<< -- 3 -- Bill Newman CELEBRATORY PARADE
The Violin Concerto is best known through recordings by Tossi Spivakovsky
and Ruggiero Ricci. The predominately virtuoso writing for the soloist --
the main protagonist -- and the orchestra which launches the ideas for development
refutes the BBC pre-broadcast announcement that the simply stated themes
underwent no development!
The irregular metric rhythms and subdivision of material into unit lengths
often becomes so intriguing that one has to find a course between the solo
pyrotechnics and the ever-changing orchestral colorations, alternately selecting,
extending and fragmentising material at high-speed levels. The Adagio movement
consists of a similar formula, although the bittersweet writing in the first
half is broken by an extended solo cadenza that combines sad feelings with
dance-like freneticism. The orchestra takes its own stance leading the soloist
towards an exciting close.
The finale, like the world of Amelia al ballo is playful, mock-serious,
and daringly vivacious in ever-changing mood sequences that never disintegrate
into disorder or chaos but remain totally individual and impressive in staccato
writing and accented passage work. The work was commissioned by Efrem Zimbalist,
who gave the first performance in 1952, but I cannot imagine that his technique
embraced anything like the sonorous virtuosity of Japan's Jennifer Koh,
whose interpretation should do much to foster revived interest.
Throughout, Richard Hickox and the Spoleto Orchestra, with Donald Nally
in charge of the choir, had provided maximum quality music-making, but their
presentation of Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces gave the final touch to
a splendid evening's entertainment in Teatro Nuovo.
Special fleets of buses, following a stream of private cars, took tourists
to another concert at La Rocca Albornoziana, high up wth subdued lighting
and spotlights centred on figurines, shields, and monuments surrounding
the auditorium where orchestra, conductor and soloists participated in a
glorious panoply of romantic music.
Schumann's Konzertstück Op 86 -- I believe the two horn players
were orchestra principals -- rubbed shoulders with Brahms' Double Concerto,
where Vesselin Gelley, violin, and Walter Haman, cello, were superb soloists.
After the interval came the most fluently lyrical of Dvorák's symphonies
-- No 5 in F. 'What a marvellous work this is!' exclaimed Richard Hickox
The whole Menotti family -- Maestro, his personal assistant and secretary,
Francis, with his wife and family were in the front row. Then there was
the highly attentive audience. Somebody had been following me to the various
events -- a most attractive lady with beautiful eyes who I immediately fell
for! We had coffee together, then a meal with friends the next day.
Copyright © 27 November 2001
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
THE SPOLETO FESTIVAL WEBSITE
BILL NEWMAN'S VISIT TO THE 2000 SPOLETO FESTIVAL
& Vision home
The name of the game >>