Symphony No. 1 for Wind Ensemble released on Naxos

Naxos release of Catalan Wind Music, Vol. 2,  includes Symphony #1 for Symphonic Wind Ensemble, recorded by the Barcelona Symphonic Ensemble (Banda Municipal de Barcelona) conducted by Salvador Brotons. This new album from the Barcelona Symphony Band is a compilation of the first world recordings of works by Catalan composers (Montsalvatge, Amargos, Fábregas and Bertrán). “Elisenda Fábregas’ dramatic and emotional First Symphony contrasts majestic grandeur with the expressiveness of Catalan song.” (Naxos Direct).

Kompas trio performance of “Voces de mi tierra” August 17, 2019

Kompas Trio performed Voces de mi tierra for flute, cello and piano at Blackerby Recital Hall in Austin, TX, on August 17, 2019. This concert, Soundscapes, was their Debut Concert as a trio.  Their program also included works by Piazzola and Julio Alberto Hernandez. Kompas Trio is a newly formed chamber music group composed of female artists originally from the Dominican Republic. Laura Canelo Cohen, flute; Ilia De la Rosa, cello; Ninoska Thrall, piano.

Roger Morello Ròs, Casa Mila “La Pedrera” (Barcelona) March 17, 2019

Catalan cellist, Roger Morello Ròs, performed Homenatge a Pau Casals for cello solo at the famed Gaudi building Casa Mila (La Pedrera) in Barcelona on March 17, 2019. Roger Morello Ròs was an artist in residence for the 2018-19 season at La Pedrera.

Performances of “Imitació del Foc”(Imitation of fire)

Imitació del Foc (Imitation of Fire) for tenor and piano was performed this past spring on February 15, 2019: St. Stephen’s Concert Series in Wilmington, DE; February 24, 2019: Furman University in NC; Feb 26: Newberry College in SC; and Feb 28: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC. This work is being championed by Jess Muñoz, tenor, and pianist Oksana Glouchko, commissioners of this work with generous support from a University of Delaware General University Research Grant. Imitacio del foc was recorded in August 2018 with producer/engineer Andreas Meyer and will be part of an album featuring 24 Art Songs by Catalan Composers of the 20th and 21st Centuries.  

Imitació del Foc (Imitation of Fire) for tenor & piano received its premiered on March 12, 2018, at the University of Delaware in a program dedicated to Catalonian and Latin American women composers.  After the premiere, additional concerts were presented in the 2018 Spring along other music by Catalonian composers, including  Toldra and Mompou.  Some of the concerts took place at Gore Recital Hall Roselle Center for the Arts, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Central Michigan University,  Michigan State University, Indiana University -South Bend, Taylor University, and Market Street Music Concert Series.

Imitació del Foc is based on poetry by Mallorquin poet Bartomeu Rosselló-Pòrcel (1913-1938). It includes four poems: I. Inici de campana (Quadern de sonets); II.Escolto la secreta… (from Imitacio del Foc, ‘Arbre de Flames’); III. Pluja brodada (Imitacio del foc, ‘Fira encesa’); and IV. Ardent himne (Imitacio del foc, ‘Arbre de Flames’).

Mirage performances by Becky Billock, Spring 2019

Pianist Becky Billock performed Mirage in her Pacific Northwest tour in the US and also in Iceland and Norway. Dates/locations: March 8, Portland, OR; March 9, Salem, OR; March 10, Olympia, WA; March 11, Sequim; March 12, Sidney, B.C; March 14 Abbotsford, BC; March 16, Seattle, WA; March 16 Bellingham; April 22, Riverside, CA; April 28 Pittsburgh, PA; May 10, Reykjavik, Iceland; ; May 12, Oslo concert. More details and links on these concerts.

She recently recorded Mirage for piano for a forthcoming CD titled ‘Mother Earth‘ that included works inspired by nature including composers Amy Beach, Marion Bauer, Henry Cowell, Edvard Grieg, Karen Tanaka, Bonnie McLarty, Elisenda Fabregas, Patrick Burke, Germaine Tailleferre, Robert Schultz, Katherine Hoover, Gwyneth Walker, and Kaja Bjørntvedt.  More program details.

Performances in Maine of Portraits II for fl, vln, vlc, pno

Resident musicians from Portland’s 240 Strings joined by resident musicians from New Haven’s Music Haven and flutist Nicole Rabata performed Portraits II for flute, violin, cello and piano on March 1, 2019, at Mechanics’ Hall, in Maine.

Portraits II was performed again on March 2 by the same performers including pianist Anastasia Antonacos at Corthell Concert Hall, Gorham Campus in the University of Southern Maine (USM) Concert Series.

Repartido entre tiempo y espacio for soprano, trumpet & piano (2016)

Repartido entre tiempo y espacio for soprano, trumpet & piano was commissioned and dedicated to Antoni Solé. The premiere took place in 2016 at Sala Sole Luthiers in Barcelona and was performed by soprano Margarita Natividade, and pianist Xavier Rivera.

This work is based on a poem in Spanish by Juan Eduardo Cirlot titled “A Osiris”.

Imitació del foc (Imitation of fire) for tenor & piano

  • Duration 12′
  • Poetry by Rosselló-Pòrcel (1913-1938) in Catalan
  • Commissioned by tenor Jess Muñoz,with generous support from a University of Delaware General University Research Grant.
  • Premiered on March 12, 2018, at the University of Delaware in a program dedicated to Catalonian and Latin American women composers.
  • This work was recorded on August 10-13, 2018, by Jess Muñoz, tenor, and pianist Oksana Glouchko, with producer/engineer Andreas Meyer and will be part of an album featuring 24 Art Songs by Catalan Composers of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Performance history

Text

Imitació del foc (Imitation of fire) for tenor & piano is a song cycle for tenor and piano based on four poems in Catalan by Bartomeu Rosselló-Pòrcel (1913-1938), a Spanish Balearic poet, who wrote in Catalan. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. He has a brief oeuvre but dense. His mature work, Imitation of fire (1938) turns him into the first Mallorcan poet who fully belongs to the twentieth century. Once the influence of the Mallorcan School has been overcome, the poetics of this last book are influenced by the generation of 1927, as well as by the avant-garde and specifically surrealism. There are also echoes of his interest in Spanish Baroque literature, along with a neo-populism similar to that of García Lorca or Rafael Alberti. In Rosselló-Pòrcel work is notable the presence of the symbol of fire, and related words, such as fire, flame, ash, charcoal burning and bonfires. The use of these symbol is not purely ornamental, but it reveals a deeper sense. The fire for Roselló-Porcell is purification, the struggle of opposites, light, life, rise, movement and perpetual change, immateriality and mastery. This vision of the fire connects Rosselló-Porcell directly with a pre-Socratic philosopher, Heraclitus, who found in fire an overcoming of all processes of change that view reality.

The four poems selected in this song-cycle come from the collection Imitacio del foc and Quadern de sonets (an earlier work).

  1. Inici de campana (Bells start tolling) from Quadern de sonets, written in 1934
    This opening piece starts brilliantlly with tolling bell-like sounds calling for the parishioners. The spiritual symbol of church bells can be associated with the creative power, poetry and its followers. Rossello’s poem describes the poet in the evening hearing church bells and settlying at dusk into his home as a metaphor for internal search.
  2. Escolto la secreta…(I listen to the secret…) from Imitacio del Foc, Arbre de Flames). In this poem the poet explores the relation between himself and death when he “listens attentively to the secret harmony of the air and the ardor that trembles from great free waters.” The music is intimate and personal evoking the inner life and reflections of the poet.
  3. Pluja brodada (Embroidered rain) from Imitacio del foc, Fira encesa, written in 1938, is a poem in which the poet extols and personifies the rain, a natural element, in a precious manner, first reminding us of the sound of rain in a graphic manner. At the beginning of the poem the rain ‘dances’ joyously but little by little takes on a restless character. The music evokes the sound and moods of the rain; the tímbric sound on the rain is portrayed by sparkling arpeggios in the higher register of the piano.
  4. Ardent himne (Ardent hymn) from Imitacio del foc, Arbre de Flames, written in 1938. This poem states the dichotomy between the poet and the angel. The text is imbued with action and extraordinarily dynamic power, with fire contrasting with angels (‘homes alats’) and the night, portraying a vision of the world as a fight between contrary and opposite forces that need each other to exist.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company. 

Jinha Park at Colorado International Piano Academy, July 22, 2018

Pianist Jinha Park gave a lecture on my piano music and performed Mirage at the Colorado International Piano Academy on July 22, 2018.

Tiempo de amor, soprano Patricia Caicedo, February 27, 2018, in Barcelona

On February 27, 2018, Patricia Caicedo performed “Tiempo de amor” in Barcelona, at the Col-legi de Metges'”, in a program of women composers from Catalunya and Latin America.