BBC Symphony Orchestra with Josep Pons: fantastic Spanish double bill
Josep Pons, the current Gran Teatre del Liceu director, has championed Manuel de Falla music since his first recording for Harmonia Mundi in the early 90s. Probably is the most experienced living conductor for this music. He did a fantastic job getting the BBC Symphony Orchestra to play in such an idiomatic way for a work so peculiar that in different senses. First it mixes the classical music world with the flamenco world though a real flamenco singer. Then, the music sounds so traditionally Spanish that you might think it is based on popular tunes/sounds, but everything is just made up by Falla.
Maria Toledo was a superb cantaora for El Amor Brujo. Not only with the singing but also with all the spoken parts. Pons enjoyed the music and it sounded like he was tasting it slowly to achieve a glorious climax in every number.
The second part of this double bill was a proper opera. Well, not so proper because Granados’ Goyescas is just a mix of scenes made from the original piano score. So it doesn’t really work a drama and you can only enjoy in the musical recreation. And we really did this. Again, the BBC Symphony Orchestra played very nicely with the concur of the BBC Singers in a very extroverted version with the best singing of night coming from Nancy Fabiola Herrera.