Turning to performances of a more recent vintage this week (i.e. we’re taking a small detour out of the 70s and 80s for a couple weeks), a performance by Orquesta Nacionales de España led by the internationally acclaimed Spanish-Catalan conductor Josep Pons in music of Nino Rota and Gustav Mahler.
Starting off the concert with a Suite from the landmark 1963 Luchino Visconti film Il Gatopardo (The Leopard) by Nino Rota. Followed by Symphony Number 5 by Gustav Mahler.
A little background on Josep Pons via his website, for those of you just getting acquainted with this brilliant conductor:
Regarded as the leading Spanish conductor of his generation, Josep Pons has built strong relationships with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and BBC Symphony Orchestra — the latter including several appearances at the BBC Proms.
In addition to continuing these relationships, the 2018/19 season will see Pons return to Orquesta Nacional de Espana, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Sinfónica de Galicia and Orquesta de Castilla y Leon. He will also have new collaborations with NHK Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He will also be the conductor at Spain’s National Music Day in June 2019, conducting five orchestras in one day.
As Music Director of Gran Teatre del Liceu he conducts a number of productions in Barcelona each season, most recently Roméo et Juliette, Tristan und Isolde, Don Giovanni and Elektra. This season he will give opera performances of Káťa Kabanova, Rodelinda and the world premiere of Casablancas’ new opera L’Enigma de Lea, as well as a number of symphony concerts. He also holds the position of Honorary Conductor of the Orquesta Nacional de España having previously served as their Artistic Director for nine years during which he substantially raised their international profile. He is also Horonary Conductor of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada.
Josep Pons’ discography of over 50 CDs and DVDs mostly released by harmonia mundi and Deutsche Grammophon, includes recordings of Falla, and French repertoire regarded as benchmark interpretations and earning numerous awards. His recording of Noches en los jardines de España with Javier Perianes won a Choc de la Musique, Melancolía with Patricia Petibon received a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and his collaboration with Tomatito earned him a Latin Grammy. His last recording of Berio’s Sinfonia and Mahler/Berio’s 10 Frühe Lieder with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Matthias Goerne, won the BBC Music Award, Choc de la musique and Télérama Ffff awards and was among the 10 Best CD’s of the year of Presto Classical.
So now you have a little background, all you need to do is hit the Play button and enjoy this live concert direct from RNE in Madrid, broadcast on April 3, 2011. Spanish announcements, so if you are rusty, dig out your Rosetta Stone and follow along.