This year, the compass of the festival turns its north towards the concept of duality. Is it probably the sheerest and the most appropriate definition of the world, captured in a single word. And if all phenomena are paired and equated by an antithetical correspondent, from the most mundane (warm/cold, day/night, up/down) to the most complex (reason/feeling, material/spiritual), how can music be different? From the multitude of dual harmonies , each of the four days of the festival will exhibit a different scenario.
On the 12thof September, the first day of the festival, we are going to be presented with a multi-layered challenge: the right – left hand fingers dyad magically mastered by Daniel Ciobanu confronting the Nordic agility of the highly experienced pianist and professor, Petras Geniušas; in other words, two pianos and two generations. They will be referencing the music-dance duality by performing the creations of the most important ballet music composers of the XX century – Ravel and Stravinski – while revealing their antagonistic styles. Daphnis and Chloe Suite No 2facing Rite of Springconjoin in a spectacular fusion of musical performance and choreography, video mapping and stage design. The opening concert takes place at Dacia Cinema which provides an auspicious location for our creative endeavour.
On Friday, 13thof September, the festival tackles on the most ardent and timeless artistic duality: classic versus modern. The entanglement is settled by placing the event on the street, in the middle of the city, facilitating therefore the reach to audience from both worlds. Two extraordinary pianists will cross their musical swords: the Italian Pietro Bonfilio, known to Neamt’s audience from the previous edition of the festival and the Israeli Omri Mor, a notorious jazzman and multiskilled artist. During Jeans Concert – Kabalevsky and Mor to come programme, our first artist tames the resounding tailed beast with a starter delivered by one of the most beloved modern Russian composers, Dimitri Kabalevski, while the second artist closes the evening with a sophisticated cocktail of a jazz jam session mixed with his own compositions.
On Saturday, the 14thof September, the festival’s temperature is expected to rise sharply with the old-new duality being tremendously boosted by staging a full jazz concert in the historic landscape of the Neamt Citadel. Jazz on the Rocks brings back Omri Mor, this time in a trio featuring the classical combination of piano, contrabass and drums. On the big stages all over the world, artists often present fusion concerts, mixing the classic and contemporary sounds and tonight’s show is no exception.
After three days of serious entertainment, the last day of Neamt Music Festival closes the cycle on Sunday, the 15thof September, bringing us back home in the familiar décor of Dacia Cimema. The evening dressed piano returns a la Grande. An impetuous flux of young people takes the stage to perform one of the most notorious piano duality in history whose dashing heroes are the two romantics: Chopin and Liszt. The Youth Romanian Orchestra, the most popular symphonic ensemble in Romania, conducted by rising star Gabriel Bebeșelea, will provide accompaniment for tonight’s concert. The musical interchange of power between the two genius virtuosi of the past is brought back to life by their similarly impressive successors: Charles Richard Hamelin from Canada, performing Chopin’s Concert no. 1, Alexander Ullman from UK performing the Liszt’s Concert no.1, Lukas Geniusas from Lituania, performing Chopin’s Concert no. 2 and Vitali Pisarenko from Rusia, performing Liszt’s Concert no. 2. A tour de force, a blast of sound and vital energy, a fancy ending with laureates of some of the greatest international competitions, will hopefully attract not only the protection, but also the elation of the ‘George Enescu’ Festival.