This is the 7th time when Odesa invites the most famous musicians of Europe. And festival organizers have chosen the best ones.
Remarkable that festival has been significantly supported for two years by Odesa mayor Gennadiy Truhanov who, by the way, looked trendy on the festival opening ceremony.
But, first of all, this incredible music fest wouldn’t be possible to organize without ongoing support of all sponsors who share the idea of festival president Alexey Botvinov that music should sound, especially during tough time we are passing through now.
Although it seemed almost unreal, the organizers have managed to set the festival following all the instructions. Everyone in the theatre was wearing a mask.
The prominent French pianist Lucas Debargue was invited to perform during the opening ceremony, accompanied by National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine under conduction of Volodymyr Sirenko.
They performed Overture «La forza del destino» by Giuseppe Verdi in the first part of the concert. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and maestro Volodymyr Sirenko demonstrated an extraordinary performance of this famous masterpiece. The conductor found a perfect balance between all the instruments as well as ideal volume ratio in orchestra. The musicians of the orchestra as a whole harmoniously felt spirit and energy of the piece.
Next in program was Symphony No4 in A major, known as the «Italian Symphony», F. Mendelssohn. The «Italian Symphony» is widely represented in repertoires of many orchestras, however, the choice of this piece for the opening concert wasn’t the best strategy. After absolutely brilliant performance of overture, the emotional rate and drive decreased a bit. We need to point out it is not about performance itself but rather about selected repertoire.
In the second part of the concert Lucas Debargue joined the Orchestra. The audience greeted him a bit modestly, mostly because of this is his first time at the festival and they haven’t had an opportunity to enjoy his performance before. Despite Lucas is a young musician (he is 30), he has already gained a worldwide fame. It happened after participating in the International Tchaikovsky Competition, one of the most prestigious contests in the world. Next day after contest young pianist woke up famous. Remarkable that he had been preparing to the contest just for four years. Almost without any special musical education he easily entered Paris National Conservatory where he got a chance to make his dreams come true.
There is nothing elemental or demonic in his image, just strict classical calmness. His manners are restrained, his gaze is lowered until the first sound is born in the hall. And then the most exciting things start. It was totally striking to observe a transformation of the pianist. A few seconds earlier he almost seemed uncertain and then he suddenly dives into depths of musical fantasies. It gives us impression that sound for Lucas Debargue is a way to other world. He lives in it, he bathes in it and sometimes it even seems he forgets to breath.
Lucas Debargue is absolutely outstanding musician of new era. Every performance for any artist is a way to express their own inner discussion. Lucas Debargue’s dazzling communication allows us to see the pieces from a different point. His performance of the most popular Piano Concerto No23 by Mozart is magnificent and selected tempo makes the piece sound piercingly tender and open. And Scarlatti, whose music he performed as an encore, graced the spirit of improvisation, as if black and white photos became colored ones.
To sum up, we are sure this opening concert will remain forever in memories of all those people who were so lucky to enjoy a real Art.