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Triumphal spring

Triumphal spring

A review of Sara J. Trigueros

In 2005 Mihnea Ignat took up a conductor position at the University of Alicante’s Philharmonic Orchestra (OFUA). Since then, he has honoured all spring concert series and this year is not different. This time, apart from the OFUA, the pianist Silvan Negrutiu will be accompanying him to make up this musical team that will be playing a four-concert cycle.

As usual, the evening opened with the words of the Vice President for Culture, Carles Cortés, providing support for the Spanish Special Education Centre Alinur, to whom net proceedings from tickets sales will go. This was followed by some words of the Alinur Chairman, and soon after Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” was being played. The orchestra performed with the magnificent virtuosity of Silvan Negrutiu, although the wind section was rather poor compared to the other instruments.

Mihnea Ignat’s conduction in this first part was restrained, perhaps too austere, but offset by the expressiveness of the soloist, who pleased everyone, those on stage and also in the stands. Coordination between conductor and soloist was more than evident.Although the second movement of the three was the most acclaimed for the elegance in which such a subtle movement was played, in my view, however, the third movement would need to be outlined. With all its sections perfectly assembled, the orchestra superbly interacted with all the musical pieces introduced by the pianist Negrutiu. It could not be helped not to acclaim them at the end of the last chord.

“Danza de la moza donosa” by the Argentine Alberto Ginastera was the piece Silvan Negrutiu decided play before halftime. Negrutiu interpreted it with great beauty, although it was out of place in line with the spirit of the two main parts of the concert, composed a century earlier.

After the intermission, the concert resumed with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Although the instrumentation of the wind section was complete, their sound was overshadowed by the powerful volume of the string section. As already mentioned, the sound of the wind section was rather poor already in the first part of the concert and became much more evident in the second one, but without this being detrimental to the quality of interpretation and its final outcome. I would award the section on metals for its work, especially the trumpeter, who played with great vividness all passages in which he had a more important role.

On this occasion, Mihnea Ignat superbly conducted the orchestra, so that communication with the musicians could even be felt among those listening, which was truly magical. Once restraint was not present anymore, musicians turned magnified as well, especially the strings section, which competed in vitality with the woods and the metals sections in finding a sound that was able to go, as the piece demanded, from tragic to triumphant. The orchestra surprisingly less stood out in the second movement, which was more lyrical than the others. Instead, both the first and the third, as well as the fourth movement were great played, especially the last one, which had everyone on tenterhooks.

Unfortunately, and taking place in every concert, the little musical education we receive is increasingly noticeable, which is perfectly exemplified in the habit of heartily cheering before the work finishes (i.e. in between each of its movements). This is something we, the purists, have come to get used to with resignation. Regrettably, and I could see how this bothered more than one, this time also some people were cheering after a cadence in the fourth movement of the Tchaikovsky’s symphony, breaking the effect generated in the music. I would like to believe that by repeating this, we will get around this type of uncomfortable situations someday.

In any case, I think a general view has become clear: the University of Alicante could not have given a better welcome to spring. A great music selection and a high quality interpretation that, despite the youth of the members of OFUA, few faults were found.

Ludwig van Beethoven – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in E flat major “Emperor”, Op. 73.
Bis: Alberto Ginastera – “Danza de la moza donosa”
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.

Attached file: Ofua Alinur-2787IMG_3637

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