The Boulanger Legacy - Vercammen, Ivanova
Classical - Chamber
Lili Boulanger: Nocturne, Cortège, D'un matin de printemps
Nadia Boulanger: Modéré (from 3 Pièces)
Bacewicz: Violin Sonata No. 3
Bernstein: Violin Sonata
Piazzolla: Le grand tango
Merel Vercammen (violin)
Dina Ivanova (piano)
That Merel Vercammen is constantly looking for new challenges is something she proves with her new TRPTK production, The Boulanger Legacy, a thematically curated album in which the music of Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) and her students are the common thread. “Her influence on the music of the twentieth century has been gigantic,” Vercammen says. The school, of which she would become director in Fontainebleau, attracted many American music students. Various names such as Aaron Copland, Jean Françaix, Philip Glass, Daniel Barenboim, Elliott Carter and Quincy Jones took lessons from her. Referring to her surname, there was talk of the “boulangerie,” as if she delivered composers like loaves of bread. The album includes works by her sister Lili Boulanger, Grażyna Bacewicz, Leonard Bernstein and Astor Piazzolla.
The three pieces by the young Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) that she wrote for violin and piano are included, with the expressive D’un matin de printemps (1917) standing out in particular. The Polish Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) enjoys great fame in her native country and is represented on the album with her beautiful Sonata no. 3 for violin & piano (1948). An early, modernist work by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) is included: the Sonata for violin and piano (1979): a series of variations in which he plays with form.
Additional color to this album is Le Grand Tango (1982) by the Argentine Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), born 100 years ago, a piece he originally dedicated to the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Composer Sofia Gubaidulina made an arrangement of it for violin and piano. Vercammen and pianist Ivanova seem to step outside themselves for a moment in their special performance: like no other, the duo lets the energy of the tango speak for itself! “We really had to make those rhythms our own,” Vercammen remarks.
The carefully constructed album concludes with the first movement, ‘Modéré’, from Nadia Boulanger’s Trois pièces. Melancholic music originally written for piano and cello, but suited with a violin part by Vercammen.
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