Jazz in Church: Bucharest, Romania, March 21-24, 2013
Ferenc Snetberger and Paolo Vinaccia
Ferenc Snetberger, guitar, together with Paolo Vinaccia, percussion, gave a performance of exquisite fluidity, in which the deeply vibrating chords of the guitar came in organic conjunction with the perfect sound architecture of the percussion. The melodic arabesques were accompanied, like an echo, by touches of snare drum and cymbal, followed by granulated gusts of percussion. The Spanish dance inlays on the guitar were generously amplified by rhythmic alternations with solar openings. The percussion on the snare drum joined the theme in counterpoint, marking the drift on parallel rhythmic tracks with a break. Vinaccia provided harmonic fullness through a fine augmentation of the melodiousness, increasing the dramatic effect of Snetberger's performance. The clapping percussion rounded the sonic picture, adding, through the irregularity of the sound an extra touch of organic cohesion. The rhythmic peaks left behind the melodic basis expanding it and creating, at the same time, a new autonomous universe with its own musical configuration.
Saturday, March 23
Misha Alperin's piano solo, "Stories for My Piano," could be compared with a grave fantasy, unraveling in a subtle balance at the point of incidence between the cerebral and the emotional, which sometimes created an image of a stony peak scattered with Edelweiss. The suite started with a robust cadence, sharply atonal curves culminating in melodic florescences. The sound succession in short intervals circumnavigated the theme; the sonic alternation with the left hand sustained a sonic flight carried by ascendant gliding. A theme with a folk touch was dismantled into modules, which recomposed themselves in autonomous structures and fragile spheres, as if set afloat by blowing on a dandelion. The sonic flux was interrupted by major chords which fell with solemnity, gradually giving way to the melody. In a perfectly balanced harmonic alternance, the sounds formed transparent stalactites, out of which the tones dripped off in diminishing successions to close the suite with a long silent note.
Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier
In addition to his how compositions, pianist Francois Couturier and cellist Anja Lechner have interpreted pieces by G.I. Gurdjieff, Federico Mompou, and Anouar Brahem. In a suite of harmonic conjugations, the two musicians alternated subtly infused reflection with dance, Chopin-like breaths with chants of sorrow, and the classical with the forgotten romance. The tone gained in gravity, the pauses grew, and the piano took over the solo part, carrying on the gracious tone of a known story that ended in unison. A dialogue in keynote explored the lyrical territory to later become a bolero with hymnal accents. A humming of strings became pure song on the piano keys. A ballad followed like a nostalgic memento, in which the theme taken over by the piano acquired languorous melodiousness. The sequential combinations of the keys on the vibrant background provided by the cello generated into stormy disjunctions followed by lyrical reconciliations, which were crowned by joyful apexes.
Sunday, March 24
Arianna Savall Petter Udland Johansen
Arianna Savall on harp and Petter Udland Johansen on violin are musical presences, who changed the atmosphere of the place as soon as they entered it, creating a state of grace that enveloped the audience in a halo of spirituality. The two musicians brought along old Catalonian chants, together with ballads of blue fjords, delicate Italian dances, and psalms raised in a diaphanous harmony, which transported the public in the time and place of past ages.