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Mikhail Pletnev, Respighi and the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini rating on the Dresden Track Competition – Observed and Heard Global


GermanyGermany Dresden Track Competition 2023 [10] – 6.9.2023, Kulturpalast, Dresden: Mikhail Pletnev (piano), Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini / Omer Meir Wellber (conductor). (LV)

Omer Meir Wellber conducts the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini © Oliver Killig

Verdi – Overture to I Vespri siciliani
Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No.1, Op.23
Wagner – Overture to Tannhäuser
RespighiMetamorphoson Modi XII, Tema e Variazioni

The Competition’s 2d live performance via the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini underneath Omer Meir Wellber opened with a efficiency of Verdi’s overture to I Vespri siciliani that bristled with theatrical anticipation. The whole lot was once colourful to listen to, and the orchestra, shifting as though that they had been choreographed, had been stunning to have a look at: the way in which the double bassists strummed their pizzicatos, the comedian guide fury of the brass and the sumptuous circus march performed with side road tune abandon in some way that Fellini would have adored.

Mikhail Pletnev performs Tchaikovsky © Oliver Killig

Getting into from the wings for the Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Pletnev swept throughout the orchestra in opposition to the piano, became to the concertmaster and started enjoying earlier than totally sitting down. He performed imperceptibly in the beginning earlier than the well-known chords had been rippling throughout the splendidly open acoustics of Dresden’s Kulturpalast in opposition to the beauty of the strings, the violins and violas (greater than 80 p.c of whom are ladies). Pletnev’s emphasis on unhurried poetry contrasted with the richness he discovered within the cadenzas and solo riffs; the pacings and moods he completed felt just like the composer himself was once found in a profoundly meditative state. Matched from time to time via gently lyrical woodwinds, Pletnev sat impassively on the keyboard, construction his silvery sound over a wealthy bass. Now and then, it was once extra like a symphonic concerto.

Within the Andantino semplice Pletnev sat along with his palms folded being attentive to the eloquent flute solo, after which performed the song extra consoling than ever over the pianissimo strings. It was once additionally a tender guy’s Tchaikovsky, the Prestissimo stuffed with freshness and existence, and Pletnev shook his head with delight on the finish.

The second one part opened with a Tannhäuser overture performed with open hearts, earlier than Wellber like a wizard had magically sprung the strings’ triplets into tune of natural radiance. Wellber then introduced a efficiency of Ottorino Respighi’s difficult to understand Metamorphoseon characterised via an insatiable urge for food for sound from each the composer and the conductor. Its blameless opening briefly devolved right into a forbidding primeval compost of lush instrumentation, verging from time to time on Hollywood-type biblical movie ratings, earlier than blooming into a chain of hallucinogenic diversifications.

Respighi composed Metamorphoseon for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1929; it was once an orchestra he had carried out and whose gamers he knew neatly. The theme reached its complete brilliance in a cornucopia 7th variation consisting of in my opinion adapted solos for harp, cello, violin, viola, horn, bassoon (virtually delirious with the enjoyment of being unleashed) and flute earlier than the strings lowered right down to pianissimo for the clarinet, harp and oboe.

It was once intense and critical for the orchestra, however the target audience ate it up. Regardless of the composer’s personal misgivings, Metamorphoseon enhances the Pines trilogy very successfully.

As can be anticipated of an orchestra from opera’s heartland, the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini performed as their encores the ‘March of the Toreadors’ from Carmen and the Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana.

Laurence Vittes

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