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|Martin Turnovsky Review|
Gunma Symphony Orchestra 28th Tomo Subscription Concert
November 22, 2009
Kiryu-shi Shimin Bunka Kaikan Hall
by Shoko Minozaki
Martin Turnovsky conducted the Gunma Symphony Orchestra at its Tomo subscription concert for the same program he performed with the orchestra in the previous evening for its 459th subscription concert at its base, the Gunma Music Center. The 81-year old maestro, who is in his 11th season as the orchestra's principle guest conductor, brought out of the orchestra a well balanced, elegant performance. The audience enjoyed outstanding rendition of masterpieces.
The first half of the program was Dvorak's Cello Concerto. The soloist was Francis Gouton. The transparent overture by the orchestra heralded the timbre of the cello. Once he began playing, Gouton's exceptional perfection was apparent in his splendid fingering and supple vowing. His performance, which was firm, deep, wistful, and clear, possessed an overwhelming sense of presence. In the third movement, he played moving duo with the orchestra's concertmaster, Shintaro Osada
The second half of the program was Brahms's Symphony No. 4, which is known to be Maestro Turnovsky's favorite and specialty. In this work, he let the orchestra sing spontaneously in full massiveness and expressions, which was in contrast with the repressed sound of Dvorak's concerto. Each movement was presented with a distinctive character. The flute solo in the forth movement was exceptionally beautiful in the hall where wind instruments receive great resonance. The melancholic, still warm melodies were outstanding.
Overall, the evening's performances were beautifully organized and excellent.
Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra 258th Subscription Concert
November 14, 2009
Minato Mirai Hall
by Akira Koyama
The Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra invited two guest musicians for their 258th subscription concert --- the conductor Martin Turnovsky and the cello soloist Francis Gouton. The program consisted of Weber's overture to Oberon, Dvorak's Cello Concerto, and Martinu's Symphony No. 4. The evening had an auspicious start with Turnovsky's masterful interpretation of the overture to Oberon. The following piece, Dvorak, however, was a bit too abundant with fantasy. The conductor put a great sense of scale in the first movement from the outset. The theme was given more sophistication than a rustic flavor. The cello solo had abundant poetic beauty in its spontaneous singing. Its timbre was so beautiful as to be mesmerizing, and Gouton's techniques were exquisite. Especially, his phrasing sense was exceptional. Perhaps, that sense is inherited in the blood of French cellists. In the finale, Gouton displayed further virtuosity while perfectly interacting with the orchestra.
Turnovsky was particularly eloquent when he conducted Martinu. He exquisitely expressed this Czech symphony's overwhelming lyricism. While depicting the work's delicate musical structure, he built up dynamic sound filled with energy. In the third movement Largo, he let the strings and winds sing lyrically.
Local City Orchestras Festival 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sumida Triphony Hall, Tokyo
Martin Turnovsky / Gunma Symphony Orchestra
I have heard the Gunma Symphony Orchestra numerous times, but always under the baton of its former music director Ken Takaseki in the last dozen of years. Mainly due to my negligence, I never heard the orchestra with Martin Turnovsky, who was appointed its principal guest conductor in 1998. At last today, I heard him conducting the orchestra for the first time, and was deeply impressed by the superb performance of Debussy's La Mer.
Under the baton of Turnovsky, the music was filled with warm pleasant feelings, which are beyond description. It was completely opposite from the music of, for example, Salonen's smart, clear sound. Its sound was full of veiled ambiguities, which mysteriously evoked nostalgic feelings.
Particularly outstanding was the performance of the last half of the second piece "Play of the waves." Breathtaking tension mounted as the music elated, and resolved in ineffable relief. The performance eloquently explained to me why Turnovsky is enjoying enormous popularity and support from a certain group of music lovers. I cannot help looking forward to hearing his performance many times in the future.
The other two works, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Prokovief's third piano concerto, were also treated by substantial performance. The young Russian pianist, Jaroslava Pechocová, did a great job.
Of course, the Gunma Symphony Orchestra was wonderful. I have been impressed with the orchestra, since their days with Mr. Takaseki, because they maintain beautiful balance in the sound in spite of the awful acoustic of their home concert hall in Takasaki. Today, I reaffirmed the orchestra's high quality, hearing the beautiful strings, flute, trumpet and horn.
Translated by KCM
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