Sinfónica de Minería

The Minería Symphony Orchestra takes Vail by storm with its passion and music.

The Minería Symphony Orchestra takes Vail by storm with its passion and music.

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June 23, 2024

The Minería Symphony Orchestra takes Vail by storm with its passion and music.

A previously peaceful glacial valley in the state of Colorado, USA, hosts a Latin American symphony orchestra for the first time in history to inaugurate its “Bravo Vail” festival.

From the rehearsals of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the chords of music filled with sentiment and depth could be felt. At exactly 6 pm, with the hall almost completely full, the energetic notes of the American national anthem were played, listened to by a standing audience. However, when their anthem ended, they sat down, unaware that just a minute later the stage would shake with the notes of the Mexican national anthem. A handful of Mexicans scattered throughout the amphitheater sang it with all their might, surprising an audience that stood up again as if propelled by a spring. They looked at us incredulously; no one had ever sung a national anthem in that auditorium, let alone a foreign one.

The first concert, entirely classical, was presented with cold wind and rain shaking the foliage of the immense pines surrounding the “Gerald Ford” amphitheater. Ann Marie McDermott, the festival’s artistic director, appeared on stage as a soloist to perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. The Minería Symphony Orchestra showcased all the formality and precision required to interpret the masters of music, leaving no doubt about their extraordinary quality. The orchestra infused the audience with its energy and dynamism in this concert from the allegro con brio of the first movement, the lyrical nostalgia of the second movement, and the vivacity of the Rondo. Very aptly, Ann Marie delighted us with a classical encore by Bach, provoking thunderous applause. The finale was phenomenal, nothing less than Beethoven’s Third Symphony “Eroica”, so often heard in concert halls, but never with the intensity and emotion that this presentation required and which the Minería Symphony Orchestra amply achieved, convincing both locals and foreigners. The orchestra made us vibrate with each movement of this great symphony, which undoubtedly marks a turning point in the history of music. Although it is difficult to present an encore after Beethoven’s Third, maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto solved it with a sense of humor, which he said is crucial in both art and life. Thus, we listened to a symphony by Haydn, continuing with the greatest masters of music, unable to avoid applauding between each movement, under the ironic gaze and smile of Carlos Miguel that provoked applause and laughter from the audience.

The second concert was designed to explore the music of France and Spain, starting with the gentle melody of Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” which smoothly led the audience to the passionate performance of the Aranjuez Concerto by the virtuoso guitarist from La Rioja, Pablo Sainz Villegas. No one was left indifferent by the moving interpretation of Joaquín Rodrigo’s great concerto, followed by an encore of “La Jota Aragonesa” by Francisco de Tarrega, where Pablo showed that he could do whatever he wanted with the strings and wood of his guitar. The spectacular second encore with “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” transported us non-stop to the music of Andalusia and flamenco. A prolonged standing ovation from a packed hall vibrated with the guitar and the orchestra.

The night culminated with the performance of “El Amor Brujo” by Manuel de Falla, with its incredible “Danza del Fuego” and the presentation of this work with a cantaora and a bailaor of flamenco, again surprising an audience that never imagined seeing such an interesting and different staging. The evening closed with “Las Bodas de Luis Alonso” by the orchestra, leaving us with the taste of Spain.

It was very difficult to think of something better for the third concert, but instead of trying to surpass what had already been done, the OSM decided to present something completely different and never before experienced at this festival. This last concert was truly spectacular and was dedicated to the music of Latin American composers.

The concert began with a work by the great Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz, written in honor of Clara, the wife of Schumann, who was an extraordinary pianist and composer playing a crucial but little-recognized role in both music and the success of her husband, the great Robert Schumann.

The program continued with the concertante variations of Argentine composer Ginastera. In this work, the orchestra perfectly interpreted the varied passages, some very melodic and others of great brilliance.

The apotheosis was reached after the intermission with the performance of the “Concerto venezolano” by Paquito D’ Rivera, featuring the brilliant trumpeter Pacho Flores. This work had been recorded by maestro Prieto, Pacho Flores, and the Minería Symphony Orchestra with the Deutsche Grammophon label and won a Grammy last year. From the first chord of his magical trumpet, Pacho thrilled the audience, taking them through the rhythmic bustle of Latin American music. The “Cuatro” strings played masterfully by the great Venezuelan musician Héctor Molina, the maracas, and bongos transported our minds to South America and the Caribbean. Pacho showcased not only his unsurpassed quality as a trumpeter, perhaps the best in the world, but also his freshness and improvisational ability, immersing the audience in an indescribable anticipation and emotion. What better encore than a work by Pacho himself for trumpet and orchestra, leaving the audience completely astonished by something they had never heard before.

Exhausted from so much emotion, there were still two gifts left from the OSM and its great conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. The soul of the Mexicans who had the fortune to be there trembled with the rhythmic notes of Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, conducted meticulously, without poses or futile exhibitions, faithfully transmitting the excellence and depth of high-end Mexican music. There could only be one thing to close the OSM’s presentation in Vail with an indelible memory: Moncayo’s Huapango, dedicated by maestro Prieto to all the Mexican workers who have been living in the Vail area for years, providing all the services that a city requires, without which this beautiful place simply would not exist. We listened with emotion to the chords that so clearly evoke the soul of the Mexican people, leading the audience to burst into cheers with countless bravos and a standing ovation that I am sure still echoes in the mountains of Vail Valley.

Many of the best orchestras in the world have played and will perform at this festival in the future, but none have done so with the heart and passion of the Minería Symphony Orchestra.

BRAVO VAIL

BRAVO MINERIA

Dr. Miguel Ahumada Ayala

Apoya a Minería

¡Ayúdanos a llevar música a todos los rincones del mundo!

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