Year of composition: 2015
[A meeting with Leonard Bernstein and Dmitri Shostakovich]
Is dedicated to Rafa Agulló Albors.
Length: 7 minutes
Scored for: wind orchestra
Opus 16 - AA162016
First performance was given by Gran Canaria Wind Orchestra, conducted by Rafa Agulló at Alfredo Kraus Concert Hall, Gran Canaria, Spain, September 26, 2015.
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Study score (11.7 x 16.5)
Full set (8.3 x 11.7)
First performance was given by Gran Canaria Wind Orchestra, conducted by Rafa Agulló at Alfredo Kraus Concert Hall, Gran Canaria, Spain, September 26, 2015. This composition was written as a birthday's gift for my beloved friend Rafa Agulló, to whom is affectionately dedicated.
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster. It was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning "circle", is a round open space at a street junction. The composition is subtitled "a meeting with Leonard Bernstein and Dmitri Shostakovich", two composer friends with some points of convergence within their aesthetics. Without resorting to direct quotations from their works, I have composed this work rather "in the manner of", employing only recurring elements and concepts within their respective languages. The only quotation, somewhat straight, is the one referring to the melodic line of "Summertime" by George Gershwin (1935), although works like "Festive Overture" (1954), the scherzos from the "First Symphony" (1925) and the "Tenth Symphony" (1953) by Dmitri Shostakovich, as well the "Candide Overture" by Leonard Bernstein (1956), have exercised a very important gravitational center along the gestation.
A few months ago, when I lived in Eastbourne (East Sussex, England), remember what was my first visit to the British capital between a mixture of excitation and wonder. I was in the underground, from London Victoria to Piccadilly Circus, looking for the meeting point within the pop culture of the city. The beauty of this junction is only eclipsed by its chaotic metropolitan traffic. Lights, neon, shops, bustle... a dualism between chaos and beauty that is portrayed throughout the entire composition. Everything begins with an alarming sound by the trumpet section, mixed with a strident police whistle. After this brief, but energetic introduction, the first theme is introduced in a "Klangfarbenmelodie" style (sound-color melody), with a clear "Shostakovichian" hint in its humor, sarcasm and dizzying passages of woodwinds. The second theme, somewhat "circus-like", is introduced by tuba and bassoon, although its development is suddenly broken by a "musical gag", built of atmospheric sounds taken from the Piccadilly Circus itself. If you pay attention, perhaps will be able to listen the sounds of roadworks, sirens of ambulances and fire engines, altogether with police whistles controlling the metropolitan traffic, all regurgitated around a clarinet solo played from the opposite street by a busker. The third and last theme is written by contrast, with a marked "Bernsteinian" character, and diverging completely from the first and second themes. Its subtitled as "Westminster Abbey" and possess a noble, solemn spirit. After a brief recapitulation, the composition ends with a chorale over a D-flat pedal, and the bells of Big Ben ringing throughout the Westminster Abbey.
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