LUIS DE LOS COBOS (1928-2012): Symphony, Op. 8 "Cursus vitae", Jungla, Op. 11, Agonía recurrente (Meditación sinfónica), Op. 12.
Catalogue Number: 07P010
Reference: VRS 2102
Description: From an anti-Franco family, de los Cobos was forced to leave his native country in 1952 after music studies and a law degree and, from 1954, lived in Switzerland as a lawyer for international organizations and law professor. He composed on the side - more than you might expect, given his "day jobs"; these are his total orchestral output, however. The 38-minute symphony dates from 1956, is in the traditional four movements and its title refers to a man's life, from birth to death (a Richard Straussian concept but not sounding at all like that composer). The opening allegro has a magnificent, sweeping, outdoors quality which once suggested a fine Italian western film score. A funereal andante doloroso is interrupted by a jazzy central sequence, the allegretto tranquillo third movement contrasts a lullaby with an ironic waltz and the andante maestoso finale is interrupted by two powerful bell strokes (presumably the call of death) after which we seem to head for transfiguration. Gorgeous conservative stuff! The nine-minute Agonía (1967) is darker and more obsessive while the 1963 "Jungle" (life is a jungle!) convincingly represents the anxious drudgery of modern life, lightened by those very few moments which make it worth living (you still have some, don't you?), in music for string orchestra which now and then has a Bernard Hermannesque flavor. Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León; José Luis Temes.