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
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.