Exploring new musical frontiers

  19.01.2024 Arts & Culture, Concerts, Arts & Culture

A harmonious synergy of two extraordinary instrumentalists creating enchanting melodies and the versatile soprano who weaves together the rich tapestry of multiple cultures through her captivating voice.

“Shum” is the Ukrainian word for noise. In the land of captivating “noise,” the duo “Shum,” consisting of the pianist Anastasia Rizikov and cellist Lisa Strauss, stands out as they beautifully blend their Slavic roots with a passion for showcasing Central and Eastern European music. Rizikov, of Ukrainian descent, collaborates with Strauss, whose ancestry traces back to Russia, forming a unique musical partnership that has thrived for over a year and a half.

At their recent performance in Rougemont, the duo presented a compelling program featuring works by 20th-century composers such as Arvo Pärt’s “Mirror in the Mirror,” Alfred Schnittke’s first cello sonata, and Fazil Say’s “4 Cities.” The “Shum” duo impressed with their harmonious interplay, skilfully navigating the delicate balance between individual interpretation and a respectful adherence to the compositions. From the sweetly gentle to the powerfully determined, they showcased a broad spectrum of sounds, charming the audience and guiding them through a diverse repertoire.

Despite their musical prowess, it was disheartening to see the Rougemont church sparsely filled, reflecting a broader trend in the “Young Talents” series of the Gstaad New Year Music Festival. This raises questions about whether audiences predominantly seek performances by well-known stars, forgetting that these stars were once young talents themselves. The “Shum” duo, along with other emerging artists, offer a unique blend of wonder, vitality, and new perspectives that deserve greater recognition.

A Musical Journey with Soprano Fatma Said
In a contrasting setting, soprano Fatma Said graced the intimate Lauenen church, showcasing the richness of her career that has taken her to major concert and opera stages worldwide. Born in Egypt, Said presented a diverse program spanning French composers like Gabriel Fauré and Francis Poulenc, German works by Kurt Weill, and a journey across the Atlantic to explore the music of Argentinians Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel, and Ángel Villoldo.

Said’s warm soprano voice seamlessly navigated through the various cultures and styles, masterfully portraying different roles in her musical journey. Accompanied by pianist Tim Allhoff, the two displayed a remarkable musical partnership, evident in their well-rehearsed performance and connection. Allhoff, a versatile musician and composer, also showcased his love for jazz with two solo piano compositions.

The Lauenen audience was treated to encores that infused a jazzy flair, revealing the ease with which Said embraced this genre. As applause filled the air, one couldn’t help but ponder the beauty of a world where the Orient and Occident converge with openness, respect, curiosity, tolerance, and humility – a sentiment that Fatma Said’s music eloquently conveyed, inspiring dreams that may one day come true.




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