The New Beethoven by Matei Varga
The two concerts of the Bucharest Philharmonic this week were artistically "patronized" by soprano Mariana Nicolesco, old friend and supporter of the invited artists: pianist Matei Varga, conductor Elio Boncompagni and musicologist and writer Paolo Isotta.
It's been 15 years since Matei Varga performed for the last time with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bucharest pianist, settled in New York, returned to the Romanian Athenaeum stage yesterday night, within the current season. The program chosen by conductor Elio Boncompagni was entirely with Beethoven pieces, comprising the Uvertura Leonora No.2, Concerto No.4 op.58 in G major for piano and orchestra and the 5th Symphony in C minor. It's not by chance that three of the chosen scores belong more or less to the same period of creation, being written by Beethoven around 1805.
The actual concert started after the short speech of the soprano Mariana Nicolesco, in which she lauded the personalities of the three guests and recalled the release of Paolo Isotta's book - Another song of Mars. The Song of Love. The volume appeared last year at Curtea Veche publishing house, but the author was also pesent for the autographs in the foyer of the Athenaeum.
The structure of the evening was the traditional one, opening up with Leonora 2, in fact the first attempt of Beethoven to preface his only work, Fidelio. As I was to find out later, Elio Boncompagni, aged 85, is a very temperamental orchestra leader that prefers smooth tempos and dynamic colors, which I would rather describe as being mate.
The concert is rerun today, on 18th of May, at the same hour-at 19.00 pm.
Translated by Georgiana Nuțu, MTTLC, An I;
Proofreading: Mihaela Ghițescu, MTTLC, An II