Biennale adventures of Croatian musicians


I am not sure that in Belgium, my homeland, there is a percussionist who plays marimba so wonderfully as your Kaja Farszky – said Daan Vandewalle, the guest at yesterday's Artist Talk. The Belgian pianist, who concluded Thursday with his excellent midnight recital, was thrilled with the overall performance of the festival soloists. Along with Kaja Farszky, these were the violinist Martin Draušnik and the cellist Mihovil Karuza, whose program consisted of the composers who were the main focus of the 28th MBZ – George Benjamin, Bruno Mantovani, Kaija Saariaho and Michel van der Aa. The idea of honoring and meeting the five famous European composers, including also Thomas Adès, is an exceptional benefit for the Croatian music community because of local artists who were engaged for performances of their works. All of them, including the Croatian String Quartet and the guests at their concert at the HGZ, have worked very hard and have shown the mastery of contemporary scores. In doing so, they have once again confirmed the importance of the Biennale tradition of Zagreb. The concert of the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Johannes Kalitzke will certainly be remembered as one of the largest feats at the 28th MBZ. The orchestra performed a large and highly demanding score of each of these five composers. The Croatian soloists, along with the orchestra, were brilliant. In addition to his virtuosity, the clarinetist Davorin Broziæ also demonstrated an unprecedented fitness at the concert for clarinet and orchestra by Kaija Saariaho, and the pianists Katarina Krpan and Danijel Detoni as well as the mezzo-soprano Martina Gojèeta Siliæ should also get medals for their performances. It is a great shame that the Croatian Radio and Television decided not to broadcast and record this – we could now even say anthological – concert of their greatest and most important ensemble.