Review of Spanish Love and Music
Wetton makes the Spanish fly
An appreciative and attentive audience heard the first of this season's concert by Milton Keynes' own professional orchestra conducted by the ebullient Hilary Davan Wetton and devoted to the music of Spain. The concert started with an energetic performance of what is probably the best-known of all Spanish music, the suite of movements from the opera Carmen, written by a Frenchman, Bizet! The understandably popular guitar concerto by Rodrigo was given a delicious performance by Simon Dinnigan, making his first appearance in Milton Keynes: despite being used in a thousand adverts and feature films, this languid music never fails to charm in the hands of such a talented performer.
The second half of the concert was of music probably mostly unknown to most of the audience but Wetton's idiomatic interpretations were warmly appreciated at the end. The ballet Love the Magician by Falla includes the well-known Ritual Fire Dance, performed with incendiary Spanish spirit by the orchestra. The three flamenco-type songs which Falla inserted in this rich score were beautifully interpreted by Russian mezzo Alexandra Sherman, dressed in a wonderful mixture of Spanish red and black. A flying start to what promises to be the best season yet from the Milton Keynes City Orchestra.
Reviewer: Roy Tipping