XVII International music festival
XVII International Festival of music by Johann Sebastian Bach “Bach and Music of Vienna” ended at Tver Philharmonic Society. Thirteen concerts of organ, piano, and chamber music were held in Tver during three weeks. Concert program of the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra “Russian Philharmonic” with its artistic director and soloist Maxim Fedotov and pianist Galina Petrova.
Lately it is the second meeting with the orchestra of Maxim Fedotov. In March he played at gala-concert of the Fist Russian Opera Festival named after Mussorgsky. Both these meeting were very pleasant. One of the first arrivals of the orchestra in Tver dates back to 2006 (since then Maxim Fedotov heads the orchestra). X Bach Festival was held there at that time. It was devoted to the subject “Bach – Mozart – Contemporaniety”. “Russian Philharmonic” jointly with the Mossovet Theatre and soloist of Tver Philharmonic Society Tatiana Skvortsova presented musical and dramatic action “Egmont” (based on a tragedy by Goethe, music by Beethoven) at one of the fourteen concerts. Tatiana Skvortsova played the part of Klarchen.
Concert program which ended XVII Bach Forum included seven compositions, and it began and finished with two overtures by Richard Wagner – to operas The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and Tannhauser. Perhaps chronologically it wasn’t quite right because the first opera was written seventeen years earlier than the second one, but dramatically it was brilliant. Furthermore the difference in the “age” of two operas was rather remarkable: seventeen years – seventeen festivals. Wagner remembered that he had felt depressed while writing overture to opera The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and it seemed like “far light phantom”. Nevertheless the composer managed to depict all nine opera motives about a knight Walter who won the singers competition because of the help of a shoemaker and a gifted singer Hans Zaks. Mastersingers are masters of singing. Playing this overture ,Maxim Fedotov and the orchestra he led showed themselves as absolute masters. Fedotov gave notice to musicians for them to play by bending fingers of the left hand. It was amazing during the First concerto in C Major by Beethoven , when Galina Petrova – who is second to none in her artistic charm – was a soloist. The pianist who absolutely fit the character of the composition was elegant and balanced – neither unnecessary gestures, nor intentional emotions and actor’s “artificiality”, if this word could be used about a musician. Galina Petrova’s play had such a degree of exactness that could only be in case of total mutual understanding between the conductor and the orchestra. Only then we can speak about full-fledged ensemble. Concerto by Beethoven impressed the audience so much that they didn’t let Galina Petrova leave the stage. A small piece she played an encore became the bonus the public lacked and continued communication with this wonderful pianist.
The second part of the concert was under the sign of overtures to operas and one operetta. However, it started with Bach – still he was the main hero of the festival and it was inadmissible to forget about him. Everyone was waiting for a moment, when Maxim Fedotov (foreign press calls him “Russian Paganini”) would not only conduct the orchestra, but take the violin in his hands. It happened in the second part of the program: maestro played a solo part in Concerto for violin and orchestra in A Minor by Bach. Actually the point is in the words “played a solo part”. The only thing to add – maestro managed not only to play, but also not to give any easings to his orchestra. Then the time of overtures came – Coriolan Overture by Beethoven, to opera The Freeshooter by Carl Maria Weber, to operetta Light Cavalry by Suppe and the final prologue to Tannhauser by Wagner. All power, lyricism and passion of the orchestra sounding was expressed playing these compositions. Most of all it was in Coriolan and especially in Tannhauser. This overture was executed in Tver not for the first time, but the range and monumentality of this composition cannot but attract people’s attention. Furthermore, it begins with the sounds that remind organ sounding. In the main part of the overture the orchestra led by conductor without apparent problems changes the mood – contentment turns into passion, from passion to unavoidable and so natural rises…
Such a rich program which the orchestra offered at the final concert of XVII Bach Music Festival to the public, however, didn’t cause any tiredness. Quite the contrary. Storm of applause by which the audience praised Galina Petrova, Maxim Fedotov, Moscow City Symphony Orchestra “Russian Philharmonic”, and the festival “J. S. Bach and Music of Vienna” indicated that fact.
Evgeny Petrenko (newspaper “Tver Life”, 07.04.2009)