Interview Concert: Duo Arnicans

St Paul’s Cafe Worthing, 2 November 2017

An unmistakeable magic was weaved into the sound waves and social atmosphere of the latest International Interview Concert at St Paul’s Cafe Worthing. DUO Arnicans’ new programme of seven singing cello pieces, played without a break, took the packed audience into a dream. And then their stirring Brahms Sonata No 2 for Cello and Piano turned from romance into passion the ambience of their connection with their avid listeners.

Cellist Florian Arnicans played from memory the first-half sequence of song and melody beyond words. Suddenly unaccompanied, he played cello legend Pablo Casals’ Song Of the Birds, riveting the full house in his own realisation of the unpublished score after listening himself to an original Casals recording. There were unexpected and revelatory instrumental effects. Then, out of the silence after its concluding sky-high trill, came pianist Arta Arnicane’s stealing steps of the following Habanera by Ravel , creating a halting expectation and sensuality that shot through the audience.

These top-notch young artistes from Zurich ? Florian a German, his spouse Arta a Latvian ? asserted categorically the level of artistry and performance in these innovative, interactive and inclusive concerts. This being the 11th in five years, the Interview Concerts in Worthing are already a precious biannual advancement of the classical music offering in West Sussex.

The musicians’ verbal communication skills in the interviewing lay another dimension on the audience experience. Arta and Florian brought humour, wisdom, insight and candidness in this additional connective and intimate showcase. Questions also came from the audience, who relished the fun when the organisers’ gifts to the artistes came to be opened, so capping entertainment in a compelling combination.

Music – ‘Programme Canción’: “The Cello Sings” – JS Bach, Arioso; Schubert, Ständchen; Mendelssohn, Lied ohne Worte Op.109 (Song without Words);  Dvorak, Melodie; Pablo Casals, Song of the Birds; Ravel, Pièce en forme de Habanera; Josef Suk, Serenade. After the interval: Brahms, Sonata for Cello and Piano No 2 in F Opus 99.

Richard Amey


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