Barcelona 1973


(2021) Commissioned work - 20 ′


Broadheath, United Kingdom 1857 - Worcester, United Kingdom 1934

Cello concerto in E minor, op. 85

(1919) – 26′

Adagio - Moderato
Lento – Allegro molto

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello


Sontzovka, Ukraine 1891 - Moscow 1953

Romeo and Juliet

Selection Duncan Ward (1935-36) - 23 ′

Montescs and Capulets
Dance of the five couples
Romeo and Juliet
Tybald's death
Juliet's death

Duncan Ward, conductor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra of Catalonia


FIRST VIOLINS  Birgit Kolar *, concertino guest / Raúl García, concertino assistant / Maria José Aznar / Sarah Bels / Walter Ebenberger / Natalia Mediavilla / Katia Novell / María Pilar Pérez / Anca Ratiu / Jordi Salicrú / Ariana Oroño * / Yulia Tsuranova * SECOND VIOLINS Alexandra Presaizen,  soloist / Emil Bolozan, assistant / Maria José Balaguer / Jana Brauninger / Patricia Bronisz / Clàudia Farrés / Mireia Llorens / Melita Murgea / Josep Maria Plana / Robert Tomàs VIOLAS Yuval Gotlibovich *, guest soloist / Josephine Fitzpatrick, assistant / David Derrico / Christine de Lacoste / Franck Heudiard / Michel Millet / Miquel Serrahima / Jennifer Stahl / Irene Argüello * CELLOS Jose Mor, soloist / Olga Manescu, assistant / Lourdes Duñó / Vincent Ellegiers / Marc Galobardes / Jean Baptiste Texier DOUBLE BASSES Christoph Rahn, soloist / Dmitri Smyshlyaev, assistant / Apostle Kosev / Josep Mensa  FLUTES  Francisco López, soloist / Beatriz Cambrils / Ricardo Borull, piccolo OBOES Disa English, soloist / José Juan Pardo / Molly Judson, English horn CLARINETS Josep Fuster, assistant / Francesc Navarro / Lidia Tejero *, clarinet in Eb / Alfons Reverté, bass clarinet / BASSOONS Thomas Greaves,  assistant / Noah Cantú / Slawomir Krysmalski, contrafagot HORNS Jesús Sánchez *, guest soloist / Joan Aragó / Juan Conrado García, assistant / Pablo Cadenas * / Alma García * TRUMPETS Mireia Farrés, soloist / Adrián Moscardó / Angel Serrano, assistant  / Andreu Moros * TROMBONES Gaspar Montesinos, assistant / Vicent Pérez / Raúl García, bass trombone TUBA Daniel Martínez * TIMPANI Marc Pino PERCUSSION Juan Francisco Ruiz / Ignasi Vila / Miquel Angel Martínez * / Roberto Oliveira * / Manuel Roda * HARP Magdalena Barrera, soloist PIANO AND CELESTA Gregori Ferrer * SAXOPHONE  Luis Ignacio Gascón *

ORCHESTRA MANAGER Walter Ebenberger  
STAGE CREW Luis Hernández *

* collaborator


by Joan Magrané

This love that is not one

Romeo and Juliet (1935) by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is one of those works that does not really need to be introduced as it is so well known, with the punctuated and forceful music of the Dance of the Knights, with the Montagues and Capulets at the front. The work, the whole of Prokofiev’s oeuvre, has an undeniable and decisive visual and suggestive force. It was not in vain that from a very young age and throughout his artistic life, the composer was attracted to the world of the stage and representative music: opera, ballet and even cinema, especially stories in which the characters are pushed towards misfortune by the invisible hand of fate, drama, the impossible. Starting with The Gambler (based on the story by Fyodor Dostoevsky), continuing with War and Peace (based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy, of course) and the music for the films by Sergei Eisenstein Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, and ending with William Shakespeare and the immortal and fatal love story of the two young people from Verona, Romeo and Juliet, which the Russian composer turned into a ballet. As has always been the case, adapting the respective vicissitudes and misfortunes to each specific era, the tension of it all, the vital, sensual and spiritual dissonance lies in the struggle between young, utopian and dreamlike love, and the conventions of the adult world, entrenched and realistic. At the end of the day, freedom and oppression. Prokofiev’s creative genius was perfectly captured in a score brimming with contrasts: from innocent games to the most strident violence, lyrical delicacy to the most vertiginous virtuosity, without forgetting unbridled and heartbreaking sentimental intensity.

Equally unbridled and breathtaking is the elegiac tone that presides over the Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 (1919) the Edward Elgar (1857-1934). The music of the cello solo is melancholic and saddened, sometimes withdrawing into itself. This work is a clear and valuable example of the know-how and art of a composer who is too often identified exclusively with the grandiloquent music with a utilitarian tendency, all pomp and circumstance, which was encouraged by the context of the British Empire. However, around the end of the century and the Great War, with his maturity, and perhaps reflecting the pessimistic and finalist spirit of his time, Elgar left us a whole series of works of true and profound importance, including the Enigma Variations, the two symphonies, the violin and cello concertos and the magnificent oratorio The dream of Gerontius. The Cello Concerto opens with languid chords from the soloist, developed almost improvisationally, from which emerges a breathtaking melody, firstly, exposed by the violas and then taken up again by the soloist to burst later in the whole orchestra. The second movement, a scherzo that never quite unwinds, still dragged down by the melancholy of the first movement, features the soloist’s pointillist and volatile music above an economical and precise use of the rest of the instruments. It is followed by a slow fragment, in adagio, of elegant and intimate lyricism that leads to a final rondo in which the exaltation of its main theme is gradually broken by the appearance of some echoes of the previous movements, like a memory. The work then ends with the impossibility of escaping a perennially autumnal melancholy, a constant warning of a terrible winter.

Bernat Vivancos (1973) is a composer who does not just put notes on a staff. His realm is the whole space where the work will live, the physical space and the acoustic space: either by becoming an architect or a landscape painter, placing the performers here and there, or by building from within the music itself, from within the sound itself, within the same musical thought, from the same sound imagination. This is the case ofU (2021), which must be pronounced like English you, that is, 'you', in which the great orchestra is deconstructed in three spaces by tuning: a first set of musicians who tune their instruments with the tuning fork at 442 kHz (which, so to speak , is, along with the famous 440, the most common tuning), a second group that sharpens one octave of pitch below the first (432 kHz), and a third that does one octave of pitch above (448 kHz) . Thus, as in a sea of rich and vibrant colors, waves of richly microtonal textures collide with each other (never in an excessively aggressive way) leaving out, only occasionally, the melodic motifs that the composer reserves for instruments tuned to the standard mode (the la at 442 kHz), and these strive to make them stand out between the sparkling magma of the other two tunings. There is in this work a clear and firm will to represent a longing, the will to get closer to us, to make us our own, that light in the abyss of the penumbra, that glimmer of hope that we only intuit, oasis in the desert, and which we glimpse in the midst of a thousand and one difficulties and thicknesses. The delicate melody, very fine, that shines pure, like a crack, in a wall of wide sound. A sound utopia as a metaphor for the eternal human utopia: the search for the "you", whoever the other is. Love that is not one, but multiplicity and otherness. The poet Josep Pedrals says it at the end ofThe limits of Quim Porta:

No som res,
n’estic segur.
No som res,
però hi ets Tu.

[We are nothing, I know. We are nothing, But You are there.]


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