No! Henri Collet was not merely the critic who baptized a group of young composers in Paris with the name "Les Six" in two famous articles in the magazine Comoedia (16 and 23 January 1920). It would be equally misleading to depict him as an austere Scholar (the injustice done to Maurice Emmanuel!) for having written a thesis about "Mysticism in 16th Century Spanish Music" or books about Albéniz and Granados or an unfinished work about Manuel de Falla.
Neither the fact that he received his baccalaureate at the early age of 14 1/2 (thanks to a special dispensation from the President of the French Republic) nor that he studied Spanish and received a professorship at the Casa Velasquez diminished his joie de vivre, his gentle sense of humor or his enthusiasm for everything associated with the arts and humanities. He spent his life fighting for "new music" and for "beauty" in all of its forms. He was an artist in the most profound Sense of the word, uncompromising and inspired.
His works provide ample demonstration; all genres, from piano pieces to songs (some 60, French and Spanish), from chamber music to opera, from ballet to sacred and film music. His music for orchestra is filled with rich sonorities, fluctuating rhythms, and delicate melodies. This world premiere recording of Collet's last orchestral works represent a superb homage to the eternal beauty of Spain.
Born in Paris on 5 November 1885, Henri Collet discovered a deep fascination for Spain early in his life. At the beginning of this century he set out to discover the home of Zurbarán and Saint John of the Cross and its rich folklore on the back of a donkey – much in the same manner as Bartók and Kodály in Hungary, Grieg in Norway, Bourgault-Ducouvray and Maurice Emanuel in France or Manuel de Falla in Spain. His travels nurtured his mystical spirit and his orchestral palette and gave rise to a friendships with the master of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", as well as with Granados, Turina, Joachím Nin, Rodrigo and Monpou.
His unending search for absolute truth and beauty propelled him to new heights. Testimony of this is provided by the two Concertos flamenco from the year 1946 and the Symphonie de l'Alhambra, Collet's last composition, which he wrote in 1947 as if 3 impelled by the desire to pay homage to the music and harmonies of Spain one last time before the shadow of death appeared (Collet died four years later in Paris on 23 November 1951).
Régis Pasquier, violin
Régis Pasquier is renowned for his great artistry, for his innate sense of rhythm, for his elegant phrasing and for the intensity of his interpretations. He has performed with the leading orchestras in New York, Montréal, Munich, Buenos Aires, etc., and with conductors such as Leitner, Szell, Steinberg, Lombard and Levi. In addition to this, Régis Pasquier guides young artists, sharing his rich experience and the continuing the tradition of his own teachers, Line Talluel, Nadia Boulanger, Zino Francescatti, Isaac Stern and David Oistrach. His numerous recordings have earned international acclaim and have received awards such as the Grand Prix de l'Académie du disque français, the Prix Charles Cros, and the Prix Georges Enescu. Pasquier's recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas with Jean-Claude Pennetier were singled out at the most recent Victoires de la Musique.
Ricardo Requejo, piano
Ricardo Requejo began his musical studies in San Sebastián, where he received a first prize for piano at the age of sixteen. He continued his studies in Paris with Vlado Perlemuter and in Geneva With Louis Hiltbrand. Further studies followed with Helena Costa in Portugal, and with Karl Engel and Sandor Végh in Germany. The pianist has won a number of prizes, including the "Georges Filipinetti" Prize at the Geneva Conservatory; the "Margarita Pastor" Prize at the International Competition in Orense; the First Prize and the Special Prize for the Interpretation of Portuguese Music at the "Luis Costa" International Competition. Ricardo Requejo has performed throughout Europe and the United States and has made numerous radio and television broadcasts and recordings.
Real Orquesta Sinfónica De Sevilla
The Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla (Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville), founded in 1991 by the Andalusian Government (Junta de Andalucía) and the Municipality of Seville, is one of Southern Europe's great Symphony orchestras. The ensemble performs more than one hundred concerts in a Season, including Symphonic concerts, productions of lyric opera, zarzuela and ballet, all of which take place in Seville's Maestranza Theater. There are also educational concerts for schoolchildren, performances in festivals, etc.
Indeed, the orchestra can claim the highest number of season ticketholders in Spain. In its short history, the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla has collaborated with the most eminent conductors, soloists, singers, and choruses on the national and international level. In addition to its performances in Seville, there are also frequent tours with regular performances in the principal cities and concert halls of Spain. It has also toured Germany, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico, and was the first Western Orchestra invited to perform in former East Berlin.
In addition to the symphonic programs, the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla organizes chamber music cycles with the Orquesta de Cámara de la Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla (Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville) and with diverse ensembles made up of members of the orchestra. The Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla has made several recordings of its vast repertoire of symphonic, lyrical, and popular compositions, with an emphasis on music by Spanish composers and music colored or inspired by Spain. This CD represents the orchestra's first collaboration with Claves Records.