Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid
Marzena Diakun, conductor
Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, guitar
The Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, Marzena Diakun (conductor) and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas (guitar) offer intoxicating Spanish classics by Manuel de Falla and Rodrigo, plus a grandiose symphony.—
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999):
Concierto de Aranjuez
Manuel de Falla (1876–1946):
“El amor brujo”, Suite
Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904):
Symphony No. 8 in G major, op. 88
Different regions often have their very own sound world. The Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid (ORCAM) and its principal conductor Marzena Diakun here take our audience on a journey to Andalusia in southern Spain, then north to the royal seat of Aranjuez near Madrid, and finally to remote Bohemian villages and landscapes.
A concerto for guitar and orchestra is not an everyday occurrence in the concert hall. When it’s played by Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, we also have the opportunity to hear one of the most sought-after guitarists of our time. Joaquin Rodrigo wrote his “Concierto de Aranjuez” in 1939. He was inspired by the royal palace in Aranjuez, the former spring residence of the Spanish kings. Rodrigo, who was almost completely blind from the age of four onwards, often went for walks with his wife in the gardens of Aranjuez. In this work, he alludes to the courtly music of past centuries such as the cheerful fandango, a popular type of sung dance that is characterised by lively rhythmic shifts. The poignant melodies of the famous second movement of Rodrigo’s Concerto are modelled on the laments that are still sung in Spain during processions on Good Friday.
Manuel de Falla’s ballet “El amor brujo” (“Love, the Magician”) is a passionate homage to the music of his Andalusian homeland. De Falla was fascinated by the “cante jondo” – an old form of flamenco – and supported efforts to maintain its traditions, such as by organising a singing competition. The strength of “El amor brujo” lies very much in its flamenco character. It takes place among the “Gitanos”, the Spanish Roma people, and is above all a celebration of their rich musical traditions. Here, elegiac songs encounter striking rhythms, and unmistakably “Spanish” themes and motifs are heard against a backdrop of atmospheric soundscapes. In 1925, De Falla arranged several numbers from his ballet to form a suite, and it is this that ORCAM plays here. At the heart of it is the Ritual Fire Dance with its seething orchestral eruptions.
The music of Antonín Dvořák’s 8th Symphony is hardly less spirited – as in the wild pace of the brisk march in his final movement. Dvořák’s music often drew on the dances and songs of his Bohemian homeland, of whose Nature and landscapes he was especially fond. This symphony, which is overflowing with melodic beauty, is a perfect example of this.
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