FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER: Bogdan and Victor combine for Festival of Chichester

From Romania and Russia, two virtuoso musicians join together in an inspired artistic partnership which grew out of the Festival of Chichester last year.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 9:36 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:01 am

Bogdan Vacarescu (violin) came across Victor Ryabchikov (piano) when Victor performed in last year’s festival.

He immediately sensed a kindred spirit. And now they are performing together for this year’s festival.

“We have the same approach to music, the same interpretation of rhythm,” Bogdan says. “There are schools where people are very rigid and schools where people are really encouraged to have freedom of expression.”

Bogdan places himself in the latter category alongside Victor, with whom he is now collaborating for the first time to perform Grieg’s Sonata No. 3 alongside rarely-heard transcriptions by the violinist Leopold Auer (teacher of Jascha Heifetz) of works by Vitali, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

Their lunchtime concert, part of the Amici series within the festival, will be played straight through without an interval on Wednesday, June 22 at 1pm in Edes House in West Street.

The full programme will be: Edvard Grieg – Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45; Beethoven – Turkish March (arr Auer); Beethoven – Chorus of Dervishes (arr Auer); Tchaikovsky – Valse from Serenade for Strings (arr. Auer); and Vitali – Ciaccona in G minor (arr Charlier-David-Auer).

“It is going to be a really interesting programme,” Bogdan says. “The Grieg is a work that I really, really love to play, but it has been a while since I last played it. It is great. There are a lot of things happening in it. The second movement is a little bit jazzy, and the first movement is contrasting themes. I think Victor will be perfect to help me bring out its qualities.

“And then it will be a series of pieces that Leopold Auer transcribed for violin and piano. Auer was the greatest pedagogue and teacher. He was a great violinist. He taught some of the greatest violinists of the 20th century. He also wrote music and transcribed a lot of music.

“Piano and violin is a great combination. The piano is a beautiful harmonic and percussion instrument at the same time. It gives you a wide range. The combination of harmony and percussion and the ability to play everything from piano to fortissimo… and the whole point of the violin when it was made was to imitate the human voice as much as possible. They really work together.

“Victor is in Moscow. He will arrive a few days before the concert, and we will have a rehearsal in London and then another couple of rehearsals in Chichester. We hope! But that happens all the time. You might be playing with someone soon who is playing on the other side of the world to where you are playing. But I have already sent him some notes and some of the music to say how I see it.”

And Bogdan already senses the excitement: “It’s a beautiful thing. Sometimes new collaborations can lead to amazing things. You just don’t know. It is great especially when you are playing new programmes or even with pieces you know and have already played a lot, it can be like playing a new piece completely when you are playing them with someone different.”

Winner of many national and international violin and chamber music competitions since he was five, Bogdan has made numerous recordings on national televisions and radios across the world, touring internationally since his teens.

He is a graduate of the Conservatoire of Music in Bucharest and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Voted Russian Pianist of the Year in 1992, Victor Ryabchikov has toured internationally across Europe, Africa, America and India, making his London Wigmore Hall debut in 2000.

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