Sunday, 20 July 2008

Summer in the City

Throughout July and August, Madrid organises a marvellous thing called 'Veranos en la Villa'. It's a series of (mostly) free concerts at various venues around town. We caught one of them last year when we had just arrived: a concert by Daniel Barenboim and orchestra.

Last Sunday, we went to Retiro Park, and stumbled upon a concert by the Banda Sinfonia Municipal de Madrid. The program was entirely Spanish, the second half entirely pasos dobles to which quite a few people were dancing on the gravel. The band are performing every Sunday at midday through the summer, so today we got there early enough to be able to get one of the thousand or so folding chairs that the band provides.

Today's program included Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, but no cannons. 'Banda' is possibly a misleading term - it makes them sound like a Yorkshire pit brass band, but actually it's very nearly a full symphony orchestra, lacking only the violins. These guys can play, and the atmosphere at these gigs is just tremendous.

So if you want to find us on any Sunday afternoon, we'll be in the park, near the bandstand.

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