Sergey Dogadin and the Baltic mastery

Follow the Festival at the top of quality, projecting joys and surprises in each session of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. But the musical level of the small Baltic republics is not surprising, Lithuania in this case, whose Chamber Orchestra was up there with the Russian violinist Sergei Dogadin in the masterpiece that opened the programme: the poem Distant Light, by the Latvian Peteris Vasks, a Commissioned by the 1997 Salzburg Festival.

All the atmospheres and colors emitted by little more than twenty arches gave the best climate to the soloist's dreamy melodies and brave passages.

More than a concerto in three movements, it is a long symphonic poem with violin, whose exhausting part begins with pianissimo harmonics that unfold in three movements very concentrated in tonality.

This is indeed surprising in a contemporary work of remarkable originality in its dominant melancholy, contrasted with painful and tragic invocations of very complex virtuosity.

Dogadin's work is overwhelming in the creation of successive atmospheres and their poetic charge, as in the domain of the violin in exclamations, double strings, intercordal jumps, alternations of dynamic degrees, security of the mysterious pianissimo that never breaks and masterful mastery of the dangerous overtone harmonic, with which it is even allowed to trill. But, above all, the singable expressiveness of a piece of great beauty.

The orchestra alone then played the Concert for Bows by the very cinematographic Nino Rota. A more elaborate and less simple music than the soundtracks of the movies, but with nothing special in the creative plane. Excellent execution of a functional and depassé text.

Dogadin returned to the scene with the beautiful and highly popular Meditation from the opera Thais, a model for Massenet's elegant melodism. And he concluded the program with Sarasate's spectacular Gypsy Aires Op.20, a jewel of violin virtuosity.

The dense and enthusiastic applause of the public in all the endings earned two encores, the Andalusian Serenade by Sarasate himself and what I liked least about the whole program: a fast, gimmicky and confusing reading of the first movement of Winter in the Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The blur in the easiest.

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