Chamber music festival dedicated to Shestakovich
Those who did not have time are late – dictated by the fourth wave of the pandemic, mercilessly closing festivals and other events, which took the organizers months and even years to prepare. In this sense, Voronezh Camerata was lucky – the chamber music festival managed to dodge a covid lockdown.
“If something is not difficult for me in life, I don’t undertake it,” said the great Mstislav Rostropovich. In order for the Voronezh Camerata to take place, its organizers had to overcome many obstacles. However, the one to whom the festival was dedicated overcame difficulties all his life – Dmitry Shostakovich became the main character of the music forum.
For the 115th anniversary of the composer in Voronezh, where he visited twice, the local Philharmonic has prepared a rich and sophisticated program, but another exacerbation of the epidemiological situation in the region has led to the closure of concert halls. Only with the help of incredible efforts and clear interaction of the head of the Department of Culture of the region Maria Mazur and artistic director of the Voronezh Philharmonic Society and Voronezh Camerata Irina Avraleva with the cultural institutions of the city, the festival took place, albeit in educational and theatrical spaces.
As a result, the opening took place in the Philharmonic Concert Hall, and six concerts, a lecture and a master class were held in the halls of the Rostropovich College, the Opera and Ballet Theater, in the Koltsov Drama, the Institute of Arts, in the Oldenburgskys’ palace complex and even on the roof under the dome of the center “Everest”. Such a variety of venues unexpectedly happened to the festival: each concert became an event that caused an emotional response from the audience.
A roll call with the Shostakovich era was arranged by musicians who would be glad to any hall in any of the capitals: pianists Andrei Korobeinikov and Mikhail Arkadiev, singer Vladimir Baikov, cellist Alexander Ramm, harpist and composer Alexander Boldachev, soloists of the Bolshoi Theater of Russia orchestra, to which Dmitry Prokofiev joined from the State String Quartet. Glinka, as well as the Moscow chamber orchestra Musica Viva under the direction of Alexander Rudin. Shostakovich’s music sounded in every concert, its worthy setting was the works of those whom Dmitry Dmitrievich loved, appreciated and performed – Mussorgsky, Britten, Sviridov and the little, alas, now-famous Gabriel Popov. There was an evening of octets performed by a unique ensemble consisting of Igor Tsinman (violin), Dmitry Novikov (violin), Olga Zhmaeva (viola), Pyotr Kondrashin (cello), Fyodor Beznosikov (violin), Mikhail Kovalkov (viola), Irina Chepyzhnaya (violin) and Dmitry Prokofiev (cello). Clavier-band of Andrei Korobeinikov, where the “Youth Suite” by Konstantin Makarov-Rakitin, a student of Nikolai Myaskovsky, was performed for the first time. And two completely different programs of the harpist and composer Alexander Boldachev, There was a meeting with a duet of great musicians who have a long history of cooperation – with bass-baritone Vladimir Baikov, who can increasingly be found on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, and Mikhail Arkadiev, who cannot be perceived otherwise as a “man of the Renaissance”.
It must be said that the musicians elegantly and organically combined the works of Shostakovich and Sviridov in one concert. There was an evening of Britten’s suites with the stunning Alexander Ramm, “the plenipotentiary ambassador of Britten’s suites in Russia”, which became a revelation for many. Britten dedicated the suites to his friend Mstislav Rostropovich. Rostropovich became the first performer not only of Britten’s suites, but also of Gavriil Popov’s Symphonic Aria for Cello and Orchestra (another premiere of Voronezh Camerata, which was performed by Alexander Rudin and Musica Viva on the closing day of the festival). That premiere took place in 1947, in the Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic, and exactly a year later Popov was declared a “formalist”, and his music disappeared for many years … Popov created “Symphonic Aria for Cello and Orchestra” in 1945 and dedicated to the memory of his friend, the writer Alexei Nikolaevich Tolstoy. “I didn’t know about this work until recently,” Alexander Rudin admitted. – I learned about him literally six or seven years ago. This is a very interesting period – the 20s of the last century. The work is worthy, undeservedly forgotten, sincere, strong, original. I played it for the first time today. ” While the maestro was soloing the cello, the orchestra was conducted by Leonid Kazakov.
Rudin included other rarely performed pieces in the concert program: Stravinsky’s Basel Concerto in D, transcriptions of Shostakovich’s preludes from cycle 24 (arranged by Grigory Korchmar) and B. Bartok’s divertissement for string orchestra. The final concert became the shock accent of the festival program. Musica Viva managed not only to recreate the context of the life and work of the great Shostakovich, but also to logically complete the idea that the creators of the forum laid in its concept.