Music from Land’s End director talks classical music, new CD
“Music takes us everywhere, but I wanted to bring it here,” said violinist Ariadne Daskalakis.
The artistic director of the Music from Land’s End concert series, Daskalakis spent her childhood summers in Wareham before moving to Germany as an adult. This is the eighth year she has brought the classical music concerts to the South Coast. Alongside Daskalakis, the festival features her husband, Sebastian Gottschick, and a rotating group of internationally active musicians.
Music from Land’s End will be performing two different programs. Beginning on Friday, August 2, the trio will perform works by Mozart, Grieg, Schubert, and Brahms.
“It goes from being incredibly intimate with Schubert to being really loud and dramatic with Grieg and Brahms, and just offering the best that classical music has to offer but in an intimate setting,” Daskalakis said.
The second program, which will be performed in Wareham on August 11, features summertime music by Brahms, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky and Gershwin, arranged by Sebastian Gottschick.
Daskalakis said that putting together a program for a concert is a bit like putting together a menu: “Sometimes it has to do with the season, or what’s available, or who’s coming, or what kind of day it is. Here, we want to make it fun and stimulating and also an emotional experience and something that touches your soul. That’s what classical music does. It helps us transcend our normal boundaries and communicate on special levels, and it never gets old. It never gets stale.”
The group will be performing selections from the second program for families at the Wareham Library on Thursday, August 8.
“The kids are really open-minded and honest listeners,” Daskalakis said, noting that their only challenge is how long they can sit still and listen — which can be tough for listeners of all ages. At the family concert, Daskalakis will explain the works and demonstrate on her violin.
Daskalakis is also celebrating the release of her latest CD: the first of two releases of all of Schubert’s compositions for the violin. This disc includes all of the compositions for violin and orchestra and several for violin and piano. The second volume will likely be released next year.
The collection marks the first time that these works have been recorded and widely available as a complete group on period instruments. There are several differences between modern violins and those played during Schubert’s life at the beginning of the 1800s. The angle of the neck and construction of the bridge are different, and strings in Schubert’s time were gut strings as opposed to modern metal strings.
Daskalakis described gut strings as having a softer, warmer, more intimate and fragile sound, and said that playing period instruments gives musicians and audiences a different perspective on the music. Although it is impossible to know exactly how the compositions first sounded, especially given that notes were not completely standardized, playing period instruments gets musicians much closer to performing the music as composers intended.
Daskalakis has been specializing in performing on period instruments for the past 15 years and is constantly researching in a process she described as combining the roles of “a scientist, a historian, a cook, a painter, and a psychologist, because you’re analyzing the piece to make the story make sense for the audience.”
“Schubert is a little bit like Mozart in that it’s real classical music that is very elegant and has a nice combination of melodies and dance-like rhythms. Schubert was especially famous for his song-writing,” Daskalakis said. “His music comes so close to expressing mortality and the fragility of life.”
Daskalakis said that while Schubert was revered by his friends, he was never a superstar during his life like Mozart was, which perhaps led to the darkness in his work.
Music from Land’s End will perform its first concert at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wareham at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 2. The family concert will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 8 at the Wareham Free Library. The second program will be performed at the church at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 11.
For more information about Music from Lands End, including a complete list of concerts across the South Coast, go to www.mlewareham.org.
For more information about Ariadne Daskalakis, go to www.ariadne-daskalakis.com. Her latest album, “Franz Schubert: Music for Violin I” is available digitally on iTunes and Amazon or from the record label at bis.se.