Gilles Apap's new Bach and Mozart CD, reviewed by KEITH BRAMICH
Back in 2001, Basil Ramsey reviewed young French violinist Gilles Apap's
No piano on that one for M&V [listen], and then last year we read
Jennifer Paull's detailed appreciation of Vivaldi's
Four Seasons (Gilles Apap and the Colours of Invention) [listen].
I was lucky enough to hear and enjoy both these Apap CDs. This latest disc is
somewhat different, in that the Apap hallmarks, including whistling, folk music from around the
world (India, Ireland, Romania and more), and a certain freedom with classical music
('Hey, Where's Mozart?', Apap remembers one man screaming, and 'Send the clown outside'
shouted another, during a concert in Nice) -- appear only at the end of
this disc, in Apap's folk cadenza to the final Rondeau of Mozart's Concerto in G K216,
and on five bonus tracks, featuring many extra folk musicians, which elaborate on
the Mozart cadenza idea. These pieces, hidden from the CD's track list, are
mostly rather fun.
Before all this, though, we get to hear Apap as a 'serious' violinist, playing
straight Bach, Kreisler and Mozart with Warsaw's Sinfonia Varsovia, and making a
cracking good job of it [listen -- track 4, 4:40-5:36]. The
recording was to begin a film project to record unique interpretations of great
violin works by young violinists. Yehudi Menuhin, music director of the orchestra
from 1985-99, was to conduct, but passed away three days before filming was to start,
and so here, Apap leads from the violin.
The folk cadenza, a free, eight-minute romp through a surprising variety of musical
styles and periods [listen -- track 7, 9:41-11:01],
is the decisive point on this CD. Mozart, with
his dancy finale, gives Apap the excuse (as if he needed one), and this is the launch
pad for the wild folk evening which continues from the last advertised track
(Varsovia Breakdown by someone writing under the pseudonym of Sheila Pop --
try pronouncing the name
with a French accent!). My only criticism of all this is that the music occasionally
gets sacrificed for the sake of the jokes and gags (in the Indian variation, especially,
to my ear) but Apap certainly makes his point that the boundaries around what he calls
'this strange classical world' should loosen up a touch.
Copyright © 19 July 2003
Keith Bramich, Croatia
BUY FROM APAPAZIZ PRODUCTIONS
Gilles Apap & the Sinfonia Varsovia - Mozart - Bach - Kreisler
GKJ00103 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 70'46" 2003 Apapaziz productions
Gilles Apap, violin, viola and coughs; Sinfonia Varsovia; Saravanapriyan Sriraman, violin; Muruhan Rathinam, mridangam; Chris Judge, guitar and coughs; Tom Lee, bass and coughs; Mike Mullins, mandolin; Jim Wimmer, mandolin; Tom Wolverton, banjo and coughs; Eddie Rockett, bones & bodhran; Evin Wolverton, coughs; Lana Wolverton, coughs
J S Bach: Concerto in E BWV1042; Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro; Mozart: Concerto in G K21 (last movement folk cadenza by Gilles Apap); Sheila Pop: Varsovia Breakdown; five extra folk tracks
Record Box is Music & Vision's
regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews