The fourth concert of our 2018 Printempo series welcomes cellist Christine Lee, musician in residence at the FEU who will display a program dedicated to the centennial of the end of World War I and include pieces by composers directly affected by its devastating effects, namely Bridge, Debussy, Fauré and Poulenc. She will play alongside guest pianist Baptiste Tricot.
Claude Debussy wrote his one and only cello sonata in 1914, only four years before his death. This sonata was part of a set of six instrumental pieces which he intended as a personal and direct response to the devastating effects of World War I. This piece serves as the central backbone from which this program came to fruition; the sonata begins with such an uplifting, dignified tone that seems to suggest that, even in the face of horrible war, humanity will always shine through. The second movement continues with a more playful air and has been commonly compared to that of Pierrot Lunaire, the famously sad and tortured clown who constantly pines, unsuccessfully, for his love, Columbine. The last movement, which continues without a break from the second, is a triumphant and exciting ending to this piece that takes the same melodies from the first movement and ends with a triumphant flourish.
Frank Bridge was an English composer and conductor who wrote his cello sonata between 1913-1917. Like Debussy, Bridge was in utter despair over the futility of the WWI and would wander the streets of London unable to get any sleep or rest. It was then that idea of this sonata came to him. The musical style of Bridge is so extremely different after this sonata that it suggests that the composer himself underwent an inner change; the devastating and all-encompassing effects of the war undermined the existing artistic values which perhaps propelled Bridge to begin composing in 20th-century musical language after the war. Therefore this cello sonata was one of the last pieces of this tonal language that pre-existed WWI, and a deep, intimate meditation on the life-altering effects of war itself.
Francis Poulenc was a leading composer of Les Six, which was a group of six composers in Paris with the shared vision of turning French music away from heavily German influenced formalities of musical style and creating their own freedom to write music their own unique way. This piece was written in 1948, shortly after the end of WWII. Poulenc is most known for his religious, choral music, of which he wrote most at the end of his life. Thus, the Cavatine movement of the cello sonata is an homage to his choral music in its meditative, choral-like structure and tone.
Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
I. Allegro bien moderato
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Sonata for cello & piano in D major
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Après un Rêve
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Claire de Lune
Hailed by the New York Times as a “clear delight,” Christine Lee is an emerging cellist of today’s generation, whose performances have taken her all over North America, France, Norway, and Korea. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with Bonnie Hampton, Darrett Adkins, and Richard Aaron, as a scholarship recipient of the Irene Diamond Fellowship and E. Satterlee. She has participated in masterclasses with David Geringas, Gary Hoffman, Jerome Pernoo, and Philippe Muller, has studied chamber music with David Finckel and Joseph Kalichstein, and has also worked with Mark Morris in a collaboration of orchestra and dance. She has lead the Juilliard Chamber and Opera Orchestras as principal for performances at Carnegie, Davies Symphony, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully Halls, and joined the Juilliard Orchestra on tour with Itzhak Perlman. In the summer of 2016, Christine co-founded a music ensemble named ‘Ensemble Blank,’ which focuses on premiering music of the 20th century and whose concerts are held in art museums in Korea. Equally committed to community engagement, Christine was featured on Korean Broadcasting System for her piano trio benefit concert to support adopted children in Korea. Most recently, Christine was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to study in Paris in the fall of 2017. She will be working on a project focusing on 20th century French music with renowned cellist Michel Strauss.
Born in Nantes in 1995, Baptiste Tricot was unanimously admitted to the CNSMDP and trained in the piano class of Roger Muraro and Isabelle Dubuis. He obtained his DNSPM there and is currently pursuing his Master’s; he has also worked with Romano Pallottini and Billy Eidi. He seeks to deepen his musical practice through the study of music analysis and history, notably with professors such as T. Lacôte, Y. Henry, G. Sutton, and a degree in musicology obtained at the Sorbonne. He has performed in Nantes as part of La Folle Journée and at the Théâtre Graslin, as well as in Paris, Saint-Maur and Pantin, as well as in chamber music, and particularly enjoys the repertoire of melodies and lieder: with tenor Benjamin Athanase, he forms a duo that has integrated Jeff Cohen’s class at the CNSMDP. His taste for transmission, which he cultivates as an interpreter, also leads him to take an interest in pedagogy.