Martha Argerich : A scene from childhood.


A scene from childhood:

 

The first time I heard a recording of Martha Argerich I was around 12 or 13.  It was a cassette with her recording of the C minor partita by Bach. Back then I owned very little music to listen to so this became my day-to-day “soundtrack”. I fell in love with her playing; the phrasing, the nuances and the spirit in her music making.  I became a fan.

To make my point clear:

The very first CD I ever owned was the Argerich debut recording with Deutsche Gramophone. The first DVD I owned was a recording of the Schumann Concerto.

51pCGEnf2CL.jpg

 

Argerich – Tchaikovsky Concerto – Verbier

 A couple of weeks ago I read somewhere over the Internet that Martha was scheduled to perform the Tchaikovsky concerto at the opening ceremony of the Verbier festival. As you can imagine, my excitement was beyond description and I made sure that I was completely free to enjoy the live webcast of this concert.

The horns started playing their famous opening line and all I could think is that this was like watching history. After all It had been ten years since she played this concerto and I was watching a live webcast of it. She was… like always…terrific.

After she finished the concerto the audience couldn’t contain itself and gave her 5 rounds of applause. With each round of applause I started thinking of what a great artist she is and the respect that she gets from her audience. It also made me think of my own admiration towards her and how ,even though I don’t know her personally, she has always been a direct influence in me : after all, I fell in love with piano playing because of her recordings.

 

 

So, thank you Martha.!

 

- Carlos Vargas

El Mundo

Con el objetivo de promover el hábito de lectura y de dar a conocer obras que nos han impactado, tanto latinoamericanas como internacionales , estaremos compartiendo con ustedes cada martes una obra o recomendación literaria.

 

Nuestra primera entrega de #macondoreads es obra del escritor Uruguayo Eduardo Galeano y pertenece al " Libro de los Abrazos"

 

Aquí les va y esperamos sus comentarios:

 

El Mundo 

            Un hombre del pueblo de Neguá, en la costa de Colombia, pudo subir al alto cielo. A la vuelta, contó. Dijo que había contemplado, desde allá arriba, la vida humana. Y dijo que somos un mar de fueguitos. El mundo es eso -reveló- Un montón de gente, un mar de fueguitos. Cada persona brilla con luz propia entre todas las demás. No hay dos fuegos iguales. Hay fuegos grandes y fuegos chicos y fuegos de todos los colores. Hay gente de fuego sereno, que ni se entera del viento, y gente de fuego loco, que llena el aire de chispas. Algunos fuegos, fuegos bobos, no alumbran ni queman; pero otros arden la vida con tantas ganas que no se puede mirarlos sin parpadear, y quien se acerca, se enciende.

 

 

" Malala Day "

At her young age , Malala Yousafzai is already one of the world's most inspiring education and woman activists. On october 2012 the world was moved by the terrible news of her assassination attempt by Taliban forces after attending classes at her school . Malala survived the bullet that went through her head and last year gave a speech in front of the United Nations , an event that was dubbed " Malala Day " ( see this wonderful speech here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rNhZu3ttIU )

For this year " Malala Day" please read this article written by Malala  in which she talks about the recent events such as the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria:

 

"We are stronger than those who oppress us, who seek to silence us. We are stronger than the enemies of education. We are stronger than fear, hatred, violence and poverty."

 

Full article : http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/malala-yousafzai-helping-girls-worldwide-requires-a-united-stand/2014/07/13/14ccf54c-0920-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html

Enhorabuena ! Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara.

A través de los años he tenido la dicha de conocer excepcionales músicos que se han convertido en grandes amigos y por que no , han influenciado mi crecimiento artístico y personal. Este es el caso de Sergio Escalera.

Escribo estas palabras al recibir noticias de que Sergio ,un joven pianista Boliviano con un fantástico futuro por delante, ha dado el primer paso junto a un grupo de músicos bolivianos y suramericanos para conformar la Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara.

Todos los que hemos tenido la dicha de conocer a Sergio sabemos que este será un proyecto de gran éxito , de la mas alta calidad y aun mas importante,  de beneficio para las nuevas generaciones de músicos y amantes de la música en el hermano pueblo Boliviano.

 

Desde esta trinchera te auguro exitos y te felicito por tan loable iniciativa!

Enhorabuena!

 

Carlos Vargas

 

Academic claims Anna Magdalena Bach wrote some of Bach best-loved works

"A study by an academic who has spent more than 30 years looking at Bach's work claims that Anna Magdalena Bach, traditionally believed to be Bach's musical copyist, actually wrote some of his best-loved works, including his Six Cello Suites."

 

Your thoughts?  Here is the link of the full article:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1516423/Bach-works-were-written-by-his-second-wife-claims-academic.html

Llueve sobre Macondo

Que raro ha sido este Jueves. Como en un cuento del maestro, todo se dio de fantasía: el concierto se atrasó 45 minutos, la sala estaba totalmente llena y empezó a caer un granizo tremendo al final del concierto. Sin conocimiento previo de su muerte decidí pararme antes de tocar el Quinteto de Schumann, la última pieza en el programa, y dedicarle unas palabras a él, diciendo como había inspirado a tantos artistas latinos y como nuestro grupo celebraba sus ideas traducidas al mundo musical. Todos aplaudieron y se escuchó a unísono por 800 voces el: "Que se mejore".

Cuando empezamos a tocar Schumann el granizo empeoró y hasta cayó un poco de hielo en el escenario. El sonido del hielo batallando con el techo era tal, que parecía que estuvieramos en medio de una guerra. Todo se empezó a calmar en el segundo movimiento del quinteto, que para colmo de males se llama Marcha Fúnebre. En la mitad de éste, el primer violín y cello intercambian una melodía de increible belleza, que con su lirismo y cambio abrupto de tonalidad, abre los cielos a la atmósfera fúnebre y oscura. Sólo en este momento el granizo misteriosamente finalizó y se pudo terminar el moviemiento y el quinteto en absoluto silencio.

Con tanto aplauso y retraso, salimos tarde de la sala y solo ahí pudimos escuchar la terrible noticia.

Nosotros tocamos este concierto celebrando su vida, esperando su mejora, cuando el mundo entero ya padecía su muerte. No sé si el granizo, los ruidos del hielo, el silencio, la marcha fúnebre, la imprevista dedicatoria, el retraso del concierto, no sé si algo de esto estuvo providencialmente en nuestro camino. Pero si sé que tocamos Schumann mientras Gabo moría y esto quedará en nuestra memoria por siempre.

Llueve sobre Macondo

The drive to Popayán is long from Cali during Easter celebrations. People from all over the country make their pilgrimage to Popayán during this week for its famous religious processions, white buildings and the long-running Festival de Música Religiosa de Popayán. The streets that lead one block to the nextspread like a grid and were at one point travelled by horse-drawn carriage. They are now paved and too narrow for pedestrians and cars, making it inevitable to walk without looking over the shoulder. Ladies put their hair up, make themselves up beautifully and dress in the traditional long skirts and colorful blouses native to the region.

 

On the night of Wednesday 16th it seemed like all the inhabitants of Popayán were out to celebrate their faith and take part in the procession. Tables and chairs were organized outside homes and the elders of the community sat and watched as the procession made its way down the street. The effigy bearers dressed in long gowns with ropes around their waists like monks, other men in long tuxedo and white bow tie marched with the statues of their saints, of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ on their shoulders. These processions are part of a four-hundred- year-old tradition that was brought over toColombia by the Spanish and last all week for several hours each night with many spectators standing in absolute silence and some praying as the procession passes by.

 

 

 

 

As invited guests of the festival we were excited to make our appearance in the city’s concert hall; a beautiful building from the turn of the 19th South America. Our ensemble, Macondo Chamber Players, played a program which had nothing to do with sacred music, but got a full excited crowd that gave applause after every movement of each piece. Just hours before the concert we decided it should be dedicated to Gabriel García Márquez (Gabo) as celebration of a life in art and in the hopes that his health would improve.

 

As we prepared to embark the Schumann quintet we heard thunder and thought nothing of it….until an unrecognizable sound began to get louder and louder. Seconds after we began to play, the elegant hall, with a grand chandelier, gold trim and 800 seats, all occupied, began to sound like a war zone moved onto the roof. The sound was so violent that we could barely hear anything we played. As we moved into the second movement marked “In modo d’una marcha” the bombardment became less aggressive and finally calmed. This is a movement in the style of a funeral march with the second theme in major and expressive lyrical material in the first violin and cello. I have always thought of it as an opening in the sky to reveal the sun. We were all surprised to hear afterwards that all the raucous came as a result of a hail storm that fell for the duration of the first movement of the quintet and into the second.

A few minutes into the piece a thought involuntarily entered my head, and for a moment I felt that Gabo’s light was dimming. I cannot explain why or how this notion came about. It was probably a natural consequence considering all the recent news about his health and return home after a stay in the hospital. Somehow the chain of events: Macondo Chamber Players named after the imaginary town in Gabo’s books where absolutely ANYTHING can happen, the dedication of our concert to him, the glamorous hall in a very small and removed town, the noise from the hail which very seldom falls in this part of the world, the timing of the second movement march with the tapering of the noise from the hail century with the most wonderful acoustics like few halls in could all have come out of a García Márquez story of magical realism.

He died while we played. We didn’t know he had passed until half an hour after we finished the concert. The shock of his death was grave. But the collective feeling in the group is something hard to forget especially considering the fact that he passed as we played the first and second movements of Schumann Quintet as has been confirmed by news releases. Whether this has any meaning whatsoever, supernatural, or whether we simply want to believe that there was such an occurrence is up to interpretation. All we know along with the other eight-hundred people who were there is that we witnessed it and that it truly was a special moment and a meaningful way without knowing it to bid farewell to a man who represented Latin-American art for the past half-century and more. He gave Latin-Americans a sense of identity and pride in their culture. Through his ideas, and his body of work he will continue to be an inspiration to many more generations of artists here and around the world.

Boston

Our tour in the month of april marks the first year anniversary as a group.  This very special occasion will take us to cities Buga Popayan and Quito (Ecuador), and at the same time will bring us back to Bogota and Cali, the two places where this amazing journey began. Our excitement to bring you this masterworks is beyond description, and we are looking forward to share it with you in each one of these events .Let the celebration begin!

Nuestra gira en este mes de abril conmemora nuestro primer aniversario como grupo . Esta gran celebración nos llevara a ciudades como Buga, Popayán, Quito (Ecuador) y nos trae de vuelta a las ciudades de Bogotá y Cali. La emoción que sentimos por esta fabulosa gira es
indescriptible y esperamos que esto sea palpable cuando ejecutemos las obras maestras que presentaremos al pueblo Colombiano y Ecuatoriano. Que comienze la celebración!