City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Swiss Ambassador’s Award Concert 2011 Review


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 21 October 2011

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Lionel-Cottet.jpg
Show Details
Company: 
Swiss Ambassador’s Award Concert
Production: 
Beethoven, Sonata in F major, Op No 1; Schubert, Lieder for cello and piano; Zanon, ...and still there s room to fill; Brahms, Sonata No 2 in F major, Op 99.
Performers: 
Lionel Cottet (cello), Louis Schwizgebel-Wang (piano)
Running time: 
110mins

His Excellency Mr Anton Thalmann, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom, introduced the concert. After introducing us to his new Honorary Consul General in Edinburgh, Peter Müller and his wife, he told us that he had brought with him to St Cecilia’s Hall the winner of this year’s Swiss Ambassador’s Award. Indeed he had also brought the 2008 winner who was to accompany the winning cellist on the piano.

Lionel Cottet has a passion for chamber music and has performed all over Europe. He is 25 and was born in Geneva. The cello he was playing was made in 1852 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. With such a wonderful collection of instruments on display in St Cecilia’s Hall this information seems relevant.

The pianist was Louis Schwizgebel-Wang and he too is 25 and born in Geneva. He has performed with an impressive list of European orchestras.

The Beethoven Sonata was the first of five he wrote and was probably the first ever written for cello and piano. A slow introduction is followed by a faster movement and ends with a rondo. What we heard gave every impression of being the sort of tricky work that examiners delight in setting.

But then the music stand was put to one side for Lionel ad Louis’ own arrangement of five distinct lieder for cello and piano, each full of character. The final was Ave Maria, a setting of a prayer to the Virgin translated from Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake.

After the interval we heard the world première of Gregorio Zanon’s ...and still there is room to fill, taken from Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore’s collecton of devotional songs.  It was written this year for Lionel Cottel and Louis Schwizgebel-Wang. Just to complete the trio, the composer also hails from Geneva but was born in 1980. There was a happy combination of traditional Bach with some modern moments.

Again the music stand was put to one side for the four movements of Brahms’ Sonata No 2  which brought to an end a very satisfactory and particularly competent concert by the two young men from the French speaking part of Switzerland.

Event: Thursday 20 October 2011 at 7.30pm