The success of the Posticum Youth Orchestra in september in Oradea ( - 2011.09.26

This fall, musicians and music admirers were yearningly waiting for the event which has already become an artistic tradition in Oradea: the opening concert of the international tour of the Posticum Youth Orchestra.

We can be glad to finally have a proper functioning youth music workshop which we can experience visually and acoustically. In this workshop, local young musicians and others from all over Europe get the chance to attend a one-week course and enjoy the privilege of an intense advanced training.

Even though only two students from Oradea were chosen to join this multifaceted and varied orchestra which was composed of almost 40 musicians who speak various languages but could communicate via the language they all have in common – the language of music- , we can be proud of them. Obviously, this number of participants from Oradea reflects the level of artistic education in our city, or reveals the number of local youths who are visiting schools in other cities. It is hardly probable that the low number of participants was an effect of the late announcement of the project because students from Cluj-Napoca and Szeged were most represented within the participants who come from Romania, Hungary and Italy.

The Orchestra was founded by two institutions in 2009: first of all, by the name-giving youth center “Posticum” and by the Szeged University „Vántus István” Teacher Training Secondary School of Music. The choice of musicians and the directions held in the hands of Petr Zejfart, a Czech conductor at the conservatory in Parma, whose energy and effort resulted in admirable details and impulses within the concert.

Before the concert, the young musicians had to get through one week of most intensive rehearsals. During those days, the Posticum hosted the ambitious orchestra members and gave them a place to rehearse around 8 to 9 hours every day, and who knows how much more practice for everybody on their own… But when it was finally show time, nobody could see –or hear – the stress of the past days. And this was only the beginning! In the following days, they would give plenty of concerts in Szeged, Parma, Moniga and – as the final reward for the hard work – in Venice.

The opening concert took place in the ceremonial hall of the Catholic Bishop’s Palace in Oradea on Sunday, 18 September 2011 at 19:00. Due to other musical events that were happening around this date in the city, unfortunately, some seats remained untaken.

Kovács Zsolt welcomed all visitors in the name of the Roman Catholic Episcopate. The well-known piece “Wassermusik” (Watermusic) by Händel was composed for Georg I. and played on the ships rolling down the Thames. In contrast to this, the piece “Wassermusik” by Georg Philipp Telemann is rather unknown and was written in 1723 for the occasion of the great sea celebrations in Hamburg (Germany).

The admirably fast introduction “Low Tide” was followed by the movement titled “High Tide” which became more dynamic by the conductor’s Italian influence. Besides the harmonious consonance of strings, one could notice the excellent skills of the flute and oboe players. The relations between sound, brilliance and joy of playing together were more and more revealed and the young musicians knew what they were playing. We could hear a perfectly authentic historic performance.

The following piece was played – regarding technique and style – in a unique but also familiar and calm manner. At this point, the strings are to be mentioned for their “A-Major Symphony” by Tomaso Albinoni which gave an insight into old Italy. Among the strings, the organist Kristófi János Zsigmond played the harpsichord which Posticum has bought recently.

The final piece of the first part of the concert was the F-Major viola concerto written by the Czech conductor Jirí Antonín Benda in 1755. The twelfth grader Papp Albert from Cluj-Napoca played the solo- a little bit reserved at the beginning. But by the time he started his second solo, he had convinced every listener in the hall of his special skills and had dropped all his tension. During this piece, the orchestra struggled to form a harmonic unit, in comparison to the previous baroque compositions.

Johann Christian Bach is the eleventh son of the “great master of Baroque” Bach from his second marriage (with Anna Magdalena). With the opera piece “Orione” from 1863 the second part of the concert was opened. The woodwind section impressed the audience with their performance in the trio.

The last but greatest musical piece of the evening - that probably everyone was waiting for - was the 40th G-Minor symphony by Mozart. It was instantly obvious that Zejfart had, again, created something unique and extra-ordinary. Mozart’s dramatic character was represented in a surprisingly sensitive tune but still emphasized with the relevant power and the classical accent which gives a typical lightness to the whole composition. The clarinets deserve a special word of praise here. The numerous changes of tempo did not cause the students any difficulties; in fact it was more the slower parts which gave them a hard time: the harmonious unit, the inner dialogue suffered under a lack of concentration.

Because of the concert’s great success, the orchestra encored with a piece by Vivaldi which was also presented last year and offered the woodwind section to exhibit their talent.

Petr Zejfart expressed his sincere thanks towards the musicians for their endurance and dedication during the concert which took 100 minutes. In his mind, these young people who dedicated themselves to music are role models for other teenagers in this world where material values are considered higher than spiritual ones.

All in all, the artistic achievements of this youth music workshop was witnessed by all participants and visitors, but the actual worth of the enrichment and the wonderful experiences and memories the students collected during this time of being together and creating a unit, cannot be put in words.

Tóth Gábor

(Translated by Elisabeth Krumm, Nordrhein - Westfalen)