Solo violin: Kana Ohashi
Cosmo Strings takes its name from the diversity of both the nationality and musicianship within its musicians’ ranks, who are current and ex-students of the Royal Northern College of Music, all of whom have won awards or demonstrated exceptional talent throughout their studies. In this morning concert, the youthful, creative forces of Cosmo Strings present a programme of contemporary music that might surprise you. This piece is made up of four concerti with a total of 12 movements, as Vivaldi’s original. Richter’s treatment involves taking the work’s melodic cells and looping them over expansive time-frames accompanied by original harmonic progressions and layered timbres. These in turn create constantly morphing backdrops with varying levels of constance and stability.
Australian-Japanese violinist Kana Ohashi is fast making a name for herself on a global
scale with concerto tours throughout Germany and playing with the prestigious
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig since February 2018.
Since making her concerto debut at the age of 11, Kana has had the privilege of playing with
many Australian orchestras, including Orchestra Victoria, Queensland Symphony Orchestra,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Musicians, Preston Symphony Orchestra. In
addition to playing with these orchestras, Kana has undergone tutelage, including
masterclasses and lessons, with distinguished violinists such as Ulf Hoelscher, Oleh Krysa,
Felix Andrievsky, Christian Tetzlaff, Henning Kraggerud, Veronika Eberle, James Ehnes and
Renaud Capucon; her teachers in Melbourne include Dominique Gallery, Kim Bishop, Haruo
Goto and Wilma Smith (ex concertmaster of NZSO and MSO).
Kana completed her Bachelor of Music, Masters of Performance and International Artist
Diploma with 1st class honors at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of
Prof. Yair Kless and Sasha Sitkovetsky. In 2018, she gave a solo recital with pianist Ben
Powell at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester, and was given the opportunity to perform on an
instrument made from debris of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami at Melba Hall in Melbourne,
Since winning Australia’s prestigious Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship in 2011, Kana
has had the the opportunity
As we commemorate 100 years since Debussy’s death, we open with one of his most beautiful
art songs Beau Soir, followed by his renowned violin sonata. Beau Soir was one of the
pieces written in Debussy’s youth (15/16 years old), said to have been written in his time
studying at the Paris Conservatory. Beau Soir, which translates to “beautiful evening,” is set
to a text based on a poem by Paul Bourget. The poem paints the picture of a beautiful
evening where the rivers are turned rose-colored by the sunset and the wheat fields are
moved by a warm breeze.
Later in his life in the summer 1915, Debussy took his family to the channel coast of
Pourville and drafted a project intended for it to be named Six sonates pour instruments
divers, par Claude Debussy, (Six sonatas for various instruments, by Claude Debussy)
Dedicated to his wife Emma, the Violin Sonata was the third and final (as Debussy never got
to compose the rest of the three sonatas before his death,) in the set, completed in 1917,
following the completion of his Sonatas for Harp, Flute, and Viola (originally for Harp, Flute,
and Oboe,) and for Cello and Piano, written in 1915. The first performance took place on
May 5 th , 1917 with Debussy on the piano, along with French violinist Gaston Poulet. This
was Debussy’s last public appearance before his death on March 26 th of the year.
Belgian violinist and composer Eugene Ysaÿe was a friend of Debussy and would
sometimes correspond with him by letter. The two had a great amount of respect for each
other and Ysaÿe was a significant supporter of the younger composer’s early career. The Six
Sonatas for solo violin was arguably Ysaÿe’s most famed works in his career, displaying an
abundance of technical difficulty and musical sophistication. On the whole, shadowing these
works are descriptions of nature following the Romantic tradition of Franck, and harmonies
which are indebted to Debussy. But its physical and technical demands parallel to Paganini’s
24 Caprices, is what makes these sonatas one of the most respected and simultaneously
feared works in the solo violin repertoire.
French-Romantic composer Ernest Chausson was another talented composer of his time
and had a brotherly relationship with Debussy until it ended abruptly following his
disapproval of Debussy’s promiscuities. When Chausson died from a bicycle accident five
years later (exact circumstances remain unclear, there have been suggestions of suicide as
Chausson was certainly prone to depression), his funeral was attended by many leading
figures in the Arts including Faure, Albeniz, Edgar Degas and Debussy, who never ceased to
admire Chausson’s music.
The Poème was inspired by a short story by Ivan Turgenev “Le Chant de l’amour
Triomphant”, one of Chausson’s favorite authors. Set in the sixteenth-century, it is the tragic
tale of two men of Ferrara, the closest of friends – one a painter and the other a musician,
who are in love with the same woman. The rejected musician, Muzio, sets out to spend
many years traveling in India and the Orient. The seamless form and graceful structure of
Poème is a signature of Chausson’s genius.
To this day, Poème for violin and piano (dedicated to Eugene Ysaÿe) remains as one of the
most performed works in concerts all over the world and a popular choice in international
To end this morning’s recital, we travel to Italy, to hear Bottessini most famous work, Gran
Duo for Violin and Double Bass. The piece itself requires little in the way of introduction – you
will hear that it rapidly alternates between virtuosic flourishes and lyrical moments and whilst
some passages may be in unison, it gives each soloist ample opportunity to shine separately
and the music moves easily through a number of comedic episodes to its energetic close.
Line Up (if any)
Kana Ohashi violin
Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido piano
Toby Hughes double bass