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2 September 2017

Concert of a combined Russian-Italian military orchestra caused a hurricane of emotions

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Today, on the 2nd of September, a combined orchestra of musicians from the Central Military Orchestra of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Carabinieri band of Italy performed at the stage of the Central Cultural House of Railway Workers.

Musicians played popular compositions of Russian, Italian and French composers. The orchestra was directed by turns by the Head of the Russian orchestra Sergey Durygin and the Chief Conductor of the Italian Orchestra Massimo Martinelli. The culmination of the concert was the final part when the orchestras performed Italian and Russian national anthems.

The Central Military Orchestra of the Russian Ministry of Defense is the leading creative band of the Russian Ministry of Defense and one of the most famous orchestras in the world. It was established in 1927 and participated in all the editions of «Spasskaya Tower» Festival.

The Carabinieri band of Italy was established in 1820 when a group of trumpeters was introduced into the Royal Carabinieri Corps for the first time. In 1862 it was transformed into a real brass band and then developed into a full band contingent. In 2001 the band performed for the Pope John Paul II during the first official visit of a supreme pontiff in the history of the Roman church to the Chamber of Deputies. The band participates in the «Spasskaya Tower» Festival for the third time.

At the concert opening Sergey Durygin said that Massimo Martinelli had taken the initiative to organize this concert, he had contacted the Russian organizers and asked to perform together with one of the Russian military orchestras. «And we agreed with enthusiasm», - he said.

The stage of the Central Cultural House of Railway Workers was not big enough, this is why the orchestras performed in smaller numbers. They played music of Bellini, Verdi, Chaykovsky, Bizet, Argentinian composer Piazzolla, Valery Khalilov and Morricone. The orchestra was directed either by Durygin (Russian music) or Martinelli (Italian and other foreign music). He was also the author of one of the compositions.  

The orchestra also performed «Strelkovy March» («March of Shooters»), written by Major General Valery Khalilov, Musical Director of the Festival, who tragically died in December 2016.

Before playing this composition Sergey Durygin said: «Valery Khalilov wrote a lot of music for military and brass band, he always performed with our orchestras in many cities and towns around Russia. He was a very happy person, and with this march he tried to demonstrate how the military exercise takes place. In this march you hear the sound of rifle and gun shots, airplanes flying, everything is exploding and making a lot of noise. Nevertheless, it is a very cheerful major music». 

A surprise of the concert program was a melody of «Shyol soldat» («Soldier was walking») song by Soloviyov-Sedoy. The orchestra was directed by Massimo Martinelli. Sergey Durygin explained how this music was included into the program: «At one of the editions of the «Spasskaya Tower» Festival military conductors were offering flowers to the grave of the Unknown Soldier. This song, written by Soloviyov-Sedoy with words of Matusovsky, was performed at this time. Massimo liked it a lot, and he asked about it. I told him that it was a song about a soldier, and translated the lyrics for him. He was so pleased with the lyrics, that he asked for the music-sheet for this song».

Other surprise made for the audience of the concert was a mix of soundtracks to movies written by a prominent Italian composer Ennio Morriccone.

Martinelli says that Morriccone is a good friend of the Italian orchestra and he wrote a composition specially for the orchestra, however the Italians did not perform it this time.

The culmination of the concert was its final part, when the orchestras performed Italian and Russian national anthems. The Italian conductor directed the performance of the Russian National Anthem, and the Russian conductor directed the performance of the Italian National Anthem. All the spectators stood up.

When the concert was over, the guests broke into applause and started shouting «Bravo» and «Bravissimo».

«I am delighted, I’ve got a tornado of emotions, the final part was very patriotic. I feel a great enthusiasm right now», - says Svetlana Prishyvalko, who came to the concert with her husband.

Nikolay Monakov, junior trainee and the 1st year student of the Moscow Conservatory also enjoyed the concert a lot. «The concert was great, I wish there were more concerts like this one. The program was diverse and the level of performance was very high, - he said. - I would to advise to maitre Durygin to include Morriccone’s compositions into their list and also play more compositions of Valery Khalilov. He is a marvelous composer, but, unfortunately, he is not very well know by the general public».

«A vertuoso performance, a very high level of musical skills»,- said his companion Elvira Lipatova.

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