|When I say, "Martinu has accompanied me my|
whole life", that's only a slight exaggeration: at the age often I heard his music on the radio and absolutely wanted to play it. My teacher was surprised by this, but knew of my passion for rhythm and strange sounds and supported me as
much as he could: in a very short time I learned the Sonatina, the Arabesques and the two Trios for two Violins and Piano. As a 15-year-old, I fell in love with
the initial cadenza of the 2nd Violin Concerto and also studied that piece. Later on, the double and triple concertos and numerous chamber music works were added. And so there is no composer who has accompanied me similarly long and of
whom I've played as many works. I can no longer remember what first fascinated me about Martinu's music as a child. Today - 30 years later - playing Martinu feels to me like coming home. (...)
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document: Article Martinu Revue
|Musik & Theater|
|Affinität zum Tiefen|
In diesem Jahr könnte er seinen hundertsten Geburtstag feiern, der türkische Komponist Ahmed Adnan Saygun. Ähnlich wie Bartók oder Kodály sammelte und edierte er die Volksmusik seiner Heimat und schöpfte auch für seine Kompositionen lmpulse daraus. Beim Label cpo sind dieses Jahr drei CDs mit Musik Sayguns erschienen, Solistin in den Konzerten für Geige und Bratsche ist die Schweizerin Mirjam Tschopp.
document: Mirjam Tschopp in Musik&Theater (pdf)
|Andante - Turkish Music Magazine|
|"I fell in love with Erkin's Violin Concerto" |
You're one of the most well known and appreciated violin players in Turkey. And this positivity towards you emerges from your interest in the work of Turkish composers. Your Saygun recordings were very highly credited by the critics. What drove you to play Saygun?
I discovered Saygun through his editor, who is also a friend of mine. He told me that my style would fit very well with Saygun's music, and he was right. I practiced the Violin Concerto for six months and could never give up on this marvelous work. Considering my predilection for Eastern Europe music's melodic and rhythmic characteristics, Saygun's music was heaven for me! The intensity and the sincerity, as well as the internal dynamics of the rhythmic components and of course the high level of intellectuality in his work, impressed me a lot.
You will play Erkin's concerto with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra. Compared to Saygun's concerto, this particular one is more "local". Was this is a challenge for you?
As a Swiss musician, being invited to play music by Turkish composers and the warm welcome I get here, have been a significant experience. One of the most beautiful aspects of music is that it's not limited to a single nation's possession. This may sound a bit strange, with the Eastern European composers using the local, ethnic patterns in their work, but I sincerely believe in this. A masterpiece drives you, takes you away. This is the same with Erkin. I fell in love with the rhapsodic melodies in the concerto, as well as the improvisational style (not scored) of certain parts. As you said, it has this strong local influence. However, it is still a serious, deep and strong masterpiece. I hope, my journey with it will last for long.
You're also a member of Trio des Alpes. How long have you been playing together?
It started as a two-concert project, but we felt very close to each other musically and personally even in the first rehearsal. Rather than being the "same", we "complement" each other. So we decided to go on with the trio after those successful two concerts.
Lately you've been playing a trio piece by Lili Boulanger. What do you think about 20th century music? Do you think there is any contemporary composer who has not been credited as much as deserved?
I have a close focus on contemporary music, as well as on the classical. I've been interested in the contemporary since I was ten, when I wanted to play Martinu. In the 20th century, a different composing style emerged from almost every country and they all had influences on each other. All emotions, even the ugliest, started being expressed with music. This is what I specially enjoy about modern music. I believe there are many composers who are under-credited. Some are already totally forgotten, some (like Erkin and Saygun) are only played in their own countries. Swiss composers like Willy Burkhard and Frank Martin, who composed real masterpieces that I've played many times, are almost forgotten even in their own country today. These composers do fade away, as they are less played by famous, well-known soloists. A very good example of this is Lili Boulanger, who lived in the same era with Debussy and Ravel. I was amazed with the insanity, eccentricity and originality of her trios! It makes me feel good, to discover "unknown" pieces and I'm happy that my colleagues in the trio also share my curiosity.
"'Gorgeously eloquent' was how The Strad described Mirjam Tschopp for her playing on her recording of Ahmet Adnan Saygun's Violin Concerto last September. The 29-year-old Swiss musician is one of those rare string players who excel equally on the violin and the viola, and in June she records the same composer's Viola Concerto. 'It's a great piece,' she says, describing it as very dark, dramatic music. 'I feel honoured to have the chance to record it.' Perhaps inspired by the example of her mentor Anne-Sophie Mutter, Tschopp is busy expanding the repertory for both instruments: 'I'm very much looking forward to playing the premiere next month of Swiss composer Claudia Ulla Binder's "Schlingen", a piece for viola and piano that was written for me.' And she happily recalls other works to which she has given birth in recent years: 'One of my personal highlights was when I premiered, with conductor Semyon Bychkov and the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Nicolas Bacri's 3rd Violin Concerto, which was specially written for me. It is one of the greatest things I've done.' Tschopp made her solo debut as a violinist at the age of 13 and went on to study with Aïda Stucki Piraccini; she has also been taught by Franco Gulli (violin) and Christoph Schiller (viola). In 2000 she was sole prizewinner of the Max Rostal Competition for viola in Berlin."