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A Curate’s Egg at Payap – Ohm Chanteyoon and Arianne Shimanoff in Concert


A Curate’s Egg at Payap – Ohm Chanteyoon and Arianne Shimanoff in Concert

By Jai-Pee

On Monday 11th May, two young and talented violinists delighted a near-capacity audience in the CRK Recital Hall at Payap University. In this venture they were supported by a large string ensemble and Ajaan David Wilson as harpsichord continuo in the first part as well as two guitars and ‘cello in the second half. The first part was devoted to two relatively well known double violin virtuoso concerti by Vivaldi and by Bach. It was a very hot night and the noisy air-conditioning seemed to do little to lower the temperature. What it did do, however, was to cause the string orchestra to play too loud in both these fine baroque pieces so that the two soloists were often drowned out and it was hard at times to catch some of their evidently fine virtuoso playing.

Ohm Chanteyoon and Arianne Shimanoff performed at Payap University on May 11.

This fine virtuoso playing became far more prominent after the short interval. The second half opened with a delightful classical piece by Schubert’s contemporary, the French violinist, composer and conductor Jacques-Fereol Mazas, his Violin Duet in D major. Mazas wrote may works as studies for the violin, the focus of which was on method, and this wonderfully tuneful, lyrical and at times wistful piece was played with a resonance and tone quality showing that both soloists had worked hard in rehearsal together and understood the composer’s intentions well. They successfully captured the gentle elegance of the andantino very professionally and in the finale, a robust allegretto with a dance-like main melody, both players excelled and brought this startlingly good yet unknown piece to an exciting end.

Better was yet to come as the second piece after the interval was the better known Navarra, by Sarasate. Pablo Sarasate was another virtuoso violin player who, although born in Spain in Pamplona (famous today for its annual bull-chase in the streets), spent much of his professional life working and playing one of his two Stradivarius violins in France as well as elsewhere in Europe. The solo violinists at Payap were joined by two classical guitarists and a cellist for this evocative, innovative and remarkably fine piece of music that is full of Spanish flavour. The soloists shone throughout, bringing out the composer’s intentions of purity of tone and were realistically supported by guitars and ‘cello. The incredibly difficult fingering and highest octave playing was accomplished without a squeak; the melodies and dance rhythms were captured with elegance and great understanding.

The audience was delighted and even happier when the soloists gave an encore of Pachelbel’s Canon arranged for two violins, cello and double bass, a performance which ended a good evening’s entertainment. The soloists had been students together in the USA where they had studied and played together. Ohm was born and bred in Chiang Mai and has now returned to Payap College of Music as teacher – much needed given that string playing is the College’s weakest link and has been for years. Arianne is traveling currently and exploring new genres of music. Hopefully, they will come together again soon and give us another good evening of music-making, next time not to be accompanied by the air-conditioning in A flat major!

Ohm Chanteyoon and Arianne Shimanoff are joined by two classical guitarists and a cellist during the program at Payap University.