Can you imagine an academic pianist and a Cuban percussionist improvisator on one stage? Apparently, yes. Everyone who was on the concert on the hot day of 12 of July in the Smolny cathedral could convince themselves in it, there was the birth of a new duo In-temporalis.
Saint-Petersburg pianist Polina Fradkina always looked for non-standard decisions in her creative work. One of her conceptual projects is a concert “Shopen and Antishopen”. In the firs part sounds the music of the Polish romantic and in the second part vanguard compositions of Slominskiy, Druch and Firtich are played. The borders of traditional classic music performance are long to tight for the bursting forth temperament of Polina. Maybe because of this the pianist took such grate pleasure performing the sonata of Firtich, during which by the constption of the composer the performer must not only play but also… scream.
By suggesting collaboration to the masterly and charming Cuban drummer Yoel Gonzalez, Polina made a perfect choice. Exactly in this kind of duo the talent of Fradkina is showing to its fullest.
The concert started with the composition of Igor Druch on the themes of Tchaikovsky “Rondo in Cuban style”. After that the duo In-temporalis played there transcription of the final of the 17 th sonata of Beethoven, Ravels “Pavana”, Rimsky-Korsakov’s – Rochmaninov’s “The flight of the bumblebee” and Mussorgsky “ Old Castle ”.
Any adaptation of classic is always a risk. You have to not only “not ruin” the brilliant music but also discover something new that no one heard before. Here the musician enters an equitable dialog (or even more close relationship) with the composer whose creation he tries to redefine. To create a real piece of art you need a deep knowledge of the material, irreproachable taste and of course love. In-temporalis performance of famous music is playing with new colors, it unsealed lost layers. For example in Beethoven they discovered variable meter, in Ravel – jazz harmony, in Mussorgsky the Spanish “strain”.
In-temporalis means “timeless”. Indeed in the concert the borders between epochs, genre and styles were washed away. In the timeless space of the In-temporalis duo Druch talks with Tchaikovsky, Gonzalez with Shopen, and the frantic rhythmic of the improvisation of a Cuban drummer with keen metric decisions of Beethoven… It is hard to say what is before us – a subtle jazz arrangement of a classic or a piece of post modern art that searches for new connections and parallels.
Before, on the concerts Polina screamed herself, according to the text of the Firtich sonata. Now she passed this duty to another. Gonzalez sings, and screams, and moans, and whispers when he can’t be silent anymore. With special artistry he performed his own composition “Nostalgia” the listeners were in frantic delight.
The concert was a real musical advent for everybody – from non professionals to the music theorists. Two performers like yin and yang incarnated two opposite beginnings. Female and male, academic and jazz, melodious and shocking, reserved and impulsive. The current running between the two musicians created a tension in the concert hall that was far beyond the borders of the Ohm’s law.
All that happened on stage was run through with Spanish elements. The conventionalized costumes (designed by Polina Raudson) the passionate exclamations of the Cuban Gonzalez and the sizzling rhythms of De Faghlia “Dance of Fire”.
Garcia Lorca speaks in his lections of a unique phenomenon which fills the whole culture of Spain with special energy – from flamenco to corrida. This is duende or “demon”. According to Lorca often performers possessed by the “demon”, “could find something new that had nothing to do with the original: they poured the hot blood and thoughts in the empty bodies of the composition”. Listening to the In-temporalis makes you want to exclaim like an old Gipsy from one of Lorca's articles “Ole! There is duende in here!”