Review: Buffalo Philharmonic premieres Del Aguila work featuring its principal cellist

Posted on: May 13, 2014

In Saturday’s (5/10) Buffalo News, Mary Kunz Goldman reviews a Buffalo Philharmonic concert featuring Concierto en Tango, a new work by Miguel del Aguila written for BPO Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov. “The concerto was sparkling and fun-loving, and as [Mekinulov] … took one, then two, then three curtain calls.… The big crowd of listeners, almost all of them on their feet, cheered and cheered.” Coming after Ravel’s La Valse—which Music Director JoAnn Falletta had introduced as that composer’s corrupting of the Viennese waltz in response to World War I—the Del Aguila concerto “turned the mood upside-down. This good-natured piece … is shot through with tango rhythms, many outlined by Del Aguila himself on the piano.… Adding to the excitement … other musicians step forward now and then and join the cello soloist in the spotlight. At times it is a bassist [and] at other junctures it was the concertmaster.” Performing in the latter role was Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker, among those “being considered as the successor to Michael Ludwig,” who recently stepped down as the BPO’s concertmaster. Concluding the concert was a “tremendously enjoyable” rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances.

Posted May 13, 2014