RTV Slovenia offers us the opportunity, via its RTV 4D streaming and on-demand service, to relive the concert dedicated to the music of Mozart that took place during the 68th Ljubljana Festival, featuring flautist Irena Grafenauer and clarinettist Mate Bekavac, with the latter also conducting the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra.
The concert is available to view at:
Musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) is a favourite of musical connoisseurs and casual listeners alike. But where does his greatness lie, beyond the undoubtedly extraordinary compositional craftsmanship that allows his works to touch every listener? For conductor and soloist Mate Bekavac, Mozart’s music is a sort of school of life. Every contact with it is a unique experience and an opportunity for new discoveries. What captivates him is the breadth of life experiences it contains, its rich communicativeness and its emotional power. “I believe that it is the vitality of his music that lifts him above every other composer: the universality of language, humour, playfulness, occasionally childlike naïveté, mixed with a deep and broad spirituality – as though he were a wise old greybeard with a youthful spirit. His works contain a constantly present dialogue and a special form of communication that distinguishes him from his contemporaries. It is evident from his operas that he had a profound knowledge of the human psyche, the female and male soul. He was capable of expressing the most secret human feelings, which is why I say that he was the greatest ‘romantic’ of his age. Even in his instrumental music, which for me is opera without a voice, there is a powerful drama created by dialogues and contrasts. He was able to subtly combine different styles into a seamless whole, sometimes within a single musical phrase, but everything works very naturally and effortlessly. Mozart music can teach us to be ‘aperto’, ‘spirituoso’, ‘dolce’, if necessary ‘con brio’ or ‘sforzato’ or ‘forte-piano’, ‘con affetto’ or perhaps ‘crescendo’ or ‘diminuendo’, in other words somewhat ‘ad libitum’. In short, to live life ‘con emozione ed espressione’, without evaluating it, in an alternation of the beautiful and the difficult, of light and dark, in a dialogue of contradictions that create contrast, in contact with our own inner world and in conversation with the different sides of our personality” – Mate Bekavac.
Reviewing the concert, Franc Križnar wrote: “Our first lady of the flute, Irena Grafenauer, was in excellent form and truly shone as she floated above the other performers. Her flute tone is unique, while her phrasing of Mozart’s music is pure poetry. Mate Bekavac also shone once again, both as soloist (clarinettist) and as conductor, sometimes literally simultaneously, holding his clarinet in one hand and conducting the orchestra with the other – everything in the best possible light.”