June 2016 Newsletter

Published: June 8, 2016

25 Years

To all Amigos/as

From Helga Hampton


June 9, 201

Dear Amigos,


This is the last concert month of the Amigo Season 2015-16, and we can look forward to the first  visit of the pianist Daria Tschaikowskaja. She will be playing for us on Tuesday, June 21st and Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at Os Agostos.


Her programme is the following:

Tuesday, 21st June:

Ravel – Sonatine

Ravel – Gaspard de la Nuit

Rachmaninov – Variations on a theme by Corelli

Debussy – Reverie

Debussy – L´isle joyeux


Thursday 23rd June:

Chopin – Sonate No. 2

Chopin – Ballade No. 2

Rachmaninov – Barcarolle

Rachmaninov– Sonate No. 2 (original version)


Daria is of Russian descent – her father is a composer and lives in Moscow – she was educated in Russia and Germany, where she is now based. She has an international career and we are very lucky that she could come to us.


*Daria asked me to provide some background information for “Gaspard de la Nuit”. So, please find at the end of this Newsletter a rendering of the poems on which this Ravel composition is based, in English translation.


Please make your reservations as usual by email to: reservasconcertos@gmail.com as soon as you can, as we seem to be getting fully booked very quickly. Timing also as usual: Doors at Os Agostos open at 18:00, drinks at 18:30 and concert begins at 19:00



Now on to business:


Invitations to renew membership will be sent out forthwith, and the first two of our habitual 16 concerts for the 2016/17 season are fixed for September 27th and 29th, 2016, when the British pianist Charles Owen will be coming to us. PLEASE NOTE: The first September concert will be preceded by the AGM.


At the last AGM in 2015, you may remember, it was decided to adjust the annual Amigo membership fee for the coming season to € 200, with all benefits unaltered. This will, by the way, be the first adjustment since 2009.



Sponsors / logos: In my last Newsletter I communicated the good news of having a new sponsor:

Blevins Franks have joined Quinta Properties in supporting the Amigos de Musica and we are, of course, very grateful and look forward to welcoming their representatives as guests at as many concerts as possible. The logos of these two companies appear on all of our printed communications, as you will notice on our next concert programme.

You will also see the logo of ValVerde Apartments, and this does gives me the opportunity to thank ValVerde again for all their generous and unstinting help with accommodating our musicians from time to time. It also gives me a chance to apologise for having been remiss for so long of NOT giving them this token of our appreciation already many years ago. All our artists who have stayed in ValVerde have loved its comfort and service. Thank you so very much.


It goes without saying that the Os Agostos logo will always be there as a reminder of our happiness and relief at finding a new home after moving from CCSL. They are the best hosts !!!


Artist hospitality:   In this Newsletter let me pick up a hot potato that actually should be an additional benefit of membership: We invite our artists to come to the Algarve for approx. one week, during which they give us two concerts. Some of them come for the first time to this beautiful southern coast of Europe. We give them free accommodation and a rental car for the duration of their stay. Over and above practising and playing, they do have time to get to know not only different areas of the Algarve, but also to meet some locals. Too few of the Amigos – mainly only Committee members – avail themselves of the opportunity to really MEET these artists when they are not up there on the plinth. Why not invite them for a cup of coffee, a lunch or a dinner to get to know them? This is a chance of a life time to make friends with world-class musicians and, I assure you, they are lovely people. Let me know if you want to invite one or the other – I usually know how much time they can be torn away from practising, etc. My mobile number is always open to you for that purpose: 919154189



I am happy to report that the complete Programme Schedule for Amigo concerts 2016/17 is ready and there are some lovely surprises. As usual, I try to make a balance of favourite artists who have been here before and new ones coming to us for the first time; soloists as well as a sprinkle of chamber music. You will find the round-up as part of the Invitation to Renew Membership, which I shall hurry to get to you within the next few days, as you might have the renewal cheque in you hot little paws when you come to the next concerts at the end of the month!?


So long for now. I look forward to welcoming you in Os Agostos on 21st and/or 23rd of June.


Kindest regards,

Helga Hampton



GASPARD DE LA NUIT by Maurice Ravel


Magic and storytelling played a large part in Ravel’s composing life. In Gaspard de la Nuit Ravel tackles the world of the Lisztian study in picturesque effects and virtuoso display. He wrote these three  poems for piano, based on the prose poems by the little known Aloysius Bertrand in 1836, where Gaspard is a dreamer seeing fantastical visions.

(The original poems are, of course, in French; please see below an unpoetic transcription of these poems in English.)


“Listen, listen…! It is I, Ondine, who scatter these drops of water on your tinkling window-pane, lit by the moon’s pallid rays; and here is the lady of the castle in her iridescent gown, contemplating from her balcony the beauties of the starry night and the sleeping lake. Each drop is a water sprite, swimming with the current, each current is a path winding down to my palace, and my palace is built of water in the depths of the lake, in the triangle of fire, earth and air. Listen, listen…! My father beats the surrounding water with a branch of green willow, and my sisters with their arms of spray caress the islands of fresh grass, of water-lilies and gladioli, or mock the bent and bearded willow as it fishes in the stream.”

In a low voice she begged me put her ring on my finger, to be the husband of a water-nymph and to come down with her to her palace as king of the lakes. And when I replied that I loved a mortal woman, she sulked in annoyance, cried a little and then with a burst of laughter vanished into a shower of dew which ran in white streaks along my blue window-panes.



Le gibet


Ah! What is that I hear? Is it the howling of the night wind, or the sighs of the corpse that hangs from the gibbet? Or is it the song of a cricket hidden in the moss and the dead ivy with which the wood covers itself out of charity? Is it the hunting call of a fly, around those ears which are deaf to the sound of the kill? Or is it a cockchafer which in its wheeling flight plucks a bloody hair from the bald head? Or perhaps some spider weaving a length of muslin to decorate this strangled neck? It is the tolling of the bell that sounds from the walls of a town beyond the horizon, and the hanging corpse glows red in the setting sun.


Oh! How many times have I heard and seen Scarbo under the bright midnight moon, like a silver coin on an azure banner speckled with golden bees! How many times have I heard his laughter echoing in the shadows of my alcove, and his nails scraping on the silk curtains round my bed! How many times have I seen him drop from the ceiling, dance on one foot and flit round the room like the handle off a witch’s broomstick! And just when I thought he had disappeared he would grow taller and taller till, like a cathedral spire, he blotted out the moonlight, a golden bell swinging from his pointes bonnet! Then his body would turn blue, and transparent like candle-wax, his face would grow pale like a candle-end… and in a moment he was gone.



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