Romantic Piano Concert inaugurates Lyric Piano Gallery

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PIANISTS Ingrid Sala Santamaria and Reynaldo Reyes try Shigeru-Kawai pianos.

Lyric Piano Gallery, a performance venue for piano concerts, held its inaugural performance with the Romantic Piano Concert Journey of Ingrid Sala Santamaria and Reynaldo Reyes.

The pianists played two well-known concertos of the Romantic repertoire, Chopin Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 11 and Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25.

The Gallery is at Horseshoe and N. Domingo Streets, San Juan City, adjacent to the head office of Lyric Piano and Organ Corp. Cozy and intimate, it comfortably sits some 70 people.

CEO and president Alma Joy Cristobal says   the Gallery will serve as a venue for both budding and professional pianists. It will also hold master classes.

Lyric Piano has been supporting piano concerts by lending pianos free of charge to students and professionals alike, including schools of music. Moreover, piano students  are allowed to use the pianos at the head office, Cristobal says.

The occasion also marks the official announcement of the company’s inclusion of Shigeru-Kawai in its piano line. A specially handcrafted piano assembled by the most skilled piano artisans of Japan, Shigeru-Kawai ideally combines tonal and technical balance. Ease in playing allows the production of clear and robust tones.

Only around 250 Shigeru-Kawai pianos are made every year and, to date, since Kawai has started making this brand in 1999, nearly 6,000 units have been produced and played worldwide.

Lyric Piano’s exclusive distributorship of the Japanese piano, Cristobal says, seals the company’s commitment to provide the Philippines with fine piano instruments.

Missionary musicians

A brief video showing how a Kawai piano is made was shown.

Young pianists Sebastian Adlawan, 8, and Lorenzo “Enzo” Medel, 16, played on the Japanese piano.

The program continued with the concerto performances of Sala-Santamaria and Reyes. The former sat on the Shigeru piano that the two youngsters earlier played on, while the latter on another brand new Kawai piano (RX-7).

Reyes premised the performance with a short introduction on what a concerto was, which he said, was a “fight” between the soloist and the orchestra collaborating with it. He said his task was for an orchestra to provide collaborative support to the soloist. He called Ingrid and himself “missionary musicians” because they tried to spread the gospel of music through their romantic concertos.

The two have performed not only around the country but also in parts of Asia, the United States and Canada.

The performance was their 21st since 2001.

In the Chopin concerto, the Shigeru sang with exquisite lyricism as Ingrid struck her fingers on the keyboard. Admittedly, Chopin’s concerto has a strong bias for the solo piano as it dominates the orchestral part played by the second piano, which gives the barest support.

Because the piece is very transparent, the playing must be exquisitely done, delivering both its technical and emotional requirements to ensure its poetic appeal.

The duo was not short on this, as they, playing in close rapport, kept the audience enraptured.

Therapeutic effect

In the Mendelssohn opus, the duo afforded the audience finer listening.

Effectively, the scoring was superb for both the solo instrument and the orchestra (second piano). As such, the repartee, the so-called artistic “fight” that Reyes said between the soloist and the orchestra, was handsomely carried on equal footing.

The brilliance and power of the Kawai instruments were all the more brought to fore. Ingrid and Reynaldo’s playing was so inspired that there was nothing more one could have asked for. The audience was hushed into silence and burst into a thunderous applause at the end.

The open forum that followed was additional delight. In response to the questions, Reyes emphasized: “Music is therapeutic.” Listening sharpens the brain, so it does not allow atrophy, he explained.

The therapeutic value of music has now been affirmed. Apart from honing the brain, it also develops correct values that altogether make life more worth living.

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