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)

Compositora convidada a la 2023-24 temporada del Palau de la Musica Catalana

(extracto del articulo en el diario http://ara.cat del 13 de Mayo, 2023. [Elisenda Fábregas] “Tiene un catálogo que incluye composiciones para orquesta sinfónica, conciertos, formaciones de cámara, ciclos de canciones con piano, obras corales y obra para piano solista. Después de años en los Estados Unidos, vivió en Seúl una década, donde escribió varias obras orquestales, entre las cuales Accents catalans, que escucharemos en el Palau interpretada por lo OSV, formación con la cual también descubriremos su personal Oda a la joia, encargo del Palau, en un programa con la Novena de Beethoven.

Su retorno reciente en la tierra nativa nos permite descubrir el perfil de una compositora versátil, con una visión amplia del mundo, un bagaje humanístico muy rico gracias a su experiencia vital y con un largo currículum como profesora universitaria de las culturas musicales occidental y oriental.

Aun así, su música se adentra también en la tradición cultural y musical mediterránea y en el más profundo del alma catalana, como se podrá comprobar con Bonna Domna, escrita sobre un original texto trobadoresco. En el Palau escucharemos una elige selecta de su extenso catálogo para formaciones diversas que nos permitirá conocer más de cerca una catalana muy polifacética e internacional.”

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, Catalan premiere of ‘Radiant dreams’ at Palau de la Musica Catalana, August 30, 2023.

La veu de Casals (The Voice of Casals), Roger Morelló Ros, cello (includes ‘Danses de la terra’)

Danses de la terra (2020) (Catalan dances) for solo cello was written for and dedicated to Catalan cellist Roger Morello Ros. He premiered this work at Palau Güell in Barcelona on October 28, 2021, and since then he has performed it dozens of times in Spain, Germany and other European countries.  He recently recorded by SWR2 this work and was released on a CD titled “La Veu de Casals” on the label lbs Classical. Listen on spotify.

Danses de la terra consists of four dances:

  • I. Ball d’entrada (Opening dance);
  • II. Dansa de rondalla amorosa (Dance of amorous tale);
  • III. Ball ceremonial de purificació (Ceremonial dance of purification);
  • IV. Records de sardana (Memories of sardana).

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 concert will also include other solo cello works by Catalan composers such as Albert Sardà, Josep Maria Guix, and Gaspar Cassadó.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Co. score on sale on this web page.

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.

Five songs (1986), March 4, 17:30, at Festival Musika-Música de Bilbao, Palacio Euskaldunafestival – N. Intxausti sopr. & Aurelio Virabay, pno.

Five Songs based on poems by F. Garcia Lorca (1986) for soprano and piano will be performed at Festival Musika-Música de Bilbao, in Palacio Euskaldunafestival on March 4, 2023, 17:30, by soprano Naroa Intxausti and pianist Aurelio Viribay in a recital dedicated to songs based on poetry by Federico García Lorca.

‘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.


Uphill: from Clara to Robert for cello & piano – Roger Morelló Ros, cello, & Anna Khomichkho, piano. Premiere and concerts in Germany & Spain, 2022-23

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 honoring Clara Schumann.

©2021 Elisenda Fábregas