Swensen and Estellés, an excellent combination
Conductor Joseph Swensen visited Granada to offer a program dedicated to Scandinavian music in which solo clarinetist José Luis Estellés was the soloist. Swensen delivered one of the best versions of Grieg’s Peer Gynt ever heard in Granada. His sense of musicality, expressive ability and ingenuity when it comes to balancing the OCG’s sound were commendable, and he built up an expressive and suggestive interpretation.
Better yet was the performance of the Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra. We could witness a perfect combination of masterful performance by José Luis Estellés in the solo part and the balanced conducting of Joseph Swensen. Estellés proved to be one of the best clarinetists of the current scene. His participation received a prolonged standing ovation, playing as encores: Hommage to to Manuel de Falla, by Kovács, and Benny’s Gig, by Morton Gould composed in tribute to Benny Goodman.
The second part of the concert was devoted entirely to the Symphony no. 2 of Sibelius. Swensen performed this piece safe and diligently, supported by the good job he did during the week with the OCG, closing a concert at the height of the best European orchestra.