Like Goethe’s “Faust” and American Blues guitarist Robert Johnson, it is said that Italian composer Noccolo Paganini sold his soul to the devil to play the violin and compose like no one ever had…or will.
I was the Paganini composition the “Concerto No 1 in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op 6” also known as Paganini’s “Fire” that was the focus of the program on Nov 10 and 11.
With Austrian born guest conductor Hans Graf is a conductor who is enthusiastic in his moves but not overly animated.
In the pre concert talk Graf spoke on meeting and working with a orchestra for the first time saying that it is always an interesting moment to stand in front of an orchestra you don’t know for the first time – you judge them as they are judging you. He added that it is always pleasant to find an orchestra who is ready to go.
But before the “Fire” of Paganini, the BPO and Graf opened the program with the Antonin Dvorak composition “Carnival Overture, Op 92”.
Mallorcan native Francisco Fullana joined that BPO on violin for a performance of “Niccolo Paganini’s Concerto No 1 for Violin in D Major”. Fullana performed the piece with passion and flair.
After some rousing applause and an extended standing ovation, Fullana played an encore – a Recitative and Scherzo by the Viennese violinist and composer Friedrich Kreisler.
After the intermission, the BPO returned to perform another Dvorak composition – the “Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Op 60”.
It was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon while America honoured those who have served in the American armed forces.