Evening Concert—Pacho Flores and the ITG Festival Orchestra – International Trumpet Guild Report.
Before the concert began, ITG President Cathy Leach presented the Guild’s most prestigious award, the ITG Honorary Award, to Marie Speziale, who accepted the honor with a gracious speech. Conference Director Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski then introduced Pacho Flores and explained that the program was structured to progress from the Baroque era to the present and that Flores would be using a wide variety of Stomvi instruments displayed on a table on the left side of the stage.
Pacho Flores conducting while playing. ©International Trumpet Guild
Accompanied by the ITG Festival Orchestra, Flores conducted while performing, standing in the center of the strings. When he wasn’t playing, he turned around to face the orchestra and conduct in the usual manner. Most of the time, however, he led as a chamber musician, nodding and dancing to the beat while facing the audience, often directing with his right hand while continuing to play the trumpet. And did he ever play! Flores possesses a rare ability to perform absolutely anything in any style and on any horn (piccolo through flugelhorn and corno da caccia)—from memory, while conducting—with effortless mastery and peerless artistry. Pacho Flores embodies a level of virtuosity that borders on the supernatural.
Pacho Flores playing the ‘corno da caccia’. ©International Trumpet Guild
The program began with Efrain Oscher’s arrangement of Daquin’s Le Coucou with Pacho dazzling the audience on piccolo trumpet through a flurry of spinning sixteenth notes tossed off with impeccable élan. Switching to a corno da caccia (similar to a valved posthorn), he gave an unforgettable performance of the Neruda concerto. Replete with understated elegance, inventive cadenzas, and tasteful ornamentation, Flores entranced the audience with the seductive dark sound of the instrument.
Pacho introduced the next piece, Oscher’s Barroqueana Venezolana 2, by referring to his “little arsenal by Stomvi” as he moved three of the instruments to a padded piano bench next to him by the cello section. Written for Flores and designed to “combine Baroque music with Venezuelan elements,” the three movements featured playful piccolo pyrotechnics, a seductive serenade showcasing the low register of the four-valve Stomvi Titan flugelhorn, and a mixed-meter dance reminiscent of neoclassical Stravinsky. Flores returned to piccolo trumpet for an arrangement of the Aria from Villa-Lobos’ Bachiana Brasilena No. 5, which featured a soulful cantabile line over restless pizzicato strings. The Latin American set continued with arrangements of two Piazzolla pieces, Escualo and Invierno Porteno (a jazzy flugelhorn showcase), and two pieces composed by Flores—Morocota and Labios Vermelhos (a delightful samba). The final selection on the program was Oscher’s Soledad, which began with a poignant solo for the English horn, followed by increasingly elaborate variations from Flores, culminating in a blizzard of figuration leading to a final climax. The audience leapt to their feet in an immediate ovation, bringing Flores back for multiple bows until he agreed to play an encore, a tender ballad that he dedicated to ITG Honorary Award Winner Marie Speziale. When it was all over, he got down on one knee, blew her a kiss, and bowed like a gallant Knight of the Realm. (EK)
Face to face with Mozart. Hernández-Silva and the MFO.
Review – Alejandro Fernández for LA OPINIÓN from Málaga. Edgar Neville Hall. Paino: Emin Kiourktchyan. Program: W. A. Mozart: Piano Concerto n.19 in F Major, Kv.459; J. Brahms: Symphony nº.4 in e Minor, op. 98. Conductor: Manuel Hernández-Silva.
The end of the season is coming and the first of closing concerts correspond to the Cycle ‘In the Seafront’, what happens in the Edgar Neville Hall. With a younger profile audience than the main cycle in the Teatro Cervantes, maestro Hernández-Silva, Chief Conductor of the orchestra, proposed a meeting between Mozart and Brahms since the point of view of the evolution of the solo concert in the first composer, and the full development of the symphony in the other. Two key figures of the great repertoire and a young, still in training, musician Emin Kiourktchyan, with the freshness approach to the great Art in capitals. A serious program for a festive and celebrating evening.
The improvement of musical training in the region of Andalusia is already a fact in the concert halls. A new horizon is open that obligues to a right management of this flow of young musicians. Always sensitive to this reality, the Malaga Philharmonic lead by its Musical and Artistic Director Manuel Hernández-Silva, dedicates the Cycle ‘In the Seafront’ as a showcase and opportunity for young musicians as Emin Kiourktchyan to work together with a professional orchestra.
Kiourktchyan, next to fourteen years old, played the Piano Concerto Kv.459 by Mozart with rigor and skills of experienced soloist. He was perfect with the sound, articulation and phrasing, mature to understand the underlying sense of humour and with the necessary virtuosity, as behind the apparent jolliness, the score is a real expressive challenge. Hernández-Silva created the right conceptual environment to leave Kiourktchyan to free his talent and anergy..
If short ago it was Brahms’ 3rd Symphony, to close the last program of the In the Seafront cycle Hernández-Silva conducted a 4th Symphony based on the strong complicity between the baton and the musicians that so excellent results is obtaining. The big Brahms Symphony was built over the solvency of the woodwinds, with special mention of fagots, flutes and clarinets, and the sensuality of the strings. A perfect piece to check the actual state of the orchestra, and the conclusion is that Hernández-Silva has positioned the Malaga Philharmonic to an artistic level unconceivable short time ago.
After his concert in France wit the Orchestre de Cannes on next April the 21st at the Congress Hall of Antibes Juan-les-Pins under the baton of Benjamin Pionnier and with some of his classics like Concerto para corno de Caccia by Neruda, Aria from the Bachiana Brasileira nº 5 by Villalobos, Gypsy Airs by Sarasate and Winter in Buenos Aires by Piazzolla, Pacho Flores will record his third release for Deutsche Grammophon.
Between April the 30th and May the 3rd, Flores will lock himself together with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Christian Lindberg at the Stormen Concert Hall of Bodo, Norway, to record some outstanding trumpet concertos of the repertoire, together with one of the most interesting trumpet concerto of the modern times and some of Pacho Flores’s specialties (we will give more detailed information soon). Part of this repertoire will be played during an European Tour in November that will take place in venues like Bodo and Tromso Concert Halls, home venues of the Arctic Philharmonic; Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Salzburg Festspielhaus and, in Spain, the Auditorio Príncipe Felipe in Oviedo, Palau de la Música in Valencia and ADDA – Auditorio de la Diputación in Alicante.
Pacho Flores, commissions and premieres
Pacho Flores is also developing an ambitious project of shared commission to prominent composers as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg, whose premieres will take place all along the world during the next four seasons. First of the commissions, to Arturo Márquez, will be premiered in México, USA, Japan and Spain along the 18/19 season.
Besides this project of commissions Pacho Flores will also play the absolute premieres of other works by composers as Daniel Freiberg, Arturo Sandoval, Christian Lindberg and Efraín Oscher, in places like the Nederlands, Argentina, Spain and Germany, respectively, that add to other recent premieres as Cantos y Revueltas, by Pacho Flores himself, with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva on past January; the Trumpet Concerto by Giancarlo Castro with the Ulster Orchestra and Rafael Payare in February; or Preach, pour trompette et orchestre, by Alain Trudel, with the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval and Trudel himself at the baton, on past March.
Glorieuse trompette is the title that the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval gave to the debut concert of Pacho Flores in Canada, in which he will premiere Preach, pour trompette et orchestre by Alain Trudel. The program includes as well some of Flores’ warhorses as the Concerto for Corno da Caccia by J. B. G. Neruda, Soledad, by Efraín Oscher or Invierno Porteño (Winter in Buenos Aires) by Piazzolla, arranged by Oscher. This will be the third Flores’ absolute premiere in 2018, after his own Cantos y Revueltas with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and conductor Manuel Hernández-Silva in January and the Trumpet Concerto by Giancarlo Castro with the Ulster Orchestra and conductor Rafael Payare in February.
But the actually intense plan of premieres will begin with the 2018/19 season when the big project of shared commission will start. Determined to expand the range of trumpet repertoire, Pacho Flores is developing an ambitious project of commissions to prominent composers such Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher and Christian Lindberg. This is a four seasons long plan with orchestras from all over the world. First complete commission is to Arturo Márquez, and the scheduled premieres will be in Mexico (September 2018), USA (January 2019), Japan (May 2019) and Spain (August de 2019).
The other commissions are going forward with orchestras already committed in Spain, Mexico and USA again, as well as in Brazil and Puerto Rico. This project will have its culmination with two recordings for Flores’ label, Deutsche Grammophon, including all the new commissioned works. On next April Pacho Flores will record his third CD for the yellow label with Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and its Music Director Christian Lindberg, including the famous Haydn and Arutunian concertos, Christian Lindberg’s Akban Bunka, and arrangements of works by Pablo Sarasate, Astor Piazzolla and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Besides this large and demanding project, Flores will also premiere the new Christian Lindberg’s Double Concerto for trumpet and trombone in Spain in March, 2019, with trombone player Ximo Vicedo; and Arturo Sandoval’s Trumpet Concerto in Argentina in October, 2019.