Francisco Casanova, Una parola
HOW I CELEBRATED THE 27TH OF FEBRUARY
By Francisco Chahín-Casanova
The Consulate General of Argentina en Nueva York presents:
This past February 27th, the 169th anniversary of the Dominican Independence, I had the good fortune to celebrate the memory of Duarte, Sánhez, Mella, Santana, Duverge, Rosa Duarte and other patriots of other generations such as Luperón, Máximo Gómez and Juana Saltitopa in a venue and in a way I would have never dreamed: I was invited to the Consulate of Argentina in New York City, to hear Argentinian baritone Gustavo Ahualli in a recital. Mr. Ahualli was accompanied by Ms. Frances Roberts at the piano.
In arriving, the first thing I noticed was that on a large room of the first floor there was a beautiful show of oils. I did not stop to see it because I arrived late and did not want to miss one note of the program. Fortunately I did not,
The program was mostly made by pieces of Argentinian authors: Alberto Williams, Carlos Guastavino, Alberto Ginastera, Astor Piazzola, María Elena Walsh and Carlos Gardel. For the closing Mr. Ahualli chose Non piú andrai, from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Per me giunto, from Verdi’s Don Carlo and Votre Toast, from Bizet’s Carmen.
An exquisite program both for the audience as well as for the interpreter, as it showed him off extremely well in a material practically unknown to the New York audiences, and in which he could show his technical abilities, his good taste in phrasing and his deep knowledge of the different and diverse styles proposed that night.
Mr. Ahualli is in my opinion, one of the best singers of this generation, for he possesses a gorgeous voice which he uses with profound technical wisdom, immaculate musical taste, a very clear sense of phrasing and a security in navigating through the different styles which left me and every one else that was at the Argentinian Consulate that night astounded.
Ms. Roberts also was at the top of her game, as she accompanied Mr. Ahualli with an incredible sense of security on the new material (to her: at the end of the concert she told me how happy she was to have played it because of all the new nuances in the musical language to which she became familiar by having done so). She was the ideal accompanist: supportive of the singer and at the same time taking the slancio created by Mr. Ahualli and keeping it alive, but always in relation to the singer’s phrasing and never creating anything unnecessary or excessive.
Bravo Mr. Ahualli, brava Ms. Roberts.
Your work that night will always be one of the highlights of my musical life.
I would also like to applaud the Argentinian Ambassador as well as the General Consul, for the support they give to the arts as well as to the Argentinian artists that create it. ¡Así es como se hace Patria!, apoyando ko propio.