Wires, Strings & Other Things
- Wednesday 7 June 2023
- Carlow Arts Festival
Christian-Pierre La Marca cello
Félicien Brut accordion
You might think of an otherworldly violin sonata instrumentation with treble and bass flipped—or that the poor misfit accordion, side-lined from the classical canon, was paired with one of the orchestra’s popular crowd. But despite any superficial assumptions about this improbable pair, once you hear the combination, few things are as captivating as the sound of a cello and an accordion together. It is a shared reedy richness, mellow and smooth, enriched by the distinctive phrasings of bellow and bow-stroke. These are highly complementary instruments which produce an ever-varying tapestry of sound. Both La Marca and Brut share a love of innovative programming, a curiosity for a wide range of repertoires and styles, and a support of new works for their respective instruments. In the case of Félicien Brut, this new-music quest truly expands the canon and enriches the number of modern classical works for the accordion. This stunning classical duo of new generation French virtuosos brings Music Network’s Autumn 2022 Season to a fantastic finish with a genre-busting programme World Songs spanning the Baroque to the modern day, including a not-to-be-missed premiere of a new Music Network commission by Irish composer Judith Ring.
Programme: World Songs
Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683–1764)
‘Les Sauvages’, Les Indes Galantes (arr. La Marca/Brut)
J.S. Bach (1685–1750)
Sonata for Viola da Gamba in G Major, BWV 1027, mov. 3 &4
Frédéric Chopin (1810–49)
Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, no. 4 (arr. Domi Emorine)
Marin Marais (1656–1728)
La Folia for cello solo
Judith Ring (b. 1976)
Winter Wisps Softly Dissipate (Music Network Commission)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–75)
Adagio from Le Clair Ruisseau, Op. 39
David Popper (1843–1913)
Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68
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Astor Piazolla (1921–92)
Maria de Buenos Aires – extracts (arr. Jérôme Ducros and Domi Emorine)
Ariel Ramirez (1921–2010)
Alfonsina y el mar (arr. Domi Emorine)
Franck Angélis (b. 1962)
Impasse - extracts
Tony Murena (1917–70) & Jacques Brel (1929–78)
Passion (Murena) – Indifférence (Murena) – Vesoul (Brel)
Richard Galliano (b. 1950)
Tango pour Claude
Hailed by Gramophone as “a master of his instrument…and a musician of lyrical elegance”, and declared by La Monde as belonging to the “French cello elite”, Christian-Pierre La Marca has rapidly distinguished himself as a radiant presence on world concert and recording platforms. A regular guest at major international concert venues including the Philharmonie de Paris, Southbank Centre (London), Musikverein Vienna, Marinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg), 92nd Street Y (New York) and at festivals including Verbier, Ravinia, Schleswig Holstein, Bad Kissingen, La Folle Journée and Trondheim, Christian-Pierre champions a varied repertoire for his instrument. Working with a wide range of artists, his collaborators include Itzhak Perlman, Renaud Capuçon, Lise de la Salle, Igor Levit, Jean Rondeau, Philippe Jaroussky, Roberto Alagna, Bernarda Fink and Patricia Petibon.
Christian-Pierre has appeared as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Sinfonia Varsovia, Brussels Philharmonic, Les Siècles, Le Concert de la Loge and Les Ambassadeurs. An ardent advocate of contemporary music, he has worked with composers including Jörg Widmann, Pēteris Vasks, György Kurtág, Thierry Escaich and Philippe Hersant.
His innovative discography reflects a curiosity across musical genres, whilst retaining a passion for the great masterworks of classical repertoire. Such recordings have garnered unanimous acclaim and his latest recital disc, Cello 36, was announced as Gramophone’s 2021 Best Concept Album. Now recording exclusively for Naïve, the newest addition to his catalogue - Wonderful World - presents an ode to nature and features a host of guest appearances. It will be followed in 2022 by Legacy, which celebrates classical cello concerti and furthers his collaboration with Le Concert de la Loge.
In 2018 Christian-Pierre initiated Concert for the Planet with the GoodPlanet Foundation and Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a solidarity event intended to raise funds for environmental causes. Joint Artistic Director with his brother Adrien La Marca of the Forez Festival in France, Christian-Pierre is a Larsen Strings Official Artist and an ambassador for Gewa and Henle Verlag Library.
He plays a unique cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume from 1856, and the Fondation de la Vocation kindly loans him a rare bow by Jacob Eury (1825).
Accordionist Félicien Brut has established himself as one of the true stars of the new generation of French classical musicians. Born in 1986 in Auvergne, he began his musical training at a very young age and in 2007 went on to win three of the biggest international accordion competitions: The Klingenthal Competition (Germany), The Castel Midardo Competition (Italy) and The Trophée Trophy (Russia) which firmly established his reputation as an international artist of note.
In 2018, he made his debut as a concerto soloist at Un Violon sur le Sable performing Caprice d'accordéoniste, a fantasy for accordion and orchestra composed by Thibault Perrine. He has appeared as a soloist on many occasions with Orchestre National de Cannes under the direction of Benjamin Lévy, and also with Fauteuil d'Orchestre and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Having commissioned the composer Fabien Waksman to write a concerto for accordion: L'Île du Temps, Félicien performed the world première in October 2021 with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, under the baton of Antonio Méndez.
Félicien champions the creation and development of new and diverse music for his instrument and constantly seeks to expand and promote the canon. In 2017, he established Le Pari des Bretelles with Quatuor Hermès and double bass player Edouard Macarez – a gorgeous collaboration bringing together musette and classical music. The success of the ensemble was immediate with their album Le Pari des Bretelles being released by Mirare in 2018 to widespread excellent reviews. Their second recording, NEUF, consisting of nine commissions by nine leading composers, all inspired by the work of Beethoven, was released by Mirare in 2020.
Additional musical partnerships include successful duos with Warner Classics / Erato artists, guitarist Thibaut Garcia and trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin-Vary and a quintet with pianist Thomas Enhco, Thibaut Garcia, Jordan Victoria (violin) and Edouard Macarez (double bass) paying tribute to the Nuevo Tango of Astor Piazzolla.
Félicien’s next recording will be released in 2022 by Warner Classics / Erato, which will see him become the first accordionist to record for this label.
He plays on a Bayan Gadji designed, tuned and maintained by Stéphanie Simon.