29 December 2020

The Rijeka Symphony Orchestra, with its chief conductor, Maestro Valentin Egel, stirred the souls of the audience to dance at the New Year’s gala concert with works by Strauss Jr., Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Happy and satisfied with the festive program, the performance and the scenography, the audience gave the concert the highest marks after two fast and cheerful encores and thunderous congratulations, an excellent introduction to a much better new year, according to Maestro Egel. The loyal spectators who have been attending New Year’s concerts for years nostalgically remembered the previous ones during which there was no need for epidemiological measures. Here are some of the audience comments:

“Excellent. We are very satisfied. At times I felt sadness and sorrow that we are in this kind of situation. I’m not being dramatic – it’s just that when you see how much the maestro, the musicians, the technicians and the entire Theatre production staff give for such a small audience, since it isn’t allowed to be any larger, it’s endlessly touching. So beautiful it hurts.”

“The playful, energetic young conductor Egel conveyed positivity to the orchestra and the audience; you get the impression that the notes and atmosphere of the compositions evoke the whole body. It’s amazing that he performed with such consistent vigor for almost two hours.”

“That Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was performed in its entirety at the New Year’s concert was a great surprise and an even greater pleasure for me. I got chills from the beauty of the performance.”

“We have been coming to the New Year’s concerts at the Rijeka Theatre since the time of maestro Davorin Hauptfeld, when I was less than twenty years old, and now I am fifty. The scene was beautiful to me. The maestro is great and created a special mood. All in all, it arouses strong emotions in me. I’m experiencing this visit to the fullest. I’m in tears, I’m sorry.”

“We are delighted with the concert. But I have to say, though we are aware of the situation and know that it cannot and must not be otherwise…still, we are very nostalgic. I constantly thought of the images of past concerts with a ‘dense’ orchestra on stage and a packed audience ‘bursting’ with people, with champagne during the breaks, ticket agents in suits and formal dresses… We are very happy to be here. I not only have the need to applaud and shout ‘bravo,’ but even to say ‘thank you.’ Truly, my soul dances.”

“A fantastic concert, phenomenal performance and an outstanding maestro, incredible energy and personality. An unusual New Year’s concert – I’m a regular, so I can tell… The applause was strong; it couldn’t have been stronger, but you can feel that people are missing, as well as the strength of the usual applause and atmosphere.”

“Brilliant solo part by concertmaster Kyrylov. Congratulations!”
“It was really nice. I felt relaxed, which is why I come – to enjoy the music, so that nothing troubles me. The weather outside is still terrible, so it couldn’t be any better!”

The concerts, in which two symphony orchestras alternate for epidemiological reasons, are scheduled for December 29 and 30 at 7:30 PM, while the New Year’s gala concert for children is on December 31 at noon.

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