Neither the rain those days, nor the horns of the occasional “reggaetón” pedicab that passed near the presentation venues, nor the energy contingency, nothing and no one could prevent “cultured music” from partying during the 40th Concert Day.
The House of the Young Creator, the headquarters of the Provincial Committee of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and the El Cucalambé Professional Art School (EPA), hosted performances by exponents of these sounds, an event that paid tribute to the 30th, 25th and 10th anniversaries of the Euterpe professional choir, the Isaac Nicola guitar orchestra and the Las Tunas Chamber Orchestra, respectively.
Among the novelties was the premiere of versions of well-known pieces of the international classical repertoire such as Arioso, by Johann Sebastian Bach (Sultasto guitar quartet), and Cuban Landscape with Rain, by Leo Brouwer (the "Isaac Nicola"), both under the direction from the concert teacher Elvira Skourtis; in the latter case as deputy director. The interpretation of Passacaglia, by Handel Halvorsen, by pianist Hindira Mastrapa also stood out.
Likewise, other soloists and groups gave us unforgettable moments. Maestro Félix Ramos shared Homage to my Father, a piece of his authorship that – according to what he told 26 – is part of a series of tributes -accompanied by his guitar- born in the harshest times of the pandemic. In that case, there are also celebrations for his mother, his grandfather, and Luis Palacios, a deceased first cousin.
Alexander Mayo introduced us to songs like Guajira a mi madre (Ñico Rojas), Inevitable (Eduardo Martín), and Prelude of Suite II for Lute, by Bach. Meanwhile, the Melodías trombone quartet enlivened the headquarters of the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) with pieces in the style of the William Tell Overture, by Gioachino Rossini.
The pianist Ivel Couso and the violinist Ángel Ochoa joined the event, defending creations such as Perla Marina (Sindo Garay) and La Primavera, from The Four Seasons, by Antonio Vivaldi. The students Lester Luis Delgado (guitar), and Rubén Gabriel Fonseca (violin), among others, also joined the event, accompanying established musicians.
The cellist Danilo Lozada, soloist and member of the Presto duo (which he forms with Hindira Mastrapa) also showed his virtuosity. The Euterpe choir gave us versions made by different authors of poems by Nicolás Guillén (Mulata, for example) and they even provoked the audience to dance a little to the beat of Cachita.
Argibaldo Acebo also moved with his performance of A Day in November, by Leo Brouwer, as well as the singer-songwriter Amaury del Río with his song ForTomorrow, accompanied by the Sultasto guitar quartet, and other equally important groups.
“Before going on stage, I ask God to strengthen me and that, through me, the music reaches people,” Argibaldo confessed to 26.
These are just glimpses of what happened, with the predominant consensus among the protagonists that similar spaces should multiply throughout the year to form more cultured and sensitive audiences.
A FRUITFUL EVENT
“The Day promotes the confluence of different groups that defend concert music since we usually do not coincide within the programming, in addition to promoting this type of exquisite sounds, which deeply penetrate the human being and elevate the intellect,” said Alexander Mayo.
“It is not the music that is played every day, but it has its audience. This week's presentations were well attended. In Las Tunas we have several concertant artistic units. Now what we are trying to do is unite our wills. We already have a fixed space every Saturday, at 4:00 p.m., at the Luanda Cultural Center, and we want to rescue the concert hall of the Emiliano Salvador Music House. There will always be concert music because there will always be sensitivity in the artist and the public,” said Elvira Skourtis.
Hindira Mastrapa stressed the responsibility of everyone to spread this genre of “the most beautiful form of beauty.” “This type of event makes its importance and beauty known. At the EPA, for example, we had a unique experience with students, some as young as eight years old, recently initiated; 80 percent of what was presented was tango and there was an admirable silence, attention, and discipline because as Nurys Cantallops, director of that center, said 'they enjoyed the concert'. Even some of them cried with emotion.”
“This shows that when one prepares and shares in a didactic way, not only through interpretation but by explaining the genres and styles, involving the students, they understand and enjoy. But we are still short of spaces like these. We must massify art, to cultivate and make the public fall in love with it.”