There's little doubt that, in North America at least, the most popular work for guitar and orchestra is the "Concierto de Aranjuez" by the blind Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. The legions of Aranjuez lovers will have the opportunity, this weekend, to hear that famous concerto on the stage of Kleinhans Music Hall when guitarist Manuel Barrueco joins Maximiano Valdes and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the second of the season's pairs of Classics Series concerts. The concerts are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Barrueco is a native of Santiago de Cuba and a graduate of Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, which thought so much of its alumnus that he was invited to become a member of the faculty. After his New York debut in 1974 at the Carnegie Recital Hall, Barrueco has been in constant demand throughout Europe, America and the Far East. Indicative of his eclectic taste in musical literature, which now also embraces works of jazz and rock composers, is the fact that he will play a second work with the BPO this weekend, the Concerto for Guitar and Oboe d'Amore by the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, a work bearing the descriptive subtitle "Vers L'Arc-en-ciel, Palma" (Toward the Rainbow). The orchestra's principal English horn player, Florence Myers, will play the oboe d'amore.
Valdes has chosen to round the program out with the remarkable "Variaciones Concertantes" by the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, a very rich and melodious work that features all the orchestra's principal players in prominent solo lines, and he will conclude with the fiery and passionate music from Manuel de Falla's "El Amor Brujo" (Love the Magician).
-- Herman Trotter