On Friday, the 13th  Sinfónica de Tenerife is performing En tono al mar [About the Sea], the concert that opens the 2019-2020 season at the Auditorio de Tenerife. Under the baton of its principal conductor, Antonio Méndez, it features four pieces inspired by the watery world. From the strength of the ocean that shapes Peter Grimes and The Flying Dutchman to the colourist Fontani di Roma, this is a rotund musical homage the Tenerife orchestra pays to the natural surroundings of the island.

Premiered in 1843, The Flying Dutchman Overture WWV 63 by Richard Wagner (1813-1883), was the first drama by the German composer about which he said “my career as a poet starts here”. The very essence of the work is present in the overture through its main motifs: the storm, the ship in the mist fighting against the inclemency of the sea, the joy of the seafarers and the redemption of the Dutchman; in addition to the well-known ballad of his beloved Senta.

British composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) immerses listeners in a sea that reflects the characters of his opera Peter Grimes, premiered in 1945.  Four Sea Interludes, op. 33a is a symphonic piece that synthesizes his own opera. It starts at dawn, which is represented by violins that could very well be the beams of the early sun on the peaceful waters of the ocean. A rougher writing anticipates Sunday and the anxiety that is beginning to gain hold of Ellen.

Luz de luna (Moonlight) introduces listeners to a tense calmness, simulating waves that come and go in the darkness, since the sea is an open wound in the fisherman Peter Grimes. Finally, the storm, the inner portrait of the hero that Britten moves from the original first act to the end of these four movements; here is where he suggests that although calmness seems to have arrived, it is really just pretence, as the end is an absorbing spiral of the fate he cannot escape from.

The second part of the programme starts with Fontane di Roma by the colourist Italian Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), one of the major representatives of Italian symphony. This symphonic poem comes straight from French impressionism; it is a real sound stroll around the fountains of Rome. So, the tour will takes us from the wavy waters of the Valle Giulia fountain in a bucolic, pastoral atmosphere; to Fontana di Tritone, where the horns will bring to life Triton’s conch, which, as in Ovid’s Metamorphoses he plays to control the waters. There is also room for Fontana di Trevi, where the atmosphere becomes triumphant upon the distinguished appearance of god Neptune. The melancholy nightfall gazes at the Fontana di Villa Medici until the darkness of night makes everything vanish.

The first subscription concert in the season ends with La mer CD 111 by Claude Debussy (1862- 1918), an exquisite sensory experience. The French author started to work on his childhood memories of the beach and portrayed a sea that sways in exoticism, symbolism and impressionism. The composer plays with the light by drawing different sun reflections on the water and the waves, executing a continuous movement in which harmony and rhythm gain greater importance.

Antonio Méndez, who took up the position of principal conductor of the Sinfónica de Tenerife last season, has become one of the best established and most sough-after conductors in his generation. The Mallorca maestro has built links with the main orchestras in Europe, having conducted the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, StaatskapelleDresden, Scottish Chamber Orchestra or Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.

In the 2018-2019 season, apart from his participation in the Sinfónica de Tenerife, Antonio Méndez returned to the Orquesta Nacional de España, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Kammerakademie Potsdam, making his debut with Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.

During the current season, the conductor of the Cabildo’s orchestra will return to Orchestre de Chambre de Paris or to Iceland Symphony, in addition to making his debut with Orquestra Gulbenkian and Stavanger Symphony. In Spain he will continue his connection with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León. He will also make his debut in the opera productions L’elisir d’amoreLucia di Lammermoor and Don Carlo.

Tickets for this concert can be purchased at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; by phone on 902 317 327; or via the internet on the websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.