Munich-trained classical violinist Joaquin Maria “Chino” Gutierrez returns to the concert stage on September 13 at 7:30 p.m. with a repertoire
With noted pianist Corazon Pineda Kabayao as his collaborating artist, 24-year-old Gutierrez has prepared classical pieces for his concert at the Francisco Santiago Hall, BDO South Tower in Makati City. Aptly titled Passion, his repertoire is full of deep emotions as well as lots of technical fireworks that will challenge the violinist’s prowess.
Gutierrez opens with “a personal favorite,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne. A work for solo violin, the Chaconne has been termed by the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin refers to this piece as “the greatest structure for solo violin that exists.” Violinist Joshua Bell described it as “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history—a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect.”
Gutierrez cites some music historians as suggesting that Bach wrote the Chaconne as an expression of the Holy Trinity, with the three sections each representing one aspect of God.
“Whatever the case, he stresses, “Bach’s Chaconne definitely remains an incomparable achievement: the composer packed into the violin—a one-handed instrument—all the richness of sound normally attainable on a two-handed instrument such as the organ or piano. This enormity of sound, coupled with its breadth of emotion, make the Bach Chaconne one of the most technically difficult and musically demanding—and satisfying—pieces in the violin repertoire.”
Gutierrez’s second piece, Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor for violin and piano, Op. 108, is the most complete of the composer’s three violin sonatas, opening with very restless music but trying to find calm. The second movement is more peaceful but the third “creeps back into action and all of these come to head in the fourth movement, much like horses galloping.”
His third piece, Italian composer Giuseppe Tartini’s Devil’s Trill, is what a critic described as “fiendishly difficult” although deceptively simple. The story goes that Tartini was visited in a dream by the devil, who then played him a sonata of such unearthly beauty and imagination that Tartini immediately wrote it down upon waking.
The resulting Devil’s Trill, peppered with chords, daunting finger-stretches and the blisteringly fast trills that give the work its name, was described by Tartini as “the best music I ever wrote.”
Ernest Bloch, who wrote “Nigun,” Chino’s fourth piece, is frequently cited as the first Jewish composer of modern times, who tries to capture the volatility and raw passions of the Jewish spirit. Nigun’s second of a three-part suite, all of five minutes, is a type of Hasidic Jewish chant where the composer takes a theme, improvises it and raises it to new heights.
Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Memories of a dear place) is a 10-minute three-part suite that commences with the Meditation, a more nostalgic, dream-like reminiscing; followed by the Scherzo, very brisk but turbulent with few moments of respite, and finally the Melodie, the most romantic of the three parts and also the sweetest and most poignant. Chino notes that when the Russian composer was writing his violin concerto, a benefactress lent him use of her lakeside home, but he kept his distance from her, preferring to communicate through correspondence.
The final number, Spanish composer Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy in five movements, was inspired by the popular opera, Carmen, by French composer Georges Bizet.
As Chino explains, Sarasate’s virtuosic work builds on popular themes and takes melodies from the original opera and embellishes it with virtuosic techniques, such as replicating the stomping of feet, clacking of castanets and whistling of birds, and the flirtatious, seductive and amorous voice of the gypsy Carmen.
For ticket reservation, call 0915-189-2998, 0925-764-2608 and 218-1864.