Williamstown, United States 1933 - Tempe, United States 1985

Elegy for a Young American

Elegy for a young American (1964) - 7 '


Bilzen, Belgium 1973

Crystal magic

Magic crystal (2019) - 11 '

Carnelian: The Stone of Perseverance (Carnelian: The Stone of Perseverance)
Opal: The Stone of Misfortune
Amethyst: The Stone of Wisdom
Amazonite: The Stone of Playfulness


St. Petersburg 1906 - 1975

Symphony no. 9, op. 70

(1945) - 28 '
Arrangement by Hardy Mertens and Johannes Maria Suykerbuyk


Barcelona Symphony Band
José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, conductor


CLARINETS Àngel Errea, concertino / José Miguel Micó, soloist / Natalia Zanón, soloist  / Joana Altadill / Eduard Betes / Valeria Conti / Joan Estellés / Victòria Gonzálvez / Montserrat Margalef / Manuel Martínez / Javier Olmeda / José Joaquín Sánchez / Antonio Santos / Joan Tormo / Javier Vilaplana, requint / José Vicente Montesinos, bass clarinet  / Martí Guasteví, double bass clarinet SAXOPHONES Maurici Esteller, alto / Dani Molina, alto soloist / Marta Romero, alto / Armand Franco, tenor / José Jaime Rivera, tenor / Joan Soler, baritone  FLUTES Manuel Reyes, soloist / Paula Martínez / Ana Belén Sánchez * OBOES Pilar Bosque, soloist / David Perpiñán / Carla Suárez, English horn BASSOONS  Daniel Ortuño, soloist / Xavier Cervera HORNS Oleguer Bertran, soloist / Germán Izquierdo, soloist / Manuel Montesinos / Josep Miquel Rozalén / Miguel Zapata TRUMPETS AND FISCORNS Jesús Munuera, soloist / Patricio Soler, soloist / Maurici Albàs / Santiago Gozálbez / Jesús Pascual / José Joaquín Salvador TROMBONES Francesc Ivars / Eduard Font / Héctor Penades EUPHONIUM Rubén Zuriaga, soloist / David Pantín TUBAS Antonio Chelvi, soloist / Francisco Javier Molina DOUBLE BASSES Enric Boixadós / Antoni Cubedo TIMPANI Ferran Carceller, soloist PERCUSSION Mateu Caballé, soloist / Ferran Armengol / Alejandro Llorens

IN CHARGE OF THE BAND Josep Miquel Rozalén
ARCHIVE Alex Fernandez
AUXILIARY SERVICES Airun Cultural Services


 * Collaborator


by David Puertas Esteve

On November 22, 1963 (St. Cecilia's Day, patron saint of musicians), US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by gunfire. The news shocked the world and condolences came from all over. The fact also upset different artists who felt compelled to show, from the language of art, their feelings of sadness and anger. Ronald Lo Presti, then a professor of clarinet and composition at the University of Texas, transcribed his pain into a score that has become a repertoire classic for band. TheElegy for a young American it premiered five months after the president’s death and has been defined as a embodiment of the different phases of mourning, from initial denial to final acceptance with the corresponding episodes of anger and depression.

The music of Bert Appermont (Belgium, 1973) is direct and sincere. In recent years, our band has offered us several of his works: perhaps we will remember striking Requiem in Brussels inspired by the terrorist attacks of 2016. Today’s work is one of the last he has written (2019) and finds inspiration in a very different subject: the magical world of gemstones. The four movements describe very different atmospheres: the first evokes the carnelian as a stone of perseverance; the second, the opal, a symbol of misfortune; the third, amethyst and its varieties of violet, stone of wisdom; and finally the fourth, the amazonite with its intense green, stone of joy.

Shostakovich enjoyed the highest honors that the Soviet regime was able to bestow, and he also suffered the most severe humiliations that the state itself knew how to apply. Stalin personally considered him a national composer and, a few years later, accused him of composing music against the spirit of the people and forced him to retract a music that the official regime called "pornography". When he composed Symphony no. 9 (1945), the waters were calmer and Shostakovich had regained the confidence of the rulers. The Novena it premiered shortly after the end of World War II, which is why Stalin expected an apotheosis and triumphant symphony. He came across a work of discreet dimensions, with cheerful and light music, fresh and ironic. Shostakovich said: "Musicians will love to play it and critics will love to destroy it." But the problem was not the critics but the government: the Novena it was considered inadequate for its supposed superficiality. Shostakovich did not compose any new symphonies until after Stalin's death in 1953.



by José R. Pascual-Vilaplana

Concluding a season like the present could be defined, almost, as a heroism. Surrounded by a global situation that we neither imagined nor expected, the work of artists has become as necessary as it is demanding. And it is that art can and must be a kind of cry against what surrounds us, not to go against it (which also, when necessary), but because the work of art becomes a reflection of who we are and what it happens to us.

A Elegy for a Young American (1967), we find reflective staves lined with a diverse palette of instrumental colors that evoke pain and anger for a mourning we do not understand: the murder of a man, in this case the president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The author of this work, the clarinetist and composer Ronald Lo Presti (1933-1985), graduated from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where he was a student of Peter Mennin, who was also musical heir. by Howard Hanson. We can say that this work testifies to the great compositional work for the band during the twentieth century in the United States, where they made this instrumental formation a whole tool of artistic communication.

The current creation for the band has such important figures as the Belgian Bert Appermont (1973), an artist committed to great creative versatility who has generated a catalog of works where we find from music for television to audiovisual, musicals and opera. A Crystal Magic (2019), we will find a bold and eclectic creative exercise in which it is intended to express, sonorously, the characteristics of different precious stones. Language, diverse and heterogeneous, is at the service of communication, but always leaving the freedom of the listener. An example of what artistic creation means.

This freedom resolved through the most refined and diversified technique is undoubtedly found in the notes of Symphony no. 9 (1945) by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). When someone commissions a work he thinks he is above the one who makes it, as if he could be forced to express something through money, with the banal belief that they can do it all. Instead of a triumphant symphony with grandiloquent and presumptuous orchestrations, the creator, against authority, said what he wanted. There are many qualifiers that the symphony has received: from the example of neoclassicism to considering it a childish portrait against Nazism. However, the music speaks for itself. It does not need arguments or explanations to make its transparency, its brilliance and its obvious craftsmanship an example of creative freedom. The version for band that we will hear today is the work of the Dutch master Hardy Mertens, a figure in the band's repertoire of the last thirty years.

The purity of art cannot be imprisoned with futile guidelines. Luckily verbalism will never be able to replace the verb.


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