Ochanine, Tiu share spotlight/ Yatco conducts PPO March 6/ El Campeon to be launched

SUNDRY STROKES - The Philippine Star

“Shakespearean Delights”, based on the Bard’s works, proved more than just delightful with Maestro Olivier Ochanine wielding the baton over the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

Into the familiar “Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor” by Otto Nicolai, Ochanine infused freshness, vibrancy, that led the audience to feel it was listening to the music for the first time. Complementing and re-inforcing the energetic strings were the striking woodwinds and brasses, the added percussions bringing the charming selection to a sparkling close.

Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor was another familiar, oft-performed work exultantly played by world-class soloist Albert Tiu. In describing his interpretation, it would be difficult to avoid superlatives. With consummate technical command and sensitivity, he fused form and substance esthetically.

The cadenza in the first movement, allegro molto moderato, was replete with swift, rippling runs and mighty, magisterial chords. Tiu’s dazzling spirit and fire in the two allegro movements were an overwhelming contrast to the adagio’s filigree melodic lines. Soloist and conductor articulated the music in the closest, most eloquent coordination.

The audience listened to the enchanting incidental music of Mendelssohn’s Suite to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, to its gossamery, spontaneous, sprightly Scherzo and to the booming Wedding March heard the world over after the marriage rites are concluded.

Walton’s Suite from “Henry V” was characterized by Ochanine’s masterly control of dynamics, the long, extensive pianissimos, in varying degrees of softness, slowly rising to fortissimos, in increasing degrees of loudness ultimately exploding into thunderous tuttis. This amazing, superior treatment has given a distinctively dramatic quality to all Ochanine-conducted concerts.

Further in Walton’s Suite, there was the tremendous drive of the rhythms (and cross rhythms) in “Charge and Battle” and in the “Battle Song of Agincourt”. A musicologist has praised Walton’s blending of idea and style, his extraordinary craftsmanship and its inextricable unity — all of which Ochanine conveyed with brio.

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Calling classic music lovers and the many ardent admirers of Maestro Oscar C. Yatco: He will conduct the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra on March 6, 8 p.m. at the CCP Little Theater.

To celebrate the 200th year of Verdi and Wagner, the program will consist of Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture, Verdi’s Siciliani Overture and end with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 Op 74 in B Minor.

Yatco’s impressive credentials include a Teacher’s Diploma from the UP College of Music earned at 16, studies at Juilliard in NY and later at the State Academy of Music in Munich.

After Yatco stayed for only eight months in Mannheim, Wolfgang Wagner, grandson of the great composer Richard, invited him to be the concert master of the annual Bayreuth Festival devoted exclusively to Wagner’s works. As such, Yatco led 196 instrumentalists from Germany’s 60 major orchestras in three successive Festivals, then begged off from future ones.

“What will you do next?” the men from Mannheim asked Yatco, having marveled at his skill as concert master, violin soloist and conductor whose rendition of Mathis der Mahler led a reviewer to praise him for “confirming Hindemith’s musical power.”

Before Yatco’s last stint in Germany, as full professor for violin at the State College of Music in Hannover from 1979 to his recent retirement, he was conductor of the Manila Symphony Orchestra, introducing many classic composers to the audience, then played a major role in developing the emerging PPO with which he will have a home-coming concert on March 6.

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HE Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq is inviting Filipino hispanistas and Spanish filipinistas to the launching of Antonio Abad’s novel El Campeon on Tuesday, March 5, 4:30 p.m., at the Manny V. Pangilinan Center, Ateneo U.

Ambassador Domecq says that El Campeon is the third title in the Library of Hispano-Filipino Classics inaugurated in 2009 by the Instituto Cervantes to conserve and disseminate Filipino literature in Spanish. Abad’s novel is edited by Prof. Salvador Garcia of San Luis College in Mexico and Prof. Maria Luisa Young of Ateneo U.

Mr. Domecq adds: “Although El Campeon received the Commonwealth Literary Prize in 1940, it has never been re-published since, a circumstance making the present edition highly relevant today. El Campeon is a re-discovery of a hidden jewel of Filipino literature in Spanish in the 20th century.”

Two other books to be launched are the novel “Mabuhay!” by Marcial Lichauco and Carlos L. Quirino on March 9, 3 p.m. at the Henry Sy Hall, De la Salle U., and “A Renaissance Woman”, a collection of essays in honor of Dr. Lourdes Reyes Montinola on March 8, 3 p.m. at the FEU Administration Building.










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