As part of the 14th Gstaad New Year Music Festival, the soprano Lisette Oropesa performed with the pianist Natalia Morozova. They performed works from the baroque to the late romantic period in the Rougemont church.
When was the last time you caught your breath in surprise? Anyone who is passionate about concerts and frequently attends will agree that this is fairly rare and only happens when expectations are well and truly exceeded. Top performances are always expected from well-known stars but expectations not always met. However, if you sit in a concert at a small music festival where the names of the artists are unfamiliar, the surprise is all the more intense.
This is how the audience found the performance by Lisette Oropesa and Natalia Morozova in Rougemont church. The warm timbre of the soprano was already very moving at the start of Handel’s "V’adoro pupille" by Giulio Cesare.
There followed songs by Schubert and Schumann and the audience was witness to the singer’s incredible vocal range. The interaction with the pianist Morozova, who perfectly responded to the soprano, was very harmonious. Her playing was never too loud nor soft, not too dominant nor hesitant. The pianist impressed with her superior technique and fine musicality throughout the concert.
In addition to her outstanding vocals, Oropesa used just the right amount of acting to infuse the pieces with feeling and expression. The opera singer breathed life into the aria “Come dolce all’alma mia (How sweet is the sound of your voice for my soul) from Rossini’s “Tancredi”, as well as Debussy’s “Romance”,“Beau soir” and “Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maison”. The performance was perfectly tailored to the informal setting at the Rougemont church.
A future star pianist?
Grigory Sokolov thinks highly of Alexandra Dovgan, who is only twelve years old. He predicts a great future for her. The audience witnessed her impressive skills as this focused young lady began her recital with Beethoven’s “Pathétique” sonata. As the name suggests, the composer expresses – in simplified terms – the gravity and tragedy inherent in Human life. Although still very young, the pianist showed remarkable musical maturity, but the question remains as to whether a little more maturity might help her approach this work. Without the true experience of deep pain, misfortune and despair, it is hard to do justice to the “Pathétique”.
Chopin’s playful waltzes and Mazurkas suited the young artist much better. She did not get carried away by the rapid tempos or other exaggerations. In accordance with her age, her rendition was well thought out and mature. The same went for the various pieces by Rachmaninov, with the preludes she played at the end, which marked the pinnacle of her recital.
If you closed your eyes and just listened to the music, it seemed almost unreal that such a young person was playing. Knowing that this was achieved through countless hours of hard practice, everyone hopes that this talented girl will never lose her joy in music.
Based on AvS/Çetin Köksal
Translated by Justine Hewson