Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony, much less politics and extra poetry in Shostakovich | Culture | EUROtoday

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“It's like your arm is being twisted from behind, you have a knife in your back, and the attacker is saying, 'Smile.'” It looks as if a horror film, however it’s Mstislav Rostropovich's eloquent description of the coda that closes the Fifth Symphony, by Dmitri Shostakovich. Just a few phrases revealed in The Times, on February 4, 1982, at the beginning of a three-week European tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington (NSO). A tour which resulted in Spain, with performances organized by Ibermúsica on the Palau de la Música in Barcelona and on the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Forty-two years later historical past repeats itself, however now with Gianandrea Noseda on the rostrum. The Italian conductor launched into his first worldwide tour as head of the NSO in Barcelona, ​​on February 16, with a program targeted on Quinta by Shostakovich. And, after his presentation in Zaragoza, this Saturday the seventeenth, he’ll proceed with two performances on the National Auditorium in Madrid, on February 18 and 19. Then it’s going to head in the direction of Germany and can culminate, on the twenty sixth and twenty eighth, making its presentation at La Scala in Milan and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

The NSO returns to Spain, after eight years of absence. It is his fifth tour of our nation, since 1967, when he carried out on the II Music Festival of America and Spain. On the music stands, Shostakovich's symphony will alternate with Major in C by Schubert, which can solely be performed in Madrid. And the orchestra travels with two soloists, violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Seong-Jin Cho, who play concertos by Korngold and Beethoven, but in addition with composer Carlos Simon, whose concerto for orchestra Awake up! may be heard in virtually all performances.

Rostropovich directed, in February 1982, a model of the Quinta by Shostakovich “more loaded with beauty and tension than ever.” We can get an thought by listening to the recording he made with the NSO for Deutsche Grammophon, a number of months after the tour. An wonderful efficiency overtly influenced by Solomon Volkov's fraudulent memoir, Testimonyrevealed in 1979, and the place the composer supposedly acknowledges that the ultimate exultation of his Fifth Symphony It was compelled and created below threats.

The nice Russian cellist and conductor represented that false last euphoria by conducting a a lot slower and extra forceful coda. In reality, that is how the composer indicated it within the first version of the rating and that custom dates again to Yevgeny Mravinsky, the conductor who premiered the symphony in 1938, and even continues immediately with conductors corresponding to Vasili Petrenko. But there have been others, like Leonard Bernstein, who opted to direct that ending a lot quicker and that possibility additionally happy Shostakovich.

Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef with the first and second violins of the National Symphony, on February 17, 2024, in Zaragoza.
Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef with the primary and second violins of the National Symphony, on February 17, 2024, in Zaragoza.Zaragoza Auditorium

In his live performance on the Zaragoza Auditorium, final Saturday the seventeenth, Noseda opted for a much less political and rather more lyrical studying. And that superb finale, in D main, sounded extra structurally linked to the start of the ultimate motion, but in addition with much less chunk and depth. He was stunned to see the Italian conductor, who has already recorded the work with the London Symphony, so depending on a tiny Eulenburg paperback version. Perhaps because of this, the reasonable preliminary was not activated till the event the place the NSO confirmed off highly effective brass, though the primary violins arrived slightly late to the second theme. He allegretto It sounded considerably gradual and never very danceable, though the road tune with the violin solo performed by Nurit Bar-Josef was beautiful.

But all the things modified in largo which Noseda was the emotional core of the work and the perfect of your entire live performance. The NSO's break up string confirmed a really perfect physique for the opening chorale, however we additionally loved the exquisiteness of the flute and oboe soloists, respectively, Aaron Goldman and Nicholas Stoval. With a well-constructed climax that, as soon as dissipated, discovered its strategy to an ideally ghostly coda. The Italian conductor linked with the ultimate motion, the place he elevated the lyrical and peaceable central growth above the martial and warlike air that surrounds it.

There was no scarcity of ideas, after the ovations of the Zaragoza public. They began with a really perfect Nimrodof the Enigma Variations, by Elgar. They continued with a standard overture of The Marriage of Figaro, from Mozart. And there have been even shows of affection with the viewers, since Noseda has been performing within the Sala Mozart of the Zaragoza auditorium for nearly thirty years.

In the primary half, Hilary Hahn's intervention as soloist stood out within the Concerto for violin and orchestraby Erich Wolfgang Korngold. A post-romantic rating ready, in 1945, from scraps of soundtracks that he had written within the Thirties. The composer himself defined that the soloist of this composition, as lyrical as it’s virtuosic, ought to mix the items of a Caruso and a Paganini. The American violinist, who can be an excellent media star, was neither one nor the opposite, however her efficiency was distinctive.

It was tough to seek out the perfect quantity at the beginning of the reasonable noblewith that eloquent and superb theme of the movie one other daybreak, which the NSO performed in Technicolor. But Hahn then raised the romancewhich comes from Anthony Adverse, with beautiful phrasing and creativeness. And he contributed, within the cheerful, very energeticthat playful air filled with virtuosic flashes, which Korgold extracted from The Prince and the Pauper.

The violinist was very beneficiant with an viewers that adores her and performed two ideas. She ended up with an excellent jig of the Item no. 3, however first he addressed the viewers to elucidate his first tip. It was about Shards of Light (Fragment of Light), a composition for solo violin by Carlos Simon specifically written for this tour, and which he had premiered the day earlier than in Barcelona. A easy sound reflection in regards to the stimuli that encompass and encourage artists and that Hahn knew methods to narrate with admirable phrasing.

General view of the National Symphony concert, on February 17, 2024, in Zaragoza.
General view of the National Symphony live performance, on February 17, 2024, in Zaragoza.Zaragoza Auditorium

This African-American composer, 37, is at present in residence on the Kennedy Center, headquarters of the NSO. His concerto for orchestra entitled Awake up! (Wake up!), launched final October, is a pattern of the timbral and musical prospects of a symphony orchestra. Inspired by the poem Awake, Asleepby the Indian Rajendra Bhandari, the place he proposes that if society stays awake it is going to be harder for despots to lull them right into a false sense of safety.

The composition combines brutal metallic chords, in fortissimo, that appear to evoke the sound of the order that provides the work its title, with the engaging environment of movie music. In reality, this concerto for orchestra of about twenty minutes labored nicely as a portal to this system, combining many sounds near Korngold with the flexibility to deal with a double language of Shostakovich's symphony.

Regarding the latter, I like to recommend to the reader a powerful monograph that Oxford University Press has simply revealed in regards to the Quinta by Shostakovich. In it, the couple fashioned by Marina Frolova-Walker and Jonathan Walker present the advantages of realizing the associations of such a wealthy musical work, but in addition the issue of the simplifying narratives that we learn so usually in this system notes. And they finish with a really perfect phrase: “The Fifth Symphony “It's still an open book.”

Auditorium Great Concert Season

Works by Charles Simon, Erich Korngold & Dmitri Shostakovich. Hilary Hahn (violin). National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC). Gianandrea Noseda (route). Zaragoza Auditorium, 17 February.

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