Ode to fortitude (2024) sopr., mezzo, women’s choir and orchestra

Oda a la Fortaleza (2024) (Ode to fortitude) is a symphonic poem for soprano, mezzo, women’s choir and orchestra based on my own text. This Ode was commissioned by the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès and the Palau de la Música Catalana as an overture before Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The text of the Ode is in Catalan and equivalent to Schiller’s but from a woman’s point of view. The most important phrases of the text – which helped me organize the structure, narrative and dramatic and sometimes epic feeling of the work are the following. The first phrase is “Som persones primer, dones després (We are people first, women second), which appears at the beginning of the work and tells us what the music is about; the soloists and the choir firmly reiterate the word “SOM” (We are) accentuated by orchestral iterations in different registers. The second essential phrase, Endavant sense por! (Forward without fear) is a call to action that appears several times in the work but especially at the end.

The premiere took place on April 6 and 7, 2024, at the Palau de la Musica Catalana

TEXT in Catalan, English (link includes instrumentation also)

 

 

 

 

 

Quintet for piano & string quartet (2024)

Quintet for piano and string quartet was commissioned by the Palau de la Musica Catalana and dedicated to Canadian pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko and the Atenea Quartet. My intention was to write a quintet of four movements, to complement the limited repertoire of quintets currently being performed, by venturing into a more Mediterranean sound world that integrates various influences, from Spanish and Catalan popular music, especially in the second (Scherzo) and fourth movements (Rondo) – which is based on the Catalan folk song ‘El petit vailet’- to the more austere and modal sound world of the first movement (Allegro energico) and the denser texture of the third movement (Ballade) rooted in romanticism. The quintet has a cyclical structure, all movements are linked by developing melodic and rhythmic patterns, introduced in the first movement, ‘Allegro energico’. The third movement is connected to the fourth and performed without a break. ©2024 Elisenda Fabregas.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Corp. Available for sale at the end of 2024.

YoutuBe Video Premiere April 8, 2024

Danses de la terra for viola (2023)

Duration: 10′

Hidden Oaks Music Co. publisher (music available in this web page)

Video of premiere at Palau Güell in Barcelona by Roger Morelló Ros. (version for cello)

©Elisenda Fabregas

Danses de la terra for viola (2023) (10’) (Catalan dances) is an arrangement for viola of the same work for cello written for Catalan cellist Roger Morelló Ros. The version for cello was premiered  at Palau Güell on October 28, 2020.  Although not literally based on traditional Catalan music, this work is inspired by the composer’s childhood memories of Catalonian dances and folk music. As a Catalan living outside Catalonia since 1978, the author recreates a Catalan sound world of melodic and rhythmic folk idioms tinged with emotions from her childhood.

This work consists of four dances:

  1. Ball d’entrada (Opening dance)
  2. Dansa de rondalla amorosa (Dance of amorous tale)
  3. Ball ceremonial de purificació (Ceremonial dance of purification)
  4. Records de sardana (Memories of sardana)

Somnis radiants (2023) for piano

Somnis radiants (Radiant dreams) (2023) for piano was written for and dedicated to Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, the 23-year old Canadian first prize winner of the 2022 Maria Canals Piano Competition.

After listening to Jaeden’s version of two movements of Portraits at the Canals competition, I became captivated by his colourful and multidimensional playing, as well as the sincerity and depth of all his performances, and his communicating abilities. Although Canadian, Jaeden’s family background is Hungarian and Ukrainian, and we both perhaps share some historical/cultural interests in color (timbre), light (mode/harmonic contrasts), intervallic distances and geometry, development of melodic/rhythmic motives, as well as an interest in polyphonic texture and the music of J.S. Bach.

Somnis radiants is the product of a kind of meeting of the minds. Being a Spanish/Catalan by birth, I have always needed light and color in my life (I used to paint and draw) and I think visually and geometrically, including in music. I am especially sensitive to intervallic distances and their directional tendencies, horizontally and vertically. Radiant dreams incorporate a high level of interaction/dialogue between right and left hand, harmonic and registral (timbre) changes, motivic development, spaced-out intervals and chords, and polyphonic texture. As for the spirit of the music, this work does not describe impressions but real feelings of warmth and luminosity emanating from a floating and dreaming world.

Structurally, I use a modified sonata-allegro form interpreted more as an emotional and psychological structure rather than the result of a functional use of keys. The tension in the piece is established by increased/decrease intervallic tension, modal changes, and melodic/rhythmic development and variation. There are essential melodic/rhythmic motives that tie it together. For example, toward the end, a wide-spaced ascending intervallic motive finally appears in its entirety and is calmly repeated sequentially in pianissimo. This motive comes from Image (first movement of Portraits) and is used and developed (sometimes in disguise) in many parts of the work. A more passionate and emotive passage from a climax of Image is borrowed, although transformed, and also used at a climactic point in the piece. In general, certain melodic/rhythmic motives are essential to the creation of this composition.

Somnis radiants is published by Hidden Oaks Music Company, and available for sale at the http://elisendafabregas.com  web site.

Aires Catalans (2023) premiere by ‘Orchestra de Cambra Terrassa 48’ on April 23, 2023, Auditori Terrassa

Aires Catalans for string chamber orchestra was commissioned by Orquestra de Cambra Terrasa 48 and will be premiered on April 23, 2023 at the Auditori Municipal de Terrassa. The concert, titled ‘Cau de llunes’, is an homage to Catalan poet Merçe Marçal.

Aires Catalans is a one-movement composition based on six traditional Catalonian songs, including: La mala nova; El testament d’Amelia; El Rosinyol; La mare de deu; el Bon Caçador; i Ball de gitanes. Melodic and rhythmic motives from the songs are loosely developed and combined in various types of imitative textures with an often modal sound.

The introduction, permeated by chanting-like modal sounds is loosely based on the trad. song La mala nova which prepares the entrance to the well-known melody in major mode of El Rosinyol, accompanied by pizzicato lower strings.

The end of the composition is a dance featuring El Rosinyol with a sardana rhythm in the lower strings in pizzicato.

‘Parlen les dones’ for mezzo, SATB Choir and Orchestra – El Cor Canta, March 5, 12:00, 2023 – L’ Auditori de Barcelona; and March 11, at the Auditori Enric Granados, Lerida.

 

‘Castell de Miravet’ for Cobla (Memorial Joaquim Serra) commissioned by Agrupació Folklorica Barcelona and Musics per la Cobla. Premiere on November 21, 2022, 19:00

  • The Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona in collaboration with Músics per la Cobla has commissioned a new work for the Memorial Joaquim Serra 2022. Titled Castell de Miravet, this new work will celebrate the hundred years anniversary of Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona at the premiere on November 21, 2022, 19:00. It will premiered by Cobla San Jordi-ciutat de Barcelona conducted by Marcel Sabaté at Casino de l’Aliança del Poblenou (Barcelona). Castell de Mirabet was recorded on June 29, 2022, on CD and available at the premiere in November 2022. 

 

Danses de la terra (2020) for cello

Duration: 10′

Hidden Oaks Music Co. publisher (music available in this web page)

Video of premiere at Palau Güell in Barcelona by Roger Morelló Ros.

©Elisenda Fabregas

Danses de la terra for solo cello (2020) (10’) (Catalan dances) was written for Catalan cellist Roger Morelló Ros who premiered this work at Palau Güell on October 28, 2020.  Although not literally based on traditional Catalan music, this work is inspired by the composer’s childhood memories of Catalonian dances and folk music. As a Catalan living outside Catalonia since 1978, the author recreates a Catalan sound world of melodic and rhythmic folk idioms tinged with emotions from her childhood.

This work consists of four dances:

  1. Ball d’entrada (Opening dance)
  2. Dansa de rondalla amorosa (Dance of amorous tale)
  3. Ball ceremonial de purificació (Ceremonial dance of purification)
  4. Records de sardana (Memories of sardana)

Pluja brodada (Embroidered rain) (2017/21) for Harp

Duration: 3’40”

Hidden Oaks Music Co. publisher

©Elisenda Fabregas

Pluja brodada was arranged and expanded from a song with the same name from the song cycle Imitacio del Foc (Imitation of fire) for tenor & piano.  It was arranged for Catalan harpist Ester Pinyol.

Duende for cello solo (2020)

Duende for solo cello (2020)  was premiered by Catalan cellist Roger Morelló Ros at the Chamber Music Series of Reus, Tarragona (Spain), 10/16/2020).

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

©2020 Elisenda Fabregas