BMB Carles Surinach

PARALLELISMS FROM BARCELONA

Texts by José R. Pascual-Vilaplana

Barcelona was born with little time difference, two important composers in whose lives, despite having no relationship between them, we find many commonplaces in their artistic corpus, with a very close aesthetic despite developing very personal styles : Carles Suriñach and Miguel Asins Arbó. These two musical creators also agree in dedicating part of their valuable production to the world of music bands, wind and percussion orchestras to which they have been able to extract their timbre potential and have been able to place them in the natural place of equality that corresponds to the cultivation of contemporary musical art.

Surinach and Asins Arbó are an example of authors committed to a territory who have been able to take advantage of these roots to take them off in their contemporaneity. His musical production is strengthened by a solid aesthetic commitment and a personal coherence of creation. Parallel times that generated similar artistic interests, as if born of a vital ecosystem where ethics and aesthetics mix.


CARLES SURIÑACH AND WROKONA


Carles Suriñach i Wrokona (Barcelona, March 4, 1915 - New Haven (USA), November 12, 1997) was a composition student of the master Enric Morera at the Barcelona Conservatory. He then expanded his training in Germany, studying composition with Max Trapp in Berlin and conducting with Hugo Balzar in Dusseldorf, as well as attending seminars taught by Richard Strauss. In 1943 he returned to Barcelona topt as head of the city's Philharmonic Orchestra and between 1944 and 1948 of the Liceu Symphony Orchestra. In 1947 he moved his residence to Paris, from where he contacted several orchestras where he worked as a guest: National Orchestra of the Conservatoire de Liège, National Orchestra of the Broadcasting of France and the Lisbon Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. . His production as a composer expands significantly, highlighting the premiere of his opera The young man who married a woman at the Liceu Theater in 1948. In the 1950s he emigrated to the United States where he developed an important career as a ballet composer while working with the prestigious choreographer Martha Graham. In 1959 he acquired American citizenship. His productions, in addition to ballet music, include concerts for soloists (piano, harp, violin, flute, double bass,…), symphonic music for orchestra and for band, chamber music…. Master Surinach (as he was known in the Anglo-Saxon world) left us in New Haven at the age of 82. The BMI Foundation is currently awarding a prize with its name to young musicians.

JONDO RHYTHM

Suite for band (1967)


On May 5, 1952 and commissioned by the composer and critic Peggu Glanville-Hicks, Carles Suriñach premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, his Rhythm jondo for instrumental group (clarinet, trumpet, xylophone, drum, timpani and three palm trees), one of the first manifestations of his passion for flamenco that he will develop in other productions. He later created a more extensive version of the now instrumented work for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Rothschild Foundation to be choreographed by Doris Humphrey. This ballet was premiered at the Alvin Theater in New York on April 15, 1953 with the José Limón Dance Company. The suite version in the form of a suite was created by the composer himself in 1967 and includes three flamenco rhythms (Bulerías, Saeta and Garrotín) but passed through the sieve of the most avant-garde language that translates tradition in the midst of an absolutely modern and renovating context. Suriñach himself writes in the edition of the score (Associated Music Publishers Inc.) some notes on the work:
 
“The three movements of Ritmo Jondo come from Spanish gypsy sources. Bulerías: a cheerful and fast flamenco dance, with improvisations on a changing rhythm. Originally, the name seems to be a derivation of “burlerías” (games of ridicule), a reference that is evident to the peculiar style of this dance. The "bulerías" are the most characteristic example of dances for the party, and their vehement and exciting rhythm, full of pitfalls to the interpretation, has served as the basis of most of these dances. Saeta: a slow ritual song from Seville, sung in the streets as a prayer during the Good Friday procession. Instruments are forbidden during this liturgical period; however deaf drums are allowed. The “saeta” form is linked to the purest and most remote flamenco art originated by the Sephardim and the Berbers. It takes a lot of inner power to manifest the exciting ritual of this music. Garrotín: Among the countless varieties provided by festive dances, the "garrotín" is one of the most prominent. Festive dances within flamenco offer a whole stylistic range where all imaginable innovations and improvisations are admissible. The “garrotín” is an orgiastic and uncontrolled dance, happily contagious and full of emotion and exuberance; however, at the same time, it is restricted by a certain stoicism and a violence typical of its racial origins ”.




FLAMENCO SYMPHONY

Band Suite (1971)


Master Suriñach's predilection for flamenco leads him to write one Flamenco symphony for symphony orchestra which premiered in Louisville on January 9, 1954 with great critical success. The same year the work was presented during the Lent concerts at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, directed by the composer himself. On July 24, 1956, he performed at the prestigious Proms Festival performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Sargent at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This four-movement suite develops a very modern vision of the flamenco tradition both in terms of timbre and theme (with reminiscences of Jews, Arabs and gypsies) and harmonica. A smaller version (with only three movements of the originals, eliminating the third movement of the orchestral version) is released instrumented for band by the composer in 1971. Suriñach himself writes in the libretto of the LP where the work was recorded: “The south of Spain has always been the source of the greatest wealth of native music. This wealth is mostly concentrated in the flamenco style with its formidable intensity and deep meditation. But Spanish composers have not penetrated much into it, for its refinement they have not made concessions to the extravagance of the Spanish flamenco style when it interfered with academic rules. This Flamenco Sinfonietta has a maximum of flamenco style and a minimum of conventionalism ”.
 
These two works bear witness to Suriñach's interest in flamenco, which is present in the vast majority of his production, such as his Symphony no. 2, and works such as Magic Fair (1956)Symphonic Variations (1962), el Concerto for piano and orchestra(1973) o Symphonic Melismas (1993). To understand this interest and its aesthetic position are interesting words of the composer in the text of the LP: “… .Is well known, I think, at the moment, my devotion to the so-called Spanish flamenco music and my search to transplant it to the stage of the concert. However, this language, over the years, is becoming, I think, a matter very much associated with my own physiognomy. On the other hand, the dance world is using my music more and more every day; a careful analysis has shown me that non-Spanish dancers have dedicated themselves to this music because of its drama: the drama is mostly the result of the flamenco style. Their ballets are not entirely Spanish, but they use my music for their theatrical strength… ”.
 
In the notes in the program of his work Symphonic Melismas tells us: “I wanted to bring flamenco to the level of a concert, to sift its natural energy through the best ways of classical music. However, I rarely use popular songs or current flamenco rhythms. It may inspire me, but the form comes from my imagination. Once I've heard a song, I digest it and grind it. So when it comes back to my memory it has become something else. I hope the background is still preserved, but with very few exceptions, my music is completely original. I don't really like musicology. Musicologists look for authenticity, but if you do what they say the music can become extremely boring, so I write what I have in mind and try to make a work of entertainment. It can provoke an illusion of authenticity but nothing more. For example my work Rhythm Jondo It is obviously inspired by flamenco dances and this sounds very Spanish, but it has no trace of current gypsy music. I don't like this, it's not supposed to be the real object, it's more like thinking about gypsy music. It's interesting. ” (See a historiadelasinfonia.es)




SOLERIANA

Based on the “Fandango” of Father Antoni Soler (1972)


Master Suriñach's predilection for flamenco leads him to write one Flamenco symphony for symphony orchestra which premiered in Louisville on January 9, 1954 with great critical success. The same year the work was presented during the Lent concerts at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, directed by the composer himself. On July 24, 1956, he performed at the prestigious Proms Festival performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Sargent at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This four-movement suite develops a very modern vision of the flamenco tradition both in terms of timbre and theme (with reminiscences of Jews, Arabs and gypsies) and harmonica. A smaller version (with only three movements of the originals, eliminating the third movement of the orchestral version) is released instrumented for band by the composer in 1971. Suriñach himself writes in the libretto of the LP where the work was recorded: Undoubtedly, this score is one of the works of the master Suriñach that has been most performed in the international band world. As in the subtitle of the work, the score is based on the famous Fandango for harpsichord, which the Girona friar Antoni Soler (Olot, 1729 - San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 1783) wrote in the middle of the 18th century. Soler was a student of Domenico Scarlatti and this work reflects a clear influence of the Italian master. In fact, it is an example of a compositional bill, by presenting one obstinate for the left hand, the so-called under Alberti, on which the composer gives us a whole range of resources: risky harmonies, very wide intervals, beautiful ornaments and surprising chromatisms.
 
In 1972 Surinach published Soleriana, and as he himself states in the score: … I have divided the work into an “Introduction” and seven “Differences” or variations, in order to make the form or style of the Fandango more comprehensible, looking for contrast through changes of tone and variations, some of which have independent conclusions (….). Also the decision to use the formation of symphonic band like vehicle to spread the work (instead of the symphony orchestra) is not accidental; the Fandango is full of scarlet arpeggios that require strength and background importance, a less comfortable feature for orchestral strings when speed and fast articulation are required (….). I have enjoyed writing this version of the Fandango, where I enter the world of Soler as I conceive it, with all the means of the twentieth century within my reach (…). ”




MEMORIES OF AN OLD ZARZUELA

(1987)


With the idea of renewing and transforming an ancient material, Suriñach delves into his own memory to remember fragments of zarzuela El Barberillo de Lavapiés (1874) by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823-1894). With four movements connected to each other, the melodies and thematic ideas of the well-known lyrical work are presented here restructured and transformed into their harmonic, structural and timbre setting, but maintaining the evidence of their origin. This interest in the so-called glittle boy it is already reflected in his Symphony no. 3 “Girl Symphony”, Premiered by the Symphony Orchestra of the Jolla Musical Arts Society of San Diego on August 6, 1957 under the direction of the composer.




MUNICIPAL MUSIC BAND OF BARCELONA

JOSÉ R. PASCUAL-VILAPLANA, DIRECTOR


CLARINETS Àngel Errea concertino, José Miguel Micó soloist, Natalia Zanón soloist, Joana Altadill, Valeria Conti, Joan Estellés, Victòria Gonzálvez, Montserrat Margalef, Manuel Martínez, Javier Olmeda, José Joaquín Sánchez, Antonio Santos, Joan Tormo, Jaume Sancho, Javier Vilaplana requint, Martí Guasteví alto clarinet, José Vicente Montesinos bass clarinet | SAXOPHONES Maurici Esteller soprano, Daniel Molina high soloist, Marta Romero high, Armand Franco tenor, José Jaime Rivera tenor, Joan Soler baritone | FLUTES Manel Reyes soloist, Paula Martínez, Carme Arrufat flute, Ana Belén Sánchez flute | OBOESE Pilar Bosque soloist, David Perpignan, Carla Suárez English corn | FAGOTS Daniel Ortuño soloist, Xavier Cervera | TRUMPETS Oleguer Bertran soloist, Carlos Lizondo soloist, Manuel Montesinos, Josep Miquel Rozalén, Miquel Zapata | TRUMPETS AND FISCORNS Jesus Munuera soloist, Patricio Soler soloist, Maurici Albàs, Santiago Gozálbez, Jesus Pascual, Javier Navasquillo, Susanna Marco | TROMBONS Emilio Bayarri soloist, Eduard Font, Francesc Ivars, Francisco Palacios low | BOMBARDINS Rubén Zuriaga soloist, David Pantín, Vicent Múñoz | TUBES Antonio Chelvi soloist, Francisco Javier Molina | TIMPANI Ferran Carceller soloist | PERCUSSIONS Mateu Caballé soloist, Ferran Armengol, Carme Garrigó, Mario Garcia, Àlex Llorens | DOUBLE BASS Antoni Cubedo, Trent Hellerstein | ARPA Laura Boschetti | PLANNING DIRECTOR Joan Xicola | EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR Susanna Gamisel | ARCHIVE Àlex Fernández | PHOTOS May Zircus | SOUND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE Toni Vila | MUSIC PRODUCTION Markus Heiland Tritonus Musikproduktion GmbH

Album recorded from 8 to 12 July 2019 in Room 1 Pau Casals, L'Auditori de Barcelona.

ATTENTION

This concert is free for all those users who are registered in L'Auditori Digital. If you already have an account on the platform, just enter your credentials. If not, register first.

ATTENTION

You just watched the video preview. If you want to see the whole video, you can buy it individually (video_price €), or buy a subscription with unlimited access to concerts from € 7.99 per month.

SUBSCRIBE FOR € 7.90 PER MONTH

You are about to purchase this video for video_price €. We inform you that you can subscribe for € 7.90 per month and enjoy all the content with unlimited access. Do you want to continue with this transaction?