Chopin- 12 Etudes, Op. 25: No. 2
Although a violinist by trade, the piano has always had a strong presence in my life. Including Chopin on my list was essential as I've always been struck by the poetry in his music. Although an etude with its set of pianistic challenges, in Op. 25, No. 2 known as 'The Bees', Chopin has managed to veil the difficulty of polyrhythms, sonorous tonality, and a quietly busy right hand to depict the working bees buzzing through a meadow. Nelson Freire's sparkling and delicate sound brings this etude to life.
Recomposed By Max Richter- Vivaldi, The Four Seasons: Spring 0,1
Part of the joy of being a musician is the sharing of ideas and collaboration of many art forms to create an experience for all the senses for both artists and audience. I'll always remember the first time I joined the stage as part of MSO with CIRCA, the incredible contemporary circus company. Max Richter's Recomposed was one work which seemed a perfect choice not only to articulate the freedom to explore what's possible on the traditional concert platform with finely tuned acrobatic and trapeze artists soaring above the orchestra, but also to hear fragments of Vivaldi's Spring re-imagined with a contemporary freshness.
Delibes- Lakme, Act 1: Duo des fleurs. "Viens, Mallika"
To me this work presents the idea of how some music is timeless. Although the notes are written in the score, each time it is played, interpretation not only is about what the listener can open their ears and heart to, but relies on something less quantifiable. The first time I heard this duet was on TV watching the old British Airways ad. I found it glorious in every respect. The first time I played it was as a violin duet in an elaborate setting to mark the opening of a Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Even with just two violins, its simplicity of line was equally glorious. It wasn't until I experienced the full glory of the entire opera in context playing in the pit as a member of Orchestra Victoria. Although having now heard and played the flower duet countless times, Delibes manages to bring a smile and a sense of innocent joy each and every time.