Versatile and passionate Croatian musicians, cellist Kajana Pačko and pianist Danijel Detoni last night, 23 August, created an idyllic atmosphere in the Rector's Palace atrium with their perfectly harmonious playing, which the audience rewarded with abundant applause.
The excellent chamber musicians opened last night’s programme with an effective composition Assonance 1, for cello and piano, written in a modern sound language in search of some new forms of instrumental virtuosity by Dubravko Detoni, an esteemed and extremely prolific Croatian composer, pianist, writer and longtime associate of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, who also attended the concert yesterday. Trombonist Kiril Ribarski and pianist Milica Šperović-Ribarski first performed this composition, actually a part of a triptych of the same name in which the possibilities of blending tones and sounds are examined, at this very Festival, back in 1970, and the piece itself earned its author numerous laureates, among them Grand Prix of the Sixth Paris Biennale in 1969. The overtones and echoes of the contrasting passages of this work showed that Pačko and Detoni, apart from a technically very high level of musicianship, possess an unmistakable sense for the beauty of tone. Thus, they conveyed the same charm with classical sounds also, perfectly shaping the adagio and rondo of Beethoven's Sonata No.1 in F major, a composition that left an important mark on cello literature. Responding to the demands of the virtuosity, they performed Brahms' simultaneously rich, but refined Six Songs, arranged by cellists Norbert Salter and David Geringas, at the same high interpretive level, but also with special inspiration and lyricism. Last night's repertoire included the lovely Sonata for Cello and Piano in E minor by the Croatian composer Dora Pejačević, a Romantic work that thoroughly uses the cello's so-called singing qualities. Through each movement of the excellently selected programme, a sense of community and harmony between the two musicians was felt. While Pačko controls her bow precisely and effectively, Detoni is a convincing and reliable accompaniment, in fact an equal partner in dialogue and the creation of lush harmonies. With abundant applause and exclamations, the satisfied audience elicited an encore, Omaggio a Bellini by Pavle Dešpalj, the brother of the recently deceased musician, cellist, pedagogue, and former music director of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Valter Dešpalj, to whom the musicians dedicated last night's concert.
Tickets for the grand opera gala which will close the 74th Festival on 25 August at 10 p.m. in front of the Cathedral, with performances by Croatian Radio and Television Symphony and Choir under the baton of maestro Tomislav Fačini alongside rising Croatian vocalists of the new generation Darija Auguštan, Franko Klisović, Roko Radovan and Leon Košavić, are available via the festival website www.dubrovnik-festival.hr or the service www.ulaznice.hr, at the box office in the Festival Palace (Od Sigurate 1) every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and in front of the DTS building (Vukovarska St) from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.