REVIEWS RACHMANINOFF FESTIVAL ANCONA MAY2015

Concerti,the  F.O.R.M. closes on a high note. Il Resto del Carlino Friday 8th May 2015  Ivana Baldassarri

The beautiful thing about culture is its capacity to link andharmonise thought,emotion,projects and happenings even at a distanceof time;it is the golden thread ,the inscrutable link that bringstogether genius and simple man in the difficult tasting of life .Themusic,one knows,is one of those magic carpets that allows one tomanage, with dignity,dreams and wishes and it is for this that wePesaresi  are grateful to the Concert Society and all its members forestablishing between us and the music a strong and faithfulrelationship via the splendid concert seasons that have existed at theTeatro Rossini for the past 55 years.

 

The closing concert of the 2014/2015 season brought together at theRossini theatre not only the Orchestra Regionale delle Marche that hasbecome the pride of our region,but two internationally famous youngartists.The Anglo- Australian Jayson Gillham and the englishmanAlexander Ullman performing two great composers Rachmaninoff andTchaikowsky,that join together  the 18th and 19th centuries thanks totheir capacity to link virtuosity with emotion .

 

Great and spectacular the performances as always  superbly  directedby ” our”Federico Mondelci at the helm of the FORM.

 

The first part Rachmaninoff’s fourth Piano Concerto in G minor op 40.Acontraversiall musician, superb and seductive craftsman,  capable ofuniting Moscow with Hollywood,arousing enthusiasm.Interpreted with powerful virtuosity and pecision by JaysonGillham,who showed he could mix the romantic eloquence with thedazzling aggressivness of the ending ,touching the  late romanticrhetoric with a learned sensibility of someone who knows how toennoble the score with passion and depth of feeling.

 

In the second part the Concerto for piano and orchestra n.1 in B flatminor op 23 by Petr Illic Tchaikowsky,versatile and varied,alwaysdominated by a fluctuating tension between innocence anddespair,gracefulness and delusion,poet of innermost emotions uptofrenzy,that the young pianist  Alexander Ullman interpreted with allthe necessary qualities for Tchaikowsky ,which are,for example,thestrength that the opening chords require ,the retreating into intimatefeelings and ornate virtuosity ;astonishing the frasing and thefearless way he threw himself into the most difficult passages.

 

Unending applause by a moved and grateful public,multiplied with eachencore ,  high wire virtuosity from  the two young curly hairedsolists , that no evening suit  could hide .The concerto was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Bancadell’Adriatic

Il Nuovo 17th May 2015  Fulvio La Rosa

Mondelci on the podium qith the pianists Gillham and Ullman

Conclusion of the 55th Concert Season

A great musical event – the fifteenth- brought to a happy ending on the 6th May to the 2014/2015 concert season .

The 55th organised by the Ufficial Concert Authority in Pesaro, a season of all respect.

On the occasion of the last concert of the season we would ,in fact, like to remember the Complete Rachmaninov Concerto Cycle,

The Young Cherubini Orchestra directed by Riccardo Muti,the famous pianist Grigory Sokolov ,without forgetting a select group of outstanding

young pianists,from Albanese to Gloria Campaner and violinists from Amalia Hall to Stephen Milenkovich.

Not forgetting the frequent presence of the Filarmonica Marchegiana.A group that holds a real place of honour in the musical  life  our Region ,

and on this occasion directed by Maestro Federico Mondelci,a complete musician,who never fails to astonish also as a conductor( precise,elegant and thrilling).

On stage were two formidable,young pianists,impeccably dressed in tails,already on the way to  brilliant international careers:Jayson Gillham

and  Alexander Ullman- soloists from the Keyboard Charitable Trust in London.

The two artists ,tackling and dominating two very difficult scores known already from the hands of famous pianists of the past:the Fourth Concerto in G minor

op 40 by Sergej Rachmaninov (1873- 1943)- the least known of the four,was first performed in Pesaro on the 22nd April 2001 by Fabio Bidini.

A concerto full of heartbreaking melodies out of which the composer constructs a rapport between soloist and orchestra until that secondary moment;

the score ” seems to bring together the most revolutionary aspirations of the Russian School of that period ,like the driving vitality of Stravinskij and Prokofiev”.

Gillham amazed us with his ability to delve into every nuance,bringing to the fore not only the poetic cantabile but also the dynamic virtuosity in the score.

The other work ,entrusted to pianist Alexander Ullman,was the famous Concerto n.1 in B flat minor op 23 by Petril’ic Cajkovskij (1840-1893).

Unmistakable for its overpowering opening with the horn and powerful chords from the piano.A concerto that has seen amongst its great interpreters,

the legendary Arthur Rubinstein,the genial Sviatoslav Richter and the eccentric Alexis Weissenberg but that all the most famous pianists have in their

repertoire.

As a reminder it was first performed in Pesaro by Luisa De Sabbata on the 3rd June 1945 in a city where the 8th British Army troups were still present.

This concerto,the true link between the Russian Soul and Western Civilisation is perhaps the most well known and most performed.

Ullman followed in the best interpretative tradition,flaunting mastery and absolute security( astonishing  the sequence of octaves,the acrobatic arpeggios performed with the most daring virtuosity) and ending in reply to a standing ovation with two studies by Liszt- Paganini and Rachmaninov.

Mondelci directed wisely,communicating yet again his joy of making music to the public that was present at this joyful farewell given by these three  great artists.

The audience carrying the joy of this  success even outside the theatre ,almost wanting to savour again the atmosphere of so many great performances.

The season drawn to a joyous ending but not without a touch of nostalgia ….great music will be sure not to be late in making its presence felt again next season.

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