Volgogradskaya Pravda - 24 June 2003

Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra - Edward Serov
Prokofieff: Pianoconcerto 5 - Tchaikovsky: Pianoconcerto 1

The brittle temptation of an Iron Lady

Eliane Rodrigues plays and directs in the Central Concert Hall. The last foreign guest of the 2nd “Station Tsaritsino” Music Festival was an interesting artist from Belgium, the pianist Eliane Rodrigues. Brazilian of origin, child prodigy by development, laureate of the prestigious international Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, music festival star, pianist with an extensive repertoire, and mother of three children, Mrs. Rodrigues is a unique personality in many respects. She made the acquaintance of our symphonic orchestra five years ago at the Música Romântica Festival in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where they gave concerts together and recorded a compact disc. And last season, Rodrigues came to Volgograd twice and played with the orchestra under the direction of Edward Serov. One of the programs, the one with three piano concertos of Prokofiev and Rachmaninov, was a record for difficulty of volume and technique. The wonderful artistic power of the pianist then captured the public.

But this time, Eliane Rodrigues succeeded in astonishing the audience even more. Not only has she appeared with Maestro Edward Serov in several countries as solo pianist but she is also receiving lessons in directing from him, during which she presented extraordinary perseverance and talent. It is thus as a director that the artist stood this time before the Volgograd audience.

A woman on the director’s podium is very exceptional, and certainly when this woman is also the personification of grace and refined elegance. But in the person of Eliane Rodrigues, the charm of the feminine is successfully merged with a pronounced artistic will and temperament whereby the concert also became a success. The music of Schubert was then presented warmly and softly; in the Andante, moreover, Rodrigues risked to take upon herself a part of the composition work, alongside the great composer himself, and she adapted his chamber music piece for a large orchestra. This version was a premiere in our world.

And in the 4th Piano Concerto of Beethoven, Rodrigues performed as both director and soloist, completely in accord with the now almost completely vanished traditions of the beginning of the 19th century. This piece can thus be called the high point of the program. Without detracting from her female elegance, the artist “read” the piano score penetratingly and with much feeling, and she let the public enjoy an enchanting piano sound and plastic, “eloquent” intonations. At the same time, the soloist-director conducted the orchestra behind her with enormous confidence and power, so that Edward Serov, who was present at the concert, could rightly be proud of his pupils' success.

Marina KOLMAKOVA - 24 juni 2003 Volgogradskaja Pravda