Last evening we tried to watch a short concert by two of our favourite young musicians, Sylvie and Bryan Cheng. Also known as Cheng² Duo they are a sister and brother duo from Ottawa that we have heard perform since they were very young – I think Bryan may have been around 10 or 11 when they played at a house concert we attended. I say tried because Facebook froze half way through and no amount of rebooting seems to reactivate the video. Fortunately we have their CDs and also a goodly number of performances are available on YouTube.
Here from their 20126 debut album Violoncelle français is the Allegro vivo from Louis Francoeur’s Sonata No. 4 in E major. The piece was originally written for violin and bass and adapted for cello by Jean-Delphin Alard and Arnold Trowell.
Though they frequently appear as a duo both Sylvie and Bryan has busy solo schedules. On the 2017 tour of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada Bryan was one of the featured soloists. After a bit of a workout with a Shostakovitch cello concerto he would encore with this short piece by Pablo Casal’s arranged by Christ Paul Hartman.
It has been a pleasure to watch the two of them mature as musicians and particularly seeing Bryan graduate from his baby cello to the Canada Council for the Arts’ prized ca. 1696 ‘Bonjour’ Stradivari. And when things return to whatever will be considered “normal” in the future we hope to hear them once again in concert.
The word for May 13th is:
Blarney /blahr-nee/: [noun]
Deceptive or misleading talk; nonsense; hooey.
Blarney is named after the Blarney stone, a stone set high up on the outside of the parapet of Blarney Castle, and accessible to a kisser who desires eloquence only if he or she leans backward over the parapet to kiss the stone.
From the Gaelic an Blarna “the little field”.