ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

And you thought Beethoven had it bad

This week’s BSO concert has seen no small amount of changes. It was originally entitled “Espana” (with a tilde over the n that my keyboard lacks and if you want html, you can look up the code) and featured, appropriately, music by Spanish composers as well as music themed to Spain.

Somewhere between the season launch and now, however, there was an abrupt right turn, and the vast majority of the program was chucked. All that remain of the original concept are Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena and Rodrigo’s Concierto de estio. And Jonathan Carney is still the soloist, but by the man’s own admission his heritage is American and you could plop him down in any old concert and have him fit, I suppose.

The concert now additionally offers Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III (ooh!) and Neilsen’s Symphony No. 4, but I want to concentrate on this Rodrigo fellow. According to the program notes, this guy was blind. Blind! Blind since the age of three. Yet he became “the dean of Spanish composers.”

It should be noted that his Wikipedia page amends this to “almost completely” blind, which is slightly different, but I figure if he wrote his compositions in brail then that’s good enough for me. After all, Beethoven wasn’t deaf his whole life. Bloody impressive, all the same.

If you’d like to partake of Joaquin Rodrigo, Marqués de los Jardines de Aranjuez (fancy!), the concert is on Thursday, April 15 at 8 pm at Strathmore; at the Meyerhoff there’s a Saturday, April 17 performance at 8 pm and a Sunday, April 18 performance at 3 pm.

Also Respighi. Mmmm… Respighi.


About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


4 thoughts on “And you thought Beethoven had it bad

  1. Making an ñ

    hold alt key down while typing 0241 on the numeric keypad, not the number keys at the top (use 0209 for upper case)
    If this doesn’t work you may need to toggle the Num Lock key.
    Works everywhere, including email and spreadsheets.

    option+n then n or N

    Posted by Yvonne | April 14, 2010, 11:06 am
  2. What’s interesting is that in many cultures, such as ancient Japan, music was one of the few professions or livelihoods considered plausible for a blind child. If you were born blind or were blinded at a young age then you were trained to sing, play instruments, compose etc., and in 19th-century Europe you might have been trained as a piano tuner. All of which makes a lot of sense.

    There’s a nice Sargent painting here: http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/The_Blind_Musicians.htm

    Posted by Yvonne | April 14, 2010, 11:15 am

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