Throughout history Spanish music has passionately embodied the beauty of the guitar. In a program embracing the warm and sunny air of Spain, the Vancouver Island Symphony will present Airs d’Espagne in the Port Theatre at 7:30 p.m on Saturday, March 5, 2011. Airs d’Espagne was written by Spanish-Canadian composer Jose Evangelista and is based on a series of traditional Spanish folk melodies.
Next, guitarist Daniel Bolshoy will perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s popular Fantasia para un Gentilhombre under the baton of Pierre Simard. “The story of this piece begins with Rodrigo’s first concerto,” explains Bolshoy who has developed a reputation for being both a magnificent guitarist and an engaging performer who communicates with his audience. “It was written for a Spanish guitarist, and Segovia, the high priest of guitar, never played it because it wasn’t dedicated to him. Fourteen years later Rodrigo wrote this work for Segovia in hopes that he would be forgiven.”
To conclude this Spanish concert, Simard will conduct the Carmen-Suite, a ballet by Rodion Shchedrin based on the opera Carmen by Bizet. Says Simard, “It is an ironic twist on Carmen. The piece is completely humorous – full of subtlety and unexpected turns on very familiar music.” This is Carmen with all the favourite tunes dressed up in a way Bizet would never have imagined – and with a sly grin and a twinkle in the eye.
Passion, humour, intimacy, and beauty make up this evening of Spanish delights. Bolshoy suggests that to complete the experience, one should “have a Spanish style meal with queso Manchego cheese (from the La Mancha region), a dish of paella, and drink some good red wine; and after the concert, some tapas.” Tickets for this musical evening are available at $46 adults, $44 seniors, and $18 students, plus an administration fee, by calling 250-754-8550. Pre- and post-concert talks will be held.