Hans Pfitzner: Let the Music Speak
by Joan Grimalt
21 August, 19:30 h
Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) was a post-Romantic German composer renowned for his songs, operas, and controversial writings. As a furious reaction to the new music of his time, which he labeled musical Bolshevism, Pfitzer viewed Jews as a threat to the legacy of German Romanticism. The talk will focus on his music, rather than his life, and on the texts he chose. His work condenses traditions reminiscent of the Europe Stefan Zweig recalls in The World of Yesterday. The fractures of the twentieth-century these days demand an effort to reconstruct the genres and references that provide meaning (senses) to this fascinating music.
The Songs of Jean Sibelius
By Antoni Colomer
23 August, 19:30 h
Despite being regarded as the foremost representative of Finnish music, the vast majority of the songs written by Jean Sibelius were, paradoxically, in Swedish. His dedication to the genre was substantial -over one hundred songs that alternate between Schubert and Nordic Romance in their influence- despite having been unfairly overshadowed by the magnificence of his symphonic work. His lieder production was condensed, primarily, in the first stage of his career. However, as if to come full circle after more than twenty years of retirement – referred to as “the silence of Järvenpää” – he returned to the lied during the last months of his life, arranging works from his youth and thus revealing its relevance within his musical idiosyncrasy.
Wilhelm Müller, a Poet Redeemed by Music
By Miquel Desclot
27 August, 19:30 h
Wilhelm Müller (1794 -1827), a strict contemporary of Franz Schubert. German poet from Dessau, long forgotten by literary history yet happily redeemed and celebrated within the history of music. Thanks to Schubert, in particular, Müller is today considered a quintessential figure of German Romantic poetry, in spite of his brief career.
Composing in the Face of Death: Schubert’s Last Sonatas
by Miguel Ángel Marín
1 September, 19.30 h
In the imagination of many enthusiasts, Franz Schubert (1797-1828) appears before a piano. The iconography developed throughout the nineteenth century, consisting of an array of real or fictional portraits and group scenes, persistently portray the same image: a composer embracing the piano as the most intimate means of expression. The instrument plays a leading role in his official repertoire, a reflection of the importance it held within his creative poetics. This conference will outline the main strokes of his sonata repertoire, placing particular emphasis on his last sonatas.
A Sacred Micro-Opera, with and without Words
By Carlos Calderón Urreiztieta
2 September, 19:30 h
Haydn explained it thus: "Some fifteen years ago I was requested by a canon of Cádiz to compose instrumental music on The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. The Cadiz Cathedral was in complete darkness and a large lamp hung from the ceiling. After a short service, the bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced the first of the seven words, left the pulpit and knelt before the altar. The interval was filled by music. The bishop then voiced the second word, then the third, and so on, with the orchestra following on the conclusion of each discourse.” And how? With an earthquake. In other words, we are before a micro-opera, the libretto of which is the end of that often-told story. Now, can a string quartet lend itself to mysticism, meditation and, even, the love and fear of God? Definitely! It is Haydn who composes.