Religious Music Week in Cuenca has already reached its 58 edition. More than enough for the consolidation of a festival time. But nevertheless, neither enthusiasm nor the environment can breathe a few years ago, despite the excellence of some of the performers who have been here in this edition. It is the case of the Latvian violinist, Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. They have interpreted works by the composer Arvo Pärt, honoree this year and was unable to attend due to poor health prevents him from traveling.
Arvo Pärt and Gidon Kremer have some things in common. Both were born in countries that were under the domination of the Soviet Union, Estonia and Latvia, respectively. And both endured the rigors of the Soviet regime, like so many artistic creators.
Pärt's early works were influenced by composers like Prokofiev, Shostakovich P. Bartel, and therefore very close to neoclassicism. He later became interested in dodecafonismo, Following, this time, his admired Schoenberg. But the work Pärt best known corresponds to his later years as a composer. After a deep personal crisis, Pärt felt the need to return to more traditional European music. He delved into ancient music and Gregorian chant. His style was then defined. It was completely away from any musical current created so far, but he got his compositions were made wildly popular. You manage to create atmospheres that are fully recognizable and framed in the deeper and spiritual European roots.
On the first day of the SMR, Part two works were interpreted. The first of them Frates (brothers), violin, string orchestra and percussion, one of the adaptations of his work done for his friend Part Gidon Kremer. Written under the technical, produced by self-Part, tintinnabuli (a bell), where resource use is minimal but the results are spectacular sound. It is characterized by the use of two types of voice, the first and second tone scale in diatonic, stepwise, which gives the play a slow tempo, full of spirituality that characterizes almost all his works. A calmness and composure as exquisitely recreates Kremer. Demonstrating a mastery of the instrument that rarely, to say no, you have the opportunity to listen.
The second of the works, known tabula rasa, It is one of the first compositions of Part after returning to the more traditional music.
The first movement, Ludus (game), He began with the solo violins duo formed by Kremer and Tatiana Grindenko leading interpretation sustained silence of the score of Part to higher levels of perfection. The second movement, qualified silence, is a canon in which the three sections, in which the strings are divided, They are evolving at different rates creating depth and texture to reach the atmosphere of recollection, stillness and silence that the composer raises. Only altered by the prepared piano chord.
The last work breaks with the sacrum style of the previous two and the overall context of the SMR. symphony No. 2 for strings op 30, Polish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, She was interpreted by the Kremerata Baltica. Unison never sounded so clean string. The performance quality of this musical ensemble, of the hand of Gidon Kremer, masterfully directed from the discretion of his genius, He would delight the public more knowledgeable and demanding. It is for this reason not understood that the Teatro Auditorio de Cuenca rozase just half its capacity. A situation that must be analyzed by those responsible. A festival like this, already established, although you should bet on a higher quality of interpreters throughout the week, and in an environment heritage of humanity as Cuenca, It should have greater institutional support and popular.
Photograph: Santiago Torralba / SMR