Yuja Wang and Gustavo Gimeno in the San Sebastián Musical Fortnight

Yuja Wang

The great symphony orchestras and the best soloists on the current scene return this 2021 al Kursaal in a Musical fortnight that recovers the concerts with great formations after the last edition. The 82nd edition of the festival begins with one of the star concerts of this year: Yuja Wang's together with the Luxembourg Orchestra and its principal conductor, Gustavo Gimeno. The Chinese pianist, that for health reasons he had to cancel all his musical commitments in our country last season, returns to Spanish territory and does so by offering two unique concerts within the Musical Fortnight program. The days 1 Y 2 In August the Kursaal will host the Luxembourg group led by one of our most international directors: Gustavo Gimeno, that in addition to being its titular director since 2015, and as of this year it will also be the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In this edition of the Musical Fortnight, Gustavo Gimeno will also direct the Young Basque Country Orchestra (EGO), thus becoming the resident director of this edition.

The musical rapport between Yuja Wang and Gustavo Gimeno is widely recognized by critics and the public. During the last years, they have toured cities like Brussels, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Ljubljana, Dortmund, Vienna, Izmir, Istanbul or Athens with repertoires ranging from Mozartian classicism to Russian post-romanticism or the first avant-gardes of the 20th century. For this occasion, They have prepared two very different programs that allow us to appreciate the versatility that both the soloist and the symphonic group can offer.

The day 1 of August, the Musical Fortnight will open with a program dedicated to G. Ligeti, F. Flour y A. Dvorak in which we can enjoy that amalgam of sounds and realities that were forged since the middle of the s. XIX in Eastern Europe, and that saw their final development in the second avant-garde of the mid-s. XX. Ligeti's Romanian Concert, Liszt's First Piano Concerto and Dvorak's Eighth Symphony are clear examples of this confluence between cultures: the great forms of the classical repertoire assimilated musical and sound elements of a hitherto unknown popular tradition. The songs submerged in the depths of Transylvania, the mystical rhythms of Bohemia, without forgetting the Hungarian folklore so essential when it comes to understanding Liszt's virtuosity. all, comes together in a program that, by way of musical cartography, draws us the history of Europe with sounds and chords capable of transmuting thought into painting.

He 2 of August, Wang and Gimeno plunge into the jaws of Classicism to offer us two of the pieces that marked the history of music: the Piano Concerto No. 20 Mozart, and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. They say that it is impossible to understand Mozart's music without first having heard his operas. His Piano Concerto No. 20 hides the drama and insight of any aria of the king genre, but in which the main voice is given to the piano as the only soloist of this great opera. Something similar happens within the Fifth Symphony. For a long time, scholars wondered if that peculiar rhythm with which it began, simulated fate personified stalking Beethoven. An aura of mystery and uncertainty transformed this symphony into the great enigma to be deciphered, whose hidden messages are still a mystery to many intellectuals.

Photograph: Norbert_Kniat