The Barcelona Symphonic Band opens the season with El amor brujo, featuring singer ‎Esperanza Fernández and conductor Pascual-Vilaplana

21-Oct-2021 – Aleix Palau

The Barcelona Symphonic Band opens a new season with an inaugural ‎concert conducted by the Band’s leader, José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, ‎performing one of the great Spanish works of the 20th century, El amor ‎brujo, by Manuel de Falla. The concert will take place ‎on Sunday 24 October in Hall 1, Pau Casals at L’Auditori de Barcelona, ‎featuring the singer Esperanza Fernández. One of Spain’s leading ‎specialists in this piece, she has recorded it with ensembles such as the Barcelona Symphony ‎Orchestra and performed it with the country’s top orchestras.‎

El amor brujo tells a tale of passion that goes beyond the world of the living. The ‎ballet/pantomime relates the story of a young couple, Candelas and Carmelo, and her former ‎lover, who returns as a ghost to torment her. Spells, sorcery and traditional Andalusian music ‎weave their magic in this work. The Danza ritual del fuego and the Canción ‎del fuego fatuo are recognised as musical landmarks of the 20th century.‎

The programme rounds off with Caridiofonía by ‎‎Andrés Valero-Castells, an aural experience based on the rhythm of a ‎beating heart, literally so in the first and third movements. The second, more poetic, ‎movement, is based on a quote from García Lorca, and the final movement draws on a ‎musical theme from rocker Luis Campuzano (known as “Sherpa”). Also featuring is the ‎‎Smetana fanfare, by Karel Husa, a work ‎first performed on the centenary of the birth of the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. ‎‎The concert can be heard live on the L’Auditori Digital ‎channel.

The Barcelona Symphonic Band will offer nineteen ‎programmes during the season, in addition to Family Concerts ‎‎and concerts in partnership with Apropa Cultura. Working within ‎L’Auditori’s theme for this season, love and hate, the Symphonic Band ‎continues to focus on a range of objectives such as raising the profile of wind and percussion ‎orchestras, recovering, promoting and adapting musical heritage, publicising the Band’s ‎current repertoire, and attracting international soloists and conductors.‎

The ensemble, headed by José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, will tackle a ‎repertoire that ranges from Bernstein to Berlioz and Prokofiev and from Wagner to ‎Schoenberg, with a strong focus on great works such as Rachmaninoff’s ‎‎Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Bernstein’s ‎‎West Side Story, Martínez Valls’ zarzuela ‎‎Cançó d’amor i de guerra and Elgar’s Cello ‎Concerto. Highlights include the premiere of Retrat d’artista de la ‎Banda, a work that will bring together some of the greatest names from the world ‎of band music such as Husa, Reed, Valero-Castells, Brotons and Sparke. ‎The Band will also premiere works by Bernat Vivancos, L’Auditori’s guest composer, ‎and by Albert Guinovart.‎

The ensemble’s conductors this season, apart from its leader, José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, and ‎assistant conductor, Carlos Ramón, will include Philip Sparke, ‎Josep Caballé, Henrie Adams, Baldur Brönnimann, Juan Miguel Romero and Salvador ‎Brotons.‎

Star soloists will include cellist Asier Polo, marimba player Conrado Moya, pianist ‎Jean-François Dichamp, trombonists Polina Tarasenki and Iván Plaus, soprano Miren de ‎Miguel and baritone Toni Marsol.‎


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