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Erica Raum - Canadian Violinist - A Review



Erica Raum brings passion and brilliant technique

A review by Rosemary Phillips
Originally published in the Grand Forks Gazette, 2001

Erica Raum, violinist
From the rivetting opening of “Scherzo” by Brahms to the fiery closing with “Carmen Fantasy” by Sarasate, violinist Erika Raum, one of Canada’s most talented young string players, filled the GFSS auditorium with her passion, brilliant technique and dramatic interpretation, all the while keeping in close contact with the audience as she described the pieces and gave a little history and humour about each. It was an evening to soothe the soul, with a program that captivated attention, and diverted minds from everyday worries to the beauty and magic of masterfully performed music.

One with the music

Raum, who has played with orchestras in Hungary, Portugal, Austria, France, the U.S. and Canada, is not only an excellent musician, deftly working her instrument as though it were an extension of her own self, she is an entertainer and commands a presence as she walks onto the stage, and the audience responds. Her body moves with each phrase, head jolting to the side as she dramatically sweeps her bow across the strings, her blonde hair bouncing in response, and she becomes one with the music. It’s at such moments that we not only need to thank and admire the composers for their creations, but also the performers for their interpretation and expression. As Raum moved through “Sonata No. 7, Opus 30: no 2 in C minor” by Beethoven the audience was able to experience the passion of the allegro, the gentleness of the adagio, the fun and playfulness of the scherzo and the grand build up to the finale.

The tone of her 300-year-old Italian violin was rich and beautiful. One young audience member was later heard to say as he looked at the instrument, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything that old before.”

Diversity with "Solo Sonata" by Ysaÿe

Raum showed her diversity in music with the challenging “Solo Sonata” by Belgian composer Eugène Ysaÿe, a more modern piece which, as Raum explained, “does make you sweat.” This was followed by the “Suite of Spanish Folksongs” by Manuel de Falla, taking Spanish folk music and capturing the sounds of that country. The closing piece, “Carmen Fantasy,” based upon the opera “Carmen” by Bizet, gave an exciting ending to a most enjoyable program.

The accompaniment on piano by Roslyn Frantz, an accomplished pianist from Oregon, who now lives in Kelowna, was a perfect balance with both tempo and sensitivity to the expressions given by Raum throughout the evening.

At the end of the performance Raum returned to the stage and jovially chatted with members of the audience, and signed programs for up-and-coming young musicians who plied her with many questions.

It was an evening that could definitely be considered a gift for Grand Forks. For those who were not fortunate enough to experience this excellence in music, hopefully Raum will return in the future. It’s not often that we get the opportunity to see and hear such great talent of international calibre without going to a big city.

Erica Raum is represented by Andrew Kwan Artists Management Inc.

 

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Copyright Rosemary Phillips, Quills Quotes & Notes Enterprises, 2013
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