Coloured minds (2022) for piano

Coloured minds (2022) for piano was commissioned by and dedicated to Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, a 23 year old Canadian pianist first prize winner of the 2022 Maria Canals Piano Competition, 2022 Santander Paloma O’Shea, and 2022 Hilton Head Piano Competition.

World Premiere on June 8, 2023, Ruhr Piano festival in Essen, Germany by Jaeden Izik-Dzurko

Spanish premiere on June 14, 2023, at Auditorio Nacional de Musica de Madrid by Jaeden Izik-Dzurko

Program notes:

After listening to Jaeden’s version of my composition Portraits I at the Canals competition, I became captivated by his colourful and multidimensional playing, as well as the sincerity of all his performances. Although Canadian, Jaeden’s family background is Hungarian and Ukrainian, and we both have some common interests in color (timbre), light (harmonic contrasts), intervallic distance and geometry, melodic and rhythmic motives, and musical polyphony.

Coloured minds is then the product of a kind of meeting of the minds. Being a Spanish-Catalan by birth, I have always been interested in color and light (I used to paint and draw) and I think visually and geometrically, including in music. I am especially sensitive to intervals and their directional tendencies, horizontally and vertically. Coloured minds incorporates a high level of interaction between right and left hand, harmonic and register (timbre) changes, motivic development, spaced out intervals and chords, and polyphony.

Structurally, I used a modified sonata-allegro form that feels as such from the emotional and psychological relieve that the music brings, and not coming from a traditional use of key signatures. For example, the recapitulation brings back the calmness and comfort of the initial exposition theme and feels like coming home after the restlessness of the development, which is not about fighting themes or fragments of themes, but more of a sensation of being away from home. The second theme is almost like a memory in the recap but in a simpler harmonic language sounding more major and optimistic, as if providing resolution. The emphasis at the end (and the coda) is on the wide spaced intervallic motive which I took from Image (from Portraits) and was one of my favourites as well as Jaeden. This motive is very important in the whole piece. In general, all the motives I use help to create and determine the structure of the piece.

© Hidden Oaks Music Company published. Available for sale after the premiere in June 2023.

‘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. 

 

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.

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! This work was edited after the premiere and is available on this web site. Video of the performance by Catalan cellist Roger Morelló Ros.

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.

Homenatge a Mompou, for piano solo (2007)

Duration: 7 ‘
Commissioned by Dutch pianist Marcel Worms.
Premiered by Marcel Worms (November 2007) in a all-Mompou Festival in Amsterdam at the Noorderkerk, a beautiful church in the centre of Amsterdam, and at the Bethaniënklooster, a former 15th century monastery in the Wallen ‘red light’ district in Amsterdam.

PROGRAM NOTES (read more)

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag.

 

 

Goyescas for flute and guitar (2008)

Duration: 20′
Goyescas for flute & guitar (2008) was commissioned by flutist Marina Piccinini and guitarist Emanuele Segre.
Premiere by Piccinini and Segre at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on January 23, 2009.
Goyescas is inspired by five paintings of Francisco Goya.  Click here for  GOYAS’ PAINTINGS

I.      Pregón
II.    La familia de Carlos IV (The family of Charles IV)
III.   Las majas en el balcón (The maiden on the balcony)
IV.   El sueño (The dream)
V.     La fragua (The foundry)
VI.   La gallina ciega (Blind men’s bluff)

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

 

 

 

Winged serpent for clarinet and piano (2001)

Duration: 10′ 30″
Written for and premiered by Kevin Schempf and the composer at the Bowling Green New Music Festival in October 2001.

Audio
Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

Portraits II for flute, violin, cello and piano (1999/2003)

Duration: 17′
Arranged for Quarteto Sereno and premiered on June 11, 2003, by Quarteto Sereno at the Gustav Luebcke Museum Hamm (Germany) in honor of a Picasso Exhibition.

Version of Portraits II for clarinet, violin, cello and piano available.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

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.