Conductor Pablo Mielgo

Los esclavos felices: Overture, Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga
Fantasía para un gentilhombre, Joaquín Rodrigo
Rafael Aguirre guitar
– –
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64, Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky

1.45 h (w/intermission)

photo ©Christian Debus
Program notes Jose Antonio Canton

In spite of his very short life, the composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, who was from Bilbao, produced very high quality work that highlights how unfortunate his premature death was at the age of 20, along with his huge natural capacity for music. Trained as a violinist, in 1819 he premiered the opera The Happy Slaves in Bilbao, of which only the score of the overture has survived.
In Fantasia for a Gentleman for guitar and orchestra written in 1954 and dedicated to Andrés Segovia, Joaquín Rodrigo was inspired by Gaspar Sanz, the great guitar virtuoso from Aragon who in 1674 finished one of the most complete methods known to learn this instrument. Rodrigo used several of his short pieces to compose this beautiful suite in four movements.
The confirmation that Tchaikovsky began to work on what would be his Symphony No.5 in E Minor, Op.64 is found in a letter he wrote to this friend and protector Nadezhda von Meck: “Did you know that I am trying to write a symphony? The beginning has been difficult; however, now inspiration seems to have arrived. We’ll see!”. The work was finished on the 26th of August, 1888, and was premiered on the 5th of November at the concert hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra with the composer as conductor.

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