Classical Italian works were featured when the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra recently performed under the baton of its former Italian conductor, Ruggero Barbieri, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Concert was held under the auspices of the Embassy of Italy and the Philippine-Italian Association led by Zenaida R. Tantoco.
Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno said the concert was a homage to the “musical talent and creativity” of the Filipino people.
The program consisted of classical Italian works by Luigi Cherubini; Gioacchino Rossini and Muzio Clementi, and a Philippine work by Redentor Romero. Fermo Roscigno was the featured piano soloist..
Maestro Barbieri breezed through the two Italian opera overtures in the first part of the program, Cherubini’s “Medea ” and Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra.” He was at home wielding the baton.
The second part of the program featured the works of Muzio Clementi consisting of symphonic works and a piano concerto.
In his message, Ambassador Roscigno said that Clementi is regarded one of the “four great pillars of music classicism along with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.”
But Clementi is hardly known, said Barbieri, except perhaps for “Sonatina No. 1 in C Major.” Clementi was a prolific composer, and is hailed as the “father of the pianoforte,” Barbieri added.
It was the first time for Clementi’s works to be premiered works not only in the country but in Southeast Asia as well. They included “Minuetto Pasrorale,” “Symphony No. 3, The Great National,” and “Concerto in C-Major for Piano and Orchestra.”
Maestro Barbieri surged through the works with ease and sterling dispatch. Unmistakably, his gestures befitted an Italian master: virile, well defined and incisive.
The audience emitted gasps of admiration when the brand new Fazioli Grand Piano measuring some nine feet in length that CCP had recently acquired was moved in for the featured pianist Fermo Rocigno to play in the Clementi concerto.
Pianist and conductor forged quite a rapport to bring out the unstated elegance of Clementi’s work. The pianist played quite spontaneously, and was at home. As he struck his fingers to the keys, one savored the elegant, brilliant sound that the piano produced.
Fazioli pianos are handcrafted and only about a hundred are made every year. The piano is an invention of Paolo Fazioli, a pianist himself.
CCP president Raul M. Sunico, a concert pianist, stated in his message that the Fazioli piano is considered a “crown jewel of the keyboard artistry.”
Lyric Pianos is the authorized distributor of Fazioli pianos in the Philippines. Recently three of its piano tuners and technicians (Ignacio Tuason, Danny Lumibas and Armando Aniel) underwent a training- workshop given by Fazioli technical man Atilla Fekete on prep-up, tuning and adjustment, and proper care and maintenance of the piano.
At long last, after a long wait, the CCP has finally acquired a new concert grand piano that concert pianists can play on for the ultimate enjoyment of the concert habitués.