Saraza and Fukumura form a formidable tandem | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura--KIKO CABUENA
Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura--KIKO CABUENA
Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura–KIKO CABUENA

Under its principal conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura and in formidable tandem with its soloist, violinist Diomodes Saraza Jr., the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) greeted the New Year literally with a bang.

At the Cultural Center of the Philippine’s Main Theater, the PPO electrified the audience with the fifth series of its current concert season.

The PPO continues to mesmerize its listeners, savoring the brilliant yet subtle Fukumura touch. Under his baton, the PPO simply plays with elan.

The ability to play a piece in its original style is a plus factor that shows the PPO musically literate. The opening number, Mozart’s Symphony No. 28 in C Major, was simply stunning. Here the PPO played with such understated elegance that brought out the inherent classical style of the piece.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 was the highlight of the evening. The tandem of featured violinist Saraza, and maestro Fukumura was tight and powerful. Saraza was in top form. When the cadenza came, Saraza, displayed a formidable command that underscored his virtuosity.

Playing without any break (as the score indicates), Saraza tugged the audience’s heart with warm rendition of the second movement first etched by the orchestra. Here was his tender moment: He sang the melodious theme in the minor key which disclosed a well-tempered temperament.

One could not resist thinking of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aria “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” from the pop opera “Jesus Christ Superstar,” which shows much affinity with Mendelssohn’s haunting aria.

Saraza was back to his virtuosic form in the last movement. He essayed his passages brilliantly and, indeed, played without any letup. One’s attention was caught by the cello’s infectious playing of the counterpoint with the violin.

When the last note faded out of the brilliant coda, the audience broke into a tumultuous applause and shouts of “bravo” that obviously asked for an encore. Saraza quieted the audience with his masterful rendition of Ysaye’s “Violin Sonata No. 3.”

The audience savored more symphonic delights in Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” The PPO played the 14 variations with gusto. At the end came their thunderous applause that the venerable maestro quieted with the encore of “Variation No. 12,” which featured a cello soloist. —CONTRIBUTED

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