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.