Born in Italy and raised within the USA, Clarissa is at the moment based mostly in Berlin the place she is learning, and from the place she spoke to me through Zoom. She was aware of Reid Thomas’ music nicely earlier than making the recording, as Clarissa knew the composer’s work from the interval when Clarissa was learning in Chicago (Reid Thomas is a professor on the College of Chicago). Clarissa programmed a few of Reid Thomas’ music at a recital (Clarissa was round 16 on the time) and the composer got here alongside, favored the efficiency and the 2 obtained speaking. The recording challenge developed in the course of the pandemic; the works for solo violin had been recorded in Chicago in September 2021, with the concerto recorded in Cardiff in April 2022.
|Recording session for August Learn Thomas’ Violin Concerto No 3 – Clarissa Bevilacqua, Vimbayi Kaziboni, BBC Nationwide Orchestra of Wales|
Clarissa enjoys Reid Thomas’ music for the exceptional element of her writing, and the harmonic sound world that she creates. Clarissa finds the music an excellent combine, a Twenty first-century modernism rooted in custom with nice harmonic substance. There is similar depth within the works for solo violin; the violin is evidently Reid Thomas’ favorite instrument, and each she and Clarissa thus share a ardour for it. In among the solo violin works, Reid Thomas’ writing is sympathetically within the melodic vary, displaying an excellent understanding of how the instrument resonates, while others are extremely technically demanding, however nonetheless sympathetic. Clarissa describes the primary single from the disc, Rush [available on YouTube] as two minutes jam-packed with technical virtuosity, but it’s musical too.
The concerto is a little bit of each. Thematically it’s linked to the solo, Dreamcatcher (therefore the disc’s identify), which is a piece of idyllic calm, like a dream. The concerto begins and ends on the earth of Dreamcatcher, however within the center Reid Thomas takes issues to a brand new degree with technical calls for on each soloist and orchestra, with a lot motion in all of the instrumental elements. So the work begins and ends in nothing, with what Clarissa describes as a giant bubble of power within the center. And it’s evidently a implausible work to play! They recorded Reid Thomas’ third violin concerto (her most up-to-date) partly as a result of it has not been recorded earlier than, although it additionally suits the theme of the album, however Clarissa hopes to play the sooner two as nicely.
A disc of works by a up to date composer, many not recorded earlier than, is maybe an uncommon choice for a debut disc, however Clarissa selected to do it. Definitely, the music required work, nevertheless it additionally meant that she started working with the composer on the items. Her selection was very deliberate, ensuing from a protracted strategy of thought; she actually cherishes the items and feels they’ve made one thing long-lasting. Additionally, no-one has ever recorded Reid Thomas’ complete assortment of music for unaccompanied violin (9 works in whole). And naturally, there may simply be a second quantity dedicated to Reid Thomas’ chamber music and the opposite concertos. Additionally, Clarissa factors out that Reid Thomas could nicely write additional works for solo violin, however each composer and soloist are pleased with the concept that the disc is solely a snapshot in time.
|Recording session for August Learn Thomas’ Violin Concerto No 3 – Vimbayi Kaziboni, Clarissa Bevilacqua, Augusta Learn Thomas, BBC Nationwide Orchestra of Wales|
Clarissa educated as a classical violinist, rising up with the traditional concertos and practising them. As such, modern music will be one thing of a problem nevertheless it comes with the advantage of with the ability to have an actual reference to the composer. When enjoying Brahms, Clarissa has to guess what the composer may need been pondering, however Reid Thomas had a narrative for the background to each work. Clarissa cherished this sense of connection, and it modified her view of composers like Brahms. She calls it a singular expertise, with the ability to speak to the creator of music that you simply love.
After we converse, the disc was simply being launched and Clarissa was wanting ahead to taking a break, however she hopes that individuals benefit from the disc as a lot as she did. Wanting forward there’s Mendelssohn and masterclasses in Thailand, after which she opens Mozart Week in Salzburg. However she guarantees that there are extra modern items within the pipeline.
Clarissa makes a deliberate distinction between the repertoire she performs in live performance and that which she needs to file. She factors out that there are thousands and thousands of recordings of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, she performs it in live shows but when she recorded it, her model can be merely one in every of many, although she could file it at some point. She needs to make recordings which have one thing to do with the world now, that shock the viewers and assist them to narrate to the music. She feels that it’s important that individuals can hearken to her in fashionable music. She needs individuals to be stunned by the brand new album and hopes that this assortment of what she calls musical poems will push listeners in direction of one thing new and thrilling.
She began enjoying the violin when younger. Her dad and mom should not musicians, however they listened to music quite a bit and when the younger Clarissa was taken to a live performance with a solo violinist, she cherished the instrument immediately, falling in love with the sight and sound of it. She was younger, and did not actually perceive, however determined she needed to play the violin. Gifted younger, she did her Bachelors diploma while nonetheless at Excessive College, a taxing time which was loads of work. While the violin was her ardour, it was a lot having to follow while additionally working at Excessive College. On the age of 16, she had her Bachelor’s diploma, and this put her at a crossroads, which was scary. She auditioned for music colleges and obtained into what she describes as her dream class in Salzburg, learning with Pierre Amoyal who was a pupil of Jascha Heifetz, a violinist whom Clarissa admires tremendously. It was a dream, convincing her that this was the fitting choice, however there was a second when she questioned, do I wish to do that?
Jascha Heifetz is unquestionably one in every of her heroes, for a way weak he may very well be on stage in order that his sound got here from one thing actual inside; not perfection, however one thing very human. One other violinist she admires is Christian Ferras for his Chausson and Brahms. She additionally admires Augusta Reid Thomas, whom she has obtained to know much better on account of making the recordings, and Clarissa describes the composer as beneficiant, form and affected person.
There’s a lot repertoire on the market, that there are nonetheless loads of works that she would like to play and he or she mentions Schubert’s Quintet in C main, and he or she needs to play the Barber and the Shostakovich concertos. So she plans to continue learning and maintain enjoying, and hopefully will bump into extra nice music. She has developed a technique of follow which normally makes studying a brand new work a fast course of, however then it takes time for her to turn out to be snug with the music. Usually issues solely click on into place when she goes on stage, and he or she feels that zeal for the piece.
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