2017 In Memory of a Great Artist, a huge concert!

In Memory of a Great Artist

Hof Café | Thursday | 15 June 2017 | 7:00 pm

Hof is an intriguing space, elegant and full of personality. At first sight everything is new and harmonious, but you can still see the walls, you can still feel the history. It is an excellent combination and it is one of the reasons why #iubimBrașovul (#weloveBrașov), as someone said.

At first you don’t know if the music will have the power to define the space, to embrace and envelop it. These are the stakes of spaces that were not made for chamber concerts, and they’re high. Before the concert starts, a coffee machine plays its own music. The coffee is really good!

Vlad Maistorovici and Sam Armstrong assume the initial taming and Lipatti seems to know what he’s saying – folklore accents emerge and we quickly recognize them.

Vlad plays the violin with his whole body, he arches, gives all he has, Sam sustains it, HOF bows, slowly but surely.

A small blond child gets closer to better see how it’s done. It makes sense to see and it makes sense that you can see, in detail, how the man with the violin and the man at the piano play Lipatti. Next, he gives his mom a long hug, maybe to thank her for the experience or maybe because of the music that seems to say something about love and longing.

Vlad is totally connected, he unleashes. The concert gets more intense, the Pulse is way up.

The challenge to adapt to a nonconventional space is just one side of the coin, maybe the most obvious one. The other side is the plus side (and the Pulse side…?). The energy of the audience grows exponentially when you share an intimate space and you don’t have a stage in a classical sense. It is impossible to remain passive to it at such a concert.

But us, in the audience, have the easiest mission. We offer the quiet.

The piano trio is prepared for a saga, a marathon, a piece with uppercase. Tchaikovski. I try not to anticipate. We listen to and see a continuous exclamation, a triangle of sounds, differences and dialogues. I don’t know how other people are (or feel), but when we get tired of all the violence, we fight our fatigue with doses of sublime. I have no idea why what I hear sounds perfect. But I am glad I know how to listen quietly.

One moment in the concert seems to say: We won! You almost expect us to congratulate each other already for a victory; it’s a celebration, people, hurray!

There are other moments in the concert when Sam seems to try not to bother the music sheet, to push the piano too hard, not to offend the gods…then he resumes the exclamation, he synchronizes in the triangle of instruments and brings more intensity, fireworks, strength…all synonyms for Intense.

And then, respiro.  Thank you, dear Tchaikosvski. After we take a deep breath, the music announces, prepares us, grows, envelops and surprises us – it plays, free and cheerful, wakes us up and gives us energy, hides in a game of hide and seek and when it shows itself it totally changes register.

Unconventional space versus concert hall? Nobody cares anymore; we are all in another space. The trio have created their own concert space, defined it and composed it to their musical taste.

At one point, Sam’s piano seems like a road, Valeriy’s violin seems like a stop and Pau’s cello seems to go on the road again.

Have we listened to only one piece? Hard to believe. Impossible to believe. There have been tens of music pieces. The ending is hard, explosive, in a way aggressive, with a troubling depth and morbid accents. We accept, not because we can’t fight it, but because it is, like any ending, hard.

Still, it is good to be able to applaud and shout Bravo, at the end!

Text | Răzvan Zlăvog

Photo | Andrei Paul