Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Music of Chopin and Moniuszko in Spanish performance

Culture/May 21, 2024

Extremely interesting was the performance of Spanish artists at the House of Culture in Santa Pola, organized by the Hispola Association and sponsored by Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Barcelona, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Poland's membership in the EU. After the official part, which to my generation resembled vividly a First May Day academy or on the occasion of some other national holiday during the communist period, (a discussion I will allow myself to skip silently), there was finally an "artistic part." A special attraction of the musical afternoon was a repertoire with music wrapped exclusively around the two "ambassadors" of Polish Romanticism - starring Fr. Chopin and St. Moniuszko, whose music, unfortunately, is not often featured on local concert stages. Therefore, the very the idea of artists: PEPI LLORET - soprano and GUILLERMO MONDEJAR - piano, promoting an unconventional selection of Polish repertoire, deserves special applause. The success of the afternoon was undoubtedly the audience, which filled the hall of the House of Culture tightly, while reacting warmly to the artists' performances.

The beginning of the concert was atmospheric. Pianist GUILLERMO MONDEJAR began the performance, performing Fr. Chopin's 3 Preludes, which he presented in an interesting manner, phrasing nicely and trying to successfully bring out musical nuances. Equally positive was the first "set" of PEPI LLORET, whose sweet and capable-sounding soprano impressed in Fr. Chopin's Four Songs. I must admit that I had fears that the concert would be a race of emotions against each other. In the end, there was a lot of very positive emotion, as Mondejar and Lloret are artists of great individuality and performance originality, which they proved with the rest in their subsequent interpretations. L so the pianist was heard in three Waltzes, a Nocturne and Chopin's Impromptu Fantasy. Mondejar is a pianist who undoubtedly feels Chopin's music, its aura and atmosphere, and, very importantly, is an artist who shows a big charismatic personality. Perhaps it's only a pity that we didn't hear Mazurkas and Polonaises - those typical Polish dances of Fr. Chopin. It is worth noting that it was a pleasure to listen to Ms. Mondejar in a supporting role accompanist Ms. Lloret.

The soprano, meanwhile, was admired in three opera excerpts by St. Moniuszko (Hanna's Aria from the opera "Haunted Manor") and in two arias from the opera "Halka". Pepi Lloret's voice is so naturally placed that one gets the impression of effortless, casual and graceful singing. At the same time, the phrasing is equally naturally shaped, subject to both the melody and the text. If we add the soprano's exposed dramatic fierceness to the assessment, we get a picture of a performance that is extremely positive, colorful and interesting at the same time.

The Spanish artists excelled in these show-stopping and reflective pieces, combining Spanish temperament with Polish soul. I will certainly remember the interpretations with an excellent sense of style and sound proportions offering at the same time a great deal of pleasant and sympathetic artistic experience, including the pianist's encore.
To sum up - a very successful concert, congratulations !!!

Author: Antoni Jakubowski - krytyk muzyczny


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