Orquestra de Cadaqués
Date of EventThursday, 30. 5. 2019 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 22.00
Event placeRudolfinum – Dvořák Hall
Price350 - 1 200 CZK
- Isaac Albéniz / Albert Guinovart: Spanish Landscapes
- Astor Piazzolla / Leonid Desjatnikov: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
- Manuel de Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat, Suite No. 1
- Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga: Symphony for Large Orchestra
- Orquestra de Cadaqués
- Jaime Martín - conductor
- Leticia Moreno - violin
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Perhaps nowhere else in the world of music is one likely to encounter such profusion of colours and so much passion as in Spanish music. This has now – since the launch in 2016 of an annual concert series running for several years, presenting Iberian musical culture including its Latin American extensions – been continuously savoured by Prague Spring audiences. In the series so far, the Prague Spring has offered a production mounted by a group of legendary flamenco dancers, spotlighted the uniqueness of Spanish Baroque music, and featured a concert of guitar and lute music embued and performed with an amount of passion for which it would be hard to find a peer anywhere else.
The 2019 Prague Spring programme has in the offering so far the most ambitious project within this series: namely, a guest appearance of Spain´s Orquestra de Cadaqués, with conductor Jaime Martín and star violin player Leticia Moreno. They will perform some truly extraordinary orchestral music, still virtually unknown to Czech audiences, by the great Spanish and Ibero-American composers Albéniz, Piazzolla, Falla and Arriaga.
“Every country should have a lively, passionate orchestra like the Cadaqués. The fact that it is an ensemble of Mediterranean origin with a clear cosmopolitan vision makes it a unique orchestra.” This is how the orchestra was described by Sir Neville Marriner, who was between 1992 and 2016 the ensemble´s honorary conductor. The Orquestra de Cadaqués was founded in 1988 by young musicians from Spain and several other European countries who had set before themselves three goals: to form an orchestra working closely with living composers; to resuscitate from its current undeserved oblivion the heritage of Spanish music; and to boost the careers of young talented soloists, composers and conductors. Rooted in the Mediterranean region yet harbouring a clearly defined cosmopolitan vision, the Orquestra de Cadaqués soon made a name for itself on the music scene, an achievement due both to its players´ individual skills and sense of involvement, and to its dynamic creative projects.
Jaime Martín started his career in music as a flautist, and before long propelled himself to the company of élite flute players. Subsequently, however, he gave up his pursuits as a prominent flautist for a career in conducting, and there too soon earned international renown. Since 2011 he has been at the helm of the Orquesta de Cadaqués, apart from which he is the artistic director of the international music festival in Santander, and from the next season will take the podium as the music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Though he only began to conduct eight years ago, Jaime Martín already has to his credit work with a number of prominent orchestras including the likes of the London Philharmonic, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra or the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Violinist Leticia Moreno “has the grace of a flamenco dancer, the expressive charge of an Andalusian cantaora, and the scorching gaze of a Pedro Almodóvar female character. Doubtless, Spain has today found in her an exquisite ambassador for its music,” wrote the critic for the French daily Le Figaro. This is just one among many such plaudits Leticia Moreno has so far accumulated. In 2012 the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) made her one of its prestigious Rising Stars, a distinction which opened up the way for her to Europe´s major concert halls. Her latest release, the album Piazzolla (Deutsche Grammophon), was recorded in London and Berlin studios, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Her other recordings include the album Spanish Landscapes – A Study of Spanish Music, featuring compositions by Sarasate, Lorca, Granados, Falla a.o. (Universal/Deutsche Grammophon), and Shostakovich´s Violin Concerto No. 2, with the St Petersburg Philharmonic under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov.
The compositional output of Isaac Albéniz (Spanish Landscapes) is inspired by Iberian folk music with its symbiosis of elements of Christian and Muslim cultures, reflected in its rhythmic opulence, as well as in its structuring of melodies and harmonies.
The Argentinian composer and bandoneón virtuoso, Astor Piazzolla, grew up in New York. During his childhood the sole link connecting him with his native land was the rhythm of tango, with which he was acquainted by his father. In 1937 the family returned to Buenos Aires, where Astor got the first-hand experience of tango. He then studied in Paris, with the celebrated composer and educator, Nadia Boulanger, who convinced him not to try and suppress his tango background, but rather to use it as groundwork on which to build his individual style. This was also what he did, after his return to Argentina. In the time of Piazzolla´s youth, tango was a genre associated with the world of cabarets and nightclubs of dubious repute. He came to rehabilitate it as a specific idiom of his country´s culture. From his early youth he had also felt strong affinity for European music of the Baroque era, and so he was naturally well acquainted with one of the international repertory´s best loved compositions – Antonio Vivaldi´s cycle of four violin concertos The Four Seasons. Between 1965 and 1970, Piazzolla wrote a similar series, entitled Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (“Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”), for chamber ensemble. In 1999 the composition was newly arranged by Ukrainian composer Leonid Desyatnikov, for solo violin and orchestra, in correspondence with the combination of the Vivaldi cycle, and in the process incorporated into the individual arrangements certain motifs borrowed from Vivaldi.
The smart and faithful wife of a miller punishes, with her husband´s consent, a lecherous magistrate who underpins his authority by wearing the characteristic three-cornered hat which still enhances his belief in the limitless extent of his powers. The story served as a model for the best known ballet of Manuel de Falla (The Three-Cornered Hat), which was commissioned by the illustrious ballet impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, and which premiered in 1919 on a stage designed by Pablo Picasso. The work´s success led to a wide demand for its music to be introduced also to concert platforms. Consequently, Falla produced two suites from the ballet, each bringing to the fore his adaptations of some of the most characteristic Spanish folk dances.
A native of the Basque city of Bilbao, Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga managed in the course of his very short life to compose an extensive output, including music for the stage and orchestral works, much of which, however, has been lost. From 1821 Arriaga, a keen admirer of music of the First Viennese School, studied at the Paris Conservatoire. His sole symphony – Sinfonía a gran orquesta – betrays the influence of Haydn and Mozart, as well as even Beethoven. Tragically however, the composer´s frail constitution did not withstand his self-destructive pace of work, and he died, probably from tuberculosis, at just short of twenty years of age. The brevity of his life coupled with an output of music exuding playful ease have earned Arriaga the sobriquet “the Spanish Mozart”. The symbolism of this parallel is still heightened by the fact that he was born fifty years to the day after the birth of Mozart.