Nargiz Aliyarova (piano)
Azer Damirov (violin)
at Prior Jollek Hall (Antilles School Campus)
Nargiz Aliyarova (piano)
Cameron Grozman (cello)
Byungchan Lee (violin)
J. Haydn – Piano trio in G Minor, Hob.XV:19
S. Rachmaninoff – Elegiaque N.1 in G Minor
L. Beethoven – Trio N.3 in C Minor
K. Karayev – The Most Beautiful Beauty (waltz)
at Prior-Jollek Hall (Antilles School Campus)
See the event page for details.
Though not completely unknown—she has several albums and collaborations with artists like Tan Dun on her CV—Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing is a new face on the New York scene. Her recital Wednesday night in the Bruno Walter Auditorium had the satisfaction of hearing a fine, new artistic voice in full maturity.
The concert was presented by the National Music and Global Culture Society, an organization that brings together music from differing backgrounds around the world. Hemsing played with Azerbaijani pianist Nargiz Aliyarova, the organization’s founder and president, performed two standard violin sonatas from and, befitting the NMGCS mission, nationalist music from their respective countries of origin.
Thus, the program began with Prokofiev and ended with Grieg, with mostly obscure names (Bjarne Brustad, Franghiz Alizadeh, Gara Garayev, and Arif Melikov) in the middle. One could hear the concert as a sandwich with more bread than meat—substantial and delicious bread to be sure, but also some substance in the middle pieces, primarily in the solo music for each instrument.
One may not often see links between the cultures of Norway and Azerbaijan (okay, you’ve got me – none ever crossed my mind!), but the excellent pairing of Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing and Azerbaijani pianist Nargiz Aliyarova made a compelling case for just such connections this week at Bruno Walter Auditorium. Playing works of Ali-Zadeh, Garayev, and Melikov from Azerbaijan, and Brustad and Grieg from Norway – along with a Prokofiev opening – they gave a uniquely stimulating recital entitled “From East to West.”
The program was subtitled, “Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 and Works from Azerbaijan and Norway,” but the Russian role in the evening’s theme seemed to be that of a musical bridge (alluded to in Dr. Aliyarova’s comments about the influence of Russian teachers on both performers and their chosen composers).
The focal roles of Norway and Azerbaijan were underscored in Dr. Aliyarova’s introductory remarks, including references to the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl, whose Azerbaijan-Viking theories have invited discussion years after his death (the reader may find more about these fascinating but highly debated hypotheses here Thor Heyerdahl Azerbaijan-Viking theories.