Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Rise To The Challenge

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  in Tenerife
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Tenerife
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ended their very successful mini tour of the Canaries on 14th February with the second of their concerts at the Santa Cruz Auditorio.
All the concerts in the Canaries for this very popular and world renowned orchestra have been extremely well attended and their ‘last night’ performance exceeded all expectations with a very interesting and unique programme.
The evening started with ‘Xmarxa’ by the modern day Canarian born pianist and composer Gustavo Diaz-Jerez. Specially commissioned for the 27 Festival de Musica de Canaries, this first performance was one to remember. Whilst ultra modern compositions are not everybody’s ‘cup of tea’, there can be no doubt about the skill and effort that goes into such a work, both by the composer and the performers.
The dynamics of this piece kept everyone on their toes. A special mention must go to the extraordinarily large and extremely varied percussion section who had next to no rest throughout the work. The RPO certainly rose to the challenge of this important new composition.
The other work in the first part of the programme was El sombrero de Tres Picos by Manuel De Falla. Literally meaning ‘The Three Cornered Hat’, this was first performed in London at the Alhambra Theatre on 22 July 1919. The three movements were well received by the mainly local audience, having dance rhythms similar to the Andalusian folk music of Spain which is also famous for its flamenco music.
The Royal Philharmonic left their most popular piece to the second part of the concert, that of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. The delivery of this well known standard was vibrant and extremely exciting. The best known fourth movement, the ‘March to the Scaffold’, was frighteningly realistic to anyone with an ounce of imagination! It was conducted by a very energetic and ‘youthful’ 75 year old Swiss conductor Charles Dutiot who had no need for a score, and indeed would probably have knocked it over had he had one.
At the final ovation it was clear the audience were going nowhere until they had extracted an encore from the orchestra. They were rewarded by yet another of Berlioz’s show stoppers, the Farandole from L’Arlésienne Suite 2. Finally, and very reluctantly, we all had to go home.
It was a pleasure to see and hear one of the world’s most respected orchestras here in the Canaries. It was a memorable evening and I for one hope that they will be invited to grace our shores again in the near future.
Article Provided by Martin Thorne

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