By Suyash Gabriel
When Christian Pierre La Marca took his place on stage in the ballroom at The Imperial hotel on Monday, he commanded as much mastery over his audience as he did over his instrument.
This is his first ever India tour, organised by the Embassy of France. The 23-year old chamber and solo cellist’s repertoire ranges from contemporary music to baroque and romantic pieces. La Marca was trained under cellist greats like Gary Hoffman and Mstislav Rostropovic, amongst other maestros, and has performed across Europe, Japan, USA and Australia. “I started playing the piano at a young age. My family was filled with musicians, who encouraged me to study music like any other subject. I saw Rostropovic play the cello at a concerto when I was five years old, and fell in love with the instrument,” he says.
La Marcas’s performance in the city included three suites by Bach, namely Suite No.1 in G major, Opus 1007, Suite No.2 in D minor, Opus 1008, and Suite No.3 in C major, Opus 1009. He captured the dramatic and emotionally charged nature of Bach’s suites, with extended and well-timed vibrato’s were executed with fine finger control and dynamically charged arpeggios. The warm tone of his cello, The Vaslin, a piece made in 1725 by celebrated master luthier Antonio Stradivari, was hypnotic, almost as if it was singing in a language of its own.
“The idea is to do justice to the greats. I am just a mouthpiece paying tribute to an incredible creation. My individuality seeps through, but what matters is bringing the piece into you, and not you into the piece,” he says.