An evening of music at Ben’s

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Thank God it was Friday at last, Friday November 18, the day of the concert at Ben’s.  At 7 p.m. I biked my way to his place, behind the Golden Hanuman in Jomtien.  Ben was sold out and all the lovers of classical music looked forward to the soloists and the music, enjoying their drinks.

The program started with the first movement (Allegro) of the Spring Sonata by Beethoven, played by Ohm Chan Teyoon from Payap University on the violin and Laurence Davis at the piano.  The violist sounded a bit nervous and uncertain in the beginning, but playing on this joyful piece he raised to the occasion and brought us the feeling of spring as Beethoven must have had in mind.

From left, Saran Senavinin, Laurence Davis and Ohm Chan Teyoon kept the audience royally entertained at Ben’s. From left, Saran Senavinin, Laurence Davis and Ohm Chan Teyoon kept the audience royally entertained at Ben’s.

In the following pieces, the first part of Sonatina opus 27 by Fibich, the Lullaby by Kocian and the Berceuse by Faure, he gave us the full pleasure of his performance.  The last piece before the intermission was the Allegro Brillant by Willem ten Have, a real climax of performing skills and musicality, played with the same bravura as the name of the piece asks for.  Laurence Davis was his very skillful and experienced  partner in music, as we expected him to be.

After the intermission we welcomed the young baritone Saran Senavinin, student at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, with again Laurence Davis at the piano.  Saran started his program with one of the most wonderful songs of Schubert, ‘Ganymed’, and after that ‘Gruppe aus dem Tartarus’ by the same composer.

Maybe Saran had some problem with the sharp diction and pronunciation of the German language, because in the Schubert songs he was not always exactly in tune.  But when he went on with two songs of Faure (Chanson d’amour and Apres un reve) and four songs of Vaughn Williams (Songs of Travel) he had no such problem and performed very convincing.  He gave us also two opera aria’s by Mozart (Non piu andrai  and Aprite un po’ quegl’ occhi from The marriage of Figaro), in the Italian language of course, with the gestures and facial expressions that made it real opera for the audience!  Again Laurence Davis was the master at the piano.

Big applause and encore from the audience!  And we got our reward: a solo by Laurence (at last!) who played a brilliant piece by Gerwhin, a stunning virtuoso phantasy on ‘The Man I Love’, ‘Swannee’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’.  Once again a big applause and then we said goodbye, grateful to the musicians and to Ben Hansen, the organizer and host of this beautiful soiree musicale.