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Letters to the Editor

Tribute to the Thomasian

The Philippine Star

At the “Tribute to the Thomasian” concert held in the CCP main theater, the Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, like most of Beethoven’s works, was unparalleled in its immensity, grandeur and sweep. Visiting Korean Jae Joon Lee expressed a large measure of these characteristics through the UST Symphony Orchestra with his dynamic, intense conducting sans score.

The first three movements were composed way ahead of the fourth, this having been added only after much delay. Thus, it did not seem tightly integrated with the earlier movements, and in fact, some conductors omit the choral part altogether.

Nevertheless, this ecstatic portion, interpreted by over a hundred voices consisting of the UST Singers under Fidel Calalang Jr. (once described abroad as “choir of the world”), the Coro Tomasino and the Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble, soared to a spiritual, empyrean realm. In its entirety, the Symphony No. 9 was a rare, ennobling experience. Outstanding soloists were the powerful Korean baritone Daesan No, Korean soprano Yun-Kyoung Yi, tenor Ronan Ferrer and mezzo-soprano Nenen Espina.

Manuel Maramba OSB, marking his golden jubilee, rendered Schumann’s Concerto in A minor with incredibly undiminished dexterity and nimbleness, stamina and brio. The opening allegro, a fantasia, was infused with astounding bravura, the runs and chords swift and sparkling. Fr. Maramba evoked the concerto’s over-all opulence and rhapsodic characteristics while underscoring its lyricism.

Schumann does not match Beethoven’s stature but in this Concerto, he very nearly does, with Maramba interpreting it with impressive brilliance. The encore, after the standing ovation and deafening applause, was Schumann’s Dedication.

The opening, Overture to the “Marriage of Figaro,” Mozart’s greatest opera, was a foreboding of musical beauty and dramatic fervor, with Lee exuberantly capturing their essence.

For the tremendous success of “Tribute to the Thomasian,” hearty congratulations to Fr. Jose Tinoko, rector, and not the least, to UST Conservatory dean and CCP president Raul Sunico.

CORO TOMASINO AND THE LITURGIKON VOCAL ENSEMBLE

D MINOR

DAESAN NO

FIDEL CALALANG JR.

JOSE TINOKO

MANUEL MARAMBA

MARAMBA

MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

SCHUMANN

SYMPHONY NO

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