Our state orchestra, WASO, started an excellent program last year where they get visiting soloists to give a masterclass to local musicians.
Last night, I quickly rushed from work, dropped Little Miss 10 home, then made my way to Hale School to see Henning Kraggerud give a violin masterclass. He’s in town this weekend to play my favourite violin concerto, the Sibelius.
It seems that WASO, together with partners UWA, WAAPA and AUSTA, rounded up 4 lucky local violinists to play.
And what a great night it was!
We heard movements from the Prokofiev and Korngold violin concertos, a showy Smetena tune, and Ysaye’s extremely difficult Ballade.
And like Renaud Capucon’s masterclass, much of what Henning was trying to draw out from the players was moving from beyond notes to making music and story telling. Is that the key ingredient that sets these elite apart from the rest? There definitely was some “magic” that Henning was able to make when he made his violin sing.
It’s not just story telling and musical interpretation but amazing technical prowess too. I was extremely excited when it was introduced that Shaun Lee-Chen was playing the Ysaye (and jealous! I wish I had the time and ability to learn and play this!) Shaun played it really well – his technique is definitely very solid and intonation was really good. I thought, what could he say to Shaun?
A lot apparently! Henning knew the Ballade back to front, playing it with even more ease – unbelievable. The interaction between them and going into details and “tricks” of the Ballade was purely brilliant, insightful and entertaining. Reading his bio, no wonder he knows it so well – he has recorded all the Ysaye unaccompanied Violin Sonatas!
And the volume and depth of sound that came from Henning and his violin – amazing. I wonder if he really was playing on his Guarneri del Gesu last night.
WASO and sponsors (Apache Energy) – thanks for putting this on. It definitely is a win-win – raising the profile and respect for WASO’s soloists as we get to see them work behind the scenes, but also improving and inspiring the music community in WA.
WASO’s Masterclass program – http://www.waso.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=292
Henning’s Biography – http://www.imgartists.com/?page=artist&id=207
WASO concert this weekend – http://www.waso.com.au/EventDetail.aspx?ProductID=2485