While surfing the University of Padova website, I came across an ad for an event on “campus” (if you can call it a campus) for a concert — the last in a three part series — featuring “I Solisti Veneti” on Thursday night. The concert was going to be held in the Cortile Antico of the Palazzo Bo. However, I also had the choice of joining the other BU students at a film festival in Venice. Since the concert was featuring the works of Mozart, Rossini, Chopin, and variations/fantasies on famous operas, and it was free, this was the clear choice.
The poster said to arrive at the Palazzo Bo before 7pm, since seats where first come first serve. I’m glad I got there at 6:15pm, because some of my friends arrived at 6:45pm, and they couldn’t get in, since the line was out the door. Because rained, the concert was moved to the Aula Magna, which is a hall in the Palazzo reserved for official meetings and ceremonies. Needless to say, the hall was packed.
Overall, I extremely enjoyed the performance. The concert began with Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which I though was interpreted well, but I felt that the timbre of some of the violins was too stringy. In simpler terms, it seemed like the “Venetian Soloists” probably sound better individually, rather than in a chamber ensemble.
After that, though, I was completely blown away by Rossini’s Variazioni per clarinetto e archi su temi di Mosè in Egitto e de La Donna Del Lago. The clarinettist was quite the viruoso. First, he didn’t use any sheetmusic, and second, his technique was sophisticated, crisp, and clear. I also enjoyed how animated he was when he played. Normally, girating and performing music can be annoying, but he pulled it off.
The other soloists were great, featuring a piccolo player, a string bass player, and an oboeist. The oboe player ended the concert with a fantasy on La Traviata, which is one of my favorite Verdi operas.
At the beginning and end of the concert, the ensemble performed an anthem of sorts, which was uannounced and unknown to me. I later learned that it was the University of Padua’s alma mater, so to speak. More interesting, however, was the ceremoy at the end of the concert. Since the conductor of the Ensemble was, and still is, from Padova, he was awarded a mantle/robe from what looked like a fraternal order of sorts, but was more like the student government.
The moral of the story is that I am glad I went to the concert for two reasons: 1) Because the concert was amazing and free, and 2) Because I learned that the BU student who went to Venice only got to see one film at the festival at 10:30pm, and missed a train coming home. To make a long story short, they had to spend the night on the steps of the train station overnight until the first train home. #Winning