The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: This Friday night, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with guest guitarist Ana Vidovic as well as the Symphony No. 3 by Bruckner and the Symphony No. 30 by Mozart | January 24, 2017

By Jacob Stockinger

This Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Capitol Theater of the Overture Center, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (below) opens the second half of its season with a promising concert that has both sunny lyricism and dark drama.

WCO lobby

Tickets run $10 to $80. Here is a link to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s website with information about the concert, the soloist and how to get tickets:

As usual, WCO music director Andrew Sewell (below) has created a program that mixes music of different moods from different eras.


The guest artist is classical guitarist Ana Vidovic (below top), who performed with the WCO two years ago to critical and audience acclaim.

This time Vidovic will perform the popular “Concierto de Aranjuez” by the 20th-century Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo (below bottom), who took inspiration from Baroque music for this work. (You can hear the gorgeously tuneful slow movement in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Jazz great trumpeter Miles Davis also used to play the slow movement from the Rodrigo concerto.


joaquin rodrigo

The concert will open with the Symphony No. 30 in D Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and will close with the Symphony No. 3 in D minor by the Austrian late Romantic composer Anton Bruckner (below), who is often coupled with Gustav Mahler.

Anton Bruckner 2

For many listeners, the big draw is the Bruckner symphony since Bruckner does not get heard often here.

So The Ear thought it might be useful to read comments about Bruckner by the world-famous maestro Daniel Barenboim, who was the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for many years.

This week, Barenboim (below top conducting and below bottom in an informal portrait photo by Andrea Gjestvang for The New York Times) is leading the Staatskapelle Berlin in a complete cycle of Bruckner symphonies — coupled with Mozart piano concertos played and conducted by Barenboim himself from the keyboard — in Carnegie Hall in New York City. He also recently recorded all the Bruckner symphonies with the same orchestra. And just yesterday he got rave review from The New York Times for the first two Bruckner-Mozart concerts.

daniel barenboim with baton


Here is a link to the interview and story in The New York Times:


  1. My introduction to Concierto de Aranjuez came via jazz guitarist Jim Hall (with Paul Desmond – alto saxophone, Chet Baker – trumpet, Sir Roland Hanna – piano, Ron Carter – bass, and Steve Gadd – drums). You can hear it here:

    Comment by Steve Rankin — January 24, 2017 @ 7:40 pm

    • You were lucky. Some great musicians there.

      Is it just me or is this Concerto (which is really lovely) an odd coupling with Bruckner?

      Comment by FFlambeau — January 25, 2017 @ 12:53 am

  2. Comment by FFlambeau — January 24, 2017 @ 5:08 am

  3. Have a look at a YouTube featuring noted Bruckner conductor, the late Günter Wand, conducting the 3rd.

    At about 6 minutes into the symphony, I counted 9 brass, french horns, trumpets in a row, including 3 trombones in a true Brucknerian wave of sound. (There’s another wave at about 2 minutes into the first movement).

    It’s hard to imagine what a chamber orchestra sees in this. The overview’s of the orchestra Wand is conducting looks like it has added players (as in Wagner).

    Comment by FFlambeau — January 24, 2017 @ 5:08 am

  4. What in the world is a chamber orchestra, a relatively small group, doing performing Bruckner who requires large forces? Bruckner is all about waves of music. Much more appropriate for the MSO than the WCO.

    Comment by FFlambeau — January 24, 2017 @ 4:44 am

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