New Yorkers were treated to a taste of Spain earlier this week as Carnegie Hall welcomed the Franz Schubert Filharmonia, an orchestra based in El Vendrell, a small town about an hour southeast of Barcelona.
The group is a mix of some of Spain’s finest classical musicians and is led by Artistic Director/Conductor Tomàs Grau. Tuesday evening’s program opened with Pablo Casals’ Sant Marti del Canigo. The stage was then restricted to create a small platform for Rafael Aguirre, whose biography describes him as “one of the most sought-after guitarists at an international level.” Aguirre has performed in 42 countries.
Along with the Filharmonia, he played all three movements of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. By name, it may not be recognizable, but it has been used in countless movies and is simply a gorgeous piece of music. The history of the piece, along with three different versions can be found here.
Later, Aguirre appealed to movie fans by playing the Star Wars Theme completely on guitar. It was a delightful treat.
Following intermission, Antonin Dvorak was featured as the Filharmonia played his Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op.95 “From the New World”
More information about the orchestra can be found at Franz Schubert Filharmonia.