Concert Review from El Mundo

Concert Review from El Mundo





Concert in memory of Patrick Meadows: Kremlin Strings. Conductor: Misha Rachlevsky. Repertoire: Works by Schubert, Schoenberg, Schnauber and Tchaikovsky. Location: Son Marroig. Date: September 13.


(Translation by Nicole)

An elegy (Tchaikovsky) and a tango (Piazzola) crowned Misha Rachlevsky’s return to the Deià Festival in what turned out to be a very special evening in memory of Patrick Meadows – creator of the Festival – who passed away a few months ago. The truth is we missed a sign of affection such as this event, whose main instigators were the pianist Susan Bradbury and John Patrick, Meadow’s son. And this fond memory extended to Stephanie Sheppard, Patrick’s faithful companion in life and in the Deià Festival.

In 2016, the closing concert of the Music Festival in Deià, was performed by the Studium Aureum choir in memory of Stephanie Sheppard, who is buried only a few yards away from Saint John the Baptist.

Rachlevsky, an old attendant to the Deià rendezvous, came as conductor of the Kremlin Strings – the ultimate expression of his enthused dedication to string orchestras, initiated in the 80’s with the New American Chamber Orchestra. 14 musicians, young for the most part, followed his markedly expressive instructions very carefully. The program – intended to pay homage to Meadows – was formed of pieces that Rachlevsky and Meadows had shared together. The Russian conductor capped his homage with the interpretation of In memory of Henri Temianka, composed by the German-American composer Tom Schnauber at the end of the 90’s, a piece Patrick Meadows was particularly fond of.

But the culmination of this musical evening came at the end with the interpretation of the well-known Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky, with that spectacular first movement that was probably what lead the composer to wish for as many string instruments as possible. Here there were 7 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos and a double bass – enough to summon the intensity with which Misha Rachlevsky normally raises his baton.

The first part was dedicated to Schubert and an incipient and decisive Arnold Schoenberg, who had composed Transfigured Night for String Sextet, where he shows the beginning of the atonality that would subsequently be preponderant in his music.

The concert offered by the Kremlin Strings was not originally part of the XXXIX Deià Festival, but it was absolutely necessary. Meanwhile we look forward to more intensity in the references to Meadows during the next season. There was a moving recital of the words Meadows wrote in 2008, when he decided to cease directing the Festival. The sea horizon was beginning to fade.