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A Balmy Summer’s Night

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday Issue, 15.02.2009

A Balmy Summer's Night
The Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra in Bad Homburg

Lisa Xanthopoulou, winner of the 2002 Bad Homburg Conductors' Prize and Director of the Schloss Concerts during the 2002/2003 season, still enjoys great popularity with this city's audiences. This time, she conducted a concert given by the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen at the Kurhaus Theater. Astor Piazzolla's "Tres Piezas", with its contemporary, jazzy edge in the style of sophisticated popular music, for solo piano and strings, was performed with classical elegance, with the piano part (Thomas Wellen) skillfully integrated into the overall framework of sound. The sound proportions were appropriate in the "Concierto Andaluz" for guitar quartett and orchestra by Joaquin Rodrigo. The folkloresque concerto unfolded with an almost gaudy southern charm, bringing back memories of balmy summer nights. The "Barrios Guitar Quartet", accurate, discrete and virtuoso as always, offered a little Danza by Manuel de Falla as an encore. Five movements from the twelve-part "Iberia Suite", originally written for the piano by Isaac Albéniz, were delivered to great effect in the skilful orchestration by Carlos Surinach. Its sometimes grotesque traits, almost heralding Shostakovich, were emphasized surprisingly well.

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