Malta International Music Festival united Malta and Armenia artists
Musicians of Malta and Armenia united at the Gala concert of the 6th Malta International Music Festival. Malta Philharmonic orchestra soloists –Rebecca Hall (flute), Brit Arend (harp), Etienne Cutajar (French horn) and London Symphony orchestra soloist Carmine Lauri (violin) performed together with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sergey Smbatyan, artistic Director and Honored artist of Republic of Armenia. The event was held at MCC’s Republic Hall in Valletta.
The concert program included cream de la creme of the classical repertoire – Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Horn Concerto No.1 in E-flat major of Richard Strauss and Violin Concerto No.1 in F-sharp minor of Henryk Wieniawski.
The unity of artists created an uncommon contrast of different styles of performance. Aristocratic West’s manner shown by the soloists has perfectly blended with temperamental East being represented by the orchestra. Soft roulades of flute and harp were contrasting with expressive calls of the strings. Restrained, natural solo of French horn – with powerful tutti. Melodious cantilena of the violin – with pathetic roaring of the winds.
The stylistic polarity inherent in the performance turned out to stay in line with the repertoire. The program itself consisted of a number of concertos, a genre that allows soloists and orchestra to compete. In this musical battle both “camps” performed on an equal footing, demonstrating their shining talents.
Brit Arend showed off with a number of gentle arpeggio and elegant pizzicato (it is to note that the harp part Mozart composed for his beloved student Marie-Louise-Philippina). Rebecca Hall pleased the audience with the matte timbre sounds in the middle register. Etienne Cutajar, like the first performer of the Strauss concerto Oscar Franz, demonstrated “hanging” high notes.
The climax of the concert, however, came with Carmine Lauri’s performance, whose interpretation of Wieniawski’s concerto combined filigree technique, soft velvet sound and intelligent manner of expression. Mro Lauri played Stradivarius violin.
The unusual “joint venture” of the Malta soloists and the Armenian State Symphony orchestra is an absolute success of the festival program. Despite their differences in spirits and performing styles, the musicians performed as one single instrument. Seeing this magic in action was a pure pleasure.