Wednesday 7 October 2015

Alvorada! Celebrating music of Argentina with Ophelie Gaillard

Ophelie Gaillard - photo Caroline Doutre
Ophelie Gaillard - photo Caroline Doutre
To the newly opened Foyle's Auditorium on Monday 5 October 2015, for an even celebrating the recent release of the disc Alvorada by the cellist Ophelie Gaillard on Aparte / Harmonia Mundi. Ophelie Gaillard and two other musicians, Juanjo Mosalini, bandoneon and Romain Lecuyer, double bass treated us to a selection of music from the disc including Nana from Falla's Siete canciones populares españolas, Agua e Vinho by Gismonti/Carneiro, plus a group of pieces by Astor Piazzolla. As can be seen from this list, the music on the album is very much an exploration of the music of Latin America. In a short interview with Hugo Shirley, Gaillard explained that it was not intended to be a crossover disc. As a cellist who performs with her own period ensemble (she has a new album of music by CPE Bach out), she is used to doing research and performing music in the correct style. So the intention of the disc was get to the soul of Argentina, exploring with the finest musicians and going on a journey, researching and learning a new style of playing.

It started with the idea of performing a suite for unaccompanied cello by Gaspar Cassado who was a pupil of Casals. But also evolved from ideas generated by Gaillard's travels with her cello. Whilst not the most easy thing, travelling with a suitcase and a cello, she has found the contacts made inspiring, particularly meeting musicians after concerts. And found the music of Latin America inspiring, with its mix of influences and the way the cello and the voice can be combined.

Whilst Gaillard's repertoire stretches from Baroque through Romantic to modern, and she named as some of her favourite composers George Benjamin and Dutilleux, the cello does not have a repertoire of 200 concertos like the piano. So she feels the need to explore and will be premiered a double concerto for cello and bandoneon!

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