The power of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, the beauty of a Mozart concerto, and two seldom-heard Mozart arias are the top attractions of the July 11 concert of Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the baton of Darrell Ang at Philippine Stock Exchange Auditorium, Tektite Tower, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Pianist Cristine Coyiuto, who is MSO soloist on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, told Inquirer she found Mozart one of the most difficult works in the piano repertoire.
“Because when one plays Mozart,” said Coyiuto, “one is so terribly exposed to those endless runs, scales, arpeggios, which must be flawlessly executed and projected. Although Mozart may sound simple to the ears, yet it is indeed a big challenge as we aim for clarity of sound, nuances and evenness of touch.”
Indeed, she finds the Mozart concerto the most lyrical, elegant, charming piece, with a sunny, happy A-major tonality in the first and the last movements.
“But what I love most especially is the second movement, adagio, written in the unusual, dark key of F minor,” she added. “It reminds me of an operatic aria where one finds anguish, despair, loneliness, poetry, as shown in the wide leaps, unexpected harmonies and chromaticism.”
Ang, a winner of the Grand Prize, Audience Prize and Orchestra Prize at Besancon International Young Conductor’s Competition in France, finds the style of Mozart the most elusive.
He explained: “He requires a certain lightness, elegance, a lithe singing line and a constantly active accompaniment. Ever so often, musicians feel utterly ‘naked’ and ‘exposed’ when performing Mozart. It is impossible to hide the smallest blemish in performance. But most of all, phrasing is essential in Mozart.”
Not in one night
Tenor Arthur Espiritu, who just wrapped a role in Donizetti’s “La Favorita” in St. Gallen opera house in Switzerland, will close the July 11 program with the Mozart concert aria “Misero, O Sogno, e Son Desto?” and “Se Vuoi Che Te Raccolgano” from the opera “Il Sogno di Scipione.”
Ang said the arias were “well-known showpieces for tenor: one lyrical, the other coloratura.”
“Not many artists in the world would dare perform both in one night,” he explained, “as there are not many tenors in this world who possess a strong coloratura technique combined with a supple and steady lyric base. I’m looking forward to working with Espiritu.”
The July 11 concert presented by MCO Foundation is in partnership with Lyric Piano, St. Gilles Hotel Makati and dzFE.FM 98.7 The Masters’ Touch.
Call TicketWorld at 8919999; MCO Foundation at 7500768, 0920-9540053; and Caeo at 7827164, 0918-3473027.
Licad and PPO
Pianist Cecile Licad will be performing for a private engagement with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra on July 11.
Her public engagement will be at St. Benedict Chapel in Ayala West Grove, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on July 15, 7 p.m.
Surrounded by trees in the most quiet neighborhood of Sta. Rosa’s West Grove Village, St. Benedict Chapel has perfect acoustics and its green surrounding is a perfect setting for Edward MacDowell’s “Woodland Sketches.”
The solo repertoire includes Cecile Chaminades’s Sonata in C Minor; five selected pieces by Louis Moreau Gottschalk; William Mason’s “Silver Spring” Op. 6; and Leo Ornstein’s Piano Sonata No. 4.
Of the Chaminade piece, Licad pointed out: “It’s quite a serious work, so people who just know Chaminade as a light composer will hear something different. There’s a lot of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms in it, and it’s difficult as hell.”
She added she began to explore it as a request to play something by a composer who shared her first name.
“It’s a beautiful sonata; it’s stormy and passionate. I think people will like it, and maybe it will get played more often as a standard piece,” said Licad.
The July 15 program is the same unusual repertoire Licad played in well-received performances in Germany, Miami and Texas.