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Drivetime - 9th March. 2012

Friday, 9 March 2012 , ora 11.31

Thames Chamber Orchestra at its Anniversary

Baroque music comes to life in the Anglican Church of Saint-Martin-in -the-Fields in London, on 15th March, 2012, within a festive occasion that facilitates the meeting between the public and the Thames Chamber Orchestra. The previously mentioned ensemble, which is considered to be one of the most prolific one in Great Britain, celebrates five decades of existence.

This is the reason why under the baton of conductor Keith Marshall, the Thames Chamber Orchestra members will play selections from a series of iconic chamber music and vocal symphonic opuses that were composed in the 17th century and the 18th century by Vivaldi, Händel, Purcell and Bach : Messiah Oratory and Concerto for two oboes and string orchestra by Georg Friedrich Händel, Chaconne in G minor for string orchestra by Henry Purcell, or Suite for orchestra in D major no.3 BWV 1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Christ`s College Choir from Cambridge will sing the vocal score along with the ensemble.

Keith Marshall, conductor of the Thames Chamber Orchestra, began his musical apprenticeship at the Caius College in Cambridge and then he attended The Royal Academy of Music in London. Before receiving the baton of the London ensemble - founded in 1962 by Michael Dobson - Keith Marshall performed as oboe soloist of this ensemble, and also being a member of famous orchestras in his motherland during the passing years.

Nowadays he conducts The Thames Chamber Orchestra on famous stages such as Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Albert in London, or at Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, or at Salzburg and Edinburgh festivals. He also conducts Andrew Lloyd Webber`s famous musical The Phantom of the Opera to the delights of the public in London.

Montserrat Figueras - real music lives forever

Voice of the late soprano Montserrat Figueras - who left this world in late November last year - can be still heard by listening to a double compact disc, which appeared on 20th February, under the label Harmonia Mundi, Recording Music Company. Named Montserrat Figueras.The Voice of Emotion, the album belongs to the series Alia Vox and gathers the most famous works, which were sung by Spanish artist in her career. Five of the 35 songs of this album can be also found on a compact disc, a musical portrait of the artist, released in 1990 under an eponymous title. Being recorded with violist Jordi Savall`s support - who is not only the coordinator of the Medieval music ensemble Hespèrion XXI, and a representative name in this particular musical domain, but who was also her husband and musical partner for 43 years - the album Montserrat Figueras.The Voice of Emotion is also a tribute and a proof that real music has to live forever, even if it resides in the collective memory.

Famous soprano, who would have turned 70 on 15th March, was born in Barcelona. Apart from studying singing technique, she also studied drama, but she became well-known as a singer of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. In 2003 soprano was made Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters and in 2008 she was awarded - altogether with Jordi Savall - Artist for Peace, within the Ambassadors of Goodwill Program, by UNESCO. Referring to the voice of soprano Monserrat Figueras, a journalist from The Independent in London wrote in October 2011 and described it 'as soft as silk, being in the same time strong and delicate that strikes above everything by its sonorous pureness.'

Loyko raises Gypsy music from Russia to the rank of universal art

As well as I previously referred to musicians and theatre enthusiasts I cannot, but bring into attention here violinist and singer Segey Erdenko, a representative of kletzmer, Russian and Gypsy music. Descendant of a family of musicians with a history of 300 years, Erdenko Sergey was born in Khabarovsk, the eastern Siberian region, in1958. He is the founder of a unique ensemble of a particular type of music in world music, known as Loyko and whose aim is 'to raise the Gypsy music from Russia to the rank of art, carrying it on the most important stages on the world.' The far-famed artists, violinist Artur Gorbenko and guitarist Michael Savichev are also members of the ensemble. We can easily understand that this dream is about to come true from the busy schedule of the band. On 27th March, the band will perform a Russian folk music concert at Caixa Forum in Madrid, a post-modern art gallery whose headquarter is situated in the centre of the Spanish capital.

Briefly, Loyko can be considered minions of the musical world, having guests in their concerts renowned names such as violinists Gidon Kremer and Stephane Grapelli, or sitarist Ravi Shankar. The ensemble discography includes no less than twelve albums that were released from 1993 to 2005. The concert they had in November last year, in Ottawa, was highly appreciated due to 'virtuosity, accuracy of intonation and spirit they shape the course of a large, traditional repertoire - although all the members are graduates of the Conservatory - managing to grasp the musical and emotional modulations that are specific to Gypsy music.'
Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Alinda-Gabriela Ivanov and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, Bucharest University