Beau Soir – beautiful evening!

[... Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and Fabio Bidini at the Summer Serenade of the city of Hameln.

Was it an 'Aperçu' to the program that Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and Fabio Bidini chose Debussy's 'Beau Soir' as the first of their encores – or was it self-confident certainty that this title would describe the last concert of the Summer Serenade series best?

Both explanations are possible, the latter one more than justified. When do you get to hear these pieces which are sometimes called 'Schmunzetten' so beautifully told as for example Wieniawski's 'Legend', or the 'Havanaise' by Saint-Saëns so intensely contoured? And when do you actually get to hear the inherent subtleties of these works verified down to the smallest detail as we heard them tonight?

This program was fully centered on popular virtuoso pieces. People who know Mendelssohn's works for piano chamber music know that the composer did not stint with the highest demands on the pianists' ten-fingers. That is the case with this third and last of his (completed) violin sonatas. Since the piano part goes well beyond of what could be classified 'accompaniment' it seems to be closer to any romantic piano concerto.

Nevertheless Fabio Bidini never indulged in pianistic show off, but remained discreet, yet gripping in a profiled partnership with Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and the violin part.

The sound of the Grotrian was rarely heard differentiated to such a high degree. It is a good custom that violinists begin a recital with a solo work. Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker made no exception to this habit and chose Fritz Kreisler 'Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice' as an entrée. Nearly four minutes of unleashed virtuosity, from the continuous double and triple stops of the Recitativo to the rapid pace of the Scherzo.

For the opening of the concert even under normal circumstances this is a certain risk which is very much increased by the currently incredibly high temperatures. But for Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker apparently that was not a problem at all. With a dreamlike security she formed the inner contours of the famous Kreisler composition and also of Mendelssohn's Sonata.

A great start, which only increased the publics' appetite for Saint-Saëns 'Havanaise' and Wieniawski's 'Legend' and 'Polonaise de Concert' which were to be heard after the pause. This appetite was then fully served.

Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker cultivates a style that clearly differs from many other famous colleagues. During the performance, she is standing focused in one place.

Highly concentrated every single move is exclusively designed to serve the musical purpose and not any kind of merely superficial show. Even on that Höpcker and Bidini are an outstandingly harmonious duo, which is succeeding as a great unity in everything they do.

The Viennese 'Schmelz'/ gracefulness (not 'Schmalz' / grease!), transferring to the public the rhythmic impetus of a French 'Habanera' and the contagious wit of their second encore, William Kroll's 'Banjo and Fiddle'.

In fact: 'Beau Soir'! ...]

Source: Deister-Weserzeitung, Text: Karla Langehein