Conductor Josep Caballé Domenech

Dances from Don Quixote, Roberto Gerhard
Cello concerto in F major (*), Enric Casals 
Jan Vogler cello
– –
Don Quixote (Fantastic variations on a chivalrous theme), Op.35, Richard Strauss
Jan Vogler cello
Razvan Cociodar viola   
(*) First performance by the OFM

1.50 h (w/intermission)

photo ©Kike Barona ©Jim Rakete
Program notes José Antonio Cantón

According to his friend David Drew, Roberto Gerhard always considered the novel Don Quijote de La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes «as his Bible». It is thus significant that when Gerhard went into exile at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Dances from Don Quixote, one of the first pieces he composed, was precisely based on that novel. The piece articulates the composer’s own quixotism with serial music originally created for his ballet Don Quixote.
The violinist Enric Casals, brother of the legendary cellist Pau Casals, had been thinking about a cello concerto for his daughter since the beginning of 1946. He mentally planned the piece’s general lines, but the work of composition began that summer at his beach residence in San Salvador, and was finished at the end of 1947.
Composed in 1897 in Munich, the symphonic poem Don Quixote by Richard Strauss was premiered in Cologne on the 8th of March, 1898, as part of the city’s Gürzenich Concerts, with Friedrich Grützmacher as the cello soloist and Franz Wüllner as conductor. The piece has an evident concertante sense, with noteworthy interventions of the viola and tenor tuba, and a descriptive power that places it at a nearly unsurpassable point of programmatic music.

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