Guitarist Villegas guest for CSO

By Clint Cooper Article posted on Thu. Jan. 10th, 2013
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F YOU GO

• What: CSO Masterworks: “Concierto de Aranjuez.”

• When and where: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.; 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at VW Conference Center, 7351 Volkswagen Drive.

• Admission: $19-up adults; $15 students; free to children 12-under.

• Phone: 267-8583.

• Website: www.chattanooga symphony.org.

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera music director and conductor Kayoko Dan is no different than anyone else who plays “If I ever ...”.

As music director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras in Lexington in 2007, she played a concert with classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas.

“I thought if I ever have my own orchestra, he will be one of the first [guest artists],” Dan said. “I am keeping my promise.”

Villegas, winner of more than 30 international awards, including the Gold Medal at the first Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition and the Andrés Segovia Award, will perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” on Saturday and Sunday to kick off the second half of the CSO season.

“He did such a beautiful job,” Dan said of the guitarist. “He is a virtuosic soloist, but at the same time it is not fake. He is a sincere person. His passion plays through every single note, every single chord.”

“Concierto de Aranjuez” is one of the most performed concertos of the 20th century, according to a CSO news release. Written by Rodrigo after his wife miscarried a child, according to the conductor, it contains a variety of charactterizations, including dances, happiness, sadness, beauty and brilliance.

When Miles Davis adapted the second movement of the concerto, according to the CSO, it became a jazz standard.

The Masterworks concert opens with Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to “The Barber of Seville” (think Bugs Bunny cartoon) and concludes with Symphony No. 1 by Jean Sibelius.

Dan said although “The Barber of Seville” is an Italian opera, it references the city of Seville, which is in Spain, Villegas’ home country.

She said Sibelius’ works are often mindful of winter.

At the beginning of the piece, Dan said, a clarinet solo “is melancholy but has a beautiful melody” and is accompanied by a muffled timpani roll.

“It’s an empty but full sound,” she said of the Finland native’s work. “It’s strange and hollow but has a kind of a substance to it. To me, it feels like walking alone in the huge field of snow. I’ve never been [to Finland], only seen it in videos, but this is how I imagine this opening being — lonely in this beautiful landscape.”

In it, Dan said, wind instruments playing fast scales up and down mimic the wind, while string instruments playing tremolo offer a cold sound of leaves rustling.

Music aficionados also will note that both the Rossini overture and the Sibelius symphony are in the rarely used key of E, she said.

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497.

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