Dialogue on equal terms. Magnificent Bach at Svetlanov Hall.

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Music by J.S. Bach is of current interest at all times. Recent concert at Moscow International House of Music proved it. There was a sellout at Svetlanov Hall, that doesn’t always happen at world celebrities’ concerts.  But instrumental concertos by Bach performed by string section of “Russian Philharmonic” orchestra broke all conceivable records.

By all means, the key role was played by the soloists – artistic director of “Russian Philharmonic”, famous violinist Maxim Fedotov and his constant partner in chamber ensemble, pianist Galina Petrova who opened new edges of her talent. One more participant of the concert, young violinist Petr Fedotov (a pupil of the Central Music School, professor – Eduard Grach) appeared in Concerto in D Minor for two violins. We reveal a small secret: the public watched the unique parade of musical dynasty Fedotov-Petrova.

It looked so touching when Maxim turned the published music for Galina during F Minor and D Minor clavier concertos and even entrusted to the soloist orchestra conducting. The slow parts were marked by genuine spiritual unity, when inspired piano monologue was supported by string sallies. However, Maxim Fedotov managed to control the music every minute and corrected his musicians’ actions.

How did concertos by Bach sound in interpretation of these musicians? First of all, we mark reasonable decision of Maxim Fedotov to enlarge accompaniment regarding acoustic of Svetlanov Hall and its cubature not for chamber concerts. Such experiments have already taken place. So, such impressive rearguard of 7 contrabasses reminded the same experiments of Leopold Stokovsky.

As it appeared, the soloists first of all aspired to reproduce eminence and beauty of Bach’s musical ideas. “The Beautiful should be majestic” – such phrase may be an epigraph to this program. Violin concerto in E Major interpreted by Maxim Fedotov stuck in memory most of all. Freedom of phrasing, rich violin sounding, and delicate cooperation with the orchestra were amazing. The soloist is able to bear “long breath” which connects Bach monumental forms.

Petr Fedotov, whom we would like to mark separately, showed adult technique skills, understanding of Bach’s style, ensemble flexibility, artistic will, holding a dialogue with Maxim Fedotov as an equal. So, generation next embodied by the young musician looked brightand inspired optimism.
This program was held within the First Moscow International Arts Festival “Outstanding Russian Culture Workers to Diplomatic Missions in Russian Federation”. Judging by flowers, great ovations, and encores the audience was more than satisfied by artistic result. The accepted truth that music is able to overcome all borders and unite people was strongly proved one more time.

Inga Ponomareva
Newspaper “Kultura”, No 47, 2009

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