‘Not in one’s wildest dreams would a youth orchestra perform Tchaikovsky’s firth symphony in such an interesting and successful manner as did the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra on the 8th of September at the Zappeion. Obviously, the difference is attributed to the maestro, in this case Zoe Zeniodi, known to Athenian audiences from appearances at the Greek National Opera and the Onassis Cultural Foundation.
Undoubtedly, the positive outcome was due to the fact that the Athens concert was the fifth in a series of concerts of this orchestra, following suit from Rhodes, Heraklion, Rethymnon and Elefsina. However, regardless of this fact, the ensemble was not only well coordinated merely due to this series of concerts. The orchestra, now in its tenth year, had assimilated basic elements of Tchaikovsky’s music and all that he wished to express through it. In this particular instance, the musicians’ young age proved an asset, as it helped the conveyance of tension in music to the nth degree, which is the composer’s consistent choice throughout. Taking on, Zeniodi saw to it that there was grandeur in the music, without any signs of pompousness or kitchness in its passion. She allowed full development of the phrases and a natural climax towards every peak without any hurry and she discharged all tension, thus allowing the sections to develop with clarity. Behind the fire and tension one could clearly detect her reasoning.
The hall acoustics flattered the strings, enriching their full sound. The background was sketched by the woodwinds and brass, which were generally very good, even in the exposed solo parts. Overall, it was an interpretation which would honour even professional orchestras.’