Corey Cerovsek, Fritz Kreisler, A Little Girl and a LemonMonday, March 13, 2006
For years Vancouver art connoisseur David Lemon(above,right) has been promoting and backing efforts (with lots of his own money) to make English composers well known. A sure way to make this cheerful man scowl is to ask him, as I once asked him, "Is it true that there are no great English composers after Henry Purcell?" Slowly but surely I have come to appreciate these English composers that Mr Lemon champions. My friend Juan Castelao (Musical Director of the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra) told me that Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor, op 61, was not only difficult (and 45 minutes long) for the soloist but also for the orchestra. So it was with some uncertainty that I took my 8-year-old granddaughter Rebecca(bottom right) to today's performance of the Elgar violin concerto by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, directed by Kazuyoshi Akiyama with Corey Cerovsek as the soloist. Rebecca was a bit under the weather and I told her that one uncommon luxury, one should never feel guilty about, is to sleep to good music. She slept through the Allegro, but Corey's passionate performance won out and she was wide awake for the Andante and the Allegro molto. While listening to this complex, but lovely concerto, it ocurred to me that there was a bit of Fritz Kreisler's spirit hovering over the audience at the Orpheum. It was Kreisler who first performed the concerto in 1910. For his score Elgar wrote an inscription borrowed from the Spanish from Alain-Rene LeSage's novel Gil Blas. It reads, "Aqui está encerrada el alma de....." or "Locked here is the soul of....." Before taking photographs of Corey Cerovsek (above left) a third time with the stigmata of an f hole on his hand, Rebecca and I celebrated the pleasant afternoon with tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
There will be one more performance of the Elgar violin concerto tonight.
Corey and the VSO