A conversation betweeen cello and piano

(Handout)

Rosanna Butterfield and her cello have seen the world. She was most recently in Miami where she spent four years with the New World Symphony, an orchestral academy for young musicians led by world-renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. She has also played for Syrian refugees in a camp in Amman, Jordan, and coached in Colombia as part of an exchange.

She is now in Victoria with her very musical family (both parents and two uncles are professional musicians), and she is coming to Sidney with pianist Jannie Burdeti to perform music for cello and piano that she has called “Conversations.” It will be her first concert in the Victoria area, which she said will feature the “back-and-forth” between the two instruments.

“I hate the word accompanist, it’s a bit old fashioned, but it still gets used, so I said, let’s do a recital that really focuses on the partnership that’s involved with just one instrument with piano. A duo recital,” said Butterfield.

Butterfield first met Burdeti at a home recital. Butterfield volunteered as a page turner for Burdeti, who was collaborating with a singer she knew from Vancouver. Butterfield admired how Burdeti played the role of orchestra, providing “the other voice.” They got to chatting, and “as these things often go, it just fell into place, which was really nice.”

They are playing pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Barber and Boulanger, each of which require at least equal participation. The first half features better known compositions, whereas the latter half is designed to showcase pieces that are less often heard.

Butterfield described Beethoven’s earlier cello sonatas as having particularly difficult piano parts, but the third cello sonata in A Major, which they will perform, is “the first one where two instruments are completely equal voices and pass off the melodies to one another and really switch roles all the time which makes it really interesting to play.”

The Barber Cello Sonata has a special connection to Butterfield, because she first learned it when she was 16. Barber himself wrote it as a student (it is his sixth categorized composition), and “you can feel in the piece he was really exploring how to write for these two instruments,” and it gives equal voice to both. Butterfield looked back at her score and noticed that her old fingerings and bowings were “way more complicated than they needed to be. I think I was overthinking it a bit when I was younger!”

The Boulanger piece, which is not often heard, is comprised of three miniatures. Butterfield is particularly fond of the middle piece, a canon, where the piano imitates the cello part just one eighth note behind yet both parts mesh together.

Butterfield enjoys the variety that comes with being a professional musician. She is currently in rehearsal with the Victoria Symphony for their annual New Years concert, and recently played the cello for Rattenbury, a new opera by Tobin Stokes about the architect behind Victoria landmarks like the Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel.

”It keeps everything fresh and it keeps me aware of the kind of playing I’m doing…I’m never stuck playing in one style.”

Butterfield and Burdeti will perform at St. Paul’s United Church (2410 Malaview Ave.) on Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Ten per cent of the proceeds will go to St. Paul’s United Church.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read