SAINT-SAËNS. SHOSTAKOVICH. MARGARITA BALANAS
Liepāja City Council and European Regional Development Fund
Concert series PERSONALLY
Margarita Balanas is one of the brightest young cellists. This time, the audience will have an opportunity to meet the passionate musician in a more intimate setting, a chamber music program. As her stage partner, she has chosen her former classmate, Franco-Belgian pianist Antoine Préat, who has been named one of the most talented pianists of his generation in France.
Margarita Balanas’ collaboration with Antoine Préat started about ten years ago. Both musicians live in London and attended the Royal Academy of Music together. Antoine has played in all the largest concert halls in France, Wigmore Hall, and in many cities around Europe and the USA.
‘We will begin with Camille Saint-Saëns’ Sonata No. 2, which is very rarely performed, but it is one of the composer’s masterpieces that cellists and pianists should play much more often,’ Margarita says about the opening of the program. With its picturesque harmonies, the Sonata brings the listeners on a journey of exciting moods, where the cello plays a delicate and lyrical melody that interlaces with a vivacious piano accompaniment.
Saint-Saëns is a composer very dear to the cellist’s heart, and her choice of instrument is proof to that. Margarita plays a 1849 cello by Charles Adolphe Gand, which once belonged to the famous French cellist Auguste Tolbecque. This was the exact cello that was played at the 1873 premiere of Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1.
Margarita will also perform György Ligeti’s Sonata for Solo Cello. Her interpretation of this peace at the Adelaide International Cello Festival was described by critics as ‘powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant’. Performing the Sonata requires impressive technical agility and creative musicality, where the cello becomes the field of sonic exploration.
With a fiery passion and emotional release, the concert will be closed with the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Dmitri Shostakovich. The composition is a deeply personal reflection of the composer’s experiences, emotions, and artistic rebellion while the Soviet regime tried to force their ideology and control his creative expression.
Margarita Balanas, cello
Antoine Préat, piano
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in F Major by Camille Saint-Saëns
Sonata for Solo Cello by György Ligeti
Sonata for Cello and Piano by Dmitri Shostakovich