‘Homenatge a Bernstein’ (Homage to Bernstein) receives the Dutch premiere by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by British conductor Alexander Joel at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (Main Hall). It is one of the best concert halls in the world, well-known for its exceptional acoustics and special atmosphere. The work will also be played in Utrecht’s TivoliVredenburg concert hall.
The work was commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona and National of Catalonia for the centenary celebrations of Leonard Bernstein.
Choosing an element that represents the figure of Leonard Bernstein can be a difficult task due to his varied activity as a musician. However, «America» from «West Side Story» is perhaps one of his most emblematic compositions and certainly what Marcos most admires about his legacy. It has given us one of the most famous hemiolas in the history of music, and it also stands out for having represented an exemplary and innovative crossover of musical styles on the time, reflecting the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan sense of cities such as New York.
In this work (commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona), Fernandez-Barrero pays homage to Bernstein with a spontaneous and unpredictable use of the hemiolia which will keep the listener amused and attentive, while the use of compositional techniques from Jazz, Latin, Pop , Flamenco or Contemporary music will take him to the vibrant and multi-cultural experience of cities such as New York or Barcelona (home-town of Marcos Fernandez-Barrero); all of these, embraced in an energetic and playful score that encourages one to dance; «And that’s because Bernstein’s music is always a celebration of rhythm».