July 4, 2013

Husband-wife duo premiere suite inspired by local landscape

By ROBIN CAUDELL Press-Republican

---- — SARANAC — The Kaganovsky Duo premiere “Saranac Sketches” Sunday afternoon in a free Hill and Hollow concert at the Saranac United Methodist Church.

The Russian-husband-and-Hungarian-wife duo feature violinist Artur Kaganovsky and concert violist Eszter Szilveszter.

New York City composer Peter Kelsh wrote the five-movement suite expressly for the duo in 2010 and 2011. “Hill and Hollow Hoe-Down” was the first piece Kelsh wrote in the suite.

“Peter decided to expand it tremendously,” Kaganovsky said. “We came to a very good liking of the suite. It will represent the natural beauty of Saranac. The colors between the viola and violin bring out the true nature of the surrounding area.”

“Saranac River” is the first movement.

“It’s a very interesting movement,” he said. “It’s not written very complicated. It’s very simply written sketches. The ‘Saranac River’ is represented in the contrast between violin and viola. Through each voice, you hear the rumbling of the river, the different voicing they have. You hear rhythmic patterns that represent the flow of the river.”

“Rambling by Distant Hills and Mountains” is the second movement. 

“It’s a very simple theme. It’s not too complicated. It’s very rhythmic and gives that rambling feel. It’s covered by a smooth line of the violin part. It’s contrasted by the viola through other rhythmic organizations,” Kaganovsky said.

“Indian Echoes” is the third movement. 

“For us, it represents in a very, in a way, ... lyrical, very distant and foreboding kind of feel. It talks about the past and everything else, and the land. It’s all very open. It’s very quiet, intimate, simple and intimate. For me, it’s a very ethereal movement,” Kaganovsky said.

“Harvest Dance” is the fourth movement.

“It has a very festive feel,” he said. “It contrasts the viola and violin, working very close together. They help support each other throughout the piece very well. It gives an upbeat feel. It’s a work of a group of people, a celebration in many ways.”

The final movement is “Hill and Hollow Hoe-Down.”

“For me, that’s a celebration at the end of the day,” Kaganovsky said. “It’s a very happy, very upbeat ending to the entire suite. It’s little, like a hoedown without the dance part. You never know. We may dance.”

“Saranac Sketches” is a fun project for the duo.

“We’ll see how that goes onto the album we are recording. I think it will be a great hit,” he said.

Sunday’s program opens with two miniature sonatas by Jean-Marie Leclair. The French baroque violinist-composer’s works will be followed by “Grand Duo” by Austrian composer Ignaz Pleyel.

“Mainly, the other works are classical repertoire of violin and viola,” Kaganovsky said. “There are not many recordings out there with those pieces. I think it’s important to hear those kinds of things and to contrast Peter’s work and to play the real, classic repertoire that is central for people to hear.” 

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IF YOU GO WHO: The Kaganovsky Duo WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday. WHERE: Saranac United Methodist Church, Route 3, Saranac. ADMISSION: Free. CONTACT: Hill and Hollow Music at 293-7613 or