Devich Trio

Tango Romances

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917217827
Catnr: CC 72178
Release date: 10 September 2007
1 CD
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72178
Release date
10 September 2007

About the album

How does a classical piano trio come up with the idea to record a CD with music by Astor Piazzolla? My question is greeted by cheerful laughter. “It’s our encore”, says violinist Sarah Oates. “Always a success”, adds cellist Jasper Havelaar. “Hanna found it.” Hanna Devich, pianist who also gave the Trio its name, tells how she came across Primavera Porteña, the first part of Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, in an arrangement by José Bragato. He had converted the piece, originally written for bandonéon, violin, piano and guitar, into music for a piano trio. The Devich Trio, decided to practise the piece because it displayed all the features of a suitable ‘finale’: it gave the musicians a chance to show their virtuosity, focusing on each performer individually in turn, and the audience leaves the concert hall in a good mood. They also played it for the presentation of their second CD, Czech Legacy II, for these very reasons. The first copy of this CD, with music by Smetana and Dvoák, they presented to their classical coach Istvan Parkanyi, who immediately suggested that their next CD ought to be one with music by Piazzolla. And here it is!

The CD contains nine musical gems: eight classic Piazzolla pieces, and one written by arranger José Bragato, Milontan. The title is a contraction of milonga (the oldest form of the tango) and tango. Bragato composed it in 1983 for American cellist Christine Walevska who lived in Argentina for ten years. (text above & below extracted from liner notes by Nelly de Zwaan)
Een bevlogen tango door drie klassieke musici
Komend vanuit de klassieke traditie springt het Devich Trio nu in de diepten van de Argentijnse Tango. Dat betekent meer improvisatie en dus meer je eigen gezicht laten zien binnen het kader van de tango composities die Piazzolla heeft nagelaten. Maar muzikale passie is universeel en elke musicus, opgeleid in de klassieke traditie of welke traditie dan ook, weet daarmee iets te doen, wanneer het maar recht uit het hart komt. Voeg daarbij muzikaal technisch vakmanschap en je hebt een heel bijzondere tango album.

De drie toppers van dit pianotrio hebben die vurige zuidelijke warmte in hun spel en spelen de Argentijnse sterren van de hemel alsof ze er vandaan komen. De kosmopolitische geest die een Piazzolla ook niet vreemd was, is zeer toepasselijk voor het Devich Trio waarvan de leden ieder uit een ander land komen: de Hongaarse pianiste Hanna Devich, de Zuid-Afrikaanse Sarah Oates en de Hollandse Jasper Havelaar.


The Hungarian pianist Hanna Devich, the Dutch cellist Jasper Havelaar and the South African violinist Sarah Oates met in 2003. After their first performance in Germany, the three were convinced they had found the ideal chamber music partners.

Since then they have been performing regularly, and in a short time have managed to show a very impressive repertoire list.

In their quest for their own musical voice they have been supported by experienced masters including Sandor Devich, Istvan Parkanyi and Eberhard Feltz. The number of concert engagements is increasing every year, with bookings in Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Hungary, South Africa and the United States. In 2005 the trio won the public prize at the Uitmarkt in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

In November 2004 their first CD The Czech Legacy, was released, with works by Dvorak, Novak and Suk, to an enthusiastic reception by the press, followed by their second CD in 2006 The Czech Legacy II with works by Dvorak and Smetana. This CD was voted for a number of weeks number one in the top 50 in the Dutch TROS classical radio station. In February 2007 they recorded a CD: Tango Romances of tangos, by Piazzola and Bragato, which was released in September 2007.
Future projects include the final CD of the Czech Legacy series, and a Shostakovich CD series.

Hanna Devich
The pianist Hanna Devich, daughter of the famous violinist Sandor Devich, was born in Budapest, and was invited at the tender age of ten to join the young talent class of the Franz Liszt Academy. Here she received her soloist diploma cum laude in 1991. She received masterclasses from György Sebök, Sultán Kocsis and György Kurtág.
Hanna Devich has been living in the Netherlands for a number of years and is well loved as a concert pianist, having performed and recorded extensively as soloist and chamber musician.

As a member of the Ensemble Contrasten, Hanna won the third prize in the International Chamber music competition of Caltanisetta.

In 2005 Hanna made the first recording of the piano concerto by Geza Frid for Hungaroton.

Together with soprano Vera Lansink she formed a duo performing 18th and 19th century arias and lieder, as well as songs by Gerswin, Bernstein, and Porter.
She also is an experienced chamber music coach.

Sarah Oates
Sarah Oates was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She started the violin at the age of nine with Louis van der Watt at the Hugo Lambrecht Music centre in Cape Town.
At the age of fourteen Sarah was the winner of the Naional Huguenot competition as well as the National High School music competition.

In 1992 she received a scholarship to study with Yossi Zivoni at the Purcell school of music in London, and later at the Royal Northern College of music. Sarah continued her studies with Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of music and with Alexander Kerr in Amsterdam.

Sarah has performed many violin concertos with various orchestras, including the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, RNCM Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Youth orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic, and the Natal Philharmonic.
In 1999 Sarah was invited to the Sante Fe chamber music festival in New Mexico, where she performed with Pinchas Zukerman.

In 2002 she was a prizewinner in the Vriendenkrans competition of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

From January 2008 Sarah will be the new concertmaster of the Holland Symfonia Orchestra.

Sarah plays a Gennaro Gagliano violin made in Naples, 1758.

Jasper Havelaar
Jasper Havelaar received his first cello lessons at the age of eight. As a teenager he received lessons from Ubaldo Arcari. In 1989 he was the first prize winner in the regional category of the Princess Christina Competition. After finishing school Jasper chose to study at the Technical University in Delft, but in 1994 realized that the cello was his first love. He joined the Rotterdam Conservatory where he studied with Ubaldo Arcari, Herre-Jan Stegenga en Ad van Dongen. Jasper also received masterclasses from Colin Carr, Jerome Lowenthal and Marti Roussi.
From 1998 Jasper was a member of the Phoenix string trio, which performed extensively in Holland and abroad, and won the first prize in the International Aberdeen Music Festival Chamber Music Competition.
Jasper is a member of the Residentie Orchestra (The Hague Philharmonic).


Play album


Novoselye • Housewarming
Perles de Pluie
Café des Chansons feat. Charlotte Haesen
Flor da Noite
Luís Rabello / Floor Braam
Du bout des yeux
Café des Chansons feat. Charlotte Haesen
Constellations Ardentes
Olivier Darbellay / Noëlle-Anne Darbellay / Benjamin Engeli
Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 (second version)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
La Mer / Ma Mère l’Oye
Het Gelders Orkest / Antonello Manacorda
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 / In tempus praesens
Simone Lamsma / The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Rudolf Koelman / Musikkollegium Winterthur
Heartfelt - Romantic Works for Horn
Rob van de Laar
Violin Concertos
Linus Roth / London Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Sanderling
Forbidden Music
Daahoud Salim