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‘I am deeply fascinated by the music of Joan Manén. In his Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’, we can hear especially clearly how popular Spanish and Catalan themes were re-funnelled through a more central European language. The soloist cajoles, sings and irks the orchestra into musical caricatures of real life, and I believe that very few composers were able to bring that spark into the orchestral idiom.

Manén's fascination with Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss instilled in him a love for large symphonic forms – made apparent in his Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’ – and his close friendship with Strauss manifested itself in his late-Romantic and passionate treatment of the orchestra. I urge all lovers of symphonic music to try out this album!’

Darrell Ang, conductor

World Premiere Recordings
MANÉN, J.: Violin Concerto No. 3, "Ibérico" / Symphony No. 2, "Ibérica"
8.574274-75 • 2 Discs
Joan MANÉN (1883–1971)
Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’ *
Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’

Ana María Valderrama, Violin *
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Darrell Ang

Joan Manén was an admired and prolific Catalan composer who wrote in all genres, from opera to transcriptions. He was also one of the leading violinists of his day and made the first recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Manén’s Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’ is a brilliantly written and unashamedly Romantic work that exudes Iberian vitality without recourse to Hispanic effects. Cast on a huge scale, the Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’ calls for an exceptionally large orchestra, with music that is pastoral, Spanish-flavoured and, at times, solemn.

Listen to an extract from Violin Concerto No. 3:
III. Finale: Allegro con spirito
About the Artists
The winner of numerous prestigious international competitions, Ana María Valderrama has performed with orchestras across the world and almost all the Spanish orchestras. Her discography includes recordings of Lorenzo Palomo’s Fulgores with the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra under Jesús López Cobos, the award-winning À mon ami Sarasate with pianist Luis del Valle, and works by Brahms and Franck with pianist Víctor del Valle.
Darrell Ang has been the artistic director and chief conductor of China’s Sichuan Symphony since December 2016. He took all three top awards at the 50th Besançon International Young Conductors’ Competition, leading to the music directorship of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne (2012–15). The recipient of an Allianz Cultural Foundation Young Conductors’ Award, he was invited to engage in residencies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he was mentored by Lorin Maazel and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra is committed to promoting classical and contemporary music of all cultures, giving special attention to Catalan composers. With a discography of over 100 recordings, the orchestra enjoys a long-term relationship with Naxos, which has resulted in particularly high quality recordings of Catalan composers such as Manén, Granados, Leonardo Balada, Montsalvatge and Benet Casablancas.
More acclaimed recordings featuring Darrell Ang
Symphonie espagnole
Concierto español

Yang • Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
‘[Tianwa Yang] delivers a sparkling and truly exciting account… very well supported by the Barcelona Orchestra and conductor Darrell Ang.’
‘Darrell Ang is a natural in this repertoire; inspired playing and top-notch sound, too.’
MusicWeb International
‘The performances are vigorous, more in operatic than symphonic style, which is all to the good. Ang leads these works with the gusto they deserve.’
American Record Guide
‘Darrell Ang leads a bold, gutsy performance, swiftly paced and played with great confidence.’
For the full list of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra’s Naxos recordings, please visit

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