The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) closed its current season at Cultural Center of the Philippines with a concert that displayed the “Fukumura touch,” that brilliant, silken symphonic tone that has become the hallmark of PPO’s Japanese music director and conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura.
Raymond de Leon, trumpet, was featured soloist.
At the outset, the PPO dished out a somber mood expressed with warm lyricism as the venerable maestro and the inspired musicians played Frederick Delius’ interlude, “The Walk to the Paradise Garden” from “A Village Romeo and Juliet.”
Virtuosity expressed both as a fusion of technical prowess and mature sentiment underscored the rendition of Joseph Haydn’s ever-popular “Trumpet Concerto in E flat major.” Here, the featured soloist, De Leon, and the PPO forged a powerful tandem. The soloist cut a magnetic presence and played without being a stunt. He made the trumpet—that brass instrument that is associated with the marching band—sing with full integrity.
In the audience were National Artist for Music Ramon Santos, new CCP chair Maria Margarita Moran-Floreindo, CCP president Arsenio Lizaso, artistic director Chris Millado, former CCP president Raul Sunico, who had made the program notes for the entire series of the concert season, and Spanish composer David Gomez Ramirez.
The PPO tacked the final number, Manuel de Falla’s complete ballet “El Sombrero de Tres Picos” (Three-cornered Hat), with stunning brilliance.
Soprano Cris Go of Philippine Opera Company briefly intoned a cappella an earthy passage in the introduction and again later as the music progressed. The dance form dominated the entire work, and the pulsating rhythm played with dynamic flair by the PPO enlisted the audience’s engaging listening.
The applause refused to die down. The good maestro, sensing the audience wanted an encore, went back on the podium and announced the encore piece, Geronimo Gimenez’s “Intermezzo from “La Boda de Luis Alonzo.” The rendition ended the PPO concert season with a flourish. —CONTRIBUTED