Text by José R. Pascual-Vilaplana

The English composer and conductor Philip Sparke (London, 1951) was commissioned to write “Hymn at Twilight” (2019) by the BMB. Since the 2019-2020 season, the BMB has been running the ‘Retrat d’artista’ (Artist’s Portrait) project, consisting in offering different works by the same composer as well as commissioning a première work. Master Sparke, one of the most performed composers in band programs around the world, was the first person selected to show his extensive and heterogeneous catalogue. With this “Hymn at Twilight” we are faced by a score of raw intimacy, where the band’s colour palette is developed in an extraordinary way to create atmospheres full of light and musical sensitivity.


Philip Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM. It was at the College that his interest in bands arose. He played in the College wind orchestra and also formed a brass band among the students, writing several works for both ensembles. At that time, his first published works appeared – “Concert Prelude” (brass band) and “Gaudium” (wind band).

A close association with banding in Japan led to a commission (“Celebration”) from and eventual recording of his music with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. In 1996 the US Air Force Band commissioned and recorded “Dance Movements”, which won the prestigious Sudler Prize in 1997. In 2005 Music of the Spheres won the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. He won the same contest again in 2016 with “A Colour Symphony”. In 2018 he was awarded the International Award at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

His conducting and adjudicating activities have taken him to most European countries, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA.



CLARINETS José Miguel Micó soloist, Natalia Zanón soloist, Joana Altadill, Eduard Betes, Valeria Conti, Joan Estellés, Montserrat Margalef, Manuel Martínez, José Joaquín Sánchez, Javier Vilaplana E-flat clarinet, José Vicente Montesinos bass clarinet, Martí Guasteví double bass clarinet SAXOPHONES Maurici Esteller soprano, Dani Molina alto soloist, Marta Romero alto, Armand Franco tenor, José Jaime Rivera tenor, Joan Soler baritone | FLUTES Paula Martínez, Alejandro Ortuño, Josep Maria Llorens piccolo | OBOES Pilar Bosque soloist, David Perpiñán, Carla Suárez English horn | BASSOONS  Daniel Ortuño soloist, Laura Guasteví, Laura Serra contrabassoon | TRUMPETS Oleguer Bertran soloist / Germán Izquierdo soloist, Francisco León, Manuel Montesinos, Josep Miquel Rozalén, Miguel Zapata | TRUMPETS and FISCORNS Jesus Munuera soloist, Patricio Soler soloist, Maurici Albàs, Santiago Gozálbez, Susana Marco, Jesús Pascual, José Joaquín Salvador | TROMBONES Francesc Ivars, Eduard Font, Héctor Penades, Francisco Palacios bass | EUPHONIUMS Rubén Zuriaga soloist, David Pantín | TUBAS Antonio Chelvi soloist, Francisco Javier Molina | DOUBLE BASS Enric Boixadós, Antoni Cubedo | TIMPANI Ferran Carceller soloist | PERCUSSION Mateu Caballé soloist, Ferran Armengol, Alejandro Llorens, Mario Garcia, Carme Garrigó, Carles Salvador HARP Laura Boschetti | TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Joan Xicola | EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR Susanna Gamisel | ARCHIVE Àlex Fernández | PHOTOS May Zircus and Ricardo Ríos | SOUND ASSISTANCE Toni Vila | MUSIC PRODUCTION Markus Heiland Tritonus Musikproduktion GmbH

Album recorded between 12 and 16 July 2021 in Hall 1 Pau Casals, L’Auditori de Barcelona.


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