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)

 

 

 

 

 

Terra Mater for Symphony Orchestra (2011)

Duration: 14′
Commissioned by the Wonju Philharmonic of South Korea
World premiere by the Wonju Philharmonic with Young-Min Park, Music Director and Conductor in Wonju, South Korea (10/20/2011).

YOUTUBE VIDEO of Premiere

Terra Mater is a compact one movement dramatic work for symphony orchestra (approx. 10′) that deals symbolically with the creative and destructive powers of nature.

Terra Mater follows the footsteps of Voices of the Rainforest (2007), another work dealing with nature. However the content and gestures of Terra Mater have a deeper sense of urgency. I have always felt that the earth is an organism just like we are, and as such it deserves our respect. If we fail to take care of the earth it may lead to our own destruction. Beneath the dramatic gestures of Terra Mater there is an underlying and compelling lament that surfaces at crucial points of the piece connecting the various strains and providing structure. I have wanted to write an orchestral work on this topic for long time and I welcome this opportunity with excitement. The recent weather events in all parts of the world make nature a ‘hot’ topic and I am eager to make a contribution in musical terms. I live now in Seoul and last summer I had the chance to experience the Asian monsoon season; it was apparently one of the hottest and rainiest summers on record in Seoul. This extreme Korean weather reminded me of the Texas summer storms at most violent. To me there is nothing more awesome and overwhelming than the power of nature. I can understand how ealier civilizations, much more connected with nature than we are, worshipped many elements of the physical world with its capacity to create and destroy.