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Classical 101

Placido Domingo, Conductor of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with Manuel Barrueco

Placido Domingo singing
City of Buenos Aires
Flickr Creative Commons
The Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo, singing arias and popular pieces in a spectacular concert that featured a crowd in the Place de la Republique.

Placido Domingo turned 75 today and is rightly regarded as one of the greatest operatic tenors of our time.  In recent years he's switched to singing baritone roles in an amazingly long career to be performing at such a high artistic level.  He's also a conductor.

In an interview I read over 20 years ago, Domingo said he took up conducting partly so that he would have something to fall back on when he could no longer sing.  Ha!  That never happened, but he continues to conduct anyway and directs opera companies to boot.

This evening on Symphony @ 7, I'll have a 1997 EMI recording of the most popular of all 20th century concertos, the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, featuring a couple of devotees of the Spanish composer's works, Cuban born guitarist Manuel Barrueco as soloist with Placido Domingo conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra.  If we have time, at the end of the hour I'll also have one of the short Spanish songs for tenor on the same recording.

In the second half hour, I'll have a new recording from the enterprising Naxos label of an early 19th century Swedish Symphony from Joachim Nikolas Eggert.  Eggert was a progressive, forward-looking composer, music director and member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy and might have become better known had he not died at the age of 34 in 1813.  He introduced Beethoven's works and was the first to direct Mozart's The Magic Flute for Swedish audiences.

Symphony No. 4 in C Minor by Eggert is from around 1810 and is believed to be the one of his four symphonies to which the title "War and Peace" belongs.  The dramatic name of the symphony reflects the military backdrop and political unrest of recent events in Swedish history.  A disastrous war with the abdication of Gustav IV Adolf and a new regime under Carl XIII may have provided some inspiration for this exciting, but relatively unknown work from Sweden.

Join me this evening for Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101.  For more music featuring the classical guitar, you can listen to Fretworks Saturday and Wednesday evenings at 7.