The Orchester de la Suisse romande performs in Zaragoza

When touring, there is always a moment when the tide turns. An awaited moment that fixes the quality of the orchestra. This is where the character and level of the group emerges clearly, and where trust settles on a solid foundation. It takes time to adapt to the differences in the rooms, the pace of work and the chef’s vision. A more or less long floating period depending on the case and the events.

Zaragoza will have been the place of this alchemy. After two days of work and concerts, the musicians were able to familiarize themselves with the work and the desired interpretation. But above all, the magic of the room operated. Because if the exterior of the building designed by the Aragonese architect José Manuel Pérez Latorre is not particularly attractive, the interior dazzles.

Looks like a brick cathedral

Inaugurated on October 5, 1994, the complex designed to bring together classical concerts and music of all kinds, congresses, conventions, fairs, business meetings or political and social events, looks like a brick cathedral. In the gigantic common areas, the public crowds into the resonant space and tenacious air currents. The totally mineral architecture, all in height, aligns striking columns between geometric concrete entrance doors. We are worried about the atmosphere to come…

But on entering the room, suddenly, everything lights up and warms up. Light wood everywhere. And huge terraces that gently descend around the stage. The 1992 seats in black fabric await the public, which is announced to fill the premises to 80% of the gauge.

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Miguel Angel Tapia has presided over the destiny of the Auditorio y Palacio de grangresso since the opening. Twenty-eight years of service have not dampened the good mood of the former pianist and director of the conservatory and then Teatro Principal, before boarding the classic and versatile ship. “For a city of 660,000 inhabitants, having such a place devoted to music and all important events is a great opportunity”, specifies the manager.

The OSR invited for the second time

Especially since the municipality fully financed the 40 million while the State and the Region, which were to participate at the rate of a third each, withdrew. “This ensemble is renowned for the symphony hall, whose acoustics are exceptional and attracts all the greatest musicians, orchestras and conductors, explains Miguel Angel Tapia. Orchestras from Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Dallas and many more come regularly. And this is the second time that we have received the OSR, with pride and pleasure.”

We understand the luck, because the 25,000 m² of total surface area includes, with the large Mozart hall, a smaller one for chamber music, with 429 seats, and one with 250 seats for rehearsals and choir production. But that’s not all since a huge modular hall, which can accommodate 5,500 people, standing, adjoins the classic places. The “multi-use” place, like any multipurpose space, is particularly important, with a modular and elevating stage, and all the necessary technical infrastructure.

“Jazz, rock, pop, flamenco and everything that attracts the most varied audiences and generations have their place here,” continues Miguel Angel Tapia. Not to mention the exhibitions, parties, balls, meals, film festival and private events. In one year, 400,000 people attend our 350 events, not counting the two months of July and August, when the complex is closed for the holidays and the period of great heat.

Flattering angular shapes

José Manuel Pérez Latorre did not skimp on the sophistication of the auditorium and the quality of the large classical hall, with its considerable volume and flattering angular shapes. During the fitting, without an audience, concern was felt both on stage and in the room. The reverberation and whirling sound augured a difficult evening.

This is counting without the inccnu relationship between the filling of the seats and this “good moment” when everything comes together. With the same program as the two previous days, we will have had the feeling of hearing different works as the cohesion, energy, colors, fluidity and intensity of evocation seemed obvious and natural.

An organic storytelling

The 5th Symphony de Mahler found the way to an organic narration after two interpretations that were still looking for their marks. And the kaleidoscopic puzzle of the score came together from the sinister initial “Funeral March”, followed by the Wagnerian virulence of an intoxicating “Stürmisch bewegt”.

the Scherzo dancing and elegant where the lines finally unfolded to their end, the discourse evolved closer to the notes and the heart. Satin lights at the bows in the Adagietto suspended until the impalpable, and invigorating intoxication in the Rondo final, the musicians merged in a beautiful mastery of repeated cells and melodic strata.

For his part, Emmanuel Pahud made dance and poeticize the Concerto d’Ibert (the interminable and so delicate note of the second movement!) by dragging the musicians along, and given Density 21.5 by Edgard Varèse on an incredible sound palette. The flute of pleasure.

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