Concierto Especial FIL
Now that Israel is this year's featured nation in the 2013Feria Internacional del Libro (International Book Fair, it seemed the perfect occasion for a collaboration between the FIL and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco for a special concert with Israeli guest artists and a repertoire--while not Israeli, very definitely Jewish, from beginning to end, presenting works by Leonard Bernstein, Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler..
A press conference for the Concierto Especial FIL 2013 was held this past Decmber 5th and featured the participation of Arturo Gómez Poulat, General Manager of the OFJ, Guest Conductor Avi Ostrowsky, and the Silver-Garburg Piano Duo (Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg). In addition to providing detailed information about the works to be performed, our guests offered their views on working with our orchestra on the execution of this program.
Arturo Gómez told us that he is delighted with the visit of Maestro Ostrowsky, a world-class director who has worked with the majority of the world's finest orchestras, including nearly all the professional orchestras of England. Even though Maestro Ostrowsky has visited Mexico on many occasions, this is the first time that he has been invited to conduct here in Guadalajara, the Perla Tapatía, and his first time with the OFJ..
The program, beginning with Bernstein's "Candide" overture, features the Guadalajara première of Felix Mendelssohn's concerto for two pianos in A-Flat Major, in which the solo role is played by the Silver-Garburg Duo. While Mozart is considered to be history's great child prodigy (and Maesto Ostrowsky was quick to affirm this) Gil Garbourg commented that, although Mozart began composing at a very early age, his real masterworks were all written after the age of 25, Mendelssohn, on the other hand, wrote this concerto at the age of 14 and it already shows the hallmarks of Mendelssohn's mature style.
Sivian Silver told us that in the time of its first performance, this concerto was the most difficult work that had ever been written for two pianos, in part because the great virtuoso pianist Ignaz Moscheles, friend to the Mendelssohn family, offered technical advice to young Felix. The complexity of the work goes beyond technical perfection, beyond perfect synchronization between the two piano soloists and between the soloists and the orchestra...in addition to all of this, "it needs to sound very light, like champagne." This concerto combines dramatic elements with a trasparent dialogue between pianos and orchestra, replete with intricate counterpoint that conveys this "champagne-like" lightness of texture.
In Mahler's Firsst Symphony, elements of traditional Jewish music are employed throught the work, and Maestro Ostrowsky pointed out that we can hear them in various motives and phrases. The sheeer majesty of this work, he says, was instrumental in convincing the Vienna Opera to invite Mahler as its artistic director in spite of its anti-Semitc policies--on condition that he convert to Christianity.
One might expect that a conductor who had worked with the world's greatest orchestras might be asked his opinion of the OFJ. For a moment the room was extremely quiet as the conference participants awaited Avi Ostrowsky's reply:
“…This is not the best orchestra in the world; we encounter orchestras that can play everything perfectly. Yet sometimes, in all their perfection, they are a little dry. This isn't the best orchestra in the world, and it isn't the second best, but what this orchestra has is a united effort to do the absolute best it can. They play better than their best, I ask them for more, and they give me more. They ask me exactly what I want, they give their all, and when they give more, then I am able to give more, too...and what we are able to achieve this way is sometimes much more important than being able to play everything perfectly."
In conclusion, Arturo Gómez Poulat expressed thanks to the Feria Internacional del Libro for including the OFJ in this grand event, and for inviting these three great musicians to share the Degollado stage with us.
As Maestro Ostrowsky says, "This promises to be a really wonderful concertl"
Bien dijo el Maestro Ostrowsky: “…Todo apunta a que este será un concierto maravilloso…””