Billed as 'Castanets at the Cadogan Hall', yesterday evening's concert featured the visiting Orquesta Nacional de España conducted by Josep Pons.Two Spanish composers in the first half: Joaquín Turina's Danzas Fantásticas with its distinct feeling of the Spanish sun, rhythmic and colourful: and Joaquín Rodrigo's popular Concerto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, played with flair and precision by José María Gallardo. The hall's splendid warm acoustic added to the romantically enveloping sound of both works.

The second half consisted of works by Ravel: Alborada del Gracioso, Rapsodie Espagnola, and (inevitably) the Bolero. Here the Spanish atmosphere is filtered through a gently haze of French impressionism: masterly orchestrated but not quite with the authentic Spanish sound - it would perhaps have been nicer to have had some more Spanish composers such as de Falla; but no-one could fault the committed and colourful playing. I could have done without the Bolero, though - a tiresome and repetitive crowd-pleaser in my opinion, no matter how well played: but received, as was the whole concert, with considerable enthusiasm by the packed audience.

Posted: Wed - May 20, 2009 at 08:36 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM