SMA International Symphony

By Antonio Cabrero

The program opens with the lively personality of Johann Strauss, “the Waltz King,” featuring his Gypsy Baron. It is the overture to a story of a landowner who falls in love with a gypsy girl, later found to be the daughter of a Turkish monarch and entitled to a rich hidden treasure. The music is exotic and flamboyant. Strauss knew very well the Hungarian music of the gypsies and used it to perfection along with his trademark waltzes.

SMA International Symphony
“Beethoven and Vienna” festival in March
Sat, Mar 1, 8pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Sat, Mar 15, 8pm
San Francisco Church
Sat, Mar 29, 8pm
San Francisco Church
1st program: Gypsy Baron Overture – Scarlatti-for Orchestra
Spanish Dance #1 (De Falla) – Beethoven Second Symphony
350/250/150 pesos

Domenico Scarlatti, born in Italy, has been referred to as a man with an Italian heart and a Spanish pulse. He lived in Spain most of his life, absorbing the rich Andalucian folklore in his youth. He married a Spanish girl and stayed forever, changing his name to Domingo Escarlati, and becoming an important composer of Spanish music. He created more than a thousand works.

Scarlatti uses Hispanic-Arabic modes such as the Phrygian in his sonatas, materials not used in Europe at the time. He also explored the possibilities of the cembalo, imitating the Spanish guitar with dissonant chords and the rhythm of the castanets; this effect coupled with modulations sometimes progressive or by intervals or sometimes abrupt and going all over the tonalities have defined his music through the centuries.

We really can’t “define” Scarlatti … he is passionate and tempestuous, evoking the Romanticism that was going to come many years later. However, he anticipated formal developments with such clarity and perfection that he can be considered the first “classical” composer.

On the other hand his music is intense and restless and there is irony, humor and playfulness within the perfect form and syntax. One could find here the origins of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and the modern composers. He even composed a sonata (among 550 others) he called the “Cat Sonata,” based on aleatory notes his cat stepped on while walking the keyboard. How could he entertain such contemporary musical ideas 340 years ago?

Tickets available at Teatro Angela Peralta, La Biblioteca and San Francisco Church (350, 250, 150 pesos.)


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