Spanish sound opens Everett Philharmonic’s season

This could be one of the most romantic evenings you spend outside of Paris.

The Everett Philharmonic Orchestra opens its third season with “The Night in Madrid,” a repertoire soaked in the romantic music of Spain, at the Everett Performing Arts Center.

Music director Paul-Elliott Cobbs will lead the orchestra beginning with Manuel de Falla’s “Jota” from the ballet “The Three Cornered Hat,” a work selected by the orchestra’s Spring Fling auction winner, Lou Davis.

Next on the bill is Emmanuel Chabrier’s “Espana.”

Then internationally acclaimed guitarist Michael Partington will take the featured soloist spot in Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra.”

“He owns this concerto,” said Cami Davis, the orchestra’s manager.

Partington, who directs the guitar program at the University of Washington, has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the world as well as on National Public Radio, the BBC radio and at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, where he presented the hall’s first concert recital.

Classical Guitar Magazine praised Partington for his “lyricism, intensity and clear technical command.”

“Spanish guitar is dramatic, vibrant, compelling — but also versatile,” Partington said in a prepared statement.

“Andres Segovia took it out of the folk idiom and onto the concert stage, commissioning many classical works for guitar.”

And in our century, “It’s ideally suited now to bridge the gap between popular music culture and classical music,” Partington said.

The guitar, which almost everyone has either played or listened to, becomes a “gateway” instrument, one people come to from popular music, he said.

The concerto Partington is performing was written in 1939 and inspired by the gardens of the Spanish royals’ spring palace, south of Madrid.

At the time Rodrigo composed the work, his wife had lost a child and was close to death in the hospital. She recovered and the couple later had a daughter, according to a press release.

The second movement, which features a haunting English horn, suggests a dialog with God.

“It has this very slow pulse, the pulse of his wife,” Partington said. “She survives, and the last movement is the love duet.”

“It’s a very powerful, very personal piece of music,” he added.

The program ends with “Capriccio Espagnol” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a spine-tingling piece with orchestration and virtuosic solos, sure to rouse the orchestra and audience alike.

“It’s going to be hard for me to stay in my seat,” Davis said.

Before the show, a season kick-off party with appetizers and beverages begins at 5:30 p.m. in the reception hall.

Following the reception, Cobbs will hold his informal and informative stage-side chat to share some of his insights and anecdotes connected to the evening’s composers and works.

“A Night in Madrid” starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

The welcome reception starts at 5:30 p.m.

The stage-side chat with Cobbs is at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $25 and $20, with festival seating. Go to www.everettphil.org or call 206-270-9729.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

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