It is one thing to know you’re in for a great concert, and it’s something else to have your expectations blown out of the water. As we waited in the beautiful Museum of Applied Arts and Design in Vilnius, Lithuania, with its white washed arches and buoyant acoustics, people filed in a half hour ahead of time.
The moment Markus Placci (violin) and Jonathan Bass (piano) began we were caught in their spell of music making. The internationally reknown Placci and Bass were in full command of the music and the mood, and swept us in the magic of a program including Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No 4 in A Minor, Op 23, Debussy’s Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Piano, and Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano.
Their musical conversation with bold strokes and energetic intensity was punctuated with nuanced questions and answers. Their voices were free, uninhibited and fluid, including us in their repartee. Their connection and ease with each other and the music translated as an invitation to the attentive audience to join in the delight just by our presence. This created layers of connection between the musicians, to the composers of different centuries and to us, representing a multitude of nationalities. The icing on this layered cake was the fact that they were playing as part of the Vivace Vilnius festival, created by Egle Jarkova for up and coming musicians.
The festival creates an air of excited expectation, where students from around the world have the opportunity to study with masters such as these, as well as hear them perform.
I am bottling this joy of connection and savoring the many layers created by these virtuoso performers at the top of their game.