Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra embark on a colourful journey to Spain!
In Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los jardines de España, you will inhale the scent of jasmine, sense the echo of Moorish roots and enjoy the vivid Mediterranean colours of the Spanish gardens, painted with the finest of impressionistic brushes. The Spanish night marches on to a military beat as the night brigade of Madrid closes off the streets in Berio’s inventive Ritirata Notturna di Madrid, after Boccherini’s tones from the 18th century. Louisa Tuck’s cello will then entice you to partake in a knight’s imaginings in Strauss’ Don Quixote. Bienvenido!
One of Strauss’ (1864-1949) foremost talents as a composer was his ability to paint musical portraits of characters or events, or to create a particular mood, using an exceptionally rich and inventive orchestra palate. The tone poem was a genre which suited him perfectly, and in works like Don Quixote (1897) he was able to distribute liberally his phenomenal skills for orchestra colour and inventive melodies. The cello soloist represents Don Quixote himself and in Strauss’ work the fantasies seem to appear as life-like as they do for the protagonist himself.
We also find an impressive soundscape in Manuel de Falla’s (1876-1946) Noches en los jardines de España (1915) for piano and orchestra. His “symphonic impression” of nights in the Spanish gardens are his most impressionistic and colourful, and there is a nod to history in the Moorish influences which have crept in between the musical lines. Overall, the music oozes Spanish scents, sounds and colours.
The sound- and technical potential of musical instruments was also a critical source of inspiration for the Italian Luciano Berio (1925-2003), both in his own works and in his arrangements such as the festive and unpredictable version of Ritirata Notturna di Madrid (1975), originally composed in the 1700’s by Luigi Boccherini.
(Text: Thomas Erma Møller; Translation (from Norwegian): Sarah Osa; In photo: Vasily Petrenko; Photo: Fred-Olav Vatne/Oslo Philharmonic)
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