Isaac Albéniz: Catalonia
Joaqúin Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Manuel da Falla: El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat)
The Amherst Symphony Orchestra celebrates Family Weekend at Amherst College with performances of the vibrant concert music of continental Spain! From Visigoth liturgical chant; to the Renaissance motets of Victoria and Morales; to the zarzuelas of Calderón, Chuecca and Torroba; to the colorful and foundational exploitation of the guitar and native dance forms such as jota—Spain has a rich, rhythmic and widely emulated musical language reflecting subtle regional differences and Moorish and Islamic influences.
The concert opens with a fiery showpiece: Catalonia: Suite Populaire by Catalan piano virtuoso and composer Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), followed by perhaps the most famous guitar concerto in the repertoire, the Concierto de Aranjuez (1939), by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999). Inspired by imperial gardens on the river Tagus at the Palacio Real de Aranjuez dating from the 16th century Hapsburg monarch Philip II, the flamenco-influenced Concierto is by turns flashy and tragic (the slow movement reflects the deep sadness following the Spanish Civil War).
The concert closes with music to the ballet El sombrero de tres picos (The three-cornered hat) (1919) by Spain's greatest 20th century composer, the Andalusian Manuel da Falla (1876-1946). Written for Diaghilev for Paris, with choreography by Massine and sets/costumes by Picasso, it tells of a town magistrate who attempts to seduce the wife of a local miller.
For information on ticketing and directions to the concert, see https://www.amherstsymphonyorchestra.com/musicians