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Once again on the “Pablo Casals” Festival

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 , ora 9.36

The festival ‘Pablo Casals’ was created 60 years ago by a subterfuge. Because the maestro won’t go to the world, the world must come to the maestro. More exactly at Prades, a village lost in the French-Spanish mountains, where great artists as Isaac Stern, David Oistrah or Yehudi Menuhin came to join the Spanish maestro.

From the very beginning, the festival produced exclusive passion for chamber music and friendship atmosphere, exchange of ideas and pedagogy. Today, there is also an academy where 100 young people come from everywhere to benefit from the advice of the greatest musicians: Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Olivier Charlier, Mihaela Martin or Michel Lethiec, the director of the festival.

Every day, the artists invited have concerts, in the most diverse music groups, in one of the jewelries of France: the Roman abbey Saint Michel of Cuxa.

In the evening of August 6th 2010, after the passionate interpretation of Trio no.1 of Schubert by pianist Itamar Golan, violinist Olivier Charlier and cello player Arto Noras, violinist Mihaela Martin lead artfully the octet of the composer for strings and winds. Each soloist was influenced by her energy and took over the music aims of the violinist with obvious pleasure. Supported by a sensitive and attentive cello and contrabass, the violins and the viola were in perfect symbiosis, and the wind instrumentalists imposed their touch with finesse.

The final effervescence was possible due to the mutual respect and admiration of each one’s excellence. This is the spirit of the ‘Pablo Casals’ Festival .

The concerto will be broadcast again on France Musique on September 28th 2010 at 21.00 (GMT + 2).

One of the major achievements of the Pablo Casals Festival is the ability of pleasing both its artists and its audience. The former are enjoying themselves with the exceptional musical meetings and intense sessions of cameral music. And the latter is permanently involved in the performance through the diversity of the programme and of the band, which can be admired in one night only.

For example, on Saturday, August 7th 2010, no less than five cameral groups formed by artists from all over the world- among who Gil Sharon, the violinist born in Romania - have performed at the festival. Starting with the transcription of A Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Debussy…where the proud and spontaneous flute of Jacques Zoon glided almost like a butterfly over the orchestra, the poetry of this rare transcription by Hans Eisler, continued with the unexpected association with a bassoon and an oboe accompanied on the piano, imagined by Francis Poulenc. The oboe player, Jean-Louis Capezzali and the bassoon player, Carlo Colombo, two refined musicians having an excellent technique, have been met with great success.

The same did the following harp performances by Isabelle Moretti. Within a work by Maurice Ravel, she has been accompanied by The Talich Quartet from The Czech Republic, which has perfected its sound and personality in order to protect its delicacy.

This wide range of musical works and instrumental association ended with Qurtet de Fauré, conducted by Olivier Charlier on the violin and Bruno Pasquier on the viola. The complicity of the two artists transformed music into conversation. Together with Jeremy Menuhin on the piano- the violinist’s son- and Ivan Monighetti on the violoncello, they proved how gentle but attractive Fauré’s music can be. The audience made the perfect choice: it was a wonderful evening.

Alexandra Diaconu
Translated by Cristina Mihaela Sandu, Andreea Velicu and Zenovia Popa
MA Students, MTTLC, Bucharest University