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Sketches of Spain


Thu 1 Sep 2011, 7:30pm

Where: Founders Theatre, 221 Tristram St, Hamilton, Waikato

Restrictions: All Ages


Listed by: NZSO

Christoph König - conductor.
Xuefei Yang - guitar.

Rimsky Korsakov - Capriccio Espagnol.
Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez.
Debussy - Iberia.
De Falla - Three-Cornered Hat Suite No.2 (Three Dances).

Experience colour with the NZSO.

Relax and enjoy! The delight of master composers in the brilliant palette of colours, which only an orchestra can conjure, comes to the fore in this diverse program of music celebrating Spanish vitality and sunshine. At its heart is Rodrigo’s rhapsodic Concierto de Aranjuez, justly honoured as one of classical music’s “greatest hits” for its melodic beauty and gentle sensibility. Xuefei Fang, the first guitarist of international stature to emerge from China’s classical music “boom”, now based in London where her reputation is soaring, performs it.

Although Debussy visited Spain only once in his life (to witness a bullfight), the country and its culture held a rich fascination, and in Iberia, his expertise in orchestral colour is fully exploited in the evocation of three imaginary scenes of the Spanish countryside, a warm Mediterranean night and the atmosphere of a popular festival. Manuel de Falla’s ballet The Three-Cornered Hat was a major success in its performances by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, with choreography by Massine and sets by Picasso. With its rich colours, infectious rhythmic impetus and light-hearted nature, it was hailed as a vital incarnation of the Spanish spirit, uniting folk inspiration with a truly modern sensibility. French composer Gabriel Pierné, a contemporary of Debussy, possessed the same ability to combine lightness with an up-to-date spirit, and his incidental music for the play Ramuntcho, a romantic comedy set in the Basque region, shows his flair for exotic flavours.

“I aimed to capture the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains in the gardens of Aranjuez” - Joaquin Rodrigo

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