September 13th 2018 | Merano – Italy | Kursaal

On the 13th of September, the Youth Orchestra of Bahia started off the day with no engagements in particular, having a bit of free time to rest. After lunch, they headed to Merano, an italian city bordering Austria. It is a highly touristic city which also happens to be bilingual, the people there speaking both italian and german. The Youth Orchestra of Bahia had already played there once before, in 2014.

Rehearsal took place at the Kursaal (with the capacity to seat 1’060 people) from 18:00 to 19:30. The concert hall, which integrates the symbolic Kurhaus building, was built in the 19th century, at a time when it was recurrent for the city to receive visits from the Austrian nobility.

After having rehearsed a bit of Wagner, Gershwin and Guarnieri, the orchestra received Martha Argerich to practice for the only performance of Liszt’s Concerto n. 1 in the 2018 European Tour.

Then, after a small snack break, the concert started, around 20:30, with the overture of Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg, followed by Liszt’s concerto. As always, Argerich’s extraordinary performance left the public absolutely astonished and she had to return to the stage several times to respond to their long lasting ovation. She then performed the first piece of Schumann’s Kinderszenen op. 15 for an encore. Regarding Liszt’s concerto, it has the feature of having one of the first triangle solos of the repertoire, and Martha Argerich insisted that David Martins, the percussionist playing the triangle, seated next to her during the concert.

In the second half, the orchestra played their American programme, composed by Bernstein, Gershwin, Guarnieri, Revueltas and Marquez. But, just before the start, Ricardo Castro addressed the audience to explain the purpose of NEOJIBA, and revealed that the current Youth Orchestra of Bahia is mostly formed by the pupils of that former orchestra who perfomed there, at the Philharmonie, in 2016 — proving that the « multiplication method » really works.

The orchestra also played two encores as aknowledgement for the warm applause that ensued from the last piece of the programme. Many people from the public came close to the stage as soon as the concert had finished to congratulate our musicians.

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