Concerti by Salvador Brotons for “unusual” soloists

We would like to present three Concerti by Salvador Brotons for instruments with less repertoire:

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Brass Quintet Concerto by Salvador Brotons, there is a version for brass quintet and symphony orchestra, as well as a version for brass quintet and symphonic band, recently premiered by Spanish Brass Luur Ensemble and the Banda Municipal de Granada. Watch it on Youtube

Commissioned by the Spanish Brass Luur Metalls to be premiered in Alzira Festival (July 2014), the Brass Quintet Concerto was originally written for brass quintet and piano. The orchestration, which the author had in mind from the beginning, was written later. The strength of the five brass instruments is so impressive that it is always a challenge to achieve its fit-balance against a piano-orchestra. For reasons of sound contrast, in the orchestration there are no brass instruments.
The concerto is divided into three contrasting movements. The first is in sonata form, replacing the Development section with a central part of 5 short cadenzas by the soloists, without breaking the continuity of the work. The whole first part consists of small themes which are presented and then developed. Each theme has its own personality (color and character) and is presented by different instruments. The recapitulation is very different in instrumentation, being almost like a variation. The tempo is fast with notable dialogues between the soloists and the piano-orchestra. The second movement contrasts for its relaxed and harmonious tempo. The Sicilian rhythm brings contemplation and serenity to the main theme, introduced by the piano and then the trumpet. The trombone introduces a more rhythmically agitated second part second which, in its climax, takes us back to the theme brilliantly orchestrated. The music relaxes progressively and brings us back to the placid environment of the beginning, now played by the trombone with a “hamon” mute. The last movement is a Presto with two very contrasting and easily detectable themes. The first, very fast and light, is highly virtuoso and is presented by the two trumpets alternately. The second theme is very lyrical and expansive, played by the horn within a very harmonic texture. In its repetition, here led by the orchestra, a first sound climax is reached. After a short development, there is a changed re-exposition that leads to a short Coda which is especially bright and fast.

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Piccolo Concerto “Dialogues with Axel” by Salvador Brotons, for Piccolo flute and orchestra. Watch the premiere in Israel on Youtube  Piano Reduction available

Salvador Brotons writes: Coming from a family of flautists, and having started studying music as a child, the piccolo was my first musical instrument. Perhaps my identification of the piccolo sound with the voice of a child started then. The innocence, purity, sweetness and fluidity of its sound remind me of childhood. Faced with the challenge of writing a concerto for piccolo, I did not want to fall into the trap of writing a work full of bird sounds, trills, technical brilliant passages, the upper register, and so forth. My desire was to express something deeper with the voice of a child. Inspired by reading the book Dialogues with Axel by Jose Antonio Fortuny from Menorca, where he explains his fight as a child with a degenerative spinal muscular atrophy, I found a story full of humanity which combines innocence, brutal challenges to overcome, with the ongoing effort to fight and the triumph of the mind over the body.

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Percussed Perceptions by Salvador Brotons, Double Concerto for percussion and string orchestra. Movements on Youtube: Inquietud, Conflict, Odi i Terror, Amor i pau     Piano Reduction available

I. Relax, II. Conflict, III. Fear, IV: Restlessness, V. Hate and terror, VI. Love and peace
Percussed Perceptions was written for the Percadu Marimba and Percussion Duo (Two young Israeli percussionists: Adi Morag and Tomer Yariv), commissioned by the Raanana Symphonette and its executive director Orit Vogel. The piece was premiered in November 2005 in Israel.
The piece is conceived as a double concerto for percussion and string orchestra in six movements. Each movement depicts a perception of contemporary society. Living in such an agitated world, people react against such an unsettled environment. The variety of timbre and colour offered by the percussion instruments inspired me to write contrasting moods, which reflect our modern life. “Relax” features the vibraphone and glockenspiel in a calm and beautiful ambiance.“Conflict” is a spinning fast movement where the marimbas predominate. It is virtuoso for the soloists and somewhat aggressive for the orchestra. Images of revolution and upheaval come to mind. “Fear” is a very common feeling nowadays. The tremolos of the marimba in the low register at the beginning give an unsettled mysterious power to the music. It is written inthe form of a mountain with a big crescendo leading up to the culminating point midway, at the strike of the gong. A reverse process follows bringing the movement to a close with the darkness of the beginning. “Restlessness” is a short, delicate and rapid scherzo basically featuring small unpitched percussion (bongos, tom-toms, temple-blocks and wood-blocks) in a restless motion. In “Hate and terror” the tempo alternates between slow and fast with all kinds of contrasting moods. The gong, cymbals and tom-tom contribute to the suggestion of bad presages. In contrast with the previous movement, “Love and peace” is as its title indicates, a
return to the ideal world we all dream about. A new tonal but very chromatic melody is introduced by the marimba and vibraphone which is repeated twice with bigger orchestration. A return to the music of the first movement along with elements from other movements brings back the needed peace in a soft, very relaxing ending.

 

 

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