Paraphrases Brillantes

2010 erscheint die erste CD vom Duo Miriam Terragni und Catherine Sarasin. Sie enthält unbekannte Opernparaphrasen bekannter Opern, wobei sechs der Werke Welt-Ersteinspielungen sind. Vier der auf der CD eingespielten Werke wurde von den Interpretinnen selber im Verlag Koru herausgegeben. Ein kammermusikalischer Ausflug in die Opernwelt – Hoch virtuos, dramatisch und unterhaltend zugleich.


Audio Ausschnitte


Grischa M. Freimann: Badische Zeitung (28. August 2010)

In der Musik des 19. Jahrhunderts bezeichnet eine Paraphrase eine Fantasie über beliebte Melodien, oft für Klavier, gelegentlich auch mit weiteren Instrumenten besetzt. Diese Werke erfreuten sich großer Beliebtheit, boten sie doch die Möglichkeit, das ursprüngliche Werk weitab großer Konzertsäle und Opernhäuser bekannt zu machen. Opernparaphrasen italienischer und französischer Opern des 19. Jahrhunderts sind Thema der neu erschienenen CD „Paraphrases Brillantes“ der Schweizer Musikerinnen Miriam Terragni (Flöte) und Catherine Sarrasin (Klavier), die, beide auch an der Musikhochschule Basel ausgebildet, seit 2001 zusammen musizieren und auch als Solisten vielfach mit Preisen dekoriert wurden. Viele der gespielten Opernparaphrasen sind Welt-Ersteinspielungen, deren Noten von den Musikerinnen neu herausgegeben wurden. Entsprechend ihrem Charakter als Opernparaphrase sind viele der Werke Bravourstücke, die die Musikerinnen mit Leichtigkeit bewältigen. Dass die Virtuosität aber nie zum Selbstzweck gerät, zeigen die eher elegischen Passagen der Werke, die einfühlsam gestaltet werden. Differenziert werden die Passagen ihrem jeweiligen Charakter nach gestaltet, musikalisch bilden die Interpretinnen eine wohltuende Einheit. Musikalisch werden große Spannungsbögen aufgebaut, es wird intensiv, oftmals herzzerreißend, gestaltet, wobei die Musikerinnen das ihnen zu Gebote stehende breite dynamische Spektrum souverän einsetzen. Organisch wird das Tempo variiert, die lebendige Gestaltung der Paraphrasen zeigt, dass den Interpretinnen auch der Handlungsverlauf der zu Grunde liegenden Opern bestens bekannt ist. – „Paraphrases Brillantes“ wird bei einem Konzert heute, 29. August, um 19 Uhr in Schloss Bürgeln vorgestellt. Erschienen ist die CD bei Guild unter der Nummer GMCD 7345.

Mark Thomas, Joachim Raff Society

Miriam Terragni is clearly a virtuoso of the first class. There is a delightful lightness to much of her playing and her technique is staggering, witness the apparent effortlessness with which she treats some of the (literally) breathtakingly long phrases in these pieces. Sarasin is a very sensitive accompanist, taking a supporting role for the most part in this music written by flautists to display their own virtuosity, but shining when she is given a few bars to showcase her own considerable talents. Of the music itself, the most effective pieces are the two that bookend the programme: Wilhem Popp’s Rigoletto Fantasie (his op.335!) and François Borne’s Fantaisie brillante sur Carmen. The former for its shameless hijacking of Verdi to create a vehicle demonstrating Popp’s own astounding virtuosity and Borne’s because it remains truer to the spirit of Bizet’s masterpiece than the other works here. That said, Raff’s 10 minutes show him to be a composer on an altogether higher plane than any of them. The sound is immediate and warm and Robert Matthew-Walker’s insert notes are properly informative, even if he is faintly sniffy about Raff. In sum, a delightful CD and thoroughly recommendable.

Sterling Beeaff, Radio KBAQ (1. August 2010)

John Sheppard: MusicWeb International (July 13th 2010)

Nowadays if you miss live performances of a new opera from an established composer there is a good chance that it will be available as a recording, possibly even as a DVD. In the nineteenth century if you missed one or wanted to repeat the experience the alternative was through transcriptions. These could range from a straightforward vocal score – Bernard Shaw was said to have spent many hours playing and singing in this way – by way of a variety of selections and dance arrangements for piano or various instrumental groups, to concert works intended for the professional or gifted amateur performer. This disc consists of nine of the latter, mainly for flute and piano but relieved by two short piano solos by Raff. Apart from Raff, the names of the composers here are unlikely to be known other than to flautists. Most were indeed not only flautists themselves but wrote large quantities of studies and concert works for the instrument. Popp for instance wrote over six hundred works and Krakamp nearly three hundred, and studies of varying degrees of difficulty by Gariboldi, Popp and Demersseman are familiar to every flautist. They are however less likely to be as familiar with the works on this disc. Certainly like the studies they display all the characteristics of the instrument and test the player’s technique, but what may be less expected is that they are also very imaginative and entertaining as music. This may not be music of great depth or range – mention of the achievements of Liszt is out of place in this context, but it is extremely effective. It is not hard to imagine how well it would be received in a salon or in a small concert hall at the time that it was written. Fortunately the two players on this disc understand both its qualities and its limitations very well. Both are Swiss, and they have been playing together since 2001. They play with complete rapport, considerable virtuosity where required, and are well balanced, so that the flute does not unrealistically overwhelm the piano. Miriam Terragni has a very beautiful tone, avoiding the excessive vibrato that some better known flautists employ, but with a surprisingly large range of dynamics and articulation. All in all both players do full justice the music and present it to its best advantage. A quick glance at the titles of the items may suggest an excess of Verdi, and in particular of music based on „La Traviata“. However although both Krakamp and Remusat end their works with „Sempre libera“, their choice of items from the opera is otherwise quite different, whilst Raff’s piano solo is based entirely on a single section of the opera – the ensemble that ends Act 2. The otherwise helpful and full notes by Robert Matthew-Walker do not identify on which sections of each opera the various works are based but this is of minor importance. As a whole, this is an extremely entertaining disc likely to have appeal for many more than merely flautists and opera lovers.