strings.

Continuing with Kreisler’s only composition for the solo violin, the Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6, Tchijik brought a sense of impressionistic darkness to the recital. While many of Kreisler’s compositions were emotional continuations of the legacy of Paganini, Wieniawski, Sarasate, and Ysaÿe, the Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6 was a dedication to Eugene Ysaÿe.

Ysaye’s Sonata No. 3 Ballade was followed by the last movement of Bach’s Chaconna from the 2nd partita.

The partitas are suites of dances and the second is intensely complex as multitude variations of a single idea are conveyed.

Tchijik responded to the resounding applause by thanking the French embassy, the cultural section and the Serena Hotel for inviting and facilitating his tour of Pakistan.

A guest, Asma Rashid Khan, said: “The whole performance was fantastic. Sitting in Islamabad and hearing this kind of music is amazing.”

“Tchijik is a brilliant, skilful musician. I particularly enjoyed the J.S. Bach - Chaconna from the second partita and the finale piece,” said another guest.

Human rights activist Tahira Abdullah said: “This was a treat for a place like Islamabad.”

“He was like a one person orchestra with his violin,” said another guest.

Vadim Tchijik is currently Professor of violin at Toulouse Conservatory and gives master-classes in Europe, South America and Asia.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2015

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