Homenatge a Pau Casals for cello (2015)

Homenatge à Pau Casals (Homage to Pau Casals) for cello, was commissioned by American cellist David James Kim, in occasion of its premiere at the ‘Mas i Mas Festival’ in Barcelona on August 7, 2015. In this solo cello work, I pay homage to Catalan cellist Pau Casals by using ‘El cant dels ocells’ (The song of the birds), an original traditional Catalan Christmas song popularized by Pau Casals himself that became internationally known as a symbol of peace and freedom. Throughout this homage, I use the beginning ascending scale of  ‘Cant dels ocells’ as a recurring motive embedded in the melodic structure. The tune in its entirety does not appear until the end as a symbol of hope for the future!

Retorn a la terra (Return to the homeland) (2012) for narrator, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, and double bass

Duration: 20′. Premiere on May 26, 2012, by the Virtuoso Ensemble under the direction of Unai Urrecho and Jong Hoon Yoo narrator Hwaseong Arts Center (Ban Sook Concert Hall of the Dong Tan Art Center of Hwaseong), South-Korea.  The Virtuoso Ensemble included Rodrigo Puskás, violin; Hyo Sun Lee, double bass; Hyonsuk Kim, clarinet; Nguyen Bao Anh, bassoon; Eric Robins, trumpet; Lim Hyun Su, trombone; and Kevin Clarke, percussion.

This composition was inspired by two Catalan poems: Retorn a Catalunya by Josep Carner and La Sardana by Joan Maragall. The first poem is narrated in its entirety and certain parts repeated at certain points in the first and second movements. Carner’s poem portrays the excitement of the poet returning to his native country describing the most characteristic attributes. In the first movement the music is inspired by the anticipation of the return, the excitement at seeing familiar landscapes and vegetation, as well as meeting the Catalan people; in the second movement, connected to the first without a stop, the music freely uses a melancholic Catalan melody that imbues a religious tone to the entire movement. The third movement uses the basic ‘sardana’ rhythm as well as certain melodic turns typical of sardana’s melodies.

Retorn a la terra uses the same instrumentation as L’Histoire du soldat by Stravinsky, and both works were performed at the concert.  Retorn a la terra consists of three movements (the first two are connected.)

I.   La terra de foc (The land of fire)
II.  Records (Memories)
III. Dança (Dance)

Youtube Video of premiere

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Co.

Portraits II for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1999)

Duration: 17′
Commissioned and premiered by SOLI Chamber Ensemble at Ruth Taylor Concert Hall in San Antonio, TX, in January 2000.

Review of premiere “Its tonal harmony, traditional forms and romantic sensibility mark “Portraits II” as conservative, but the composer’s individuality shows through in yearning dissonances, quirky juxtapositions of thematic material and a pervasive sensuality not unlike that of her native Barcelona. ” San Antonio Express-News

I. Image
II. Capriccio
;
III. Cantilena
 and Dance
V. Finale

PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

“Colores Andaluces” for cello and piano (2006)

Duration: 10′
Five Spanish-flavor pieces written for cellist Françoise Groben, member of the Meininger-Trio.
Premiered at Celloherbst in Germany on October 13, 2006.

I. Tres morillas
II. Duende
III. Nana (audio)
IV. El Jinete (audio)
V. Zapateado (audio)

PROGRAM NOTES (read more)

Published by Friedrick Hofmeister Musik Verlag.

Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (1995)

Duration: 14′
Commissioned by Australian violinist Benjamin Breen
World premiere by Benjamin Breen and the composer at the Mostly Women Composers Festival in Columbia University, New York in 1996.

I. Maestoso/Allegro ma non molto
II. Intermezzo (Allegretto)
III. Andante
IV. Allegro

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano (1994)

Duration: 10′
Commissioned by Australian violinist Benjamin Breen
World premiere by Benjamin Breen and the composer at the Mostly Women Composers Festival at the Bloomingdale School of Music, New York in 5/22/94.
European premiere at the Conservatorio Superior Municipal de Música de Barcelona (Spain) (10/30/95).
Performed live on WNYC radio program “Around New York ” with Robert Beckhard (5/19/94).
Performance History

I. Allegro
II. Elegy (Largo)
III. Chase (Allegro)

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

Wandering spirit for violin and piano (2013)

Duration: 5’30”
Commissioned by Hungarian concert violinist Rodrigo Puskás.

Wandering spirit for violin and piano is a musical metaphor for the quest for truth, symbolized musically by moments of discovery, with longing and soaring solo lines in the violin, and moments of struggle marked by dissonant interaction between the violin and the piano. This work ends with a bright major harmony through which both the music resolves and the quest comes to an end.

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag

 

Ancient Walls for solo violin (2012)

Duration: 5′
Written for Hungarian concert violinist Rodrigo Puskás.

Ancient Walls is a one-movement solo work for the violin that explores the ancient ‘sounds’ shared by the old world. The title is a methaphor for the ‘walls,’ literally and figurative, that sometimes separate cultures from each other – during their own time and also over time. The title also refers to the common European heritage of Rodrigo Puskás and the composer, natives of ‘independent’ cultures that have struggled over time to retain their identity.

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag 

Voces de mi tierra for flute, cello and piano (2003)

Duration: 18’30”
Written, for the Meininger-Trio.
Premiered at the 15th International Bodensee Festival in Meersburg, Germany, on May 24, 2003.
Performance History

Voces de mi tierra is a tribute to my native country and to the Spanish music that I love so much. Even though the melodies are distinctively Spanish I have not borrowed from Spanish music folklore.

I.    El Cortejo (Courtship)
II.   Noche en la Alhambra (Night in the Alhambra)
III. La moza y el gitano (Scherzando) (The peasant and the gypsy)
IV. Gigue 

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musik Verlag.

Voices of the Rainforest for flute, cello and piano (2008)

Duration: 23′
Commissioned and premiered by the Meininger-Trio at Nachtmusik – WDR Broadcasting Station in Cologne (Germany) on March 15, 2008.

I.    Awakening
II.  Sago gatherers
III. Evening storm
IV.  Voices of inside night
V.   Night spirits

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musik Verlag.