We knew that the program was attractive, so Marco Antonio García de Paz chose it carefully, but we are never quite sure that it is going to like. Sometimes we think: it is unconditional love and we only see the good side, but then the choir gets the criticism and critics and, finally, although several hours have past since the last BIS of the concert, we breath deeply and sigh of tranquility. No, it was not unconditional love, it was simply a good program.

“El león de oro”, ayer, en el escenario del Auditorio. | ©Fernando Rodríguez

This is the text by Jonathan Mallada that appears today, Sunday, January 30, in the newspaper La Nueva España:

“A long and loud ovation, even several cries of “Bravo!” followed the deep silence generated after the last chords of “When David Heard”, with the harmonics still ringing wide in the symphonic hall of the Prince Philip Auditorium. This was the end, the “golden” end to a magical musical evening starring one of the leading exponents of choral singing nationally and internationally as is the Asturian group “El León de Oro”.

On this occasion, and contrary to what is usual in the laureate Luanquin formation, the repertoire was neither Renaissance nor Baroque, but the results were the same: excellent. The first program developed by the gozoniegos in Oviedo in 2022 was entitled “Monuments canoros” and brought together works from the Romantic period, by such emblematic authors as Félix Mendelssohn or Johannes Brahms. A different but really attractive bet in which the versatility and talent of the pupils of the founder and conductor of the choir, Marco Antonio García de Paz, was demonstrated.

Displaying a great balance, they displayed a whole torrent of vocals to interpret the “Mass in E flat major”, by Josef Rheinberger, always well phrased and with a compact and well-grounded sonority.

Psalms number 100 (“Jauchzet dem Herrn, Allen Welt”) and 43 (“Richte Mich Gott) by Félix Mendelssohn maintained the sacred halo of the evening, with always powerful and well-timbered bass voices and sharp-pitched sopranos.

After the execution of one of his fetish works, “Geistliches Lied”, by J. Brahms, (accompanied at the piano by one of the members of the formation, Óscar Camacho) full of emotion and with a final “amen” full of brightness and color, García de Paz (current conductor of the choir of the Spanish Radio and Television), expressed his gratitude to the attendees, who crowded the patio of armchairs of the auditorium ovetense.

The conductor also took the opportunity to briefly explain the final work, “When David Heard”, which is the first time that it is performed in our country and which, despite being much later than the rest of the repertoire selected, fits the expressive and interpretive qualities that Luanquins always pursue, combining a brilliant harmony with the taste for sonority and emotional silences. That was appreciated yesterday.

At the end of the musical evening, of hour and quarter of duration, before the insistent applause of the audience, the choir bisó the “Sanctus” of the mass of Rheinberger. It was not the only encore of the session in the Auditorium “El León de Oro” also offered the Kyrie of the same mass. The audience, overturned with their voices and with the work of the formation, dismissed them on their feet”.

The evening was magical, especially after Whitaker’s contemporary work, with which the audience stood up and even shed tears up and down the stage.

So all we have to say, with the concert already over and the curtain down, is THANK YOU.

Thanks to our sponsor, SATEC, the members of the choir and those who yesterday reinforced it, our agent Adela Sanchez, the staff of the organization LDO, the Auditorium and, of course, OUR AUDIENCE, without which all this would be idle words.

We hope to see you soon, if possible without a mask, here or in any other cultural space where good music is welcomed.

We leave here the link to the media reviews:

El Comercio: El Romanticismo de El León de Oro inunda el Auditorio

La Nueva España: Un monumento al canto coral 

Pablo Siana: Placeres de oro