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Classical Music

Toreros, Gauchos, And The Spanish Mozart On ROCO’s Next Broadcast

Hear a concert of Latin favorites this Wednesday night on Classical 91.7.

It’s an all-Latin program on this week’s concert broadcast of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.

From a concert given in October of 2012 at the Church of St. John the Divine, the evening begins with the melodious Symphony in D by Juan Crisostomo Arriaga, known as the “Spanish Mozart”. The lives of the two composers have some interesting parallels: Both share the same birthday of January 27th, though Mozart was born 50 years earlier. Both were also child prodigies who went on to have successful careers in composing, and both died at a young age. It’s also worth mentioning that the two share the same first and second baptismal names:  Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola and Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. (People were obviously really into having long names back then.)

Juan Crisostomo Arriaga, the so-called Spanish Mozart

From Spain, we travel across the Atlantic to South America for the pulsing, red-blooded music by Alberto Ginastera. The Argentine composer’s Estancia orchestral suite is made up of music from the ballet that premiered in 1941 and is based on the mythology of a gaucho, which is usually seen as the Argentine version of an American cowboy.

From there, it’s back to Spain for the final performance of the program, Joaquin Turina’s La oracion del torero. In English, the title translates to The Bullfighter’s Prayer. The composer wrote that the inspiration came during a day of watching bullfighting in Madrid. Passing a chapel, he spotted a toreador inside, quietly praying before stepping into the ring and facing the possibility of death. Be ready for music that captures all the colors, sounds, and dance from Spain’s sunny climate – a perfect soundtrack for a warm summer evening.

Josep Caballe-Domenech is the guest conductor. Catch the third of a series of four concert broadcasts of ROCO this Wednesday night at 8:00 on Houston Public Media, Classical 91.7.