Zubin Mehta arrives in Beijing with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino to play "passionate melodies"

NCPA June/22/2024
On June 21st, the world-renowned maestro Zubin Mehta arrived in Beijing and appeared at the NCPA Concert Hall with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. They performed classic masterpieces by Chopin and Dvorak, with romantic and nationalist musical sentiments presented in passionate melodies.

Zubin Mehta has shone with his talents for more than 60 years in the music scene, winning numerous awards. He has successively served as Music Director of many musical organisations, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Bayerische Staatsoper, etc., and conducted the Vienna New Year Concert for five times. On his current visit to China, Zubin Mehta performed with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.


Zubin Mehta is still full of vigour although he is already 88 years old. This time, he will spend three days giving amazing performances at the NCPA with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under his baton. In a group interview conducted on June 21st, Zubin Mehta said that during the rehearsals, he was very much looking forward to presenting music at the next concert. He can keep himself energetic, just because of his passion for music. It’s a source of strength for him. When it came to his ties with the NCPA, Mehta sighed with emotion and said that he must admit that he is most impressed by his effort in conducting the opera Aida at the NCPA. Wherever this opera is staged around the world, the NCPA version will always be most impressive to the maestro. Mehta feels sorry for his absence from the revival of the NCPA Aida last year. He said that he was in fact rarely sick, but he happened to be ill before Aida was presented on the stage last year. He promises he is well now. He has even planned to tour China next year with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and hopes he will be at his best to meet fans in Beijing all then.”


In the first half of the concert, Mehta and the orchestra performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor. This concerto is of both classical style and “virtuoso style”. The work exudes an air of something bright, passionate and faintly sentimental. The first movement is full of sorrowful sigh, second movement of beautiful sadness and third of distinctive Polish folk musical elements. All the three movements were interpreted as something exquisite under the young pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell’s fingertips. The rich colours hidden in the unique harmonic language of the work was also described fully in the dialogue between the pianist and the orchestra.




In the second half of the concert, Mehta presented Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor. Dvorak, a Czech born during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, spent all his life doing one thing - using music to justify his nation and speak for his motherland. Not so popular as Symphony No. 9, Symphony No. 7 represents Dvorak’s crowning achievements in terms of composing technique, virtuosity and musical content. The work was composed when the Czech nation was resisting a foreign enemy. Dvorak integrated his patriotic spirit into it, endowing the music with strong Slavic national feelings. Tragic heroism is very touching while the brilliant ending seems to declare victory over the rainstorm. Zubin Mehta sat at the podium, gesturing to give out precise, concise information. The Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino had shared with Zubin Mehta for so many years that they could act in perfect unison. The work was thus interpreted in a delicate, moving manner, exciting the audience quite a lot. After the concert, Mehta walked haltingly onto the stage in response to applause from the audience and gave an encore, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5.


On 22nd, Zubin Mehta and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will work with the German violinist Amira Abouzahra to play Beethoven’s only complete violin concerto, Violin Concerto in D Major, and his popular Symphony No. 7 in A Major to show what classical music looked like at its pinnacle. On 23rd, they will restage Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major.
RELATED PERFORMANCE

Zubin Mehta and Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Zubin Mehta and Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

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