FOR MOST people, sitting in a stuffy theater, listening to Bach’s Baroque pieces and Mozart’s classical compositions is dull and uninteresting.

But the French Spring in Manila packaged such music well in its Chamber Music series in a two-night performance at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Plaza in Makati.

Chamber music is designed for the intimate setting of a room (chamber) in a home or palace, rather than for a public concert hall. This musical piece requires two or more instruments rendering a single melody, each musician carrying a different instrument and playing in some sort of a musical conversation. It’s a one-player-per-piece rule, that’s why its music is lighter in sound than Classical or orchestral music.

The concert features a duo of piano and cello, followed by a duo of piano and violin.

Declics by Jérôme Ducros and Gauthier Capuçon (piano and cello)

Touring under the program “Declics” or click, Jérôme Ducros and Gauthier Capuçon serenaded the classical music lovers of Manila in this one of a kind chamber music performance.

For the show’s opener, Ducros and Capuçon performed a lively sonata by French composer Claude Debussy.

Often associated with the contemporary impressionist movement in painting, linking the Romantic era with the 20th century, Debussy’s compositions are variant and intriguing. His music uses diverse scales, melodies, and rhythms that break the constraints of traditional Western classics.

Ducros and Capuçon performed with the same innovativeness and passion. Both played with total heart and without restraint, capturing the lyrical style and sensuous quality of Debussy’s music.

The music of Robert Schumann, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Johannes Brahms were also featured in the show.

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Intensely melodic and emotional, the show’s highlight was the work of German composer Brahms, the greatest master of the theme-and-variations form since Beethoven.

In the piece, Ducros and Capuçon’s performance level was at its peak. The pair interpreted the complicated rhythms and gorgeous lyricism of Brahms exceptionally well.

Capuçon, who handles his cello almost caressingly, evoked wistful and passionate feelings among the audience. Strongly felt on every stroke of the cello, his slow, languid movement was mesmerizing and moving. It was as if a story was being told. A sad, romantic story which brings listeners to tears.

Blended with the steady sound of the piano, this musical story becomes absolute and whole.

In contrast to the forlorn mood of most of the earlier pieces, the pair played a lively, jaunty tune by composer Rachmaninof as a finale for the night’s performance.

Both extremely brilliant and skillful, Ducros and Capuçon were a well-matched pair. They complemented each other’s talent in their harmonious performance, creating music so noble and touching that lefet a poignant feeling behind.

Classical Music by Frédéric Pelassy and Luci Magalit (violin and piano)

It Is beautiful when two cultures meet and produce music together.

The second part of the chamber music series showcased French violinist Frédéric Pelassy and Filipina pianist Luci Magalit. They serenaded the audience with Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Rondo Capriccioso, Johannes Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 and Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane.

Pelassy and Magalit performed the pieces with utmost coordination and precision. Their notes blended harmoniously and left the audience nostalgic and in awe.

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Initially, the mood was joyful and uplifting with the quick snappy beat, and poignant, then enticing later on. The last piece in the repertoire, Ravel’s Tzigane, was breathtaking and captivating. It started with the violin’s controlled low notes as if combined with the piano’s archaic melody, thus, producing a very powerful music.

The performers cradled the audience with a heartwarming finale—a subtle lullaby.

Pelassy was the master of his violin. It seemed he could let it do anything for him. He performed with passion although with minimal body movements and few steps. He drew his power from his heart and allowed his music to speak for himself.

Magalit was equally impressive and almost stole the show from Pelassy. She played the piano with high intensity coupled amid admirable grace. Her fingers rolled very quickly and smoothly on the keys as the sound flowed out perfectly from the piano.

Pelassy was trained in Paris under Michéle Auclair, then in Salzburg, Austria under Sandor Végh He was also trained at the Gstaad Menuhin Academy in Switzerland under Yehudi Menuhin. To date, he has performed hundreds of concerts all over the world and has recorded 17 albums.

Magalit on the other hand, is from the Camerata dell’Arte Foundation. She has won several piano competitions and graduated summa cum laude from the University of the Philippines College of Music.

The night became a treat to the audience who witnessed classical music come alive through the virtuosity and ingenuity of the two highly acclaimed musicians.

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