Patricia Pouchulu has long been an enterprising organizer of concert cycles, and in recent years has added a new career as a conductress. She did good work at the Museo de Bellas Artes, the Salón de Pasos Perdidos of the Congress, and especially in two activities of the institution she leads, La Bella Música: symphonic and choral-symphonic concerts, and for many years Premium Concerts at the Sofitel (four each season).
In 2016 the Sofitel experience is replaced by a longer one called Armonías at the Brick Hotel (just where the Caesar Park Hotel was, Posadas in front of Patio Bullrich) The venue is the First Floor Salón Cabildo, much bigger than those used at the Sofitel. Recently the Herald published the whole season (ten concerts, one each month)). The seats are comfortable and the acoustics satisfactory, just a trifle incisive. The splendid thing for Pouchulu is that the project has attracted a full house; may it continue in the same way.
The roof is much higher than at the Sofitel, and as there are many rows, the feeling is less intimate, more like a concert hall. As at Sofitel, champagne is served as you arrive, but the difference is after the concert: Sofitel included a catering and a chance to talk with the interpreters; here it ends like a normal concert, though you are suggested to try the Brick Ground Floor restaurant.
At Sofitel, Pouchulu presented the artists and the programme; here she only spoke briefly at the end, to thank the audience and announce the following date. Frankly you go to concerts to hear the music, not a talk, unless it is a didactic one, so this is an improvement. What hasn´t ameliorated is the hand programme, which offers in a single page the bare facts and with mistakes (they will be mentioned later).
The concert was billed as a Mozartian gala with Orchestra of La Bella Música conducted by Pouchulu. The programme was very pleasant, though quite short (barely an hour).
The Divertimento K.138 (three movements, as its companions K.136 and 137) is an amazing proof of early maturity (Mozart was 16). And hearing them together as we did, the ultrafamous "A Little Night Music" K.525 didn´t seem to be so different in style (it was wrongly listed as Little Night Serenade; it is Serenade Nº 13, called as stated above). Both are very often played and got clean, stylish versions from Pouchulu and the Orchestra, led by concertino Daniel Robuschi.
But the main interest was that jewel, the Concerto for flute and harp K.299 (it is a double concerto but the composer didn´t call it thus, so the word "Double" shouldn´t be in the programme). Written in 1778, it has strong influence of Mozart´s Parisian period, for at that time the French capital liked this sort of combination, and not only in Concerti but also in the Sinfonia Concertante genre, where there were always at least two soloists of diverse kinds (Mozart wrote two). It is an exquisite score, one of the most beautiful and serene he ever produced, and not only gives precious material to both flute and harp but also to an orchestra enriched by gratifying moments for oboes and horns.
Hugo Regis (flute) and Tiziana Todorov (harp) are fine members of different generations of the Teatro Argentino Orchestra. Regis, veteran member, is still a musical and expressive player. And Todorov a tasteful and accurate young artist. Very well accompanied by the Orchestra and with reasonable cadenzas, they all rounded off a successful evening.
For Buenos Aires Herald