“The audience present at the Manoel Theatre on 23rd May 2000, were simply elated by the performance given by Charlene Farrugia. When this pretty impish-looking teenager appeared impeccably attired on the stage the audience clapped thunderously to encourage her, but this was nothing in comparison to the resounding applause at the end of her performance.
“Undoubtedly pride of place in this concert was given to the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn, where young Charlene Farrugia brought the house down with a fine performance. This young lady has a talent which should be nurtured with care and passion. It was a joy to see young Charlene Farrugia pouring all her youthful energy into the music, while keeping her eyes riveted on the conductor. I have not seen anyone get a standing ovation at the Manoel for quite some time, but the one given to Charlene was amply merited. A cause for celebration indeed.”
“Charlene Farrugia, the 13-year old Maltese prodigy, who sat the audience on the edge of their collective seats on May 23 at the Manoel Theatre, is certainly a rare breed. her masterful performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G minor with the National Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Butcher, filled us with downright admiration. This lovely Maltese child is the possessor of an awesome and delicate technique. Her startling octaves, majestic chords, estraordinary double-thirds and delightful staccato, already have velocity, precision and gloss which could be compared with those of the greatest pianists of our time. She is your national pride and certainly the potential glory of your country.”
“The star of the last concert of the season at the Manoel Theatre was without doubt Charlene Farrugia, who at the age of 13, already possess a formidable technique which enabled her to sail through all the passage-work, octaves and chords of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 without showing any signs of strain. Charlene immediately showed sensitivity for the orchestra, she never hesitated in her attacks and maintained a steady rhythm and a good rapport throughout. Good articulation, flexible fingers and powerful tips looked after the technical difficulties. She played the second movement with great feeling giving importance to the melodic line.”
“She displayed tremendous poise, control and technical fluency in her approach to a varied programme of works ranging from Mozart to Gershwin. There was not the slightest hint of nervousness or hesitancy in her interpretation of difficult and demanding works by Bach (Toccata and Fugue in E minor) and Mozart (Nine Variations on a Minuet by Duport, with which she boldly opened her recital”
“Her sound technique and remarkable deftness endow her playing with great articulation.”
Charlene recorded Charles Camilleri’s Piano Concerto no. 1 accompanied by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The album ‘Mediterranean’ was released by NAXOS, the world’s leading classical music label known for recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent.
The Piano Concerto No. 1 ‘Mediterranean’ owes much to the Romantic concerto tradition but is suffused with the distinctive flavours of music from southern Europe and North Africa.
For more information visit HERE.
The CD can be purchased from HERE.