Aysen Ulucan violin recital, review, Christ Church, St Leonards-on-sea, February 21

One woman; one instrument; one evening – but what an evening, instrument and woman.

Aysen Ulucan. Photo by Peter Mould
Aysen Ulucan. Photo by Peter Mould

It was mesmerising and beautiful, thrilling and enchanting. The music of one instrument was so expertly and magnificently played that we were transported. At one moment we were set in green pastures, the next in wind swept barren heights, at another set beside still waters, then shooting musical white water.

At the start of the evening Turkish born Aysen introduced us to what is perhaps her own preferred style, or even her own composition. It was beautifully arresting and dramatic. Well chosen because it made us sit up and listen and wonder what other delights were in store. It was her statement: “This is what a violin can do!” I do not know anything about it except that it was entitled ‘Violin’. Brilliantly apt!

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We then listened to a piece from a composer of her own country, Ozkan Manav, entitled Horon. A style and composition unfamiliar to most of the audience. Apparently, Manav incorporated his country’s folk dance and song into his music. Well, you heard the dance and you heard the song and you certainly heard another tradition. The piece made you want to hear more.

We were then on more familiar ground; Bach, Sonata for violin. There is a puzzle as to why Bach composed this piece for violin and it is thought that he must have had some violinist of outstanding ability in mind. He must have been clairvoyant, because here, in Aysen, was a violinist of incredible talent. Who played it more than brilliantly. The piece has a fugue in it. How can you have a fugue with one instrument, one asks? Aysen did it. I heard it. Her petite stature, so enraptured and at one with her violin, did it wondrously.

Aysen finished with Bartok, Sonata for Solo violin. By this time she didn’t need to prove herself and I just sat back and enjoyed her virtuoso, the look of her, her nimble finger movements over the strings, her arm movement with bow, her concentration, her dedication and expertise, her sheer talent, and most impressive, all totally by memory.

A wonderful evening. Thank you Aysen Ulucan.

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