15 May 2017

Continuing a worthy tradition, the Concepción Symphony Orchestra celebrated the anniversary of the University of Concepción with concerts in several venues of the region. The program was conducted by renown Chilean maestro Francisco Rettig. With his secure gestural technique, he achieved an extraordinary nuance control and an exemplary playing from the orchestra in Weber’s overture to Der Freischütz and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, an extremely well-known piece which—in Müller-Berghaus’ brilliant arrangement—allow to attractively showcase the diverse sections of the orchestra, and the first clarinet, Vladimir Jara, in particular.

The main piece was Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, with Nathan Meltzer as the soloist. Expectations were high since this very young student of Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School had debuted in the last symphony season in Concepción with a spectacularly successful performance of Paganini’s First Concerto.

In the present occasion, the 16-year-old North American violinist tackled the most arduous passages of Tchaikovsky’s concerto with an astonishing skill; but what probably impressed the most in the first two movements was the tenderness he evoked in the most lyrical passages. The final movement, with its Cossack-dance rhythm, was overwhelming and unleashed an ovation that—on Saturday, in the crowded UdeC Theater—was responded with an unusual encore: the cadenza from the wonderful Poème by Ernest Chausson. In short: an unforgettable reunion with Nathan Meltzer that allows us to predict for him the most brilliant career and the most devoted affection of Concepción’s music community.