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)

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)

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

Uphill: from Clara to Robert for vlc and piano (2021)

Duration 7’30”

Uphill: from Clara to Robert for cello & piano (2021) was written for and dedicated to the Duo of cellist Roger Morelló Ros and pianist Anna KhomichkhoUphill was inspired by a 16th century poem of Pedro Padilla, and also inspired by Clara’s feelings over her caring of Robert and the interruption of her composing activities.

My inspiration to write this one movement work came from two sources. I was inspired by a poem by Pedro Padilla (16th century Spain) entitled “Sierra áspera…” used by R. Schumann. I tied this poem with Clara and Robert Schumann’s relationship. I took the side of Clara as the wife/caregiver of Robert Schumann and imagined her struggles and feelings. Besides her duties as a wife and emotional support to Robert Schumann’s, Clara was also the mother of eight children, pursued her own career as a pianist/composer and left us 66 compositions. She was regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, with over 61 years of concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital from displays of virtuosity to programs of serious works.

We know from her quotes that she felt insecure as a composer in a time when women were seen only as mothers and not fit to pursue creative endeavors such as writing music. There were no women composer models to be followed. A famous quote from Clara corroborates such feelings: “I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to composer – there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?”  Clara Schumann was a super woman doing it all, like many others during her time. This music is my way of honouring Clara Schumann.

©2021 Elisenda Fábregas

Masks for clarinet, cello, piano (2019/21)

Duration approx. 9′

Hidden Oaks Music Company pub. (available in the music store for purchase – printed or pdf download)

Masks for clarinet, cello and piano (2019/21) was commissioned by the IonSound Project Ensemble for their 2019 concert season and CD recording project.  The New York City premiere took place 2/11/20 by Random Access Music (RAM) Concert Series.

I was asked to write a relatively short composition inspired by certain aspects of the Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio. The title Masks suggests various layers of meaning in the music: I used motivic development procedures from the Classical period on rhythmic and/or melodic motives taken from or inspired by Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio, but I dressed the new melodies with harmonies and rhythms reminiscent of Spain’s music.

An edited version (2021) of Masks was done for performances in Catalunya in April 23-24, 2021

Looking in hindsight, this work and title it anticipated the covid-19 pandemia and the use of surgical masks. The original version of Masks was finished at the end of September 2019.

Movement I – Incantation and consummation – In the first movement of Masks, I start the first and second themes with the half-step beginning melodic motive of the first theme of Beethoven’s first movement, as well as tree-note ascending design. The motivic connection with Beethoven is very subtle in the first movement.

Movement II. Mischievous spirits – In the second movement of Masks, I took almost the entire rhythmic motive of the beginning theme of Beethoven’s 3rd movement. In addition, I varied the theme, although not in strict Variations like in the Beethoven. The spirit of the 2nd movement of Masks is also light and playful, just like the Beethoven.

 

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.

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.