Thursday, 02 Aug 2018

Brief final balance

Brief final balance
João Marques, director of FIMPV, makes a resume.

The one that anticipated like one of the most achieved editions of the history of the FIMPV 2018 turned out to be a happy reality. The commemoration of the 40th anniversary ended on July 28 with a memorable concert dedicated to the music of the two most proeminent members of the Bach family (Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp). Ophélie Gaillard, creator of the Pulcinella Orchestra and one of the most admirable cellists of our time, left significant impressions written in the FIMPV brochure-file: "What a joy to play here in Póvoa de Varzim, in this beautiful church !!! To find students, to propose the discovery of these genius works of C. P. E. Bach! Thanks and long life to the Festival! ». Or those of Choeur Arsys Bougogne's musical director Mihály Zeke: "Just after the first time I came to [Póvoa de] Varzim (in 2016) I was conquered not only by the beauty of the venue and its warm acoustics, but also by the spirit gentle and bright of all the people we have met. How lucky to be able to sing and play here! A big thank you from the bottom of my heart [...] for this opportunity and all my wishes for the Festival to last forever with all this emotion! " It is a synthesis of the spirit that the FIMPV has managed to create over four decades of continuous activity and persistent dissemination of the best music by some of the most relevant performers.

The edition was inaugurated with the long awaited conference of musicologist Rui Vieira Nery (dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vianna da Motta). But a substantial part of the program was dedicated to ancient music, so well suited to the Matriz and S. Pedro de Rates Churches. Absolute success with the performances of Jordi Savall, Ensemble Vox Luminis (Lionel Meunier: "We can not aspire to more, as musicians, a sense of well-being, a wonderful place, a fantastic church, a warm public. that being a musician is so special, a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts! La Fonte Musica (Michele Pasotti: «A magnificent place, the ocean and a Romanesque church, perfect for making music as extraordinary as Zacara's. ). Ensemble Zefiro (Alfredo Bernardini: "It was a wonderful audience and a beautiful church with acoustics ideal for our program. A big thank you to [...] and the support team of the Festival for the high professionalism and organization!"). Very special highlight for the fantastic concert by the Italian Concerto, whose show, despite the high speculative degree, managed to keep the attention of the public from the first bars. The recital by the cravat Ana Mafalda Castro - one of the great responsible for the introduction in Portugal of the movement aiming at the recovery of the old music - attracted to S. Pedro de Rates an enthusiastic public including many of its students. Impressions: "I have no words to describe what I feel, because, on the one hand [I am] full of happiness, and on the other, empty, because I gave so much. I love playing in this Church, I feel it as "mine." Thanks!".

Concerts and recitals of chamber music also reached high levels. The pianist Pedro Burmester, in another performance at the FIMPV, left excellent impressions in the audience (warm applause was rewarded with two extras: music by Gluck and Schumann). To the Trio Adamastor, Filipa Portela and the pianist João Araújo, bright young winners of recent contests, was offered the opportunity to make known their qualities as expanding interpreters. One of the most memorable concerts was certainly led by the octet of relevant international instrumentalists led by Isabelle Faust. The eminent German violinist wrote at the end of the concert: "Thank you! We have wonderful moments here. They are all so kind and ready to satisfy our desires at a glance! The public is AMAZING and the church is absolutely stunning! Long live the Festival of Póvoa! ».

To the Verazin Quartet, a reckless and high-risk task was committed, which was nothing less than the absolute premiere of the new string quartet commissioned by the FIMPV to the composer António Pinho Vargas, and the debut (also absolute) of the two finalist works of the International Composition Competition of Póvoa de Varzim. It should be noted that the three works were made available scarcely three months in advance! And, to crown the concert, the interpretation of the Quintet with piano by Dmitry Shostakovich (collaboration of the pianist Sérgio de A.). António Pinho Vargas wrote: "My participation in the 40th FIMPV was an enormous honor and a pleasure. It is for the future, it is a level that will be important to maintain ».

The debut of the Vision String Quartet caused a strong sensation in S. Pedro de Rates. The four young Berlin-based instrumentalists drew the audience to unexpected musical and scenic 'visions', such as the commitment, conviction and charismatic interpretations to which they literally delivered themselves without a net. It is impossible to highlight one or other of the pieces proposed, including the two extras of their authorship.

Jean-Frédéric Neuburger's recent version of Maurice Ravel's lyrical comedy 'L'Heure Espagnole' was the subject of a careful and colorful recital on the penultimate day of the FIMPV 2018. Together with soprano Raquel Camarinha and pianist Yoan Héreau, (Bruno Taddia, Fernando Guimarães, Rui Silva, Alberto Sousa, Ben-San Lau and the Ensemble Messiaën), and the performance of Raquel Silva, the session resulted in a full session, thanks to the collaboration of a team of internationally renowned singers and instrumentalists. To the success much contributed the electronic subtitling that allowed the audience to follow pari passu the unfolding of the action.

The long-awaited recital by Arcadi Volodos - one of the most respected pianists of today - was the only show of nuclear programming that could not be completed on schedule. Indeed, a riveting muscular crisis forced the pianist to successively cancel concerts throughout Europe throughout the month of July. We proposed a postponement of what would be his third visit to the FIMPV for mid-August, but we thought it would be preferable for the recital to take place in July 2019, already under the 41st edition.

A very special reference to the concert by the Symphonic Orchestra of Porto Casa da Música, which sold out the Cine-Teatro Garrett. Raúl da Costa's performance as a soloist was at the level of what he has already accustomed us: his presence on stage, technical precision and stylistic adequacy are fully convincing. It is certainly one of the happiest fruits of the FIMPV and its Vocational School: it is precisely its new Artistic Director from the 2019 programming. At the time of the transmission of the legacy, here are the best wishes and assurance of all the support which may become necessary.

It is worth mentioning some of the Parallel Manifestations, namely the masterclasses of António Salgado (singing), Miguel Rocha (cello), Alfredo Bernardini (oboe), Ana Mafalda Castro (harpsichord) and Ophélie Gaillard (cello), all of them frequented by a number of student performers or simply listeners. Add to this the informal concerts by the EMPV Choral Ensemble (direction by José A. Carriço), Ensemble instrumental Cycle XIII (direction by Tiago Carriço) and by students and teachers of the Music School of Póvoa de Varzim, as well as by some of the winners of the 2018 Piano Competition, as well as several exhibitions at the School of Music, Library and Museum.

The 40th edition of the FIMPV benefited once again from the structuring support of the Póvoa de Varzim Municipal Council, the Directorate General of Arts, Tourism of Portugal, various institutions and companies (under the Patronage Law) and media Social. As usual, many of the objectives achieved are due to the dedication and dedication of the administrative team, logistics and, for the first time, the Executive Committee of the FIMPV, invited artists and the public.

From what is written above, it is already possible to confirm that this edition of the FIMPV has surpassed the qualitative level and of public affluence of the previous ones, as much as can be gauged by the analysis of some indicators: precincts with sold out in 13 shows; average occupancy of the enclosures of 104%; average of 300 people for 15 shows performed (total of 4,500 spectators); 12 exceptional shows in absolute terms; and a good return of the specialized critic published in newspapers and radio of national expression.

At the time of testimony, I would like to thank the Póvoa de Varzim Municipal Council, the Directorate General for the Arts, the companies (under the Patronage Law), the national and regional media, all employees who enthusiastically worked with me over the last 40 years, the generous public and the outstanding soloists and guest groups that accompanied us in these adventures to the discovery and consequent enjoyment of the masterpieces of music. I am sure it was worth the intense dedication that we jointly proposed. It was and is a public service that fills us with pride for the fulfilled duty. Reiterating votes previously formulated by two of the most outstanding soloists of this edition: long live the Festival!



Póvoa de Varzim, July 31, 2018


João Marques


Artistic Direction and General Coordinator of FIMPV