Many years after, I started writing again for cobla!

One thing had been to review works writen when I was young as I explained before, and the other was to start writting new works, and I was doubting whether to do it or not (you can imagine a composer thinking: maybe your work is now not as good as it was when you were young, and on the other hand, only young perple deserve the forgiveness!). But as I really wanted to write again music for cobla and wanted to feel better prepared for it, I looked for a teacher in cobla's composition and instrumentation which was Francesc Cass˙, conductor of La Principal de La Bisbal and professor at the Girona Conservatori. At the same time, at the beginning of 2008 I had written a work in three movements for gralla and organ, named "Suite MediterrÓnia" which was rewarded at the Composition Contest called by the Coordinadora de grallers de Vilafranca [click here for more information], and the reward gave me enough confidence to start writting a version of it for cobla which I finished in May 2008, with the same three movements of the work for gralla. This way, and almost fifty years later, I had started writting again for cobla! However, I was not completely satisfied with this straight adaptation and I planned to rewrite it and enlarge it by adding a few more movements and I even started a first outline, however everything run to a sudden stop when I suffered "my accident", something which put me out of any ability to compose music as well as other brain activities, for a period of at least two years. Click here to know some details about this accident.

Renaixenša

At the beginning of 2010 I met with Marc Riera, bassoon player and friend of mine from the ESMUC, which is the flabiol player of the Cobla Sabadell, and made him a proposal to write for him a sardana "obligada" (this is a sardana with one instrument playing difficult passagework as soloist, in this case the flabiol), with the request that his cobla would premiere the work, so that when I received his agreement and the one from the cobla, I started working on it. I became very happy when I went on realizing I COULD DO IT. Finally the work was finished and premiered. It should be noticed that as it is an obligato work, the soloist play both repetitions in the first and second parts of the sardana as variations of the music played the first time. I also want to underline that the title of this work of mine, is literally autobiographical (Renaissance, therefore, with the meaning of "to be born again"), after all the upsetting and the later health recovery which still goes on.


      Click on the drawing to listen to "Renaixenša", performed in Canet de Mar on the concert by the Cobla Sabadell of July 31th, 2010, the day of its premiere.


Mediterranian Suite


The Forest of the Marchioness, in Tarragona.


After the sardana "Renaixenša" was premiered in the summer of 2010, I felt capable again to continue my classes with Francesc Cass˙ in October and took again the score of the "Suite", changing and enlarging a lot in the existing movements and adding two more at the beginning, so that the work changed to five movements

1. Preludi (praeludium)
2. Fuga (fugue)
3. Sardana
4. Capvespre (sunset)
5. Corranda (round dance)

with an approximate duration of 14 minutes. Besides this I added timpani, and the Suite in this form was finished by the beginning of 2011. In May 13th, 2011, the Cobla of the Girona Conservatorium, conducted by Francesc Cass˙, performed a partial premiere of this work in a concert in Girona. I call it "partial" premiere, because they played only movements 3, 4, and 5, and it was also performed without timpani.



It was still in 2011 but later in the year, that I had the opportunity of a real premiÚre of the complete work, which this time was performed with timpani. This happened on November 20th, 2011, at the Memorial Joaquim Serra concert, which took place at the Auditorium in Barcelona. It was even more of a premiÚre because I changed the central movement, substituting the Sardana by a different movement that I wrote for the occasion, therefore the final work is now:

1. Preludi (praeludium)
2. Fuga (fugue)
3. Entre els pins arran de mar (among the pines at the side of the sea)
4. Capvespre (sunset)
5. Corranda (round dance)

Finally, I was asked to conduct my work, which I did, with the "Cobla MediterrÓnia".

Click here to have a look at the program of the concert.



     
      Click on the drawing to access the video recording of the "Suite MediterrÓnia", as performed by Cobla MediterrÓnia and conducted by Francesc Rius on the day of its premiÚre.
     


Alternatively, here is the audio track of the same concert, if you prefer it this way.



Last minute:

  • I recently wrote two more sardanas which have not yet been premiered, when this happens I will let you know.

  • In Argentina, on the town of Mendoza, the "Agrupaciˇn Cultural Catalana de Mendoza" created two years ago a cobla, with the name of "La Donya". As they do not have some of the proper catalan instruments, they substituted them by saxos. When they started rehearsals with the group they asked me for some scores of my works and now they continue to play some of them. You can listen here to my sardana "El darrer plor", which the group performed on the day of Saint George in 2012.

  • 2012 marks 50 years since the death of Eduard ToldrÓ, one of the big names in the list of composers of music for cobla, therefore this year he is programmed more often than usual. Una curiosity is that ToldrÓ wrote one sardana with the name of "El Virolet" for solo piano, without writting any version of it for cobla. As I like very much the work, I decided to orchestrate myself this work for cobla, and this version was premiered by the Cobla del Conservatori de Girona conducted by Francesc Cass˙, on the 5th of June, 2012.

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    Nota- The scores and parts for all these works are available to coblas that would like to perform them. You only need to e-mail and ask me.
    [the adress: riusfrancesc(at)gmail.com]