The world situation is alarming. Earthquakes, floods, drought, climate change and the threat of nuclear war…the list is endless and depressing.
‘Troubled Seas and Forest Paths’ a concert by the Chamber Music Society of Colombo (CMSC) was refreshing, stimulating and exhilarating. I came away feeling all the woes of the world had fallen away. Life without music would be a mistake could certainly describe the concert.
Mozart, Paul Hindesmith (nine short pieces), Vivaldi for 2 violins, cello and ensemble were quite delightful and beautifully played.
However central to the programme was the song cycle ‘Forest Paths’ specially composed for CMSC with Mary Anne David as soloist. The four songs were impeccably sung by Ms. David who looked and sounded gorgeous. Truly a diva. The contrasts of the songs, particularly the dark tones of winter demonstrated her sensitivity. The breath control in the last song echoed in the spellbound audience and earned singer, composer and ensemble a standing ovation.
Composer Steven Allen from the US has lived in Sri Lanka for the past five years. His programme note was touching. He pays a tribute to the country which he has made his home and we are indeed honoured that he lives here.
The magic continued on March 13 when the CMSC held its ‘Great Artist’ series introducing French pianist Jean Bernard Pommier. Sonatas by Mozart, Appassionata (Beethoven) were accompanied by an equally dramatic thunderstorm.
Sonata in B Minor (Liszt) struck a very personal note. This opulent music was choreographed as a vehicle for Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev ‘Marguerite and Armand’ based on the book ‘La Dame aux Camellias’ (Dumas). It was an evening of excellent music.
Sri Lanka is considered a developing country but we have in our midst remarkable artists who somehow keep the arts alive. No easy task.
Lakshman Joseph de Saram and the dedicated Ensemble deserve our appreciation and support for giving us such memorable occasions.