Entertainment

Espana fires up Okanagan Symphony

Daniel Bolshoy is joining the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra on Saturday in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre for Espana. - Submitted Photo
Daniel Bolshoy is joining the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra on Saturday in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre for Espana.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

If you have never been to the symphony, this weekend might be one of the best concerts for a first-timer, promises guest artist Daniel Bolshoy.

Bringing his fiery guitar for the Spanish-flavoured program Espana, Bolshoy said not only will it feature some upbeat tempos but also music that almost everyone has heard at some point. The Concierto de Aranjuez and the Rodrigo guitar concerto is quite famous as well as composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who was an important Hollywood composer in the 50s.

“If you have never heard classical music or never been to the symphony this is a good concert to start from because the guitar is very familiar so people will connect to it and the tunes because the melody from the middle movement is so familiar,” said Bolshoy.

The guitarist, who will be returning to play in Oliver on Feb.8 as Duo Rendezvous with violinist Jasper Wood, said Guitar Concerto D has emotional appeal. He said the composer wrote it at a difficult time in his life when his wife was pregnant and he was looking forward to having a child. The second movement was written at the time his wife gave birth to a stillborn and was fighting for her own life.

“It came from a very deep place and he managed to create a very moving melody that almost everyone that hears it wants to cry. He managed to connect the music to that feeling very well,” said Bolshoy.

The Youth Symphony of the Okanagan will also be joining the OSO to fill the stage with 100 musicians performing at the Cleland Community Theatre on Saturday. General manager of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Scott Wilson said the energy and enthusiasm coupled with the guitar sounds of Bolshoy will be unparalleled and will tempt the audience to get up and dance in the aisles.

“This is the largest orchestral force that we have ever deployed,” said Wilson. “It will give a huge, impactful wall of sound for those in the audience. Classical music, until you see 100 people pulling together in synch on stage, you don’t really appreciate what a human achievement it is. It is quite precise to have all those people thinking as one, governed by ideas that were written down as many as hundreds of years ago. It is really quite remarkable.”

The five pieces in this concert represent vigorous rhythms, expansive melodies and direct emotional appeal. Espana, written by Emmanuel Chabrier, is a boisterous rhapsody with a folk music feel, Saudades is an emotional piece by composer John Estacio where melancholy, nostalgia, anger, frustration and solitude are felt. The concert then moves into Concerito de Aranjuez which is a fusion of colourful and classical music. Guitar Concerto D, written by Castelnuovo-Tedesco provides a serene story of the composer’s life in Italy. The concert then has a Spanish, fiery closing with the piece Capricci Espagnol written by composer Nicola Rimsky-Korsakov.

Espana runs Jan. 19 at the Cleland. Tickets are available at the Penticton Wine Information Centre or online via www.okanagansymphony.com.

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Stimulating the senses

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