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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…

Cultural Advancement Grant Panel Meeting | MIAMI

musimelange feels lucky to have been a Grant Panelist for the Cultural Advancement Grant Program for the Miami-Dade County cultural affairs. Bravo to all the amazing art organizations in Miami that strive for excellence!

French Salon Music | Washington DC

La belle époque, which began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I, was marked by Franco-Belgian composers Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Ravel and also a Spanish influence in Paris. During this period, musical salons were the favorite meeting places for musicians. These salons represented places where upper class individuals hosted important public figures, artists, writers and musicians. The music in this program included works that were commissioned by, dedicated to, or premiered in, a salon.

Women essentially ran the salons. One can appreciate the important role that they played in promoting musicians and circulating their music. Major debates focus around the relationship between the French salons and the public sphere as well as the role of women within the salons. At a time when society was defined and regulated almost completely by men, the musical salon provided a place for women to exercise a powerful influence. Women were the center of life in the salon, and they carried a very important role as regulators. These women were usually clever and brilliant, but at that time their cleverness and brilliance were primarily geared toward introducing their friends to new ideas and ways of life through happenings at the salons. Their particular gift was to inspire others. Much of the fascination that gave them such power in their day still clings to their memories.


French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is one of the most important figures of French impressionistic style even though he never liked to be called an impressionist composer. In letters, Debussy shared that he is “trying to do ‘something different’–an effect of reality…what the imbeciles call ‘impressionism’, a term which is as poorly used as possible, particularly by the critics, since they do not hesitate to apply it to Turner, the finest creator of mysterious effects in all the world of art”. Specific works of literature inspired most of Debussy’s compositions. For him, “music and poetry are the only two arts that move in space.” He explains, “musicians who do not understand poetry should not set it to music. They can only spoil it.”

Although Debussy did more to expand the possibilities of form, harmony, voice leading, and timbre than any other composer of his era, ten years before his death, he had yet to compose any music for violin. Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956), a brilliant Hungarian-born American violinist, helped solve this matter. In 1908, he attended a performance of Debussy’s opera Pélléas et mélisande (1902). Hartmann fell in love with Debussy’s music and sought out the publisher to acquire any violin music that Debussy might have written. Unfortunately, the publisher’s response was not one Hartmann wanted to hear. Hartmann then contacted Debussy directly and commissioned a work for his tour in United States. Since Debussy had little time to compose any violin music before the violinist’s next recital, Hartmann asked the composer for permission to transcribe some of his songs to the violin. The request was well received and started a friendship between the two musicians. In 1914, Debussy accompanied Hartmann in a recital that included the three transcriptions Hartmann had created from Debussy’s music.

“Il Pleure Dans Mon Cœur” (1885–1887) | Arranged for Violin and Piano by Arthur Hartmann  (1908)

Il PLeure Dans Mon Coeur is a movement from Claude Debussy’s song cycle Ariettes Oubliées for voice and piano written between 1885 and 1887. These settings of some of the best-known poems of Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) mark Debussy’s transition from a traditional composer in the style of Charles Gounod (1818-1893) to a more individual artist. Debussy’s music of Il Pleure Dans Mon Coeur”expresses the melancholy of Paul Verlaine’s (1844-1896) poem, this soft and light melancholy of the hearts who don’t know why they are sad.

“La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin,” (1910) | Arranged for Violin and Piano by Arthur Hartmann  (1910)

La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin, meaning The Girl With Flaxen Hair, is the eighth number of Claude Debussy’s Préludes, Book I (1909-1010). The piece originally written for piano solo was inspired by Charles-Marie Leconte de Lisle’s (1818-1894) poem La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin (1852) in the book of poetry Chanson Ecossaises, meaning Scottish Songs.

“Beau Soir” (1880) | Arranged for Violin and Piano by Arthur Hartmann  (1910)

Claude Debussy’s Beau soir (Beautiful Evening), one of his youthful works, represents a stage of orthodox romanticism, which later lessened with musical mastery. With poetic texts taken from a collection entitled Les aveux (Confessions) by Paul Bourget (1852-1935), a personal friend, Debussy depicts the poet’s desire to be happy and enjoy life on a gorgeous evening, even though death is inevitable.


“Berceuse,” (1913)

The French composer, Germaine Tailleferre, was the only female member of the famous Les Six, a group of French composers who met at the Conservatoire de Paris around 1912 and became very close friends. The group included Georges Auric (1899- 1983), Louis Durey (1888-1979), Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), Darius Milhaud (1892- 1974), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) and Tailleferre. Their music is often seen as a reaction against the musical style of Richard Wagner and impressionist music.

Tailleferre started composing short works at a very young age. Despite the opposition of her father, she auditioned for the Conservatoire de Paris in piano and solfège. In 1913, she won the first prize in counterpoint and harmony at the Conservatoire de Paris. During that successful year, she wrote Berceuse, which she dedicated to her professor Monsieur H. Dallier. Berceuse, meaning “lullaby” in English, is very well written for violin. The flow of the melody without constraint and ease seems as if inspired by Gabriel Fauré.

LILI BOULANGER (1893-1918)

“Deux Morceaux pour violon et piano,” Nocturne (1911) – Cortège (1914)

Lili Boulanger, the younger sister of the famous French composer Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), was the first woman composer to win the Prix de Rome in 1913. French composers Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy had previously won the prestigious award. In 1914, while studying at the French Academy in Rome and recovering from a severe illness, Lili Boulanger composed the tone poem, Cortège, here a lively and festive piece. The term “cortège” is used to describe either a slow procession or a victorious march. Boulanger appears to have written the piece in the “happy mood” showing her strong and positive character to overcome her illness.

Lili Boulanger dedicated Cortège to violinist Yvonne Astruc (1889-1980), a violinist and friend of the family who had often come to play at the Boulanger household. According to Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Astruc’s “manner of playing is both purposeful and expressive.” In 1937, a French journal, “Le Petit Radio,” described her as the “Ambassadress of the French Musical Art” due to her noble style of playing, the beauty of her sound, and her impeccable technique. The French government awarded her the prestigious French Légion d’honneur. She premiered works dedicated to her like Darius Milhaud’s Concertino de printemps (1934) and Germaine Tailleferre’s violin concerto (1936).

After Lili’s death in 1918 at the age of twenty-four, Yvonne Astruc and Nadia Boulanger recorded Cortège in 1930, pairing it with Nocturne, also written for violin or flute and piano dedicated to Marie Danielle Parenteau. This little piece that Lili composed in 1911 was written in the impressionist style. It starts with a long pedal C in the piano, over which a hauntingly beautiful violin melody moves. The two voices push each other to a central powerful climax, which then fades back to its earlier, gentle atmosphere. Concert attendees were encouraged to listen for Lili’s musical quotation of Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1892-94) and Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1857-59).

GABRIEL FAURE (1845-1924)

“Sonate pour violon et piano,” No. 1. (1876)

One of the leading salonnières of the Parisian musical scene, Pauline Viardot (1821-1910) born Garcia, is one of the little-known heroines of French music. The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers describes her as an accomplished woman. She was a mezzo-soprano and composer, taught at the Paris Conservatory, and presided over a music salon in the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Through her salon, she helped launch the careers of many composers, including Camille Saint-Säens and Gabriel Fauré. For the young Fauré, Pauline Viardot “was by far the most glamorous female musical personality that [he] had ever encountered.” When composing his first sonata for violin and piano, in A Major, at the age of thirty, Fauré was courting Marianne Viardot, Pauline’s daughter. It was for Marianne’s brother, violinist Paul Viardot (1857-1941), considered a great salon player by the brilliant violin pedagogue, Carl Flesh (1873-1944), that the sonata is dedicated.

Ardent, elegant and refined are some of the adjectives that describe the music of Gabriel Fauré. His teacher, Camille Saint-Saëns, hailed this sonata for its “formal novelty, quest, refinement of modulation, curious sonorities, [and] use of the most unexpected rhythms.” The Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano was Fauré’s first chamber- music work and is considered a milestone in the history of that genre, not only in France but throughout Europe. It came ten years before the famous César Franck (1822-1890) sonata for violin and piano (1886), and three years before the violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). The work displays both exuberance and its own style of intimacy, mirroring the image of the composer. According to violinist Jacques Thibaud (1880- 1953), although “not especially difficult to play,” Fauré’s sonata in A Major for violin and piano can be “hard to interpret. It’s largely a matter of physical and mental touch.”

In the first movement the melodies unfold one after another, creating a propelling momentum. The elegance is complemented by youthfulness, and hopeful, refreshing qualities. The music flows on without constraint and with ease. The second movement is both tender and melancholic. The third movement, although written in 2/4, is like a “Scherzo;” and it is considered to be a masterpiece of French musical wit and brilliance. It displays a lightness and fast tempo in the outer parts with a rich middle section. This style became a prototype for later scherzo movements by both Ravel and Debussy. The final movement concludes brilliantly, lending boldness to a splendid work filled with beautiful, impassioned melodies.

Anne Chicheportiche

Letter from MISO’s Eduardo Marturet

With great pleasure and anticipation we welcome MUSICMELANGE as a new partner of THE MIAMI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA through our STRATEGIC ALLIANCES program.

We are extremely excited about the potential of this new institutional relationship as we are convinced that the future of chamber music lies in creative programing and high artistic standards, virtues at which you are well known to excel.

We wish you much success in this new venture and sincerely hope that your leadership of MUSICMELANGE will prove highly beneficial for both your artists and our community.

With warmest regards,

Eduardo Marturet Music Director & Conductor The Miami Symphony Orchestra

click here to view the MISO Strategic Alliances

Launching @ MIA

What a wonderful way to launch our musimelange!

Saturday, May 14th The MISO, who partnered with the Miami-Dade Avation Department, performed at the Miami International Airport – Terminal J. The experience was a part of the Music in Unsuspected Spaces community concert series. As the conductor Eduardo Marturet said: “The idea was to transform the terminal into a concert hall and maybe even give the people arriving here a different idea of what Miami is about, something beyond the sun and the beach.”
During the reception, with the leadership of Athina K. de Marturet, we cheered to a beautiful beginning of musimelange.


Anne Chicheportiche | The Founder

anne chicheportiche

Anne Chicheportiche is a French violinist who embraces many cultural influences. She strives for balanced energy and harmony.
An advocate for elegance and beauty, she believes that these are essential ingredients for classical music.
Her dynamic and colorful violin playing displays her desire to make performances feel fresh and alive!
Her goal for musimelange is to invigorate your soul by experiencing classical music, unique culinary adventures and sophisticated wine & spirits.

♬LISTEN: Guillaume Lekeu – Violin & Piano Sonata – 1st movement


Welcome to musimelange!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to

Over the years spent traveling and living in different parts of the world, many opportunities arose for me to meet wonderful musicians and extremely talented artists.  Today I am honored to introduce you to their amazing talents and love for beautiful music making with you. Through the MISO’s Strategic Alliance Program, musimelange will bring exceptional soloists into your home.

Coming from a French family, the appreciation for great wine, gourmet food and elegant fashion is deeply rooted in my lifestyle.  I am proud to present to you brilliant sommeliers who will guide your palettes through the world of wine and spirit and talented chefs who will prepare with their magical hands little bites of gourmet delights.

An evening of high-quality music and memorable tastings can’t be complete without the elegance of musicians wearing designers’ clothes. I will, specially for the event, select a designer that will reflect the perfect harmony with the concert experience. This eloquent “mélange” of beauty is ready for you!

I look forward to customizing your concert experience. To all of you thank you for visiting our website, welcome and enjoy beautiful times with us.

☎: (305) 814-8141

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