Cantos y Revueltas will be presented by the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra with its original cast of soloists and conductor —Pacho Flores, Leo Rondón and Manuel Hernández-Silva— on March 11 and 12. After its premiere in Santiago, Vigo and A Coruña with the orchestra Real Filharmonía de Galicia, and the recording of the concerts that led to a double CD/DVD released by Pacho’s label, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantos y Revueltas has been performed, always with this trio of artists, in Murcia (Murcia Region Symphony), Andalusia (Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra), and Pamplona (Navarre Symphony Orchestra).
Cantos y Revueltas had its American premiere in Miami with the Bolívar Philharmonic Orchestra and cuatro soloist Héctor Molina under Carlos Riazuelo, and later in Mexico, with the Jalisco Philharmonic led by Jesús Medina and Héctor Molina again. After this presentation with the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Cantos y Revueltas will be performed again in Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in other Spanish cities yet to be announced.
In parallel to Cantos y Revueltas, Pacho Flores continues with his project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts to distinguished composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher and Daniel Freiberg. New premieres are scheduled both for the current as well as for next season, before starting a third phase of commissions that will be announced in due course. After these concerts with the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva will meet once again in Colombia with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, an event that will include a new American presentation of Cantos y Revueltas as well as the premiere of one of Pacho’s latest works, a Divertimento for brass ensemble, showing the growing attention that Pacho Flores is paying to his composer facet, and which will soon bring new important news.
Manuel Hernández-Silva begins his symphonic season with the RTVE Orchestra at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, along with flamenco star Estrella Morente and guitarist Pablo Saiz Villegas. The repertoire of this concert, wich will take place at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid next Saturday, September 19, includes several works such as El Sombrero de Tres Picos and El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla, as well as Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo.
Manuel Hernández-Silva will then travel to Pamplona to resume his activity as principal conductor of the Navarra Symphony Orchestra. He will begin with a recording of works by both current and past Navarrese composers, followed by the opening concert of the season. After that, he will conduct the first subscription concert, which will this year feature a concert version of Beethoven’s Fidelio with Berna Perles and César Gutiérrez in the main roles, the same leading couple he had in the staged version he conducted last year at Teatro Cervantes with the Malaga Philharmonic and the stage direction of José Carlos Plaza.
Later in the season he will conduct Manon Lescaut by Puccini for the opera season of the Asociación Gayarre de Amigos de la Ópera —also in Pamplona—, with the voices of Ainhoa Arteta and Roberto Aronica in the main roles. In the symphonic field he will return to work with orchestras such as Extremadura, Murcia, RTVE or Bogotá, and will recover his postponed debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, along with new debuts in Norway, France and Germany. This symphonic activity includes several premieres by composers such as Roberto Sierra, Pacho Flores, Manuel Moreno Buendía, Paquito D’Rivera, Koldo Pastor, etc.
Manuel Hernández-Silva will make his debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra next 13 and 15 March 2020 at the Tucson Music Hall. Hernández-Silva will conduct Barber’s Adagio for strings and the Violin concerto, with rising violinist Paul Huang as soloist, and Shostakovich’s Symphony nº 12 in D minor, ‘The Year 1917’.
Hernández-Silva visits Tucson at the end of a busy winter where he has conducted two programs with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia -the premiere with Pacho Flores of Danzas Latinas, last trumpet concerto by Efraín Oscher, in November, and the complete Beethoven piano concertos with Javier Perianes in January- and the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, conducting Martinu’s 4th Symphony. He now faces a no less busy spring where he will premiere Manuel Moreno Buendía’s Stabat Mater with the Murcia Symphony Orchestra, as well as come back to the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra for an appearance at the Week of Religious Music of Cuenca, together with concerts with the Malaga Philharmonic and the Navarra Symphony, both orchestras where Hernández-Silva is Music & Artistic Director.
Hernández-Silva is facing more new debuts in the USA as well as in Norway and France, and has other engagements in Switzerland, Germany, Argentina, México, Puerto Rico, etc. He si also improving his career as an opera conductor with upcoming engagements to conduct Beethoven’s Fidelio or Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, after receiving excellent reviews for his last opera performances, Fidelio and Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, both at Teatro Cervantes in Málaga. Hernández-Silva is the conductor of Cantos y Revueltas, Pacho Flores’ last recording for Deutsche Grammophon.
Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño will be premiered in France by Pacho Flores and the Orchestre National de Lille under conductor Josep Vicent. Concerts will take place at the Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, in Lille, on Thursday, 5, Boulogne-sur-Mer Théâtre on Friday, 6 and at L’Imaginaire in Douchy-les-Mines on Saturday, 7, December 2019. The program, entitled Eldorado, contains also works by Revueltas, Falla and Ravel. This Concierto de Otoño by Arturo Márquez was co-commissioned by four orchestras: National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Hyogo PAC Orchestra of Japan and Oviedo Philharmonia in Spain.
It was premiered along the 2018/19 season with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto, José Luis Gómez, Michiyoshi Inoue and Lucas Macías respectively, and since then it was played by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (Mexico) and the Opening Night Gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, both with C. M. Prieto; Filarmónica de Bogotá (Colombian premiere), Christian Vásquez; Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Josep Caballé Doménech; and Real Filharmonía de Galicia, with Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the absolute premiere of Efraín Oscher’s Danzas Latinas; after Lille, the Concierto de Otoño is already programmed by the Winnipeg Symphony (Canadian premiere), José Luis Gómez; Liverpool Philharmonic (UK premiere), Domingo Hindoyan, together with the concerto Salseando by Roberto Sierra, UK premiere as well; Orquesta de Córdoba, Carlos Domínguez-Nieto, together with the absolute premiere of Concierto Mambí by Igmar Alderete; and some other orchestras to be announced.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño is the very first of a large and ambitious project of co-commissions of new trumpet concertos to outstanding composers as Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Efraín Oscher, Christian Lindberg and Daniel Freiberg involving orchestras form all around the world. Paquito D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería with Carlos Miguel Prieto and is going to be premiered soon by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Payare and Orquesta of Valencia in Spain with Vicent Alberola; and Roberto Sierras’ Salseando will be premiered on next January by the Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan and about the summer by the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra and Giancarlo Guerrero.
Pacho Flores has just premiered Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva in a concert that also included Arturo Márquez’s Concierto de Otoño, the same week he launched his newest recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Cantos y Revueltas, with the same partners, Real Filharmonía and conductor Hernández-Silva. Cantos y Revueltas is also the title of the main work of the recording, a Fantasía Concertante for trumpet and Venezuelan cuatro, played in the premiere and the recording by the Venezuelan virtuoso Leo Rondón.
On November 21 at the Auditorio de Galicia, Pacho Flores and Manuel Hernández-Silva, together with the Royal Galician Philharmonia, will perform the absolute premiere of Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, a new trumpet concert commissioned by the Royal Galician Philharmonia and dedicated to Pacho Flores. The same protagonists, Flores, Hernández-Silva and the RGP also with Leo Rondón, premiered at the same place in January 2018 Cantos y Revueltas, a ‘Fantasia concertante’ composed for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which will be presented these days in CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho Flores’ label.
Danzas Latinas is a concert in five movements that, following its title, presents five corresponding dances of different origins: Bomba from Puerto Rico, an Argentinian Zamba, Samba brasileira, Bembé from Cuba and Milonga from Uruguay. For the performance of this concert Pacho will also use five different instruments: Soprano cornet in Eb (Bomba), Flugelhorn (Zamba), C Trumpet (Samba), D Trumpet (Bembé) and F cornet (Milonga). This work is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts by important composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Oscher himself, that was launched by Pacho Flores with the aim of expanding the solo trumpet and orchestra repertoire and involves orchestras from around the world such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Orquestra do Estado de São Paulo, Orquesta Nacional de México, Hyogo PAC in Japan, Royal Galician Philharmonia, Oviedo Filarmonia, Orchestra of Valencia, etc.
Efraín Oscher, Venezuelan flute player and composer of Uruguayan origins who currently lives in Bremen, knows very well what it means to compose for Pacho Flores’ trumpets, being the author of Concierto Mestizo, premiered in Caracas in 2010 by the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan -a work that Pacho has played more than thirty times all over the world-; of Barroqueana Venezolana nº 2, part of a series of four concerts in the style of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerts but from a Latin American point of view; or of Apex, double concert for clarinet and orchestra, premiered in August 2018 by Pacho together with clarinet player Matthias Schorn, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and maestro Marcus Bosch.
Efraín Oscher on Danzas Latinas
Dances are generally associated with joy, happiness and merrymaking, just as dancing is synonymous with partying. The title Danzas Latinas instinctively evokes carnival scenes, couples dancing salsa, tango or merengue, but the reality is that dances and their respective dancing are an artistic medium to express a wide variety of feelings and emotions. In Latin America in particular, dances are present at all levels of society and associated with religious, political, romantic and intellectual aspects, thanks to the profound miscegenation that has taken place in the continent.
If we go back to the Baroque period we can find evidence of how dances, which have their roots in popular music, were developed by academic composers and taken to sublime levels, usually gathered in Suites. It is noticeable here that certain dances convey deep feelings, in contrast with those intended for the entertainment of the court: the sarabande or the pavane, for example, are used for funerary purposes.
Latin America has an enormous richness of dances. There is a great variety of folk dances that accompany the sumptuous and colorful dancing in processions, parades, parties, funerals as well as other dances intended for couples. Their ramifications according to the subject of their lyrics are incalculable and vary from the fiery political protest to the painful “resentment”, going through satire, romanticism and melancholy. A special mention must be made of the great influence that the music brought by the Africans during colonial times had in the development of dances throughout the continent.
Danzas Latinas for trumpet and orchestra was specially composed for Pacho Flores, who uses different instruments of the trumpet and cornet family, assigning a voice with a particular color to each of the pieces he plays. The work consists of five dances and each one of them is performed with a different instrument: Bomba de Puerto Rico with a cornet in Eb, Zamba de Argentina with the flugelhorn, Samba de Brasil with a C trumpet, Bembé de Cuba with a D trumpet and Milonga del Uruguay with an F cornet.
Bomba is one of the native rhythms of Puerto Rico whose origin dates back to colonial times and was created by slaves in sugarcane plantations. In its traditional form, this dance is characterized by the intricate conversation between the dancer, the drummer and the singer, which is reflected in the counterpoint of the first movement, Bomba de Puerto Rico. The chorus‑proclamation pattern can be heard towards the end, when the orchestra repeats a motif to which the soloist responds with an improvisation.
The gaucho is the protagonist of the second movement, Zamba de Argentina, whereas nostalgia is the predominant feeling. The immensity and loneliness of the pampas as well as the gaucho’s suffering expressed in the verses of Martín Fierro were the source of inspiration for this movement. The tempo of the Zamba is generally slow; it is an elegant dance for couples where both use a handkerchief. In this movement the beautiful sound of the four-piston flugelhorn, an instrument specially built for Pacho Flores with a wide and loud low range, can be fully appreciated.
One of the most internationally recognised Latin American musical genres is samba. Created in Brazil by African slaves, it is a syncopated rhythm accompanying a colorful dance that is the center of the biggest carnival celebrations in the world. Samba de Brasil, the third movement, offers the soloist not only the opportunity to show his technical skills but also his creativity by improvising on the harmonies.
The fourth movement, Bembé de Cuba, is a special tribute to Afro-Cuban music, which has had such an influence on the popular music of the Caribbean countries. The bembé encompasses ancestral African cultural elements that are still present in the Cuban culture nowadays, such as Santeria and the Yoruba language. The ostinato rhythm of bembé produces some sort of trance in the participants of Santeria rituals and this mystical element characterizes this movement. The improvisation on the choir‑proclamation pattern is also present in this dance, an expressive resource of which Pacho Flores knows how to take advantage.
Milonga de Uruguay closes the piece and provides the touch of humor that characterizes this native dance from Río de la Plata. A relative of tango and candombe, milonga shows the African influence in its rhythm, as well as the outgoing character of the Montevidean citizens in its playful melodies and virtuous passages. This movement offers a cheerful and festive ending, suitable for a work that travels with virtuosity through the emotions along the rich geography of Latin American dances.