Blending notes harmoniously

Blending notes harmoniously

Talented Claudia Schaetzle (also below) on sax with Monique de Margerie on piano. dh photos by Shiva kumar B H

Team up the smooth cool sound of a saxophone that invokes images of a laidback swanky night club with the rich harmony of the piano and you get The Dancing Saxophone, performed by the duo Claudia Schaetzle and Monique de Margerie, who were down from Montreal, Canada at the behest of The International Music and Arts Society.

The two lively ladies are so much in sync with each other that they feel they were destined to become performing partners. “I lived in Frieborg, a city in Germany for 10 years but didn't meet Claudia who also lived there till she moved to Montreal,” says Monique.  “We are soul sisters, speak French, German and English with equal fluency, share each other’s cultural backgrounds closely and have a very comfortable professional relationship.”

Monique is a pianist while Claudia plays the saxophone and they complement each other both in music and personalities. “This is our first Indian tour and we chose music that is lively with a distinct Eastern flavour to appeal to our audience,” adds Claudia.

From Hanoi to Delhi to Bangalore, it has been a whirlwind kaleidoscope of colour and culture which the duo have absorbed and enjoyed while conducting workshops at music schools along the way. Audiences have been marvellous and receptive, they say.

Their performance at the Alliance Francaise was a selection of carefully chosen pieces that they played as duets along with a couple of solos to showcase their individuality. Peppy and upbeat music that one was tempted to dance to with distinct Hungarian rhythms and beats evocative of joyful gypsies in celebration was the underlying tone and tempo of the programme.

Starting off with Canadian composer Mathieu Lussier, they played  Récit et Lied, an operatic piece meaning a ‘narration in song’ going on to various other European composers, waltzes and jazz improvisations. Post interval they were selections from Pedro Itturalde’s Suite Hellénique, Paul Ben-Haims Three Songs Without Words and a solo piece which when translated from French meant Joyful Island.

The concert ended on a rousing upbeat melody by Marcel Perrin called Fantaisie Tzigane.
After Bangalore, Monique flies off to Ladakh to go trekking with her boyfriend while Claudia heads off to Goa. “That's where our tastes differ, I’m a mountain person and she’s a total beach girl,” laughs Monique as they sign off.

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