Claudio Abbado

We publish the first impressions of our friend and CAI member Kimitoshi Sato, after the first concert of Claudio Abbado during the tour in Japan

Claudio Abbado

First concert in Japan


The mystery of Adonis....

Maestro Abbado ran onto the podium in allegro stride, greeted by a big heated applause of the packed audience. Turning to the orchestra, he lost no time giving a cue to the orchestra. Egmont overture. Wonderful execution! And Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 1, with Cascioli as soloist. The young pianist showed his brilliant talent and superb technique by playing a very long cadenza. He played the Scherzo by Mendelssohn beautifully; the piece having a sort of dream in common with A Midsummer Night Dream music. Maestro looked very happy with him.
After the intermission, he conducted Beethoven's 7th Symphony. CAI members will be able to imagine how exciting the performance was by listening to the newly published complete Beethoven Symphonies. True Bacchanalian burst of rapture, "The apotheosis of dance itself." During the performance I recalled how Maestro expounded the second movement in a documentary film. A composer told me that the rhythm had something to do with the Mystery of Adonis. And Finale was executed at a neckbreaking speed, literally. In spite of the incredible velocity, we could hear the omnipresence of the rhythm-motive, moving from section to section, surging and ebbing in sound volume. We were witnessing a very contradictory rare situation: Frenzied dancing impulse coexisted with almost crystalline mathematical transparency in texture.
Maestro Abbado did not need broad tempo to make a clear rending of the music, but he "sculpted into time" ( I borrow this expression from Andrei Tarkovsky's book). Of course virtuosity of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra helped a lot. As a result, Beethoven now stood in a vivid image, young again like Adonis.
We applauded and roared the moment the music finished. Now it was our turn to pound and explode enthusiastically. They made no encore, but Maestro Abbado had to make a number of encores even after the exit of the orchestra and the hall filled with bright light, by coming onto stage alone with beautiful smile, raising his hand as a gesture of thanks to us. He looked even better and younger, enjoying his now light weight. Maybe Maestro now transformed himself into an Adonis, by conducting the Seventh
Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Beethoven: Piano concerto N°1 (solista Gianluca Cascioli)
Beethoven: Symphony N°7 op.92