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Viviane Hagner In Concert

Music plays a prominent role in our lives. Most people have an exquisite, inborn musical sense that develops subconsciously over their lifetimes. A baby responds to lullabies, and gravitates toward music. Pre-toddlers bounce to the beat of a song. We surround ourselves with music; before radios we sang as we worked and played, and in modern life we play music in our workplace, flip it on as soon as we get home, wake up to it, and play it in our ear. Music stimulates us. There is a surge of strength and adrenaline when speakers blast powerful music.

Most of our social occasions demand music, from a string quartet during a dinner party to a polka band at a wedding reception. Music enhances every party or sporting event. The tingle of pleasure we can get from music releases endorphins—we are touched physically and emotionally by music. Listening to Viviane Hagner play the violin is an enchanting experience. It was to be one of my most memorable musical experiences. The Viviane Hagner Experience The concert of Munich-born violinist Viviane Hagner that I attended is a moving experience that lingers long after the concert.

I guess it stayed with me even until today as I remember the hauntingly masterful showcase of artistry and technique that she demonstrated onstage. A petite young woman, it seems her violin and music are one. She has a highly developed musicality that spans years of practice and it shows off so perfectly on stage. The poise is super confident one is transfixed to the moment and to the note which she plays, sometimes lingering on it in a longer-than-usual time because she wants the audience to share the same experience with her, too.

No doubt she is a thoughtful and sensitive musician who knows how to combine her own reflection and interpretation of the music to the style of her play. This concert that I got a ticket for was the concert of Viviane Hagner and the Boston Symphony under Charles Dutoit. What I was excited about was the idea that she was to play the Sasserno Stradivarius violin which was built in 1717. It was loaned to her by the Nippon Music Foundation. Later after the concert, I knew that the Foundation made a generous gesture in lending that violin to her because it added a certain kind of historical enigma to the evening.

The violin seemed not to have been dated for three centuries because of the way it was preserved. The music that it emanated had a strange and beautiful reverberation to it. I could almost imagine how that particular violin was kept and preserved for such a long time and still play so perfectly well in the hands of a genius musician in the person of Hagner. Among the pieces she played, I liked most the Chaconne from J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 & Nathan Milstein’s Peganiniana. Chaconne from Bach’s was particularly delightful as it evoked different feelings altogether.

One moment she was almost silent, barely touching the strings and the next she is fleeting like a butterfly with the notes as springy as can be proceeding to the next moment where she as forceful and energetic as the Boston Symphony under Charles Dutoit that complements her music. According to the J. S. Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Violin Solo, the chaconne was composed using a variation procedure based on a harmonic progression rather than a single melody. In this piece, the basic harmonic progression is: (J. S. Bach: Chaconne from Partita No.

2 in D minor for Violin Solo). i ii(halfdim. ) V i VI iv i V i Since it is a solo line, there are inversions in the chords that often change and the basic progression of the theme is dealt with in eight measures long, with two parallel and symmetrical phrases that utilize the same chord progression. Perhaps this explains why I am taken on a sort of roller-coaster ride of pauses and heights that is so enchantingly ecstatic. The progression returns towards the end just like it started. Hagner’s kind of music typifies a different kind of sensitivity in music.

Its material elements lie with its melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics. “Melody gives music soul, while rhythm blends the expression of harmony and dynamics with the tempo of the passage. All are necessary to create a recognizable pattern known as a “song” (Schneider, 2002). Her melody is intimate, sweet, sensitive and penetrating. An ardent chamber musician, I learned that she performs in different countries and international festivals. She also has several violin recordings to her name and this shows the confidence with which she strikes those strings on stage. She played the Beethoven quartet op.

131 with such bravado that I had wish she would do a repeat of it at that moment only because it takes an individual to a different and memorable musical heights that I wanted to experience that moment again. The arrangements are organized in a harmonious blend of melody, harmony and rhythm, and it becomes a beautiful piece of music when delivered with the right kind of mood through the tempo best played with a portrayal only she can show. Dynamics is the so-called “emotion behind the musical thought” which tells the performer “when to play loudly or more softly and when to change from one to the other” (Schneider, 2002).

She is dexterous with this and can be so moving, one finds feelings flooding one’s memory. She evoked such heartwarming elements in the scores, bringing the entire concert to a gentle and moving ending. There was no empty display of technicalities but combined to the orchestra with such warmth, lyricism that raises this concert one notch above the rest I have watched so far. Conclusion Music indeed calms us down. And that was the soothing effect I got from watching that concert. In our increasingly stressful society, music, with its amorphous melodies and lulling rhythms soothes us.

Music therapy has emerged as its own discipline, with therapists trained to use music to reach mentally or physically disabled people. Hagner’s music is so extremely intimate and personal. One can play those strings alone and bask in the serenity of the music. What I personally delighted in was the way she rendered the music with such a right and perfect display of poignancy in the notes which was really needed and the way her physical body blended to interpret the notes. It was a deeply moving experience and I could go on and on listening to her do it.

It was a night to remember indeed for then I appreciated music more as it brought forth a well of beautiful memories that evening as I sat there in the audience temporarily transfixed and mesmerized by Hagner’s intensity and luminosity. Charles Dutoit conducts violinist Viviane Hagner


The Symphony that gives a hall its voice back. ) http://www. boston. com/ae/music/articles/2008/02/08/the_symphony_that_gives_a_hall_its_voice_back/ WORKS CITED “J. S. Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Violin Solo.

” Retrieved May 4 2008 at: http://depauwform. blogspot. com/2005/04/js-bach-chaconne-from-partita-no-2-in. html Schneider, Elaine. “The four elements of music –melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics. ” 2002. Retrieved May 4, 2008 http://nd. essortment. com/elementsmusic_rllc. htm “Viviane Hagner Preparing Second Recording With Altara. ” Retrieved May 4 2008 at: http://www. bbtrust. com/press/artist. html? guid=c946300528a1a532bc4850f3be054b30 “Viviane Hagner. ” Violin. Retrieved May 4 2008 at: http://www. vivianehagner. de/biography. htm

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