VIAF 2013

A highly sophisticated performance by a trio of Parisian musicians!

This evening we witnessed one of the most sophisticated concerts ever. A trio of Parisian musicians, namely, Pierre Henri Xuereb (viola), Vincent Beer-Demander (mandolin) and Fabrice Pierre (harp) regaled the audience with an exquisite, refined performance rarely witnessed on our islands. Pierre Henri is no newcomer but he brings newcomers with him, and of what standard!!  Peerless!

From Trio Sonatas of the High Baroque early Classical period, to modern works, and arrangements of well-known melodies, this was sheer class!  On the mandolin, Vincent Beer-Demander managed such fine and wonderful nuance that one could hardly believe possible from a mandolin. A consummate artist of the highest calibre, his playing was sweetness itself. It did cross my mind while he was playing Francis Thome’s Romance Simple Aveu that a human voice would have some difficulty approximating such tenderness. Of particular mention was the arrangement of the sound track of Sergio Leone’s epic film Once upon a time in America. Just memorable.

Fabrice Pierre was for quite some time the lead harpist of the legendary Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of the equally famous Claudio Abbado.  Managing a superb legato through string plucking is nothing short of mind-blowing. A full-rounded sound, sheer beauty and scintillating texture were the hallmarks of his playing.

Add to this the dark, melancholic and mysterious tones of the viola played by Pierre-Henri Xuereb, and the formula was more than a winning one. Of all the gorgeous pieces played, worthy of mention was Frederick Martin’s Codex Metal for Viola and Mandolin, which was given its world premiere during the evening.

The audience that packed Aula Mgr G. Farrugia was left enthralled by the mastery of this performance. The rare combination of instrumental textures, coupled with the performers’ musicality and geniality made this an extraordinary evening.

Let’s have more of the same!!