KATHIMERINI                     SUNDAY NOVEMBER 4th 2007



Inspired “Colours” for Edvard Grieg

Event dedicated to composer – Review by N. A. Dontas


The Orchestra of Colours continues dedicating thematic sections to a single topic and it presents composers who are “left aside” from their surroundings. During its most recent event, the Orchestra performed a lot of Edward Grieg’ s most important opus. This “overdose” of Grieg’ s plays – which was organized in commemoration of the composer’s death 100 years ago -  was fully compensated by the Orchestra’s unique performance, under the direction of Yang Yang. Yang Yang is a young Chinese music director, who won the first price at the International Competition “Dimitris Mitropoulos” in 2006.

            The concert took place in the Friends of Music Hall on the 18th of October. During the concert, the following were performed: Suite 1, that Grieg composed for Ipsen’s “Peer Gynt”, piano concert in A Mall, Ludvig Holberg Suite and 4 Norwegian Dances. Joachim Kjelsaas Kwetzinsky was the soloist. The young Norwegian piano soloist rendered all pieces of music with determination, great sound, generous lyricism and expression, ample virtuosity and feeling. He communicated romanticism’s passion and impetus, without having to turn to usual artificial and exaggerated effects. In that way, the young soloist managed to disentangle Grieg’s “language” from that of his contemporary Central-European composers, by indicating its characteristics: limpid, clear, with a calm lyricism which acts mercifully in relation to romanticism’s stormy feelings. The outcome convinced not only the audience, but the whole orchestra, especially since the latter one fully supported the soloist and his choices.


Special Tinctures


            The orchestra showed indeed its best face, in spite of the known difficulties it deals with. The contribution of its winds, woodwinds and brass stood out. However, what made a special impression were the great ensembles of stringed instruments, where romanticism’s music decisively depends on. Yang Yang was miraculous, as he directed the Orchestra with a high precision technique. Even from the first minute one could distinguish the well-defined organization of the Orchestra in an architectural form which had beginning, middle-part and an end and was separated in clear-cut subsections. The result was characterized by pliancy and movement. The four parts of Peer Gynt Suite formed special “stations” in one cohesive dramatic narration, while its of them had its won internal organization and sentimental temper. The young Chinese – who directed all pieces by heart! -  did not settle for generalized expressions, but he managed to create gradations and special, distinctive tinctures for every occasion: some for the “death of Åse”, others for the slow and epic parts of Holberg Suite. Yang’s performance truly lived up to “Dimitris Mitropoulos” Competition and its results.