Striking classic concert marks MSO’s 88th year/ Salazar piano concert Feb 27
SUNDRY STROKES (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2014 - 12:00am

The printed program of the Manila Symphony Orchestra concert at the F. Santiago Hall to mark its 88th year describes Arturo Molina’s conducting as “instinctive, natural and intuitive yet precise, clear and authoritative.”

Through many past concerts, there is no reason to gainsay that description. Further, Molina has guided firmly, assuredly and, indeed, authoritatively the young, talented, energetic and extremely enthusiastic members of the MSO.

All the foregoing qualities of both the conductor and the orchestra members were manifested in their latest performance.

The concert opened with Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 in C Major. Its orchestration cannot be compared to the augmented, complex and extensive orchestrations of Wagner, Stravinsky, R. Strauss and other formidable latter-day composers. But as the father of the symphony, Haydn developed instrumentation to the fullest in his time. The MSO under Molina gave his Symphony a vibrant, joyful rendition.

Mozart, deemed “the greatest musical technician of all time,” proved he was so in the richness of ideas in his Sinfonia Concertante for Winds in E Flat Major. It was fascinating to hear the closest interaction, interplay, or musical dialogue among four excellent wind instrumentalists: Jayson Pagtakhan, oboe; Randolf Lopez, clarinet; Ariel Perez, bassoon; Celso de Leon Jr., horn. They not only played impeccably; they also appeared to hugely relish interpreting the Concertante as they expressed Mozart’s romantic leanings in the beautiful melodies and his fertile inventions. Conductor Molina and the soloists reflected genuine inspiration in their admirable rapport.

Analysts have written the following which I quote: “The history of music offers no experience comparable to that sense of an expanding universe afforded by the masterpieces of Beethoven. With the advent of his titanic presence, there is an abrupt break with the past that has few parallels in the entire history of music.”

Yet, among Beethoven’s nine symphonies, he was dissatisfied with Symphony No. 1 in C Major, MSO’s concluding number. As interpreted, the formally and heavily structured work bristled with life and spirit, a fitting finale.

The encore, however, Mozart’s Overture to his operatic masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro, was marked with even more vibrancy, more striking brio. From start to finish, the MSO’s feverish agitation under Molina’s baton, was an appropriate prelude to the opera itself. Applause thundered.

MSO’s executive director and associate conductor Jeffrey R. Solares gave explanatory remarks. At concert’s end MSO president Maan Hontiveros was requested to ascend the stage to acknowledge the hearty public response.

Belinda M. Salazar recital

In a recital billed as “An Evening of Romantic Piano Music,” this at the Sta. Isabel College auditorium, Belinda Ma. Salazar will render on Feb. 27, 6 p.m., Brahms’  Rhapsody in E flat Major, Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso Op. 4, Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 7, Schubert’s Impromptu No. 2 in E flat Major and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapso No. 6.

Salazar, after 20 years as a Franciscan religious missionary, returns to the concert stage with her concert marking the 150-year presence of the Daughters of Charity in the Philippines.

The pianist holds a master’s degree in the Performing Arts, Ethnomusicology and Theology.

A NAMCYA first prize winner, she was a recipient of a full scholarship from the Music Promotion Foundation of the Philippines. As such, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree major in piano from the PWU under the tutelage  of Milagros de Ocampo, Lucrecia R. Kasilag and Reynaldo Reyes.

Belinda has concertized locally and internationally, and conducted lecture-demonstrations on Philippine music in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China.

She has also won international awards for her multimedia works such as the 2005 Overall  Award for the Best Use of Audio Visual Media for Religious Education given by Multimedia International in Rome among several others.

Sponsors of the Salazar concert, which is free to the public, are headed by eminent lawyer Diana  Franco.

*      *      *

Ryan Uy’s piano recital at St. Cecilia’s Hall on Feb. 16 is at 4 p.m. Admission is likewise free.

 

AN EVENING OF ROMANTIC PIANO MUSIC ARIEL PEREZ ARTURO MOLINA BELINDA M BELINDA MA C MAJOR MOLINA SALAZAR SYMPHONY NO
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