Luis de Pablo is one of the central figures in the cultural renewal that took place in Spain at the end of the 1950’s. Professor in Spain; Italy; France and Canada; interpreter and champion of Stuckenschmidt and Webern; promoter of new music through ALEA (a concert society active during the sixties); founder of the first Spanish center for electronic music; composer of five operas; three symphonies (although not designated as such); five choral-symphonic cantatas; and large quantity of chamber; vocal and orchestral music for traditional ensembles as well as for the most varied combinations of instruments.
In addition to the two works on this recording; his concertante music includes three piano concertos (the last of which is entitled Sueños); concertos for violin; for guitar (Fantasías); for saxophone (Une couleur; which also exists in a version for clarinet) and for flute (Figura en el mar). All of these works are marked by refined orchestration and colourful instrumentation; a use of virtuosity that is always subservient to expression in the solo parts; and a variety of forms that emanate from the nature of the instruments involved.
Danzas Secretas was commissioned by the Basque National Orchestra in celebration of its 25th anniversary. The premiere was performed with soloist Fredérique Cambreling (the composition is dedicated to Giovanna Reitano) under the direction of Arturo Tamayo at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao on 31 March 2008. The work begins with the nucleus of a motive stated in the first measure that is developed throughout the four movements (that are linked by a system of intervals) and that climaxes with resounding arpeggiated chords at the close.
Formally the composition is a symphony with solo harp; the opening movement serving as the exposition; the second movement lento; the third movement a type of scherzo and the closing movement a sort of recapitulation. Composed for mid-sized orchestra; the texture is rarely dense; leading to wonderful clarity in the play of timbres.
The balance between soloist and ensemble is precisely calculated and one of the composition’s most striking elements. The names of the dances are simple and suggestive without being programmatic.
The Basque National Orchestra commissioned and performed the premiere of Danzas Secretas by composer Luis de Pablo from Bilbao in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
This composition as well as de Pablo’s Frondoso Misterio are the works featured on this; the eleventh volume in the Basque Music Collection. Previous volumes in the collection featured the music of Basque composers Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga; Aita Madina; Tomás Garbizu; Aita Donostia; Pablo Sorozábal; Francisco Escudero; Andrés Isasi; Jesús Arámbarri; José Mª Usandizaga and Jesús Guridi. Luis de Pablo is undeniably one of the most important figures in contemporary music and culture.
In the 1950’s he was one of the driving forces behind new forms of artistic expression; founding the first center for electronic music in Spain; and he has continued to maintain a position as one of the most influential active composers to this day. Musicologist José Luis Téllez offers telling insights into the life and music of Luis de Pablo in his notes.
“Danzas Secretas” is the latest in the composer’s long list of colorful concertante orchestral works (others include compositions for piano; flute; saxophone; cello; violin; guitar; etc.); his complete catalogue contains more than one hundred scores in nearly all genres. The latest recording in our series; which has become a reference for Basque symphonic music; brings together harpist Frédérique Cambreling; cellist Asier Polo and conductor Arturo Tamayo.
As with all of the other CDs in this collection; we would like to express our appreciation to the Basque Government’s Department of Culture; our principal sponsor; and MONDRAGON; the enterprise that has provided support since the beginning of our historic project.
Euskadi Symphony Orchestra / Basque National Orchestra San Sebastián