lunes, julio 11, 2016

The Usina del Arte and the ambulatory Philharmonic


            The very mixed record of Darío Lopérfido as the Colón´s Artistic Director does have some good points. One of them involved Lopérfido as the city´s Minister of Culture: he programmed at the Usina del Arte eleven concerts of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and seven of the Colón´s Resident (Estable) Orchestra, and with different repertoire from that heard at the Colón. Thus he filled the gaps on the calendar of both organisms, too often unoccupied at their mother institution.

            But of course, as he  as Minister named Marcelo Panozzo as Director of the Usina del Arte, it stands to reason that the latter had to honor the dates announced by the Colón already in March, in the book that contains the whole 2016 activities of the Colón either there or elsewhere. But recently the Usina wasn´t the venue of two of those concerts: the third of the series, with conductor Andrés Tolcachir and violinist Xavier Inchausti, was derived to the Coliseo. The fourth did take place at the Usina and I attended it: conductor Roberto Paternostro and pianist Paula Peluso. However, the fifth, where Paternostro presented fragments of Johannn Strauss II´s "The Bat" ("Die Fledermaus") with talented youngsters from the Colón´s Institute of Art,  happened at the Auditorio de Belgrano.

            There was no explanation either from the Usina or the Colón. And, as already explained in another article for the Herald, programming at the Usina is erratic, with no yearly plan, and announced only on Internet and quite late: one week before the first day of July the site for that month was still unavailable. Maybe there´s a sunny side: the Phil has been playing at four different venues in one month, so they had to adapt to different acoustics; and that´s the sort of flexibility that you need if you go on tour, so  this can be taken as training...

            But I can only ascribe to Lopérfido as erstwhile Minister the strange fact that reviewer´s tickets are provided by Festivales de Buenos Aires, a completely different institution that should have no interference in matters of the Usina. I asked for an explanation, I was given none. I don´t know what happens with the general audience.

            Now to Paternostro´s concert  at the Usina. You will probably remember that he was one of García Caffi´s conductors and he had the redoubtable task of leading the Colón Ring; quite apart from the essential wrongness of that venture, he proved an experienced Wagnerian with the stamina to last the 6½ hours of the compressed Ring and give sense to the music played by two consecutive orchestras.

            Well, his programme at the Usina needed an orchestra of moderate size and was based on the First Vienna School: Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. From the latter, the delightful "Rosamunde" Overture (in fact, that of the melodrama "Die Zauberharfe" –"The Magic Harp"). Mozart was represented by Piano Concerto Nº23, a perfect score of his mature style. And Haydn, by the peculiar Symphony Nº 100, called "Military" due to the enlarged percussion of the second movement (a unique case in his abundant production):

            Paternostro has an Italian surname but he is Viennese and he has imbibed the proper style from Swarowsky,Von Dohnányi and Von Karajan. However, he also follows recent trends: rather fast speeds and firm solid sound, leaving aside dainty wispiness. His phrasings are musical, the attacks and releases clear, and he knows how to maintain a living pulse. The Phil played well for him.  And Peluso is an accomplished classicist with very clean articulation; however, I missed a bit more accent and roundness to her tone.

For Buenos Aires Herald 

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