Festive Overture (Obertura festiva)


1919 – 2019

From Latin America to Europe, this concert traces the extraordinary journey of young conductor Glass Marcano. After working throughout her earlier years in her family’s business in Venezuela, Marcano triumphed in La Maestra Competition in Paris, launching at a single stroke the meteoric rise of her conducting career.

To follow this journey, we begin today’s program with musical and literary works from Latin America. Several great composers of our time hail from South America, and they reinvented the repertoire by lending it their distinct flavour and personality. A prominent figure within these ranks is the long-lived Chilean composer Juan Orrego-Salas (1919–2019), who rose to international renown and established a highly individual style inflected by years of study under composer and conductor Aaron Copland and musicologist Paul Henry Lang.

The Obertura festiva (Festive Overture) is a fine example of Orrego-Salas’ neoclassical style, embracing an eminently Classical form: the overture. But although the overture is heard before the curtain rises on an opera or ballet performance, here the composer detaches it from either opera or dance. Overall, the work follows an eclectic but balanced trajectory. Its exuberant first theme passes between the different sections of the orchestra, followed by triple-metre section in the rhythm of a galliard, a popular Baroque dance. A melody introduced by the clarinet in the middle of this theme-dance exchange creates a rondo structure employing the repeated main and secondary themes alternating with a highly contrasting third theme.