It's roundup time as 2006 draws to an end. I will attempt in this article to cover the things that somehow slipped through my fingers in earlier weeks. It's a personal selection by choice but also by necessity due to the intense concert activity of our city.
Solo singers: One seemed to me outstanding. Raúl Giménez sang at the Colón a splendid recital of mainly Argentine songs, beautifully accompanied by Andrés Máspero. Style, taste, fine vocal fettle and perfect diction gave lustre to some of our best songs, by Ginastera, López Buchardo, Guastavino and others. Soprano Graciela Oddone dealt with very difficult Handel ("Giulio Cesare") and Vivaldi ("Juditha Triumphans" and "
Choirs. There was an unexpected premiere recently: Jakub Jan Ryba's "Czech Christmas Mass": fresh, simple and pleasant Classicist music. The Coro Cantoría Lugano (Eduardo Vallejo), the Ensamble del Plata (Susana Frangi) and four well-known soloists (soprano Soledad de
Instrumentalists. French violinist Virginie Robilliard made an admirable debut at the Sofitel in their series of Soirées Musicales. Although due to an intoxication affecting pianist José Luis Juri the programme had to be changed, she gave a splendid account of herself, a true virtuoso with that rare quality of panache. The Bach Chaconne and two Paganini Caprices (this was the only composer that gave her some trouble) for solo violin preceded works transcribed for violin and piano from their originals with orchestra: Chausson's "Poem", Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo capriccioso and Ravel's "Tzigane". The Romantic encore was Elgar's "Salut d'amour". Several Midday Concerts at the Gran Rex allowed me to hear the debuts of valuable foreign artists. Ukrainian pianist Julia Bochovskaia showed great accomplishment in an intelligent programme where the main work was Brahms' Variations on a theme by Handel , precisely the composer whose Suite HWV 434 was heard at the start, chosen because its "Aria con variazioni" is the theme that inspired Brahms. In the middle, Beethoven's brilliant Sonata No.3. She ended with an encore, a knuckle-breaker of a piece: Schulz-Evler's paraphrase on Joh.Strauss II's "Blue Danube Waltz". The recital by Junko Ueno Garrett was of specialized interest: it was a panorama of Japanese composers, all tonal: K. Yamada, F. Hayasaka, Y. Nakada, H.Hayashi, T.Takemitsu (the best-known), and K.Hirai. The artist plays very well and she certainly gave its due to her compatriots' music. A French duo gave us a varied programme: Clara Cernat (violin) and Thérese Dussaut (piano) showed very professional qualities and fine ensemble in Mozart (Sonata K.379), the added Sarasate "Gypsy airs" (with a small false start at the beginning of the fast music), the premiere of a "Fugue-tango" by Thierry Huillet (the violinist's husband) and Schumann's First Sonata. With almost no publicity and a sparse audience, pianist Stefano Greco was presented by Allegretto at the Coliseo and he proved a very concentrated and intellectual artist of fine technical means. He played Handel (Suite No.2), Brahms (4 Ballads op.10) and Chopin (Sonata No.2). A warm welcome to a stunning duo of sister violinists: the Malkin Duo (Anat and Bracha), very well accompanied by María del Carmen Calleja, did a great programme at the Museo de Bellas Artes: Handel (op.2 No.9), Moszkowski (the agreeable Suite op.71), Prokofiev (Sonata for two violins), Shostakovich (three duets, really arrangements by Fortunatov on film scores) and Sarasate (Navarra), with the Handel/Halvorsen "Passacaglia" in which Bracha switched to viola. They have wonderful ease and give and take. Flutist Andrea Griminelli and guitarist Emanuele Segre gave a pleasant and rather light recital at the Coliseo for Nuova Harmonia. Though superficial in Bach, I liked them in Giuliani, Paganini and Villalobos.
Para el Buenos Aires Herald - January 07, 2007