Articles Written By: jenn

musimelange was in Antibes!

Using local caterers musimelange can travel to you anywhere in the world!

Antibes a French city of roses and art on the french riviera!

♦ On the terrasse of a beautiful villa, one could hear the cicadas singing.  A refreshing tasting of Absinthe served with the typical small back olives, pissaladières & ratatouille tartines.

♦ We travelled back in time to the beginning of the Twentieth Century with a mélange of show pieces for violin and piano

♦ A night in Antibes can not finish without Jazz (piano and saxophone), Rose flavored Ice Cream & Wine Rosé!

LISTEN:  Fritz Kreisler – Tambourin Chinois


Verbier Festival Au Quotidien

Lekeu & Debussy | Marseille


“Sonate pour piano et violon,” (1892)

Like the composer Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Lekeu is one of the few extremely gifted composers who died too early, at the age of 24. He was considered one of Belgium’s bright young stars, but unfortunately died before he could harvest the fruits of a ripened genius. Although he was not exposed to music at a very young age, he still published his Op. 1, an Andante et Variations for violin and piano, at the age of fifteen, after alone teaching himself composition by plunging into the scores of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Lekeu’s talent impressed César Franck, who would become his teacher, mentor and close friend. Franck took the young man on a trip to Bayreuth to attend the Wagner festival. One of the operas performed there, Tristan und Isolde (1857-59), made a tremendous impact on him, resulting in a burst of creativity and encouraging a whole new level of musicality. This brought Lekeu to his quest to master different shades of feeling and plenitude. Lekeu stated “Even if it kills me, I put my very soul into my music.”

Because Lekeu shared the same belief as the Belgian violinist, Eugène Ysaye (1858-1931), that music should be what “the heart suggests, and the soul expresses,” Ysaye, regarded as “the King of the Violin,” commissioned Lekeu’s two first chamber-music works: a piano quartet and a violin sonata. Lekeu’s Sonate pour piano et violon en Sol Majeur (1892) that he claimed to have cost him “infinite pain,” was premiered in 1893, and since then never left the standard repertoire of the violin in France. It is worth noting that the title mentioned the piano before the violin, certainly to emphasize the importance of the voluptuous piano part. Although the piece was composed when Lekeu was twenty-two, and considered his masterpiece, one may feel that the composer might not have had the chance to totally find his own, unique voice.

The sonata is absolutely breathtaking; the narration of the two instruments might be felt as a dedication work to the greatest German composers and to the founder of the Franco-Belgian style, as well as a debut of Debussy’s impressionism. The influence of César Franck’s Sonata pour violon et piano en la majeur (1886) is very much implied. Like Franck’s sonata, Lekeu’s is written in cyclic form. One obvious mark of this idée fixe (a melody that is used in each movement to represent an obsessive image) is found when the theme of the first movement is literally quoted note-for-note in the denouement of the final movement. It is exactly what Franck did in his sonata with his third and fourth movements. But the genius of Lekeu shows his ability to continue and even surpass the path of the Franco-Belgian chamber-music founders by using an increased emphasis on an important compositional technique of his time, chromaticism. Coming from the Wagnerian school, this technique was the lifeblood of expressive music in the mid to late 19th century. When transferred to the Franckists, it became an additional means to achieve equilibrium and restraint, major attributes that have now long been esteemed in Franco-Belgian music.

The chromaticism is found in the first movement of the sonata, which opens with a beautiful calm statement played by the violin, accompanied by very light and sporadic piano chords suggesting moving harmony. This part also serves as a quotation to the opening of Johannes Brahms’s G-Major violin and piano sonata Op. 78 (1878-79). In order to keep his own flavor, Lekeu brings the theme into different twists and turns from its original state with the help of chromatic harmonic changes. Before leaving the maze of this first movement, the conversation between the piano and the violin arrives at a unison agreement and a victorious climax, later leading into a regretful and moving coda. This end sets the mood for the deep and touching second movement. By choosing a 7/8 meter, the first theme is continuous, as if the atmosphere is too unbearably intense to even breathe. Lekeu shifts from Brahms-like melodies, evoking lyricism towards popular songs laced with futuristic harmonies of another world. The third movement seems more traditional with its sonata form and use of counterpoint than the themes of the first two movements, which are more spontaneous with their chromatic adventures.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

“Sonate pour violon et piano,” (1917)

Not only is the violin sonata, Sonate pour violon et piano, Claude Debussy’s last work, but it is also his only work for violin. Although it is dedicated to his wife Emma, it may be acknowledged as written for Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956). Before his friendship with Hartmann started in 1908, Debussy had never considered composing for violin. After the few transcriptions of the composer’s various piano works and songs that Hartmann arranged Debussy promised the violinist to compose for him, in return, a Poème for violin and orchestra. His life ended before he could accomplish his promise.

Most of his life, Debussy stayed away from traditional forms like the symphony, the concerto or sonatas. He would write music with evocative titles such as Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune. For his violin sonata, he adapted sonata concepts to his uniquely personal expressive needs. He wrote, “I am more and more convinced that music, by its very nature, is something that cannot be cast into a traditional and fixed form. It is made up of colors and rhythms. The rest is a lot of humbug invented by frigid imbeciles riding on the backs of the Masters.” Although the piece was written while he was dying, it is animated, whimsical and flamboyant.

Anne Chicheportiche

musimelange travels to Marseille, France!!!

Using local caterers musimelange can travel to you anywhere in the world!

We had the privilege to be welcomed at the top of the “Rue Paradis” in a typical chic 2 story apartment. The guest arrived and felt immediately at home.

♦ While tasting a Bandol and mini toasts of tapenade and bites of tian, one could hear a piano playing by itself in the background (using the new automatic system of Steinway), blended with typical friendly, singing, Marseille accent.

♦ The concert featured the host’s favorite violin sonatas: Guillaume Lekeu & Claude Debussy

♦ To finish a delighting evening in Marseille: Vervain tea with CanistrelliCroquantsNavettes (typical cookies)

READ: program notes

LISTENGuillaume Lekeu – Violin & Piano Sonata – 1st movement

An Evening with Ravel | Boston

MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)

Often put in the same category as his elder Claude Debussy, the French composer Maurice Ravel claimed to have “always personally followed a direction opposed to that of the symbolism of Debussy.” Although he had an interest in following fashion, dressing with “showy ties and frilly shirts,” he was an innovative precursor when composing music. He was a perfectionist, always expending his palette of styles using traditional forms and folk tunes, shying away from the new Schoenberg trend of atonality. He was known for his melodies, instrumental textures, and effects always attentive to form and craftsmanship.

“Sonate pour violon et piano,” (1923-27)

In 1917, Ravel attended a chamber-music concert featuring in his piano trio (1914) performed by violinist Hélène Jourdan-Morhange (1888-1961). She was an advocate of the music of her time. The first impression she had of Ravel was of a shy, nervous, stammering fox. Ironically, Ravel always compared Morhange’s manner to a cat. The fox named his prey, “Moune,” after his favorite Siamese cat. Although no information was found on an existent love relationship in Ravel’s life, Manuel Rosenthal (1904-2003), a disciple of Ravel, explained that Ravel once asked Moune to marry him. Embarrassed, she had to say “no” and explained though she loved him very much, they were not compatible for marriage. She remained one of his closest friend, his confident and his technical consultant when composing for violin.

In a 1920 letter to Moune, Ravel expressed the desire to compose a violin concerto for her, but instead he dedicated the sonata for cello and violin (1922) to her, and he composed the sonata for violin and piano for her in 1927, even though he always considered the violin and piano acoustically incompatible. Ravel explained that while writing the sonata, he imposed on himself the independence of the two instruments showing and emphasizing their incompatibility rather than balancing their contrast. When listening to the first movement, a sonata form, imagine a cat’s journey with the elegance of the violin’s lyricism and the short and curious interruption of the piano. The second movement, a blues, demonstrates Ravel’s taste for American jazz. The violin’s melody slides with one finger from note to note to imitate a saxophone while the piano simulates strummed guitar chords. The final movement, a perpetuum mobile, starts with hesitating figures to launch a high-speed, perpetual motion showing off the violin’s virtuosic capabilities.

When starting to compose this piece in 1923, Ravel had Hélène Jourdan- Morhange’s playing in mind, hoping that she would première the sonata. By the time the work was finished in 1927, her severe arthritis prevented her from performing it. It was the Romanian composer and violinist Georges Enescu (1881-1955) with Ravel himself at the piano, who premiered the sonata in Paris on May 30, 1927.

“Tzigane, Rapsodie de concert,” (1924)

Maurice Ravel first heard the Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Aranyi (1893-1966), the grandniece of the famous violinist Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), at a private musical salon in England in 1922. Both d’Aranyi and Bela Bartók (1881-1945) were performing Bartók’s own sonata for violin and piano No. 1. Ravel was amazed by d’Aranyi’s musicality and flawless technical ability. He asked d’Aranyi to play Gypsy melodies from Hungary for an encore, which she did well into the early morning, mesmerizing Ravel. He explained to his friend Bartók that they inspired him to write a short piece of diabolical difficulty, conjuring up the “Hungary of his dreams.” Despite his initial enthusiasm to write a Gypsy flavored virtuoso showpiece, it was not until two years later that Ravel began working on Tzigane. It took him only a few days to finish the piece for violin and piano, just in time for its scheduled première in London on April 26, 1924. Even though the dedicatee received the score only a couple of days before the performance, the piece was wildly successful with the audience. D’Aranyi made such a hit with Tzigane that Ravel later provided a version for solo violin and orchestra.

Many European composers have been fascinated by the influence of gypsy music, as it contributes to the overall fabric of European culture. Ravel once said that if he would ever write something Arabian, it would be more Arabian than the real thing. The combination of Ravel’s rhythmical precision and his mischievous sense of humor, which can be found in his previous masterpiece La Valse, made reviewers perceive the piece at its première, as a parody of the “Liszt-Hubay- Brahms-Joachim school of Hungarian violin music.” Ravel described Tzigane as a virtuoso piece in the taste of a Hungarian Rhapsody.

Ravel, who considered the violin and piano acoustically incompatible, gives the entrance to the violin alone, specifying the dark, rich sound of the G-string for the first twenty-seven measures. This makes the piece unique, beginning with a cadenza. The sweeping piano enters as a safety net under the whispering violin double-stops tremolo, providing a dramatic entrance. The soloist is propelled through a series of virtuoso passages to a fiendishly difficult dénouement. Although its leaping double- stops, harmonics at blinding speed, and combination of left and right hand pizzicato passages have kept many violinists up late, its difficulties go beyond the technical. Freewheeling rubato and sudden tempo changes diabolically pull the performer apart between sentimentality and blurry speed, much in keeping with the greatest gypsy folk tradition.

Anne Chicheportiche

musimelange travels to Boston!

Using local caterers musimelange can travel to you anywhere in the world!

What a beautiful city! We had the privilege to play among friends in a beautiful apartment over looking a peaceful garden in Brookline.

Tonight we pay hommage to Maurice Ravel & its region of France!

♦ Greeted by a degustation of wine from the Basque Country paired with “cheese & delicatessen” platter form that region of France.

  • ♦ A nice evening-breeze passing trough the salon, we performed works by Maurice Ravel.

♦ To end the evening: delicious “Vosges” chocolate served with Sagarnoa & Manzana (liquor from Ravel’s region)!


READ: program notes

musimelange travels to DC

Using local caterers musimelange can travel to you anywhere in the world!

This weekend we had our first experience in Washington DC:

♦ a concert of  French “salon musique” for violin and piano – Debussy, Tailleferre, Lili Boulanger and Fauré

♦ paired with French pastries and macarons from the Bethesda boutique CACAO

♦ W Wine favorite Champagne

click here for program notes

video coming soon…

Open Rehearsals


a few moments of life shred through the eyes of a dear friend.

Turn on the fan in the car and Whoosh! out flies seed husks left over from little mice that had made the vent and housing their home.

This was a story shared with me from a friend driving a previously shared car across country to its new home.

I shared this story with another freind and her response was her brothers experience.  He was driving his truck, again with the fan, seed husks AND the mouse that had provided the surprise.  Can you imagine the reaction of trying to drive with a mouse running back and forth on the dashboard trying to get out!

Life always has surprises. How we deal with them makes life.


Anne Chicheportiche

Anne Chicheportiche has been praised as a violinist who plays with “fierce assurance” by the Washington Post and for her “tonal sweetness, alert dynamic detailing, and commanding musicality,” by The Miami Herald. She has been displaying her “virtuosity and tonal sheen” as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster of orchestras in Europe and the United States.

As a passionate chamber musician, Anne performed in various music festivals, including the IMG Artist’s Del Sole International Festival (California), Music Festival of the Americas (Vermont), the Killington Music Festival (Vermont), Jewish European Music Festival (Geneva) and Festival de la Cité (Lausanne). In addition to her talents on the violin, Anne is also an entrepreneur at heart. In 2010, she started a music company called musimelange, a chamber music series in Miami that brings together local artists and nationally and internationally recognized performers. Each concert features a carefully curated pairing of chamber music, wine, and gastronomy, creating a unique and multi-sensory experience for all attendees. musimelange quickly became Miami’s premier classical music and gastronomic chamber music series. For her contributions to the city’s cultural scene, Anne was recognized by Brickell Magazine as one of the 20 most successful entrepreneurs in Miami under 40 years old.

Anne served as concertmaster of orchestras in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Miami. In 2006, she became a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, America’s foremost orchestra for young musicians from around the world. During her years with the orchestra, she performed under the batons of important conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Alan Gilbert, Kent Nagano, and Myung-Wun Chung. Other orchestra positions and collaborations have included appointments with the Orchestre de Cannes (France), Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Verbier Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland), New Millennium Orchestra (Chicago), Nice Academy Festival Orchestra (France), and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (New York), in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center Orchestra Hall, Geneva’s Victoria Hall, and Mexico’s Auditorio National, among others.

An avid performer of contemporary music, Anne has premiered and recorded numerous works by contemporary composers, most recently giving the United States premiere of Nicolas Bacri’s Violin Concerto #3. She was invited to perform with Le Balcon, an established Parisian contemporary ensemble, for their United States debut. Anne has collaborated with artists of different musical genres, such as Bjork, Smokey Robinson, Barry White, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, Ely Guerra, Natalia Lafourcade, Aleks Zyntek, and many others.

Her career as a musician is hallmarked by the importance that she placed on education. With her passion for music and zest for life to guide her, she has sought opportunities to hone her skills all over the world. Anne studied with internationally recognized musicians such as Stefan Ghiorghiu, Ilya Kaler, and the Guarneri Quartet. She is a graduate of the Geneva Conservatory (Switzerland) as the winner of the Prix-Vidoudet (the conservatory’s highest honor for a stringed instrumentalist). She holds a Master of Music degree from Depaul University (Chicago) and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland.

A dedicated professor, Anne enriched the musical lives of countless students throughout her career. She taught at the American Music Institute in Chicago, the International Music School in D.C., and the University of Texas Pan-American. She also coached at Depaul University in Chicago and the University of Maryland in the D.C. area. Ultimately settling in Miami she also continues her passion for teaching by working at Miami Dade College and keeping a healthy private violin studio, where she implements in her teaching the wellness of a musician.

Anne’s impressive career is marked by her commitment to seeking new opportunities to grow and learn. She lived in 10 cities around the world. Each move gave her a deeper approach to music and shaped her to try to enrich the lives of others and bring a community together through music. To date, Anne has supported herself by working as a college-level violin professor, performing as a soloist, concertmaster, and chamber musician, and producing concerts, all while raising two boys.

LISTENGuillaume Lekeu – Violin & Piano Sonata – 1st movement

LISTENKreisler – Tambourin Chinois

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