«One of the most essential points of my work and my main goal is giving spectators strong and unforgettable emotions, feeling of miracle that has happened once» – says Benjamin Yusupov.
Let us use this quote as a foreword because nothing else but a miracle has happened to us during the second Odessa Classics concert.
Not only were we able to enjoy the concert «Voices of Violin», which was the Ukrainian premiere, but also such absolutely marvelous pieces as «Hanukah» by Stankovich and Symphony No3 in C- major, Op.52 by Sibelius have been performed by National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conductor Volodymyr Sirenko. As we mentioned earlier, the orchestra sounds great, clear and emotive. During the second festival day we had an opportunity to make sure about this again. And, of course, we should point out perfectly selected repertoire.
«Hanukah» for orchestra, obviously, wasn’t a spontaneous choice, we may consider it as a compliment to composer and conductor Benjamin Yusupov, our honored guest from Israel, who joined the concert in its second part. Stankovich wrote the piece in 1992 and he had already had an experience of composing Jewish music for the film «Outcast», which is about Jewish refugee family who escaped occupied Kolomyia and found a shelter in the Ukrainian village and thus they got away the inevitable extermination…
After the virtuoso performance, Benjamin Yusupov, who listened to music with a great pleasure in the backstage in his own words, became interested in the score. He even asked for a manuscript in order to perform it with Haifa Orchestra in Israel.
The concert of Benjamin Yusupov «Voices of Violin» was performed after the intermission. This piece was written for Vadim Repin and here, in Odesa, it was performed by brilliant violinist Maria Solozobova.
This composition demonstrates how the same instrument, in this case it’s violin, can sound differently. The concert is divided into six parts: Early Music, Irish Fiddle Reels, Indian Raga, Muzica Lautareasca ( Gypsy music), Jazz Groove, Romantic Voice.
First of all, Benjamin Yusupov showed us his composer artistry. He managed to unite organically all six parts of different styles, thoroughly weaving them into the musical canvas, making it sound a single piece.
Despite the excellent orchestration, the voice of soloist Maria Solozobova wasn’t lost. As we’ve already mentioned, the concert was written for Vadim Repin, one of the most genius violinists in the world. Therefore, only really high-level musician is able to perform this piece properly, demonstrating different techniques, styles, switching emotionally from one culture to another. But, as Benjamin Yusupov says, due to composers started writing more complex music it helped to raise the level of performance. As a prove, we were lucky to enjoy the magnificent play of the extraordinary virtuoso violinist from Switzerland Maria Solozobova.
The Benjamin Yusupov’s admiration of folklore music takes its origin in a distant past. In Tajikistan, where the composer comes from, he studied folklore of Pamir. And gradually he developed a special understanding of the deep aspects of music.According to the composer you may compare this knowledge with studying of language when it is usually hard to learn the first one but then it gets easier because you already know how it works.
Michael Guttman, a genius violinist and conductor as well as the most devoted friend of Odessa Classics festival, attended Philharmonic that night as a spectator. He, by the way, shared his thoughts about the concert «Voices of Violin» and hoped to play the concert one day.
However, the festival program didn’t finish in Philharmonic that night. The additional program started at 9 p.m. in Odesa Fine Arts Museum. Unfortunately, there were less seats than those who wanted to attend the event where Olena Andreychikova was reading her new play «Manifesto» accompanied by Alexey Petukhov. The atmospheric candlelight evening was held among artworks of famous avant-garde artists.
«Manifesto» is a monologue of a confused woman where the most painful issues are revealed. It’s about loneliness, lost ideals, ruined hopes and dreams. But, still, despite all the pain and sadness, there is a saving irony.
« Are you aware of how it is hard to be a middle-aged woman? Of course, you have no idea. You’re a man. Yeah? However, if you’re a gay you might understand. We already have something in common. Being a gay is sad. Why do I think so? It’s just my opinion, that’s all. Do not tell me about tolerance. I am friends with gays. Do you know how many gay-friends I have? And, still, it’s my right to say that being a gay is sad. My point of view. That’s it. And, yes, in my stories everything is different. Everything is light and bright. But real life is absolutely different thing. Life is anguish. Don’t you agree? Could you please tell me, you disagree because you really disagree? Or it’s all just about contradicting me? I start suspecting. It seems you try to hurt me. No? Is it me? Is it because of saying that being a gay is sad? What if I say that being a middle-aged woman is sad. Won’t you argue? You will? Damn you! You’re just gobbling my firework!»