Sold out and thunderous applause for the debut of the Bari International Music Festival. The voice of liquid gold of the soprano Sherezade Panthaki enchanted the audience

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Puglia – The very young instrumental and vocal cast of BIMF | Bari International Music Festival, Auditorium Vallisa (XIth century), Bari, Italy – Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello | Photogallery below

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by Enzo Garofalo

The BIMF | Bari International Music Festival, which debuted last night with concert named The Baroque Voice, the first of the series of five concerts planned until June, 7, managed to astonish and enchant the audience with a highly refined program and impeccable executions and all musicians was greeted with a burst of applause.

This first program was a tribute to the Baroque music that addressed to an heterogeneous public, praised drama, feelings, emotional expression and ornamentation, and made fully tangible its theatricality, as pointed by Patrick Campbell Jankowski of the Yale School of Music, who wrote the program notes. An ability to make emotions vibrate that is perfectly in line with the main theme of this year’s festival, Voces Intimae, those which express our deepest contact with the Music.

Along with the four artists again in Bari after the 2013 edition, as the violinist Dennis Kim, cellist Jonah Kim, and pianists Fernando Altamura and David Fung (at the harpsichord for the occasion), this concert has allowed us to discover new talents, starting with the Australian violinist Holly Piccoli, and the American violist Molly Carr, who stood out for the excellent control of their instruments, and the rare musical sensitivity. This year’s novelty was the presence of a singer, in the person of Sherezade Panthaki, whose voice was able to multiply the emotional meaning of the music. The soprano has literally enchanted the audience with her amazingly beauty voice of liquid gold. An artist who would be very interesting to see performing into a theater, in a larger context, to test her extraordinary potential, which can be projected far beyond the baroque repertoire. Her admirable art of producing the sounds with perfect technique and taste, the balance in the registers, the rich harmonics, the control in the agility and the brightness of the high-notes. Highly requested abroad, she is a true wonder we will certainly be hearing about in Italy. Yesterday’s concert saw her performing three beautiful arias by Handel: Tornami a vagheggiar from Alcina, Se pietà di me non senti from Giulio Cesare, Prophetic Raptures Swell My Breast from Joseph and his Brethren, followed by the concert-closing Gloria in Excelsis Deo in B flat, recently found into an archive and attributed to Handel, although it seems to be written by some master of the Neapolitan School.

Holly Piccoli and David Fung continued the homage to the Baroque music with a piece by the Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, described by the musicologist Charles Burney as “the greatest composer for violin of the seventeenth century”; the program featured his Rosary Sonata no. 2, rediscovered in ‘900 and now widely performed.

The central part of the evening has been devoted to the Baroque seen by a twentieth-century composer, the Russian Alfred Schnittke, and by a young and – as stated the very graceful Stefania Gianfrancesco during the pre-concert listening guide – appreciated US composer, Daniel Schlosberg. From Schlosberg, whose music is to me unknown as the media are still stingy about him, I would have honestly expected something different, like a piece truly representative of his apparent skills as a composer. Trill and Slow Gliss, yesterday presented in Bari as an European premiere, overlaps a prelude by Bach, performed repeatedly on the harpsichord by Fernando Altamura, and other sound effects played by two violins (Dennis Kim and Holly Piccoli) and a cello (Jonah Kim) , in an apparent and very convoluted dialogue between present and past. A different impact had the Suite in the old style of Alfred Schnittke, who creatively adopts the Baroque style, allowing himself to sudden and precisely pondered contemporary licenses.

The Festival is organized by Fernando Altamura (pianist – Executive Director), David Fung (pianist – Artistic Director) and Stefania Gianfrancesco (journalist and musician – Managing Director). Upcoming concerts: May 28, May 31, June 4, June 7, Church of Santa Teresa dei Maschi (4 via Lamberti, old town of Bari, near the Cathedral)

PHOTOGALLERY

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

BIMF primo concerto

Ph. © Ferruccio Cornicello – All rights reserved Feart ®

 
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