Ole! Fruhbeck! Ole! Yepes! Get yourselves down to the Kennedy Centre Concert Hall Wednesday, Thursday or Friday night to hear some of the most exciting music you will ever hear from the National Symphony Orchestra, thanks to the inspired ministrations of conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and the guitar playing of Narciso Yepes.
The spirit of Spain at its most fragrant is bound up in the two works that close the concert: the "Concierto de Aranjuez" for guitar and orchestra by Joaquinm Rodrigo and music from Manuel de Falla's glorious ballet "The Three-Cornered Hat." In the concerto, Fruhbeck hushed his reduced orchestra to muted susurrations that conjure up nocturnal whisperings at the court of Philip II. In the full-throated cries of the closing jota in the ballet, he made you think that every musician on the stage was, like him, born in Burgos.
Falla's rhytmic splendors, commanded by Fred Begun's timpani, conjured up memories of Leonide Massine's unforgettable entrance in the Miller's farruca. No music speaks in more prideful accents.
As for Yepes, miracles seemed to pour out of his 10-string guitar as he shaped the melodies and sent the brilliant chords shooting through the hall, dazzling with fleet fingering that flew faster than the eye could follow. In his National Symphony debut, Yepes assured himself of requests to return as soon as possible. The two great Spanish musicians created an unforgettable evening. They were strongly abetted by Richard White's English horn, and the men in the percussion section as well as every other player on stage.
There was a Haydn symphony at the beginning, a great one, the "Military." It was extremely well-played, with praise again for the players of the triangle, cymbals and bass drum. But the ear and the mind remember Rodrigo and Falla. Ole!