DANISH composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) lived half of his life in the 20th century. Consequently, he was open to its influences, particularly, its polytonalities and quick rhythmic changes.
These influences produced robust, virile and vital compositions such as his Symphony No. 3”Sinfonia Espansiva,” the opening number rendered by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Olivier Ochanine, at the CCP main theater.
Owing to congested traffic, I missed the first and second movements—Allegro Espansiva and Andante Pastorale—the latter featuring celebrated Danish singers Thomas Storm, baritone, and Denise Beck, soprano. The ensuing Allegretto un poco and Finale: Allegro evoked vigorous tonalities in solid orchestral textures which ended in a thunderous climax.
Followed the spritely Overture to ‘Maskarade’, gay and sparkling, being the prelude to a masquerade ball wherein a youthful pair fall in love only to discover that their parents had arranged the match all along!
The PPO under the masterful Ochanine sustained the light-hearted mood throughout, while the beautiful Beck charmed the audience as the playful maid Pernille flirting with the handsome Storm as the valet Henrik.
Both singers manifested vocal and dramatic intensity in Nielsen’s series of brief songs, delighting the audience with their frolicsome, driving spirit, Beck with her animated gestures.
Philip Faber’s “Shattered Song” in homage to Nielsen was interpreted with moving, eloquent sadness.
In sum, Maestro Ochanine hewed closely to the structure, tonalities, atonalities, dissonances and melodic changes as he introduced Nielsen to the audience most of whose members were listening to the composer’s music for the first time.
CCP’s A-Press-Citation Lunch
The Cultural Center of the Philippines organized a special gathering for friends and colleagues in print, broadcast and online media at CCP’s Silangan Hall. Billed as “A-Press-Ciation Lunch”, it is an annual CCP occasion, spearheaded by its Corporate Communications Division as a token of gratitude to press friends who have supported the Center through the years.
CCP’s officials led by president Dr. Raul Sunico, other department heads and division chiefs attended the event. Sunico thanked press members for their continued promotion of CCP’s artistic programs and projects. The emcee was Irene Obligacion-Rada, Corporate Communications Director and host of the classical music radio program Culture Carousel, over 98.7 DZFE-FM, the Master’s Touch.