Pletnev at the Great Hall of the Conservatory (1997 — Young Garrett in Moscow)

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  • 02.06.2016
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    Pletnev’s orchestra puts on the export, import and repatriation.
    It was the second of this season subscription concert of the Russian National Orchestra with conducting of Mikhail Pletnev at the Great Hall of the Conservatory. It was performed sparkle «Invitation to the Dance” by Weber and little-known Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Julius Conus (1896). It seems that the combination of musical archives by Russian musical stocks and artistic assets by Deutsche Grammophon finally has a success — this program became a season leaders of this month. A little-known Julius Conus Concerto by american violinist David Garrett became also a real breakthrough.
    Last season, the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) and foreign partners join us to the European conductor’s context: by strength impressions the discovery of a sophisticated 45-year-old Eurasian Kent Nagano was not worse than of «bunker Hercules» Frank Strobel from Germany. This year Pletnev used an archival domestic line, he decided to draw with foreign soloists.
    All what Pletnev makes, like his laboratory-archive experiments, is deprived slightest demonstrations and camouflate painstaking investigative work and passive confinements to certain dates and calendar items. The first concert of this season, featured «Festive Overture» by Lyapunov (Rimsky-Korsakov’s says about him «nothing more than a talented young composer, who quickly became a pale replica of the portrait of his idol — Balakirev»), rarely performed “heavy draught” — Fourth Symphony by Taneyev and teasingly eclectical Scriabin piano Concerto,it was correlated with the 850th anniversary of Moscow.
    A series of performances NRO, echoed through the cities of Volga-river great success of a talented conductor Andrey Boreyko from Poznań, is not noticeable at all from Moscow. Pletnev by himself has always looked like imported attraction, and returnees in the context of his floating laboratory, as well as Andrey Boreyko who accompanying him this year (Boreyko worked for several years with the orchestra of the Ulyanovsk Philharmonia). However, the autumn Volga-river tour traditionally is not designed to lock someones (even a Pletnev) fame, but oriented for playing programs or preparing to record or to performances in Moscow. So it was at this time again: on the route Ufa — Cheboksary — Kazan became a preparation for recording for Deutsche Grammophon 52-minute suite Tchaikovsky’s «Sleeping Beauty». Also prepared the Seventh Symphony of Beethoven, was performed at the second part of the Moscow concert.
    Skepticism of musical critics, who were dying of boredom on the open spaces of the Volga-river, was unexpectedly defeated by Pletnev in Moscow. Unlikely Pletnev explored Beethoven’s music with his own intuition, was unexpectedly coincided with Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky’s words: «Beethoven’s example is enough for us to convince that melody is the most accessible for hearing and least available as a gift from all of the elements of music » — can be used as a key to Pletnev’s reading of Seventh. Because of that the second and fourth movements of the symphony were the most successful: their structural rhythm was reproduced strictly and without disabilities — either step, or pulse — become adequate substitute for melody. And (it’s a paradox!) this hard following to the beat sometimes is diverted orchestra in the space — such as abstract as it is specific (like concrete music Henri Schaeffer): there is the sound becomes the background, timing was disappeared and there was an extra-musical sound of deafness ghost. Maybe in the last century some people could not withstand such moments, like Ludwig Spohr, for example, who wrote: «Beethoven lacks aesthetic education and sense of beauty.» Perhaps, such moments is due by proximity to Beethoven.
    The first part, of course, was graceful. Pletnev’s «Invitation to the Dance» by Weber not to be so soft likeperformance of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy conducting, but our expectations still have not been deceived. Finded in the archives of the violin literature, rarely played and therefore not hit Concerto by Julius Conus, performed by the young German-American violinist David Garrett became a breathtaking gift to the public, who was hunger of beauty, feeling and virtuosity. Julius Conus (1869-1942) is well known as the son of the famous virtuoso pianist Edward Conus, he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov, worked in New York and taught violin at the Moscow Conservatory. His style is fashioned from the emotional frankness by Tchaikovsky and British modesty by Rimsky-Korsakov. Even composer wish for himself so sensitive, stylish and delicate artist like David Garrett.
    When eighteen-years-old young man growth like Sergei Bubka played the first sentence and plunged on the top the bow in the sky, Hall moved and did not move after that until the end of this one-part composition. Associations with the great Menuhin and Heifetz suggests immediately and was approved with each passage, although Garrett plays from the elbow instead from the shoulder as Menuhin, but in contradistinction of Heifetz Garrett is able to control his artistry.
    Young Garrett became a real treasure: the captivating Heifetz-style vibrato, quasi-restaurant accesses, the strongest athletic octaves, revelation and rigor – all of it can do this young musician, and no one call him a child prodigy, though, he was found less than six years ago, and three years later (14 years old) he received a contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
    This company is still stakes on a faded copy of the Heifetz — Gil Shokhem, but now takes a violinist «for growth», and, it seems, they are have not a mistake. Right now, Garrett made an impression as an intelligent, unique and balanced musician. After his performance he says that he did not hear (or purposely did not listen) any record with a concert Conus. I think that after the release on Deutsche Grammophon his own disc with Pletnev’s orchestra Garrett still have no chances to hear it. He cannot listen this music in his performance by other reason — discs like that usually are bestsellers.

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