That the Princess of Asturias Foundation has chosen the old facilities of the La Vega Arms Factory in Oviedo to do some of the events that he has been programming in recent years, it’s not by chance.
La Vega is an extension of land of more than 12 hectares occupied, initially, by the palace of the most important king of the Asturian monarchy, Alfonso II el Casto (8th-9th centuries) and, later, by the monastery of Santa María la Real de la Vega, where Gontrodo Petri, mother of King Alfonso VII’s daughter, called Urraca, queen of Navarra, also known as Urraca “the Asturian”, retired in the 12th century. Over time, this extension of monastic land hosted one of the most important factories of arms of Spain, today in disuse.
Its amazing naves, built in brick at the end of the 19th century and in concrete and cast iron, a early twentieth century, even in that dignified state that denotes the passage of time, for multiple ideas.
And the Princess of Asturias Foundation scored the goal because the stage gives a lot of play. Yesterday Thursday, and on the occasion of the celebration of this rare edition of the Princess of Asturias Awards, the fortieth now, and that, due to the health situation that the whole world is experiencing is keeping all the health precautions for the celebration of this and all the events (anti-covid tracker device, hydroalcoholic gel, control of the DNI to all attendees, etc.), an unforgettable concert was held in which the creations of two gods of the Symphonic and cinematographic music of the 20th century it gave warmth and color to the cold October night.
Recipients of the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, Ennio Morricone and John Williams were the protagonists, through their melodies, of the event most magical of those celebrated for the general public, within the programmed ones.
The spirit of the great Italian composer Ennio Morricone (Rome 1928 – July 6, 2020) and the life of the most successful composer in the history of music, John Williams (New York 1932) they flew over the 5,184 square meters of space of the ship called ‘Taller de canñones, Sánchez del Río ship’, its creator engineer in 1940 and from where you can see the pre-Romanesque Alfonsino temple of San Julián de los Prados.
His musical creations were performed, in the first part, at the baton, by a very energetic and dedicated Andrea Morricone, Ennio’s son, conducting an immense OSPA (Symphonic Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias, one of the oldest in Spain) and in the second part, by the magnificent Oviedo conductor, of international projection, Óliver Díaz. The eighty-four components of the OSPA made us dream of their mastery, integrating completely in the repertoire, carefully selected.
In the concert, which began ten minutes after eight o’clock, several of the themes, among the best known, from these two geniuses of contemporary music, specialized in film soundtracks.
Divided into four blocks, the themes that Morricone led, remembering his deceased father and laureate on multiple occasions, made us remember such well-known films as The untouchables of Eliot Ness Y Once upon a time america, with Déborah’s Theme, so performed by the Roman master. Other unforgettable pieces were the Love theme of Paradise cinema, Andrea Morricone’s first composition for the cinema, the well-known and magical Gabriel’s oboe by The mission which caused numerous applause directed at the oboist of OSPA Juan A. Ferriol, and the classics within Sergio Leone’s cinema such as Until his time came The The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In this part of the repertoire, the vocalization of the magisterial and young Italian soprano, Vittoriana de Amicis that left the audience in awe. Already in the second part, linked without interruption, without rest, Óliver
Díaz once again conducted the OSPA with a set of diverse and well-known songs by the renowned conductor, pianist and composer John Williams. Although at the entrance, Attendees were already “greeted” by different characters from the Star Wars, marvelously characterized, the music of this great soundtrack sounded twice in this second part of the program, its main theme and the imperial march to close the concert.
But, between one and the other, the already very packed orchestra made us relive the terror we felt when seeing in the cinema Shark, vibrate and sadden us when we listen to the strummed violin of Schindler’s List caressed by the wise hands of the great solo violinist Jesús Reina, transport us through the spirit Harry Potter with that curious and evocative instrument that is the celesta, we went back to childhood with the chords of the violin in Fiddler on the Roof from which Williams adapted the music, original from 1964, we were thrilled with the well-known Raiders March of Indiana Jones and we said goodbye with a big smile, again, with the Imperial March of Stars Wars.
Much applause, warmth on a cold night after enjoying this successful selection of pieces highly recognized by all, and a civilized walk of the attending public when exiting between the naves, streets, walls and windows of La FPAbrica, which is what it has been called since the Princess of Asturias Foundation adopted it. Long live film music, masterful creation of these earthly gods, Morricone and Williams, true kings of eternal emotions!