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Guest Composers 21-22

Guest Composers 21-22

Thomas Adès, Cassandra Miller, Joan Magrané and Bernat ‎Vivancos

Two of today’s most international Catalan composers are the main focus of a season that will ‎revolve around singing as a privileged showcase.‎

Joan Magrané (Reus, 1988) has recently been resident composer in some of Catalonia’s ‎leading institutions. His music is inspired by the pillars of the Western cultural tradition, in ‎particular the world of Renaissance polyphonic music. The intricate architecture of the music ‎of Josquin des Prez or Orlande de Lassus, among others, provides one of the starting points ‎for a musical concept based on counterpoint. The result is a crystal-clear sound where ‎nothing is superfluous, contained in its expression and geometric in its depth. Its vocabulary ‎full of suggestive elements, meticulously full of meaning in the style of 17th-century ‎madrigalism, makes the work of composers – at least in Magrané’s case – very similar to the ‎writing and meter of poetry. It is no coincidence that poetry is one of the sources of his work: ‎the presence of Ausiàs March, Pere Gimferrer or Francesc Garriga, among others, can be ‎constantly felt, either as the raw material of the text used to produce a canvas of sound, or ‎as a companion during hours of wakefulness. The references to the pictorial worlds of Dürer, ‎Piero della Francesca, Miró or Fortuny, among others, can similarly be felt throughout his ‎career.‎

Magrané’s time at L’Auditori includes the presentation in Catalonia of Obreda ‎for orchestra, as well as Two short motets with the National Youth Choir of Catalonia. ‎In addition, there will be premieres of works commissioned by the OBC with the L’Auditori de ‎Barcelona Choir and the prestigious ensemble Graindelavoix.‎

The music of Bernat Vivancos (Barcelona, 1973), somewhere between luminescence and ‎asceticism, reviews the vocal religious tradition as well as modern sounds. The composer has ‎very close ties to the Escolania de Montserrat. His time at the monastery has made a mark on ‎his career, which started at the Conservatoire de Paris and included studying under the ‎guidance of Lasse Thoresen in Oslo, and which resulted in the development of a unique and ‎unmistakable voice. His works include traces of the modal music of various Western vocal ‎traditions and the search for lively and resplendent, incorporeal harmonies. Nature, the ‎sound presence of faith and, ultimately, beauty, are the backbones of a particular musical ‎world, powerfully human and gleaming, close and universal. Throughout this coming season, ‎eight of the author’s works – five of which will see their world premiere at L’Auditori – ‎provide the opportunity to access to one of the most fascinating sound universes in ‎existence today.‎

This season also marks the end of the portrait of two very unique voices from the ‎international scene – those of Cassandra Miller and Thomas Adès – that started last year.‎

The music of Canadian composer Cassandra Miller – in constant search for the possibilities of ‎producing new work with existing material – is a limitless assortment of borrowed music that ‎drives a composition process in which references and outlines become blurred. Tracery, ‎Bel Canto and Traveller Song, for example, are precise works of dilution based on ‎recorded vocal music.‎

Thomas Adès’ work has the eclectic and unorthodox stamp typical of English music. In ‎overview, his invitation to L’Auditori concludes, on the one hand, with the premiere of the ‎violin concerto Märchentänze, which was jointly commissioned by L’Auditori, ‎the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the ‎Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; and, on the other, with the presentation of Franz ‎Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey) sung by tenor Ian Bostridge.‎

Jordi Alomar

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