By Jaime García Elías
If the intention was to demonstrate that, after a restructuring process that has taken approximately two years, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (OFJ) is now fully developed into an adult orchestra, that objective has been achieved, and then some…
The first program of the third 2016 orchestra season (“Wonders of the Twentieth Century”), which premiered Thursday evening in the Palacio de la Cultura y la Comunicación (PALCCO), was challenging. No “potboilers” for the public here; the program in question, in addition to its audacity, implied a high level of difficulty for ensemble members, soloists, and director alike.
In addition to the extreme sonorities contemplated in the composers´ scores, the evening´s requirements also included fine attention to expressive detail in the many intense musical passages, intended by their composers to project sensations and emotions experienced in contact with nature: the pianissimos in the strings that provide a backdrop for the trilling birdsong in Respighi´s Pines of Rome, the meticulous orchestration demanded by Elgar´s ambitious Concerto for Violoncello in E Minor, Op. 85; the various “tours de force” included in The Rite of Spring, by Stravinsky, at the evening´s close.
The performances, by soloist William Molina-Cestari, principal cellist of the OFJ, as well as Marco Parisotto on the podium, were more than noteworthy: Molina-Cestari´s because it surpassed (with flying colors) every challenge posed by the unconventional score, overflowing with melancholy and abundant in virtuoso passages, from vertiginous scales that culminate in violin-like high notes, to the chilling pizzicati (so described by a musicologist) of the second movement, running the gamut in a display of mastery of the instrument; Parisotto´s because he has achieved an exceptional integration of the ensemble, as evidenced by the ample range of orchestral color exhibited in “Pines”, as well as the impeccable orchestral dialogues between the soloist and the ensemble’s various sections in the Concerto, and finally, his capacity to project (directing without baton in this case) the exuberant chromatic richness of “The Rite”, fully aware that even after more than a century past its premiere, this work continues to be difficult to conduct and diabolically difficult to execute.
The audience was relatively small, perhaps an indication that the Tapatío public continues to prefer its concerts on Fridays rather than Thursdays. The entire program will be repeated this Sunday, beginning at 12:30 PM, in the Teatro Degollado.
Review published in INFORMADOR, Saturday, October 8th, 2016, by Jaime García Elías firstname.lastname@example.org