For the last concert of the season we have brought together three masterpieces that focus on things Hispanic (although none of them was written by a Spaniard). First we have the Rapsodie espagnole, Ravel’s intoxicating evocation in sound of Spain’s cool nights and sultry days. It’s insinuating and sexy, with a touch of flamenco too. Through the wizardry of his magical harmonies and luminous orchestration Ravel makes our ears believe they can actually smell the delicious scent of jasmine that suffuses the air and feel the caress on our cheek of the night breezes that waft through the music.
Then Anna Deloi will step forward from the orchestra to play the most important twentieth century harp concerto, the Harp Concerto of the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera. This amazing piece, with its fabulous intertwining of harp and orchestra in sonorities that had never been imagined before, calls for a player who can ally transcendent virtuosity with an uncommon depth of feeling. That is exactly what you will hear from this amazing 17-year-old harpist.
And to end, Richard Strauss’s enthralling tone poem Don Quixote. The composer creates a lush orchestral soundscape in which the first cello plays a virtuosic, soulful, unpredictable Don Quixote to the first viola’s more down to earth and wry Sancho Panza. Two of fiction’s great characters achieve their definitive musical form in this Strauss masterwork. The Don in these performances will be 19-year-old Jonah Ellsworth, one of the most phenomenally gifted young cellists in America today.