International Incident in Berlin: of Joy!

I hope that all will have been introduced to the Concerts played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, live and recorded, available in your home. This is truly as wonderful a series of concerts as are the HD concerts of Opera available at your local movie theater.
But, for now, let me also mention several other important facts: The Berlin Philharmonic is one of the greatest Orchestras. And the sound of the orchestra in their incredible hall is brought directly to you in a quality that I have never experienced, actually superb. Not only is it a truly wonderful orchestra, but its technical presentations seem peerless.
If you have not experienced this orchestra and their concerts, you must avail yourselves of this special gift, available in your home, through your own systems, now.
The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra with
Christian Vásquez and
Sir Simon Rattle

“However precarious the social situation in Venezuela may be, ever since the founding of the music education programme El Sistema, there is still reason for hope for young musicians. Children and young people, particularly those from poor backgrounds, come together in orchestras which are unique worldwide, and throw themselves wholeheartedly into the classical repertoire. You can see their outstanding abilities and passion for yourself this Monday when the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra performs in Berlin, in a concert which we are broadcasting free of charge in the Digital Concert Hall.

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker have supported the Sistema, which was founded by José Antonio Abreu, for many years. After they brought the now internationally celebrated Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and its conductor Gustavo Dudamel to Berlin two years ago, this year it is the turn of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, named in honour of the Venezuelan pianist and composer Teresa Carreño. The orchestra is made up of over 200 young musicians between the ages of 14 and 19.

Sir Simon Rattle himself takes up the baton in a performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.”

I saw and heard this performance during the free period in the 24 hour period after the actual concert. It took a few attempts before I was able to identify myself to the system, but the effort was well worth this totally joyous occasion.
The Prokofiev 5th symphony in Bb was composed  in Russia in 1944. “Prokofiev gave out in a statement at the time that he intended it as “a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit.” He added “I cannot say that I1 deliberately chose this theme. It was born in me and clamoured for expression. The music matured within me. It filled my soul”.

“While it was years ago, this synphony, with its brilliant solos for the clarinet, and indeed all of the woodwinds needs to be known by every clarinetist. Certainly, I have played this piece with its many starring solos for years, ever since high school. It has become my favorite ontemporary symphony.

So my impression of this group of young musicians knows no end in compliments. They were wonderful. The first clarinetist played all of the many solos wit great skill and preparation, as did all of the other woodwinds. This is a symphony of great difficulty, which makes its performance by a group of teenagers quite incredible. Unforgettable, for me.

So here is advice. Try to get to experience this Prokoviev 5th. If not by the orchestra above, then , by any orchestra.

Certainly, in 1944, it was able to lift Prokoviev to a great height in the midst of the worst part of the war.

It is an unforgettable work. And so too are the musicians of this great youth orchestra in Venezuela. There is nothing that compares to it anywhere, at least to my knowledge. Or perhaps my enthusiasm is just an expression of thanks.

Music, is what it is all about.

keep practicing,and stay well



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