The Phenomenal ‘Chino’ / Christmas concerts galore

SUNDRY STROKES - The Philippine Star

The solidly, firmly established technique of violinist Joaquin Maria “Chino” Gutierrez, a protégé and pupil of virtuoso Gilopez Kabayao, must have been already developed when he made his debut with orchestra in the CCP theater as a ten-year-old prodigy playing Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. Further, also at that age, Chino gave recitals of works by Bach, Mozart, Paganini and Sarasate, among others.

In this regard, Chino calls to mind the legendary Yehudi Menuhin who made his orchestral debut rendering Beethoven’s Concerto in New York’s Carnegie Hall at age 11 (with Fritz Busch conducting), and whose first concerts began when he was eight.

Last Nov. 30, Chino gave a recital at F. Santiago Hall with pianist Corazon Pineda Kabayao as assisting artist. The event was titled “Revelry Live, Love, Dance,” obviously because the predominantly lively, spirited, propulsive program consisted mostly of dances: Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne with a Tarantella, Gavotte and Minuet, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance in E Minor, Dance of the Spirits in the third movement of the opening number, Ysaye’s Sonata, Wieniawski’s Polonaise Brillante in A Major, concluding with Ravel’s Tzigane, derived from the composer’s interest in the dancing Gypsies of Hungary.

In these compositions, Chino’s playing ranged from vivid and vibrant to furious and fiery, the tumult and turbulence of the finale, Ravel’s Tzigane, dazzling the audience as it imagined the gypsies whirling about in dizzying pace.

The opening Sonata in A Minor for solo violin, by Ysaye asserted early on Chino’s mastery of his instrument as well as his grasp of style — of form and content. These qualities were evident in the rest of the aforementioned works as well as in Franck’s Sonata in A Major.

Rizal’s La Deportacion, transcribed by Gilopez Kabayao informed listeners that the national hero’s genius included his little-known talent for composition. La Deportacion is a lovely lyrical kundiman.

Throughout the recital, Chino’s tones varied from full and rich to exquisitely filigree. Intense, poetic feeling was conveyed by the cadenzas, melodic lines were rapturously rendered, ornamentations eloquently delineated. The violinist was alternately rhapsodic, particularly in Tzigane, and gently lyrical especially in the serenata from Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne.

Mrs. Kabayao lent her own distinction as a strikingly brilliant accompanist, matching Chino’s technical command in the most dauntingly florid passages, as well as his sensitivity in the flowing and fluid ones.

After thunderous applause, Chino responded with a composition by Bach, another by De Falla, this evoking the passionate spirit of Spain, and the native Paro-Parong Bukid.

Already, Chino is a phenomenal violinist. When he returns after further studies in Munich’s Academy of Music, what further raves he will garner.

Addendum: My review of The Nutcracker ballet inadvertently omitted mention of Marcus Tolentino who vividly portrayed Drosselmeyer, Masha’s uncle.

*      *      *

Charisse Chiudian, charming communications director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, sent invitations to the lighting of its Christmas tree and a concert held last Dec. 4. Francis Garchitorena, PR manager of Peninsula Hotel, extends an invitation to patrons and friends for the Pen’s 30th Christmas concert on Dec. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. Francis is particularly excited about the musical line-up: Lani Misalucha, Rachelle Gerodias, Jose Mari Chan, the Philippine Madrigal Singers and the PPO under Ruggero Barbieri.

Today, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m., “Come to the Stable,” a “celebration of music and Filipino artistry,” will be presented at the Ayala Museum.

“Viva Verdi,” a concert making the composer’s bicentennial, will be held at the CCP main theater, 7:30 p.m. Singers rendering Verdi arias will be an Italian tenor, a Spanish baritone and our own Andrew Fernando, Margarita Gianelli, Rachelle Gerodias, Ronan Ferrer, Thea Perez-Prosia, Nenen Espina and the Coro Tomasino.

On Dec. 12, the Manila Symphony Orchestra will play in a benefit concert “Music for Christ: A Christmas Festival” at the Santuario de San Jose Parish, Greenhills. To be rendered will be works of Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Ryan Cayabyab and Ariel Arambulo. Soloists will be Margarita Giannelli and Chito Soberano, with the St. Paul Manila U. Chorale.


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