Distinctive sounds of instruments

Distinctive sounds of instruments

Perfect harmony

Distinctive sounds of instruments

Talented: Nathalie Houtman

In keeping with their tradition of entertaining lovers of Western Classical music, the Bangalore School of Music organised a wonderful programme recently.
 The highly talented Duo Sirocco with Nathalie Houtman, on the csakan and Raphael Collignon, on the piano created exquisite music together. Nathalie also formed a quartet with three excellent musicians from Pondicherry, Murugesan, Irudayaraj and  Prem Kumar, who played the recorder.

The csakan which Nathalie played is a rare and remarkable instrument originating from Hungary. “It is a combination of the flute with the shepherd's staff. It was originally produced in the form of a flute-cum-staff to provide entertainment in musical salons in Vienna in the early romantic period,” she explains.

The concert began with a piece by Krahmer called Romance et Rondeau. The combination of the csakan and the piano was perfectly balanced and sounded almost ethereal. In order not to overwhelm the delicate notes of the csakan, Raphael toned down the sound of the piano and the result was a delicately balanced melodic sound that was in perfect harmony.

Then forming a quartet with the recorder artists from Pondicherry, who played the tenor, Alto and Bass, Nathalie joined in as the soprano. They played Mendelssohn-Bartholdi Lieder ohne Worte (song without words) which they synchronised in perfect harmony. After a short interval, the Duo Sirocco came back to play Schubert’s Variationen uber ein Originalthema, and two lively dances. Raphael entertained the gathering with his anecdotal account of playing the galopp in a small town in Europe. “We had no real idea what the dance was really like till the audience offered to demonstrate it to us and proceeded to gallop across the hall-literally while we played the music.” While the Bangalore audience appreciated the narrative, they did not take the bait and gallop across the Alliance Francaise preferring to stay in their seats and applaud the performers.

The delightful concert ended on a high note with one of Mozart's most loved pieces – Serenade - Eine kleine Nachtmusik. With the receptive and appreciative audience calling them back for an encore, it was upto the highly accomplished quartet to oblige with one final piece before calling it a night.