LICAD AT CCP; GUITAR CONCERT AT AYALA MUSEUM FEB. 11

View From the Wing
LICAD AT CCP; GUITAR CONCERT AT AYALA MUSEUM FEB. 11
by Pablo A. Tariman

Trust Ms. Nedy Tantoco of the Rustan Group of companies to come up with a fool-proof fund-raising idea.

Pianist Cecile Licad and the PPO led by Olivier Ochanine during the triumphant curtain call at the CCP. Foolproof fundraising event. Photo: Kiko Cabuena

Pianist Cecile Licad and the PPO led by Olivier Ochanine during the triumphant curtain call at the CCP. Foolproof fundraising event. Photo: Kiko Cabuena

Noting the popularity of the grand Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor and the often-hummed Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Tantoco presented pianist Cecile Licad and the PPO for an evening of twin concertos to raise funds for the foreign tour of the national orchestra.

The concert surpassed everybody’s expectations as the theater was full, everybody who counted (and those who didn’t) were there. What was heartwarming was that the young musicians came in full force.

It looked as though all sectors of society were there but the most visible was concertgoers from the showbiz world represented by actor John Lloyd Cruz and the media world represented by editors and broadcasters lead by the equally popular Atom Araullo.

Opening with Rossini’s Overture to Italian in Algier, the Philippine Philharmonic under Olivier Ochanine was a highly energized orchestra Thursday night.

There was palpable rapport between soloist and orchestra in the Tchaikovsky concerto and it was all the more pronounced in the second movement.

As for Licad, she didn’t rely on the concerto’s popularity to make it work. On the whole, it looked as though she overhauled the entire concerto and gave it a new look and a new sound.

Indeed the two concertos were a grand introduction for the Hamburg Steinway grand that came all the way from New York.

Pianist Cecile Licad with new fan, actor John Lloyd Cruz, backstage at the CCP main theater with son, Otavio Meneses and the author. Photo: Jorge V. Sarmiento

Pianist Cecile Licad with new fan, actor John Lloyd Cruz, backstage at the CCP main theater with son, Otavio Meneses and the author. Photo: Jorge V. Sarmiento

The concerto’s andantino semplice movement was the most magical with soloist and conductor lovingly looking at each other and enjoying every moment. The cello part entranced.

By the time the audiences were all agog over the allegro vivace fireworks, the second movement had a sure place in the heart of perceptive music lovers.

As for Rach 2, there was no doubt Licad had the piece at the palm of her hand.

There was quiet but powerful sense of urgency in the first movement, a breath-taking and highly lyrical second movement and a jaw-dropping finale that had audiences from the orchestra and balcony sections rising as one for a rousing standing ovation.

She was the usual generous soloist giving three encores (Buencamino’s Lullaby, the popular Embraceable You and Gottschalk’sSouvenir d’Andalouisie) for which she got two more standing ovations.

Here’s hoping the concert raised enough funds for the PPO US tour in June this year.

* * *

The next guitar not to be missed is the February 11 (6:30 p.m.) concert called “Kundiman at Iba Pa” at the Ayala Museum.

Featured artists are classical guitarists Lester Demetillo, Ramoncito Carpio, Aaron Aguila, and Jordan Amaca with special guests soprano Stephanie Quintin, mezzo soprano Astarte Abraham, and clarinetist Nicole Tejedor.

Jose Logarta, head of the Philippine Art Ventures (iPav) told the Inquirer 2015 was an exciting year for the guitar community with well-received guitar festivals participated in by both local and international artists of note.

Participants in the February 11 guitar concert at the Ayala Museum. 2015 was a good year for the guitar community.

Participants in the February 11 guitar concert at the Ayala Museum. 2015 was a good year for the guitar community.

It was the year two Filipino guitarists won top prizes in international guitar competitions.
Aaron Aguila, won first prize in Jakarta and Aemilio Engingco, placed second and third in Malaysia and Hong Kong. The Triple Fret got the top prize in the Tokyo International Ensemble competition.

Hopefully guitar audiences will improve with iPav and the Department of Education joining forces to launch a classical music appreciation program.

For tickets to the February 11 guitar event, call
7598288 loc. 31 or 0917-8470763.

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