20 June 2017

The UdeC Theater was crowded for a 4th Symphony Concert focused on the works of Beethoven. In the last season, the Latvian pianist based in Chile, Armands Abols, had shown to be the owner of a magnificent sound and expresivity, offering a very accomplished performance of the Fifth Piano Concerto ‘Emperor’ by the Bonn genius with the Concepción Symphony and Chilean conductor Juan Pablo Izquierdo. On this occasion, the same performers tackled the lyrical Fourth Concerto. Although the inspired performance did not reach the technical perfection of the previous occasion, the audience applauded with enthusiasm and Abols responded playing an encore—the charming ‘Valse mélancolique’ by his compatriot, the romantic composer Emils Darzins.

The second part of the program started with “Árbol sin hojas” (“Leafless Tree”) by Andrés Maupoint, a composer from Santiago de Chile who has been awarded both in his country and in Europe. The touching sound landscape for string ensemble and tam-tam included prominent violin and clarinet solos which were played by Francisco Roa and Wladimir Jara, respectively.

The main work was Beethoven’s vast Third Symphony ‘Eroica’. The octogenarian maestro Izquierdo keeps his vitality intact, as he showed in his eloquent gestures and his version of the “Eroica”, which combined an extraordinary fluidity and “classical” clarity with an undoubtedly “romantic” fervour. In addition to the impeccable execution, the Concepción Symphony Orchestra showed an admirable ductility, faithfully following every phrasing and nuance suggested by Izquierdo’s expert hands in such a way that the demanding score shined with that same revolutionary power that amazed—or disturbed—its first listeners.