On the opening day of the Festival in Opera House, its organizers were notified that Pietro de Maria’s concert, scheduled for the next day, must be relocated from the Philharmonic theatre. The news was shocking, to say the very least. But the Green theatre gave a helping hand.
Odessa Classics 2020 is going on against all odds, and the festival team is struggling for it 24 hours a day. All we have to do is to be a thankful and disciplined audience (keep wearing our face covering) and to send beams of hope for all plans to succeed.
For the second consecutive year, with the support of Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Kyiv, Italian Embassy, Ambassador of Italy to Ukraine Mr. Davide la Cecilia, Odessa Classics audience are lucky to welcome the Italian pianist Pietro de Maria.
Historically Odessa owes to Italy and Italians a lot: first of all, its architectural look (architects and sculptors infused unforgettable charm and unique atmosphere to our city), and also its music with old roots. From its first main building, City Theatre, where almost all the artists were Italians, to Italian street organ grinders, who played music by Verdi, Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, while wandering around the city all day long or entertaining habitués of wine cellars and taverns in the evenings.
Neapolitan song “O sole mio” is well-known throughout the world, but far from everyone knows that it was composed by Eduardo Di Capua during April 1898 while he was touring in our city with Italian orchestra.
Knowing about the tragedy in the family of Alexey Botvinov, whose father had passed away, Pietro de Maria expressed his sympathy to the family and dedicated his performance to the memory of sunny tenor Anatoliy Duda.
Pietro de Maria represents the modern aristocracy of piano school. He is the first Italian pianist to have played complete works by Frédéric Chopin in public concerts and recorded them at famous Decca Studio. So, it is hardly surprising that his repertoire often includes Chopin’s compositions.
And audience has possibility to enjoy the one and only style of performance of compositions by Polish composer. Language of the pianist is imbued with earnestness and seriousness, saturated with thinking power; he is skillful at embodying tragic characters, which are particularly emotionally distinctive.
In addition to Chopin, Pietro de Maria has also performed works by Tchaikovsky-Pletnev and Liszt.
Pletnev is known for his incredible commitment and love to the great Russian composer. Regarding their tandem, the first thought that crosses my mind is that Pletnev’s transcription is completely unlike all the others. Not hackneyed. He has so vivid and recognizable own style that it is impossible to make mistake.
“Speaking about Tchaikovsky it is difficult for me to single something out, he is such a complex personality. When I begin to work with a Tchaikovsky’s composition, whether its orchestra or piano version, every time I am impressed by the huge scale of images and characters he created. On the one hand, he is an immensely Russian composer, and he personally pointed it out in one of his letters; he wrote “I am Russian, Russian!” But at the same time, Tchaikovsky’s music is pan-European. It’s possible to apply to him the formula which Dostoevsky applied to Pushkin, Global Empathy”, Pletnev said.
It looks like Pietro prefers the transcriptions by Pletnev; I noticed rather vivid emotional atmosphere while he was performing “The Nutcracker”.
Last year we already had pleasure to hear the compositions by Franz Liszt, however it didn’t stop us from enjoying “La Campanella”. In the open air, among the trees, every bird was singing along with maestro, and they surely know what is what.