Concierto Serenata by Rodrigo

Posted In: Repertoire

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    Alison on #243658

    There are a few older discussions in this forum of this work which I have been listening to since I was about 12 thanks to my brother having bought the Rodrigo LP in the 1970’s, but to be able to see Nicanor Zabeleta playing this concerto which he commissioned is tremendous.

    balfour-knight on #243709

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for posting it so we can actually see the incomparable Zabaleta play. Until now, I had only heard audio recordings of him.

    Best wishes,

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #243724

    This is a greatly under-rated piece. It is one of Rodrigo’s finest concertos, and I think it is quite complementary to the Concierto de Aranjuez (for guitar). It is difficult to figure out how to play, as the way it is written does not help. I finally found a simple approach to the third movement that makes it much easier to digest.

    Alison on #243765

    I saw him only twice in the 1990’s, once at his Wigmore Hall, London concert and again at his masterclass during the 1st Harp Conference in Cardiff, UK. I always remember him saying “more with the left hand” to his students.

    Sylvia on #243839

    He spoke English?

    Alison on #243994

    well yes as many foreign international artists do ! – not Welsh that day !

    Alison on #244022

    It looks extremely difficult in certain sections, I’m happy listening to it, without trying to play it, but I wonder where the originals are held, as there are some obvious workarounds to the written part seemingly made by Zabeleta or conversely: recent revisions reflected in the part available nowadays. My ears are fairly well attuned to Zabelata’s performance.

    emma-graham on #244036

    It’s always been my favourite concerto since buying the Zabaleta recording on CD by accident. I wanted one of the other concertos on it and this happened to be included.

    Alison, I too saw him at that Harp Conference in Cardiff. I’m still have the programme with his autograph in it!
    It seems to be rarely performed but Ieuan Jones played it at that conference and I was also lucky enough to hear Sivan Magen perform it at the WHC in Sydney.

    I got the score out of the library once when I was a student. The harp part looked terrifying!

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #244138

    Aside from the interest as a harp piece, as a piece of music, my ears found it most welcome, as it has many moments of “truth” in it, of beauty and uniqueness, new musical ideas to appear in the world. In that respect, I think it is a seminal work.
    Zabaleta’s changes are a good example of professional necessity. He is clearly working very hard in this performance.

    Alison on #244317

    Wow you spoke to him – I took a photograph from a distance in the audience. If I’d had a harp in the 1980’s and hadn’t spent all my time windsurfing then maybe I might have seen more of him ! Anyway it reminds me of the time when I was young and thinking this concerto was a wonderful yet normal thing to play !!! I have the overall programme for the harp conference and now realise that I missed that performance, and NZ was the president so obviously was there in the audience. There is a tribute to him in the 1994 programme in which it mentions that his music archives were donated to the London College of Music (near the Albert Hall). I managed to play the opening canons in the 2nd movement quite well a few years ago but that was as far as I got… Oh and by no means secondary, I have always loved the guitar works too (played by Narciso Yepes) and once played trumpet in the orchestra for the Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre. Perhaps the idiom in the Serenata is more guitar like and that’s what makes it so tricky. The Deustche Grammophon is the definitive recording for me.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #244755

    I spoke to him, and got his autograph, but I can’t say he was nice, which was very disappointing. It was backstage at Carnegie Hall after a recital, and Susann McDonald was there with a few of her pupils. When I approached him and he asked who I studied with, I said, Lucile Lawrence, and he snubbed me, turning back to a smiling McDonald. I stood my ground and made sure he autographed my album (LP). It is smudgy, but I have his signature. His wife and daughter, I met on another occasion, and they were quite nice, very gracious. They confirmed for me that he was Jewish and that Nicanor is a very ancient name.

    Alison on #245095

    At about 4:30 in there is a lovely shot of two tall redundant orchestral harps and makes the performance all the more poignant.

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