Skip to main content

Pacho Flores DAZZLES in Tucson

Pacho Flores, Corno
Music Director, José Luis Gomez
Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Friday night, 25 January 2019, Tucson Symphony Orchestra's 'Fresh Music, Copland and More' Classic concert:

ONE: this is a brilliant program. Two brass concerti, featuring Venezuelan super-virtuoso Pacho Flores, and two popular Aaron Copeland works, were bookended by sublime overtures by Mozart and Bernstein. ONE-A: a surprising common musical thread weaves its way through Mozart's Overture to 'The Abduction from the Seraglio', the 'Concerto for Corno da Caccia', by J.B.G. Neruda (a contemporary of Bach and Mozart), and the first movement of the new Arturo Márquez 'Concerto for Trumpet' – a sustained, repeated melodic syncopation. The TSO Music Director, José Luis Gomez, is a sly one!

TWO: this performance by Pacho Flores was a soulful and energetic gift to this audience. His tone, articulations, and musicality are masterly, while his virtuosity is both easy and mesmerizing. TWO-A: the Marquéz Concerto, written specifically for Pacho, covers a vast array of styles, and utilizes a different type of "corno" instrument for each movement. The finale, a virtuosic masterpiece, was given a BLISTERING, ear-opening performance by Pacho Flores – worth the price of admission alone. Even the (infamously sleepy) Tucson classical concert crowd was wowed to ovation. TWO-B: Señor Flores has a decidedly humorous side to his stage presence. To whit: solo brass performances always contain the necessary act of emptying the spit valves on the instrument. In the Neruda concerto, Pablo, large in physical stature, went through this routine with his miniature horn, emptying one valve, then holding the instrument above head level, to blow the saliva out of the second valve. Every player must engage in this chore, yet repeatedly executed, directly in front of the audience under spotlight, almost became a comic relief act during the beautifully and generously performed concerto. When, at the the end of the Marquéz concerto, and again after the accompanied encore, Pacho tooted a spoiler note towards his comrade in arms, José Luis, the complete picture of his honest, open, and lovable joviality was complete. Great musicianship and fun showmanship all around! As composer Marquéz, who was here for this premier, came to the stage, a heart-warming, congratulatory celebration ensued between these three latin musical stars. What a treat for both the audience the orchestra!

The second half opened -- accompanied by the orchestra playing Copeland's familiar 'Our Town' -- with a splendid photographic presentation, projected above the Music Hall stage, of the history of the TSO, now in its 90th year, and other events and places in this city's storied cultural history. A very moving experience for everyone in attendance. The second half feature, the ever-popular 'Four Selections From Rodeo' by Copeland, and especially Bernstein's virtuoso circus for orchestra, A.K.A. 'The Overture to Candide', were given, on this night, top notch execution and interpretation. These closing pieces, again, as we have come to expect, showed off the beautiful marriage of this orchestra and its Music Director. This is a fine, fun, and talented ensemble, whose love for its conductor is expressed in how well they respond to his exuberant, expressive direction. It is obvious, watching and listening, that this immense positive energy overflows in both directions. This longish program, was yet satisfying every joyful step of the way. Bravi, tutti!


HEAR IT: Humanity's Expressive Artists Reveal & Illuminate Truth

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

BEETHOVEN, AND BEYOND THE INFINITE

Concert Preview: OPENING NIGHT, 2018-19 Season, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Friday and Sunday, September 21 and 23. José Luis Gomez' second full season as Music Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, commences this Friday night, as two symphonic heavyweights hit the stage: Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Opus 61, and Richard Strauss's epic Op. 30 tone poem, 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' -- a "Beethoven Odyssey". Maestro Gomez describes Beethoven's Violin Concerto, which he has performed as soloist since the age of 16, as the consummate compositional integration of solo violin with orchestra, and a supreme challenge for the soloist. This, not by reason of pyrotechnical instrumental demands, but for the clear, nakedly exposed nature of the solo violin writing, requiring complete and masterful musicality from the very first note played. So important is the composition as a whole, as opposed to the solo part, that young Jose Luis's teacher made him learn th…

AN AFFAIR OF THE HARP and ONE GIANT LEAP FOR BRAHMS

REVIEW, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, 12 October 2018: Following his overall smashing Inaugural Season as TSO Music Director, Maestro José Luis Gomez said, for his second season, he would show us his Latin side. This concert delivered two fine South American masterworks, counterbalanced by Johannes Brahms orchestral coming-out party – his first symphony, completed at age 43. "...and she was hanging from my lips, as the word of flesh that made the Poem live, because I told him, friends, the Parable of the Volcano and the Seven Stars."
  ~ Andrés Eloy Blanco
'El Río de las Siete Estrellas' (The River of the Seven Stars) is Evencio Castellanos' seminal orchestral musical political history of Venezuela – a tour de force of orchestral coloration and of artistic settings of suggestive fragments of folkloric melodies. In tracing Venezuela's journey of “discovery” by Christopher Columbus, through Simón Bolívar's final victorious battle for Venezuelan independence from S…

ANNE AKIKO MEYERS CONQUERS TUCSON -- Also Sprach Maestro José Luis Gomez

FIRST HALF ONLY Concert Review: Friday, 21 September 2018 in Tucson, was a night for the violinistas! Consummate concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers gave a deeply musical, masterly Beethoven performance to kick off the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's 90th Season. Then, celebrating the semicentennial of Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey', the TSO delivered an exciting, dramatic, and colorful performance of Richard Strauss's penetrating and profound tone poem 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', featuring talented Concertmaster Loren Roth and Associate Concertmaster Michelle Abraham. Finally, pressed hard by the audience for an encore, Maestro