Tchumburidze as a chamber musician

The excellent duo of Veriko Tchumburidze (violin) and Aleksandra Świgut (piano) performed Friday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Freedom, power, temperament, and high talent potential are the main strengths of Veriko Tchumburidze, a 21-year-old Turkish violinist of Armenian descent, who won the 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań last October. The artist performed in Warsaw on several occasions, but each time with a symphony orchestra, while the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival provided an opportunity for the audience to hear her in solo and chamber repertoire. The Turk was superbly partnered on the piano by the 25-year-old Aleksandra Świgut – a pianist who also studied period piano and harpsichord, and has already shown herself as a very good chamber musician, responsive to her partner, sensitive to the dialogue, bringing out every nuance of the score. Because Veriko Tchumburidze is the dominant personality, she took the leading role, even in Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata, in which the piano plays not a lesser role than the violin. Tchumburidze resembles old type virtuosos, who asserted their individuality, while Świgut demonstrated attention to style and clarity of sound.

After Beethoven, Veriko Tchumburidze played Suite No. 1 for Solo Violin by Ernst Bloch, a work from 1958 commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin; virtually unperformed but interesting, it is a strong nod to Johann Sebastian Bach and his partitas for solo violin. A virtuosic, rhapsodic work, giving plenty of scope for a violinist’s imagination, was ideal for Tchumburidze who could give full rein to her abilities and display formidable technique, temperament and powerful sound. The violinist plays a magnificent violin by Giambattista Guadagnini (1756). Its sweet, warm, bright and bell-like tone, especially in high positions, was well suited to Karol Szymanowski’s Myths, Op. 30, and even more to Grieg – both artists gave an imaginative performance of his Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, Op. 13, which captures the elements of Norwegian folk music and an echo-like sound of Hardanger fiddle.

Anna S. Dębowska

Friday, 7 April, 5:00 pm, Royal Castle