Pianist Aries Caces gave a brilliant performance of two Russian piano concertos with Darrell Ang of Singapore conducting the Manila Symphony Orchestra in “An Evening of Russian Piano Concertos” at the Meralco Theater.
The concert was presented by the Henrietta Sydeco Tayengco-Limjoco Foundation and Joseph’s Uy Cultural Arts Events Organizer.
Caces displayed dazzling virtuosity expressed in dynamic pianism. Nikolai Medtner’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 50,” in fact, got its Manila premiere performance in the able hands of Caces.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor Op. 1” as revised in 1917 and the No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40, on the other hand, are less performed than his more preferred works, the No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 and the No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30.
Caces carved out lush tones as he struck big chords in the imposing cadenza that crowned the first movement. After a refreshing second movement, he was again on a fiery mood.
Young guest conductor Ang opened the concert with a festive rendition of Mikhael Glinka’s “Russlan and Ludmilla Overture.” He authoritatively wielded the baton and fostered utmost rapport between the musicians and the pianist.
Caces showed astounding stamina as he breezed through the concerto with sweeping dispatch.
At the end, the audience stood and gave the performers an ovation. Caces encored two heart-tugging pieces: Brahms’ “Intermezzo No. 2 in A Major” and Liszt’s transcription of Schumann’s “Widmung” to the audience’s delight! –CONTRIBUTED