A new concert this week, recorded just a few days ago by Radio Nacional Epaña featuring the RTVE Orquesta Sinfonica guest conducted by the legendary Michel Plasson with Spanish Violist Isabel Villanueva in music of Gabriel Fauré, William Walton and César Franck. It was broadcast live from Teatro Monumental in Madrid on February 10.
I have always been a huge fan of Michel Plasson. His many recordings with the Toulouse orchestra have been desert-island discs to me, and I listen to them alongside my Charles Munch, André Cluytens, Georges Pretre and Jean Martinon interpretations of French Music that, to me has an air of sensitive authority and endless charm. When he stepped down from his directorship at Toulouse, he left a world-class orchestra that was very much his doing and he was missed. So when I spotted this concert on the list of upcoming broadcasts from RNE, I was thrilled and made a point to post it as soon as I could.
Joining him is the Spanish wunderkind Isabel Villanueva, doing a splendid job of the Walton Viola Concerto, a work I believe I posted a few years back featuring the Boston Symphony under Charles Munch and featuring William Primrose as soloist. Both are stand out performances and Villanueva more than lives up to her reputation as one of the true bright lights on the concert stage, and certainly one of the brilliant exponents of the Viola; an instrument that is known for its difficulty as well as its unjustified neglect.
The concert starts with Pelléas et Melisande suite by Fauré, followed by the Walton and ending with a performance of the Symphony in D minor by César Franck.
First-class concert all around – and one that more than adequately qualifies as Wednesday Anti-Road Rage inclusion.
Turn it up and enjoy.