Posts Tagged 'Yossif Ivanov'

Adieu to You, and You, and You

beaver photoAll things must come to an end, and the time has arrived for this large, surprisingly industrious, semi-aquatic rodent to hang up its blogging cap for good. Gentle readers, the past 3+ years have been an absolute hoot because of you, and I can’t say thanks enough for your constant support and encouragement. Extra-special beavertail salutes go out to all the victims musicians who agreed to tackle my inane questions this season, including pianist Jon Kimura Parker, violinist Yossif Ivanov, high-flying cellist Alban Gerhardt, percussionist Sergio Carreno, pianist Martin Helmchen, conductor Hugh Wolff, bassoonist Adam Trussell, soprano Katherine Lefever, pianist/hero Stephen Hough [sigh], conductor Hannu Lintu, violinist Benjamin Schmid, the entire Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and rockstar fiddler James Ehnes. Trust me… the pleasure was all mine. And it may go without saying, but just in case: Thanks most of all to Maestro Carlos and the kick-ass musicians of the Oregon Symphony. Witnessing 76 (or so) brilliant technicians perform some of the greatest music ever composed with such passion and precision week after week will never get old. Seriously. Smooches to each and every one of you! Already looking forward to 2013/14, tell you what.

And speaking of next season, if you find yourself hankering for some bon mots from the classical beaver, feel free to drop in on *my Twitter account, which is quite possible even if you ain’t officially on Twitter. I’ll be sure to supply the best in orchestral coverage with 140 characters or less, guaranteed.

Let’s see… Express gratitude? Check. Plug my twats? Check. Well, I guess that’s it for this 474th and final post. Arrivederci from the Upper Balcony! xoxo, cb

now that’s pathetic – part II

young, bearded, and wearing a long dark vest over a black-and-white striped shirt, *yossif ivanov walked on stage looking like a very dapper pirate in absolutely no need of an eye patch.  instead of a gleaming sword, this 26-year-old flemish phenom brandished a 313-year-old fiddle worth over 2 million smackers… a stradivarius that goes by the name of lady tennant.  [fact checkers here at the cb home office possess whole binders full of violins named after women.]  anywho, mr. ivanov was in town to tackle some very modern, very dissonant, very atonal music written way back in 1985 by frenchman henri dutilleux – who at 96 is alive and (hopefully) well and living in paris.  truth be told, this rodent is hard-pressed to call monsieur dutilleux’s composition “music” because what my furry little ears picked up monday night could best be described as noise without the expected trappings of melody and rhythm.  it wasn’t pretty.  [at one point, an image passed through my head of a shrieking tortoiseshell cat thrown into the dreaded shower scene of psycho.]  those in attendance monday night were forced to reckon with the stand-alone sonic qualities of volume, pitch, and tone in a performance that would have fit perfectly within pica’s annual time-based-art festival.  it wasn’t pretty, but it was utterly fascinating: i say bravo to the brave artistic vision that delivered something so uniquely original and so shockingly bold to an unsuspecting classical crowd.  and before we put a bow on this blog post: extra-special beavertail salutes go out to karen’s oboe of love and carol’s piano of fury ~ what a treat!

what’s on tap?

this saturday, sunday, and monday, the oregon symphony presents some delicate french fare sandwiched between a pair of russian gems: a dreamy violin concerto by henri dutilleux preceded by rimsky-korsakov’s capriccio espagnol and proceeded by tchaikovsky’s symphony number six.

why go?  um, it’s gonna be a twenty-something smorgasbord!  not only will a 26-year-old yossif ivanov fiddle his way through a 27-year-old concerto, a 24-year-old aziz shokhakimov will be making his american debut atop the schnitzer podium.  and bee-tee-dubbz: you think you know tchaikovsky?  wait ’til you hear his final symphony.  [sigh…]

if you want more deets, *click here now or stop into the symphony’s downtown box office at sw 10th and washington today.

yossif ivanov tackles 10 questions

this saturday, sunday, and monday, p-town plays host to a 26-year-old (!) violinist named yossif ivanov.  before he tackles a concerto not much older than himself, this fiddling megastar was super-nice enough to sit down with a certain rodent for a hard-hitting interview:

with the oregon symphony backing you up, you’re set to play a violin concerto composed by henri dutilleux in 1985 ~ how would you describe this music?

As Dutilleux’s music is quite far away from the standard repertoire such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, I would suggest you listen to his music in terms of soundscapes and clouds.  As the title of the concerto is Tree of Dreams, one should listen to it that way: a dream with its landscapes, different moods, and emotions.

tchaikovsky’s symphony #6 is also on the program… any thoughts on pairing your dreamy concerto with uncle pyotr’s pathétique?

I must admit on paper it reads like a contrast between night and day.

hmmm… a simple but intriguing theory.  i like it.  hey, how come the violin is so awesome?

It’s an instrument with endless possibilities and great repertoire, so it never gets boring – except maybe for the many hours practice!  For example, a passage can be played hundreds of different ways, so it’s always a challenge to find the one which convinces me the best.  Besides, I’m very fortunate to play on a Stradivarius violin from 1699, which makes it all even more special.  And last but not least, it’s a mobile instrument which I can always carry with me ~ What a relief compared to pianists!

whoa: if i had a 1699 strad, i’d always carry it with me too!  so what’s so great about live classical music?

The direct and almost physical transmission of emotions with the audience.  And, an orchestra looks way cooler on stage than on CD!

amen brother ~ especially this band!  alright let’s see… if i had 48 hours in antwerp, what should I do?

You should definitely have a walk in the beautiful old town, visit the wonderful cathedral, and walk down the main shopping street of Meir, paying a visit to Rubens’ house.  After all that you can relax by having one of our great beers in one of the local bars!

something tells me it’s gonna be difficult finding an i.p.a. in belgium!  oh well, i guess i’ll suffer.  um, do you have any pre-concert rituals or exercises?

Nothing really exciting.  Generally, I try to rest as much as I can before a performance, so I keep my days quite low profile, to save all my energy for the concert.

i see that aziz shokhakimov will be conducting the concerts you are playing.  i’ve never heard of him ~ have you worked with this guy before?

This will my first time working with him and I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve heard great things!  Beside that, he’s only 24 years old, so this will actually be the first time I will be playing with a conductor younger than me!

nice.  i’ll buy you a drink old-timer.  what’re you having?

Easy: A local beer!

ding, ding, ding: folks, we have a correct answer during fresh hop season!  tell me yossif, does anything in the world of pop music excite you?

There’s great pop music, just as there is great classical music.  I love ‘classic’ pop such as The Beatles, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Michael Jackson, but more experimental pop such as Pink Floyd, good electronic music, and rap always grab my attention as well!

sweet mixed tape!  okay, last query: what are your expectations for our fair city of roses?

I’ve recently read that Portland is one of the 25 top cities in the world to live in, and this will be my first visit, so I’m really looking forward to discovering the city!

plus, you’ve lucked out and timed your arrival with the return of our beloved rain.  mr. ivanov, thank you so much for tackling all these questions ~ the beavs really appreciates it.  cannot wait to see and hear you soon!