CRISTÓBAL HALFFTER (b.1930): Lineas y puntos, Variaciones sobre la resonancia de un grito, Planto por las víctimas de la violencia.
Catalogue Number: 06Q075
Reference: STR 33946
Description: These pioneering large-scale electroacoustic works were all written in the late 1960s and 1970s, during the final years and aftermath of the Franco regime. Halffter had begun to experiment with electronics in the 1960s, and the seamless use of prerecorded and electronically transformed sounds suggests that he found this recent medium very much to his liking. Freedom from conventional orchestration through electronic means is clearly used as a metaphor for the quest for freedom from the repressive regime - this much is apparent from the titles of the two later pieces - and the composer also indicated that a mystical element was expressed more readily through the transcendence of normal acoustic phenomena. Compared to the limitless possibilities afforded today's electronic composers, the means available to Halftter in the 1970s were very restricted - modulated instrumental sounds, signal generators, magnetic tape played at different speeds or backward - but these constraints don't sound like limitations, so skillfully and naturally are the artificial sounds integrated into the instrumental fabric. In all cases the music consists of dense, overlapping lines and blocks of sound, building harmonically complex chords and clusters. A palpable sense of lamentation pervades all three pieces, which are mostly slow of basic pulse, with frenetic gestures or sudden lightning-strikes of activity punctuating the texture. The works form a powerful, tragic statement, especially the huge, brooding Variaciones, perhaps one of the composer's most telling works of social protest and wrenching emotional content. Gregorio García Karman (live electronics), Orquesta de la Communidad de Madrid; José Ramón Encinar.