Review: Kremerata Baltica offers sophisticated new music with a humorous twist
With more than 40 years prior to the global public, Gidon Kremer is a familiar name on the planet of classical music, and his look in Calgary with his own group, the Kremerata Balitca, drew a substantial audience to the Jack Vocalist Auditorium Thursday to hear an unusual program of modern structures.
In his salad days, Kremer was known for his brilliant method, perfect execution, and zippy performances. Now 70 years of ages, Kremer has re-invented himself as the thinking-person’s violinist: a performer who explores, re-thinks, is not afraid of brand-new obstacles. No same-old, same-old for him.
The only thing that stayed the very same at this performance was the technical and musical execution, which appears undiminished with the passage of time. Even in today’s world, with lots of fine young violinists before the public, Kremer stays a model of technical polish, best tuning, and exquisite improvement.
Never ever requiring the tone, Kremer coaxed the most lovely noises from his instrument, and the spirit of grace and beauty is likewise part of the persona of the Kremerata Baltica, the group of (mostly) string gamers that he formed Twenty Years back which he currently leads. The program included 4 contemporary works, on the Desyatnikov plan of Piazzolla’s 4 Seasons familiar to audiences here.
The opening work was the Orpheus Suite by Philip Glass, a 1991 chamber opera on a libretto by Jean Cocteau, and likewise a popular early movie with music by Georges Auric. The music carried out appears to have been a string transcription of the four-movement suite from the opera made by Paul Barnes The boulevard temperament of the music, particularly in the first movement, harkening back to the world of 1920s Paris, provided a good sign of the temper of the first half, which was all minimalist in character.
Here and in the following Chiaroscuro, a transcription of a 2011 string quartet by Georgian author Giya Kancheli, there were long stretches of extremely slows music, played with haunting intensity and focus– the world of music in which the sound itself is the true focus, possibly more than the concepts themselves. It is a tribute to Kremer’s playing (and the Kremerata) that such music might hold the attention and might transport one into a “special place” mentally.
Musical reflections on the seasons can be found in numerous kinds, consisting of the most famous one by Vivaldi. There is a “Seasons” by Tchaikovsky too, a piano piece, just recently recorded by Pavel Kolnesnikov, the last-but-one Honens Competition winner. Playing by itself, with a significant solo for the first violin, the Kremerata Baltica carried out The Seasons Digest by Alexander Raskatov, a re-worked musical digest of Tchaikovsky’s work.
this was not just a musical sugar-lolli: the orchestra supplied much satirical remark around the edges, with a part for prepared piano, mini-trumpet, and cent whistle, with a considerable quantity of totally free improvisation for the entertainers. It all produce an amusing experience, leavened with sweet taste from the initial music, a sense of irony and enjoyable present at all times. Regardless of the irreverence of the scenario, the playing was spotless, the ensemble showing a remarkable skill for being together and expressive.
The final work was Astor Piazolla’s familiar Quatro Porteno in a variation for solo violin and strings by Leonid Desyatnikov. This version consists of not only the initial Piazzolla product, however inserts music by Vivaldi and Pachelbel. It is a clever plan and works well for the ensemble, which clearly enjoyed the pointed rhythms and tango style.
The were two repetitions, including an amusing plan of Happy Birthday, used this occasion since Feb. 9 was the opening show of the ensemble Twenty Years earlier. With a prominent leader and tradition, the Kremerata Baltica used a program of brand-new music with uncommon sophistication in its performance and much to believe about and take pleasure in.