In the famous multidisciplinary show Silence of Sound by Alondra de la Parra, the director, the Babelsberg Film Orchestra and the clown Gabriela Muñoz create a piece that combines elements of music, theater and video. After the resounding success of the first tour in Mexico, Silence of Sound can be enjoyed for the first time in Germany on September 13, 2023 at the Admiralspalast in Berlin.
A sea of delicate lights sways in calm waves harmonizing perfectly with the music. Plankton particles glow underwater; Pink-scaled fish and other sea creatures move in schools guided by a silent protagonist: As in a luminous ballet, the clown directs the living currents… The orchestra plays “La Mer” by Debussy and from the beginning It is clear: This is not just a soundtrack, here image and sound go hand in hand and emerge as a whole.
Silence of Sound is a multi-sensory feast for the imagination. The scenic-symphonic project, which the director Alondra de la Parra developed together with the clown Gabriela Muñoz “Chula The Clown” and which de la Parradirects, was a resounding success in the native Mexico of both artists – almost 15,000 spectators attended the different screenings in four different cities during the fall of 2022. De la Parra and her team “create a new language,” wrote the newspaper El Norte, “ The audience laughed, cried, applauded and was moved by a story without words.” On September 13, 2023, Alondra de la Parra, Gabriela Muñoz “Chula The Clown” and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg will present Silence of Sound for the first time in Germany, at the Berlin Admiralspalast, city in which de la Parra has resided for 4 years.
Alondra de la Parra is excited to present this project in her city: “Silence of Sound was born from the need to convert the effect of music into something visual almost literally. In particular, symphonic pieces can generate great feelings in the audience, the brightest stories, the most intense emotions are revealed in the minds of the spectators. The audience is not passive, they are the narrators of these imaginative and personal stories. It is precisely this inspirational intoxication that we are trying to capture and inspire with this production. “I feel incredibly happy to be able to share this project in Germany, my second home.”
At the beginning of Silence of Sound, as its name reveals, there is silence. For years, De la Parra had been contemplating the idea of a stage concert in which she would address the audience in a different way – through an innovative concept in which, among other aspects, the orchestra would also become main characters. The first time De la Parra witnessed a performance by Chula the Clown, Gaby Muñoz immediately felt that, with her silent performance, Chula was the ideal partner for the project: “The orchestra and I work exclusively with sound, Gabriela only with Images. “We complement each other perfectly.” Together, director and clown wrote the story of a silent protagonist who gradually discovers, explores and develops her own creative potential with the help of music. Her companions are the instruments of the orchestra: The faithful oboe, the dedicated cello, and the reckless and seductive violin, accompany her until the end of the adventure of discovering herself.
The visual part is the responsibility of designer Mariona Omedes, who worked hand in hand with de la Parra to create large-scale video projections with a high aesthetic content. Drawing on the complex and tightly choreographed interplay of orchestral music, Omedes’ stunning imagery and Muñoz’s moving performance, Silence of Sound is presented as an artistically narrated dream sequence.
Despite its visual strength, Silence of Sound is anything but a superficial spectacle. De la Parra lets her personal experiences as an orchestra conductor flow into the narrative. She also chose challenging classical works for the project: “La Mer” by Debussy, the Third Symphony by Brahms… “The music of Silence of Sound draws on the great masterpieces of the canon and combines their movements of “an unusual way to create a kaleidoscope. Thanks to its repertoire, the performance is as suitable for connoisseurs of classical music as for people who have never heard this music.” In the end, what counts is the individual focus that the audience finds on what is being performed. “A visitor from Mexico said she saw many moments of her own life reflected on the stage. It’s the biggest compliment I can imagine for Silence of Sound. It’s exactly what we wanted to achieve.”
Gabriela Muñoz is also looking forward to the opportunity to move audiences with Silence of Sound: “I have been a performer and artist in Berlin for a long time and it makes me incredibly happy that we can now present this project to a German audience for the first time.”
The countdown continues for the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP 2023 and among the best of the best that this festival has to offer, there is a large group of Latin American artists who have brought to all corners of the world a sample of the talent that exists on our continent , whether in music, dance or performing arts. We present, in their own words, some of these outstanding artists who will meet at the Hotel Xcaret from June 29 to July 8 and they tell us why we should not miss this second edition.
GABY MUÑOZ “CHULA THE CLOWN”
“Alondra and I did the show The Silence of Sound with great success at the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP 2022. It makes me very happy to return to present one of my most special creations, since it was the first piece I created 13 years ago. This is a one-man show titled, Perhaps, perhaps… Quizas which I have been able to reach many places and many people. This year I am happy to return home, to Mexico, to present it in the incredible context of the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP 2023.
I am a Mexican artist, I live in Helsinki, but Mexico is my roots and my heart. All my creations carry something about my country, specifically, humor.
Perhaps, perhaps… Quizas It is a theater and clown show where I touch on many human dualities. Between love and heartbreak, hope and despair, Greta (the protagonist) tirelessly searches for someone else’s love and does so with the help of the audience, which makes it unrepeatable every night because the outcome depends on the game with the audience. Will he have luck that night? …Perhaps, perhaps… Quizas
PAAX is a unique experience that creates a new meeting point both between creators from different disciplines and with the audience. Its variety is what attracts me most, a program meticulously planned to truly be a celebration, a festivity in paradise and an experience that deeply touches the viewer and provokes all the senses.”
DANCER FROM THE JOFFREY BALLET OF CHICAGO
“My sister participated in the festival last year and Christopher Wheeldon promised to invite me to this second edition. Chris and I have known each other for a long time and have worked together many times. I am excited to be part of this festival because as a Mexican dancer I love performing in my native country and I am also excited to share the stage with incredible musicians and Alondra de la Parra.
I’m from mexico. Córdoba, Veracruz, is the place where I started dancing ballet, so it is always very special for me to come home and dance for the Mexican public.
At this festival I will dance with my colleagues from the Joffrey Ballet a new piece by Yoshihisa Arai in collaboration with composer Gili Schwarzman. I will also perform an excerpt from the ballet Anna Karenina by Yuri Possokhov with music by Ilya Demutsky with another Mexican dancer from the Joffrey Ballet, José Pablo Castro Cuevas.
The FESTIVAL PAAX GNP is an incredible opportunity to see talent from all over the world together on stage. “The hotel is incredible and you can enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Mexico in a world-class festival that is truly one of its kind.”
JOSÉ PABLO CASTRO CUEVAS
DANCER FROM THE JOFFREY BALLET OF CHICAGO
“The production of The Nutcracker from the Joffrey Ballet is choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, he came to the Joffrey to do some touch-ups and make sure the production looked good, so he personally invited me to be part of the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP during his visit to Chicago. What excites me most about participating in this edition is being able to represent Mexico, as well as having the opportunity to work with such incredible artists from all over the world, and of course meeting the one and only Alondra de la Parra, whom I have admired since I was a child.
I am Mexican, born and raised in Querétaro. I was lucky to grow up with a mother who admires the culture of our country, so we always traveled throughout the country exploring its different cultures, food, music. I always carry my country with me when I dance.
My participation in this edition of the Festival will be with a new creation by Yoshihisa Arai, former dancer at the Joffrey Ballet, with a new score by Gili Schwarzman. This is a quartet in which I will perform with three of my Joffrey colleagues (Anais, Alberto and Amanda). I will also perform the last pas de deux of “Anna Karenina” by Yuri Possokhov, together with Anais Bueno.
I would tell the public not to miss the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP 2023 as it is the perfect opportunity to experience art at its finest. It features incredible artists from around the world, as well as a great representation of what Mexico has to offer.”
“My arrival at the Festival PAAX GNP 2023 was at the invitation of my dear friend, Alondra de la Parra. We met many years ago, we played together many times in different situations, different countries and we have a very great friendship and musical complicity. She has invited me to be part of this beautiful festival.
I am very excited to have a festival with this versatility, with this very original programming, mixing not only concert music but also popular music. Inviting artists from different genres in an impressive program. So I am very happy to be able to be there, not only to play, to meet people, to see everything that is going to happen with this wonderful amount of people who will be at PAAX.
My relationship with Mexico is quite distant, but at the same time deep, because my dad, my family in general was always totally passionate about Mexican music. In the sixties and seventies there was a lot of cultural exchange, not only through music, but also with movies. I am from a province in the south of Brazil that borders Argentina and Uruguay, so I always had many Latin American references and of course Mexican culture also arrived. So I am deeply linked and feel very fond of Mexico.
On this occasion I will be playing a new work of mine at the FESTIVAL PAAX GNP 2023 that I composed for four hands with a great Brazilian composer and guitarist named Sergio Asat. Sergio is an incredible composer, a guitarist too, and we made this music called Concertante Islands, three movements. The first is a Brazilian island in the northeast of Brazil, with a bay. The second is an island in the Canary Islands, it is called La Graciosa, a quite romantic raft. And the third is a freshwater island, between rivers in Argentina, it is a milonga to close the three-movement concert.
I believe that the public cannot miss the Festival PAAX GNP 2023 because of the number of different aspects it has, and the concept of creating an orchestra of soloists. The excellence of the musicians, of course, and also for that meeting that is something unprecedented and promises to be something that will remain in the memory of all of us.”
“I am very excited to be part of this Festival because it gives me the possibility of bringing to our beloved Latin America a little of the work that I am mostly doing in Europe and other countries. Doing it alongside an artist of professional and human quality like Alondra, a Latin American pride, makes it even more beautiful.
Mexico has been a very important part of my development as a composer and artist. Just 10 years ago, in 2013, the Palacio de Bellas Artes programmed my “Suite Patagonia” and my “Concertango” as part of a chamber series and I went on a very intense tour with my ensemble, performing at the City Festival of Mexico, the MUNAL, the Ollin Yoliztli Hall, the IMER, the National Conservatory of Music, the UNAM, the Metropolitan Cathedral and so many more halls that I don’t remember.
That tour was a key moment for me personally. It gave me the confidence I needed to undertake everything I later did in Europe. Mexico was like a friend that encourages you to give your all and move forward, that tells you “Let’s go! You have to believe in yourself and do your best!”
At the Festival we will present my Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra. It is a work that I wrote in 2019 as a commission from the Argentine Embassy and the Berlin Secretariat of Culture. It was premiered that year at the Berlin Philharmonic with me as soloist alongside the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, in 2021, we recorded the CD “Nuevo Tango Concertos by Piazzolla and Massa”, which also includes this work. That album earned me several important nominations and a prize in Germany, so it is a work that I love very much.
I would tell the public to go to the Festival PAAX GNP 2023 because what Alondra has achieved is simply incredible. The greatest international artists, to see them you would have to take I don’t know how many planes and pursue them on tours through various countries. Instead, here they will all be together, and in a heavenly place! It is simply unbelievable.”
So now you know, you still have time to join an unparalleled experience, get your tickets at http://festivalpaaxgnp.com
With Stuttgart State Orchestra (Stuttgart State Orchestra), Alondra de la Parra will present on April 23 and 24 the German premiere of the Impossible Symphony of the Mexican composer Arturo Marquez. This piece commissioned by Maestra De la Parra was premiered during the first edition of the Festival PAAX GNP in 2022. The conductor, recognized for promoting Latin American music since the beginning of her career, is delighted to present this symphony to the public of her beloved Germany, where she currently resides.
In April, the impossible will happen in Stuttgart: the Impossible Symphony by Mexico’s most renowned contemporary composer, Arturo Márquez, will be heard for the first time on German soil. It is a piece that has at least two readings: a form of artistic expression and a social statement. In eight movements that, according to De la Parra, can and should also be understood as variations on a theme, Márquez explores climate change, resilience, gender equality, empathy, migration, controversy and utopia.
An (Im)possible Symphony
“The Impossible Symphony “Shows once again how limitless Arturo Márquez’s musical imagination is,” says Alondra de la Parra. “The way he addresses the big questions of our time here is absolutely stunning in its scope and quality. Taking the fifth movement, ‘Magicicada’, as an example, Márquez is inspired by the empathy shown by two species of cicadas that tune into each other’s life cycles to allow both species to thrive. He represents these two cicadas in the score with flute and double bass as they cohabit around each other until their lines meet on D, the only note they have in common. Gender equality is the inspiration of the third movement, reminding us of the additional struggles that society imposes on women in their daily lives. This is represented by two cellos, male and female, playing in canon, but the conditions are more difficult for the woman, since her part is octaved. The division of the strings in this movement is also special: the division It is sorted by genre, not by tuning. Therefore, the work can only be performed if the strings are divided equally. In the sixth movement, ‘Controversy’, two stubborn violin virtuosos seem at odds, although in reality they are saying the same thing. In the seventh movement, ‘Major Utopia’, the trombones play only major chords, wondering what the meaning of happiness is. This piece not only reflects on the difficulty of finding happiness, but it was also the most difficult movement for him to compose due to his experience as a trombonist. “The symphony constitutes a technical challenge for musicians and invites the public to reflect on the current struggles facing humanity.”
A deep friendship
The Impossible Symphony was not the first time that Alondra de la Parra and Arturo Márquez collaborated together. Rather, they have been important musical companions. “His extraordinary music is part of my basic repertoire. I don’t think I have performed any work as often as the Danzón No. 2 by Arturo Márquez,” comments Alondra de la Parra.
She adds that their paths have crossed again and again, including when de la Parra founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in 2004, but their friendship became especially close during the pandemic. The first piece performed by The Impossible Orchestra was also the Danzón No. 2. It was recorded to raise funds for Mexican women and children affected by violence, and Arturo generously advised and supported the project.
The (Im)possible Orchestra
At the height of the pandemic, many things seemed impossible, especially orchestral music: the danger posed by such a large gathering of people was too high. However, The Impossible Orchestra by Alondra de la Parra showed that music, as a basic human need, always finds a way. For the founding of the orchestra in 2020, the director contacted some of the best soloists in the world of classical music: Guy Braunstein, Felix Klieser, Sarah Willis, Rolando Villazón and many other musicians who under other circumstances would never have met. heard in the same orchestra. The members of this seemingly “impossible” ensemble recorded their parts under strict sanitary conditions in studios in six different cities around the world and presented their version of the Danzón No. 2 in a digital format. The Impossible Orchestra had been born and this first project was a great success. But it didn’t stop there: For the Festival PAAX GNP in Mexico in 2022, Alondra de la Parra called for the first time The Impossible Orchestra as an orchestra in residence—and commissioned the Impossible Symphony for this occasion from Arturo Márquez, who composed it with some of the soloists of this orchestra in mind. The work has also been performed in Spain with the OSG and will now premiere in Germany.
The program at the Liederhalle in Stuttgart on April 23 and 24 is completed with pieces by Sergei Prokofiev, Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, with Albrecht Mayer as solo oboe, who was also part of The Impossible Orchestra. “I am incredibly happy to be working with Albrecht again. “I can’t think of a better oboist for this program.”
Commissioning, performing and releasing new music is an important part of her work as an artist, says Alondra de la Parra, who has already facilitated numerous new pieces by contemporary composers. The Festival PAAX GNP, which will open its doors for the second edition this summer 2023, is a dream space for new works to emerge.
In front of the empty and darkened auditorium of the Palacio de la Ópera, Alondra de la Parra sits down to talk to ABC. Barely an hour ago she finished her first rehearsal with the Sinfónica de Galicia, with which she will perform for the first time in Europe the ‘Sinfonía imposible’ by her compatriot Arturo Márquez, a piece she commissioned and gave its world premiere last July. “I tend to get nervous at the first rehearsal, because I don’t know the orchestra, I don’t know if I’ve prepared well,” but once that rubicon is crossed, “90 percent of the questions are answered”.
For the Mexican conductor there are usually many. Due to the inertia of the times, there are many questions about gender and the role of men and women on the podium. “There may have been some interviews where I was not mentioned this topic -she jokes-, I hope for the day when it won’t have to be mentioned”. However, she lends herself to the game, because if anything characterizes her is that she doesn’t hide behind the lectern or wave her baton like a magician’s wand to avoid uncomfortable questions. “Of course there is masculine and feminine in music, but it has nothing to do with the performer, but with the music itself”.
Idea and gender
“It’s still sad that we think of female and male directors,” she laments, “I only see artists. I’m interested in what their idea is going to be, not their genre. I don’t know if we have anything to do with each other just because we are women”. She is only interested in the story they have in front of the orchestra, the story they want to tell from their own expressiveness. “I consider myself an artist who conducts -she defines herself-, I consider how to design the sound and make these musicians react from their innermost fibers and be able to express something that has a value for them and for the public”.
De la Parra strips himself of all the atavisms that weigh down the figure of the conductor. “Concert music and the role of the conductor have been forged with stereotypes that are totally masculine, patriarchal and obsolete for what we do”. In her opinion, an idea of “a figure with tails that is like a caricature” has been configured, the fruit “of a concept of leadership that has permeated our humanity throughout history.”
Alondra de la Parra (New York, 1980) has the blood of an artist in her veins. “My grandmother was a great writer [Yolanda Vargas Dulché], my grandfather and my father too [Guillermo and Manelick de la Parra]; my aunt is an actress [Emoé de la Parra] and my brother is an actor and singer [Mane de la Parra]”. “I sang and danced a lot and was told many stories” in Mexico City, where she moved when she was two years old. Music is precisely that for the director, that story that builds on the script that the composer writes in the score.
Cello and piano
At the age of seven she began her cello studies, and at thirteen she began studying piano. “That’s when I said I wanted to be a conductor.” She continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music and at the age of 23 she founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Her desire was to have an instrument with which to disseminate the music of the American continent, from Aaron Copland to Alberto Ginastera, passing through José Pablo Moncayo, Inocente Carreño, Leonard Bernstein or Márquez himself.
“For many years there was a lack of curiosity on the part of the European countries, which were and are the center of classical music.” They were “self-absorbed”, kidnapped by a “Eurocentrism” that led them to think “that Latin American music did not exist”. In her apostolate she has been accompanied by Gustavo Dudamel, Andrés Orozco Estrada, Gabriela Montero or Giancarlo Guerrero, names of the international classical scene. “Twenty years later we are in a more normal place”, although the pages of these authors “are still not part of the standard repertoire”.
Her first time at a lectern was at the age of 19. The veteran Charles Dutoit invited her to get up on a rehearsal at the grand Teatro Colón with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic. “From the first moment I got on I felt that this was my place to live, that I was in the right place.” His baton -which has “never” trembled- has been followed in recent years by orchestras such as those of Paris, Verbier, Berlin Radio, Dresden, Monte Carlo, Malmoe, Barcelona, the BBC, Copenhagen…. The list is long.
De la Parra relativizes. “They are mundane career steps, that’s not the director’s job.” Another tic of times past. “Is being a conductor the career, having a thousand orchestras, being very famous? It’s all very much him,” in the masculine singular. She returns to the idea of the artist. “The repertoire is so broad and we have so much history backwards and forwards of music and sounds to discover that there’s always something new to learn. That’s part of staying a child.”
A cultural ambassador for Mexico, she recently premiered in her country the show ‘The silence of sound’, in which symphonic music and mime are paired. “It’s a project for children from 0 to 120 years old with the works I love”, from Debussy to Prokofiev, Brahms and Bartok. He dreams of exporting it outside his homeland and that it reaches the new generations for their own awakening to concert music, “which is not classical, a lousy name”. “Serious music has nothing, we are artists, minstrels, we have to take risks and push the limits as far as we can”.
He has also launched in his country a project comparable to the orchestra systems that maestro José Antonio Abreu started in Venezuela. “They work 100%”, defends De la Parra, “if you see the number of children who didn’t dedicate themselves to music and passed through there…. Being an artist is a gift; it prevents you from getting into thousands of other things because you’ve already tried something that is one of the most beautiful things in humanity, how can you go back to harm yourself or others.
“Music is the food of the soul,” he adds, “when I think that education only focuses on math, language and some science…. So what about music? It’s not a privilege to learn how to play a nice concert and have your granny applaud you, it’s much more.” He sets a goal. “We have to reach a day when the most advanced nations understand that mathematics, language, philosophy and music have to be taught; that’s what the Greeks did. Why did we lose it?”.
Until that day comes – and if it comes – De la Parra will continue to conduct at a time when he says he senses a great desire for music. The pandemic forced society “to an absolute fasting of human, analog music” and forced “a saturation of digital and screens”. Now, “you open the doors and they come running”. She will be waiting at the lectern.
Mexico City, July 28th, 2022.- The orchestra conductor, Alondra de la Parra, the renowned Mexican Clown Gabriela Muñoz, “Chula The Clown” and GNP Seguros present a tour through different cities of the country with their production The Silence of Sound, a mix of orchestral music and performing arts that had its world premiere during the PAAX GNP 2022 Festival.
The Silence of Sound is a new stage project that Alondra and Gabriela have been working on for more than six years and which emerges from finding in music a common ground between their different disciplines, resulting in the development of a whole original concept.
It is the story of a Clown whose life is transformed when she discovers the beauty of music. However, she soon realises that this wonderful new world has its own inherent dangers. Confronting and overcoming them will drive her to the brink of madness.
With music by Debussy, Bartók, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, among others, this show’s mission is to bring orchestral music and symphonic repertoire to diverse audiences.
This stage project will be presented in different states of the country during the month of September, so that all audiences have the opportunity to enjoy the talent of these two creative Mexican women who have exalted our country’s name worldwide in their respective disciplines.
The Silence of Sound also benefits from the Art Direction of the Chilean-German artist Rebekka Dornhege Reyes, currently responsible for the scenography and costumes for Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen; as well as the Audiovisual Direction of the Spanish film director and art director Mariona Omedes, who has collaborated with artists such as Bigas Luna, Jose Luis Guerin, Federic Amat, Manuel Huerga, Mariscal or El Tricicle.
The dates and venues for the presentation of The Silence of Sound are:
★ September 6 – CDMX – Palacio de Bellas Artes.
★ September 9 and 10 – Guadalajara – Conjunto Santander.
★ September 13 – San Luis Potosí – Centro Cultural Universitario Bicentenario.
★ September 15 – Monterrey – Show Center.
With the support of GNP Seguros, sponsor of this and other projects recently developed by the orchestra conductor, such as the Festival PAAX GNP itself, or the video of The Impossible Orchestra that was distributed in 2020; the production of this show is in charge of Elekin Arts, a company founded by Alondra de la Parra to develop innovative stage projects.
After spending many years in silence and solitude, a Clown awakens from an eternal sleep due to the transcendent call of music. She is guided by a bird-oboe, fascinated by the sound of wind instruments.
Her reverie begins to darken when she discovers that she is trapped in a large cage from which the birds can escape, leaving her alone again. After this awakening, the Clown will embark on a journey across universes in which she will meet different characters accompanied by music. The orchestra is the delirium ecosystem into which she is thrown through classical scores.
Her actions will lead her to the abuse of power and excessive control, turning the dream into a nightmare. Stifling the musicians and characters she encounters along the way, and making the music explode with a strong rejection of her passage through that universe, she discovers her true awakening.
¿Te imaginas a los mejores músicos del mundo tocando juntos en el Caribe Mexicano? Durante 5 días, México será la sede de un hito de innovación musical en el que artistas de más de 14 países vendrán a exponer música sinfónica, música de cámara y ballet.
De Alondra de la Parra a Chula the Clown. De La Orquesta Imposible a Abbey Road. De Romeo y Julieta a Finale Finale de Christopher Wheeldon. En ningún otro lugar del mundo se puede reunir toda la magia de una forma tan extraordinaria y única. Este es el FESTIVAL PAAX GNP, y así se vive la música sin límites.
Del 29 de junio al 3 de julio de este año, se llevará a cabo por primera vez el FESTIVAL PAAX GNP, en el Hotel Xcaret Arte en Quintana Roo. Un festival imperdible con lo mejor de la música clásica, la danza y la gastronomía.
Después del éxito innegable de La Orquesta Imposible, y como resultado de la colaboración entre Alondra de la Parra y GNP, surge esta iniciativa para reunir por primera vez en la historia dicha orquesta conformada por solistas de renombre internacional y acercar al público mexicano a los mejores exponentes mundiales de diversas disciplinas artísticas. Todo eso en el mejor escenario posible: el Caribe Mexicano.
El FESTIVAL PAAX GNP será el punto de encuentro de destacados talentos internacionales de la música y la danza. Un encuentro que promete salir de lo convencional para explorar la música de grandes artistas de forma nunca antes vista. La diversidad y el reconocimiento de las personalidades que conforman este festival lo vuelven único en el mundo.
Entre las piezas que se presentarán en el Festival, destaca el estreno de la Sinfonía Imposible, del compositor mexicano Arturo Márquez, así como el espectáculo The Silence of Sound, creado por Alondra de la Parra y Gabriela Muñóz “chula the Clown”. Se estrenará la coreografía Finale Finale, de Christopher Wheeldon y tendremos asimismo un fragmento de la nueva adaptación a ballet de la novela de Laura Esquivel “Como Agua para Chocolate”, del mismo Wheeldon y muchas obras más (mayor detalle en el programa anexo). El festival cuenta con un elenco de destacados artistas entre los que sobresalen Nemanja Radulovic, Aleksey Igudesman, Guy Braunstein, Edicson Ruiz, el mexicano Rolando Fernández y Felix Klieser así como bailarines del Royal Ballet y del San Francisco Ballet.
Además de reunir lo mejor de la música, el Festival PAAX GNP busca promover la formación de niños y jóvenes de la región en un contexto musical de inclusión social. Con este objetivo nace el programa “Armonía Social” en el que se desarrollarán talleres de educación musical en distintas comunidades de los estados de Campeche, Yucatán y Quintana Roo. Armonía Social culminará en una presentación de los alumnos tocando lado a lado con las estrellas del Festival.
Barcelona. Palau de la Música Catalana. 9 of March 2022. María Dueñas, violin. Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie Bremen. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Works by Ginastera, Sibelius and Dvorák.
An eagerly awaited double debut in the Palau’s modernist hall, with the presence of two of the most internationally renowned figures of the musical panorama. On the one hand, the conductor Alondra de la Parra, who a few weeks earlier had performed in Barcelona’s Auditori leading the OBC; on the other hand, our María Dueñas, extraordinary and exceptional, of whom there is no longer any doubt that she is destined to be one of the most relevant and acclaimed violinists of the coming decades. A Palau full to overflowing, profusely illuminated – the concert was broadcast live via streaming -, in which the Mexican conductor and the violinist from Granada counted on the complicity of an efficient orchestra as was the Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie Bremen, which showed more than one lacuna both collectively and individually.
We would have been delighted if this German ensemble – currently on tour in Murcia, Barcelona, Bremen and Stuttgart – had included one of Haydn’s London symphonies in its programme, but opted for Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes to start the programme. De la Parra conducted with precise gesture, with a choreographic gestural and corporal expression; she showed eloquence and a power of communication that transmitted an absolute magnetism to the musicians of the orchestra. Variaciones Concertantes in which sometimes the horn takes centre stage, sometimes the double bass or the violin, and in which the specific qualities of each soloist of the orchestra are evident, whose talent is undeniable, although it is far from that of the German symphonic ensembles that are in everyone’s mind (Dresden, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich or, of course, Berlin). De la Parra captivated us by her gestural precision, by adapting the dramatic, giocosa, rhythmic that come one after the other in the twelve orchestral parts of the variations to the Argentinian composer’s own colourful sense, in a dense but well-knit work.
The Mexican conductor shared the limelight with a stellar María Dueñas. The violinist, in radiant white, impressed with a high-flying version of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. The purity of her sound, the way she has of making her violin sing and her technical precision – which allows her to unfold naturally in the most intricate and complex passages – continue to fascinate us day after day. Her youth seems to be inversely proportional to her maturity and aesthetic depth, as she conceived and delivered Sibelius’s fearsome Violin Concerto. Everything was expression, phrasing of the most refined elegance, her détaché, what a way of handling the bow!… Absolute precision to reach the most beautiful and refined sound possible and to give us a Sibelius full of emotion, romantic, eloquent, of a magical poetry in its central movement and of an intoxicating rhythm in the third… And Dueñas has not yet entered her twenties! The harmony with Alondra de la Parra was decisive. The conductor directed the orchestra to serve a balance of volume perfectly adjusted to the sound of the violin, she contaminated the Bremen maestros with a musical depth that recreated an enveloping atmosphere and carried the soloist on her wings who seduced us with a superb display of talent. With music from Manuel de Falla’s La vida breve – with impeccable orchestral support – was the farewell to María Dueñas, who had a dream debut in the Palau’s modernist hall.
The Deutsche Kammerphilhamonie Bremen, with whom Alondra de la Parra has a close relationship – she was their guest conductor four seasons ago – gave their best in Dvorák’s moving Symphony No. 7. A generally majestic version, but one that lacked that nationalistic and eloquent sense of the ideas embodied in a final movement steeped in popular sentiment against oppression. It was a reading that did touch on the sorrow surrounding the Poco Adagio – motivated by an expressive musical line reflecting the desolation and resignation felt by the composer after the recent death of his mother and first son – and which showed the best side of an orchestra that served up its best moments in this intense movement. A reading that abounded with success in the intense key of D minor and which technically showed a good orchestral work, although we missed a greater heroic intensity in its extreme movements. Great applause for a plethoric Alondra de la Parra and the orchestra, who said goodbye with an expressive interpretation of La leyenda del beso.