Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
It was not entirely inappropriate that the National Symphony Orchestra balked and refused to share the standing ovation with conductor Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos Sunday at Wolf Trap after the performance of Ravel's "Bolero."
The orchestra had played superbly, as it had during much of the evening, but the achievement was very much Fruhbeck's and it was a remarkable one.
Fruhbeck's concert, in lesser hands, might have been regarded as a "pops event," with all the good cheer and lack of discipline that such a term suggests. Not last night.
It was a program of Spanish music plus three pieces by Ravel based on Spanish forms.
Stunning as the "Bolero" was, the single most beautiful moment of the evening was Ravel's "Pavane pourune Infante defunte." The pizzicatto accompaniment in pianissimo was of a sophistication that only a conductor of Fruhbeck's cosmopolitanism could command.
Fruhbeck's sense of proportion and his distinctive elegance served him equally well in the intermezzo from Granados' "Goyescas" and in Fruthbeck's own orchestration of selections from the Suite Espanola of Albeniz.
And, to to it all off, the celebrated guitarist Carlos Montoya performed a suite of his own works followed by six solos. He too received a standing ovation.