At 5 pm on the 18th, Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra’s’ Anthology Series IV-Mozart & Beethoven’ appeared on the stage at the Grand Theater at Gyeonggi Art Center. The Grand Hall, which was closed to the audience for six month due to the Corona 19 situation, opened for the first live performance since March. The performers greeted each other with bright smiles and the audience clapping.
As it was a long wait, the music was brighter and gave a deep message. The fourth program of the Anthology series was originally scheduled to perform Mahler Symphony No. 3, featuring a choir of 70 members, but instead Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss pieces will be performed to accommodate a smaller orchestra. Even with a smaller ensemble, the sound of music filled the grand theater. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 and Beethoven String Quartet No. 16 (orchestral version), which were completed by Mozart and Beethoven shortly before the end of their lives. The performance of pianist Lee Jin-sang was clear as if the notes had wings.
As the audience sits zigzag and music instead of people filled the empty spaces, the field of view widens. Since the concert hall was not crowded, I was able to concentrate more on the performers and enjoy the music properly.
One of the performance programs on this day, Beethoven String Quartet No. 16, the 4th movement reads ‘Muss es sein?’ and ‘Es muß sein.’. In an online interview conducted earlier, Massimo Zanetti said, “For me this question is,’Should it be music? Yes, it should be music.’ Music should be life.”
As he said, I hope that the day will come when you can freely cross the concert hall so that music can last and life can last.
The Gyeonggi Philharmonic performance seen at the concert hall was the first since Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which was performed last December. Music director Massimo Zanetti arrived in Korea on the 30th of June, went through a self-isolation period of 14 days, joined the orchestra on the 14th of July, and held a performance at the Seoul Arts Center following the previous day’s Gyeonggi Art Center performance.
The Gyeonggi Philharmonic has also performed online several times, but since it has been a long time to play face-to-face with the audience, I was a little worried that the performance would have become dull. Jinsang Lee’s Mozart was unique. The Orchestra, led by Zanetti, supported the soloist very naturally, so I thought that it was a performance that really fits the breath. The second piece was R Strauss’ Serenade for 13 wind instruments. All of the performers, except the contrabassoon player, stood and played, and although it was a short piece of about 10 minutes, it was very interesting because the tones of colorful woodwind instruments spread splendidly.
The center piece of the day was Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16, which was arranged in an orchestra version. Beethoven’s last string quartet.
I thought that the Strings session of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic on this day showed almost the best ensemble of the performances played since the corona crisis. The density of the ensemble was high and the sound was very solid but velvety, and I was surprised by the control and strength of the ensemble.
I don’t think we could expect this kind of performance by the Gyeonggi Philharmonic before the arrival of Massimo Zanetti as music director. The Gyeonggi Philharmonic was an ensemble that had little personal experience before the former conductor Seong Si-yeon that did not dare to show up and be compared to Seoul Philarmonic or KBS. However, since Zanetti’s appointment, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic seems to be growing remarkably. I think this is the result of the benefits of former president Jeong Jae-hoon of the Gyeonggi Art Center, who signed a contract with an outstanding conductor. Zanetti was initially known as a good opera conductor, but if you look at what he has shown since joining the Gyeonggi Philharmonic, I think he is a conductor who has excellent ability not only for opera, but also for classical repertoires such as Beethoven and Brahms. Last year, he signed a renewal contract with the Gyeonggi Philharmonic to extend his term, but if possible, I hope that Zanetti will continue to connect with the Gyeonggi Philharmonic.
In the future, I have a feeling that my favorite orchestra will become the Gyeonggi philharmonic.
Bomme – Naver