GONZALO DE OLAVIDE (1934-2005): Works for Orchestra - Índices, Sine Die, Clamor II for Electronics and Orchestra, Symphony "Homenage a Falla", Cante in memoriam García Lorca for Chorus, Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Estigma for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Oda II for Baritone and Orchestra , Orbe-Variations, Tránsito, Concertante-Divides for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 09P060
Reference: VRS 2128
Description: This set presents a chronological survey of Olavide's entire orchestral output. Índices (1964) for flexible ensemble, is a product of the composer's Darmstadt years (it was premiered under Stockhausen's baton), and represents a young composer's highly accomplished experimentation, including aleatoric elements (a device that Olavide soon abandoned in favour of meticulously notated scores). The work explores a varying fabric of sound material, culminating unexpectedly in a marvellous, glowing sustained chord. Sine Die followed almost a decade later. This ambitious orchestral essay is important, as it represents the composer's rejection of 'all musical -isms' including the prevailing dogmas of the avant garde. Olavide here uses harmony as a crucial constructional element, in a highly effective, not traditionally functional variant of tonality. Clamor II followed soon after - a huge (3/4 hour) electroacoustic score for tape and large orchestral forces. The tape part is a sonorously atmospheric example of the kind of thing that was possible in those pre-computer-music days, with sepulchral basso profondissimo rumblings and reverberation-drenched pulsations and processed voice and instrumental sounds adding a dimension of sonorous massiveness to the layers and blocks of gestural interjections from the orchestra. The composer's confident use of his synthetic forces as an equal partner to the orchestra over such a large span of time is both original and bold, and contributes greatly to the work's dark-hued, brooding magnificence and sense of scale. The Symphony, by contrast, is a bright-toned work, full of scintillating light and color. A tribute to Falla, it contains no direct references to his music. A determined tempo ostinato forms the backbone of the work, surrounded by impressive blocks of sonority with more than a hint of Messiaen in their saturated harmony. Cante sets an enigmatic, prophetic Lorca poem. After a lengthy introduction with cumulative fanfares the chorus enters in a bold dramatic stroke, intoning the text in rich, dissonant harmony. A very tonal-sounding orchestral interlude introduces the next section, full of potent suspended dissonances and furious pent-up energy. Apparently the composer prized this work highly, and it is easy to see why. Estigma sets texts by St Teresa de Ávila; here the emphasis is on resonant timbres determined by dense harmonic blocks of dissonant chords. The composer's gift for suddenly achieving an incandescent moment of revelatory clarity through unanticipated harmonic resolution is especially effective in this work. The tendency toward a quasi-tonal harmonic directionality that increasingly emerged in the previous decade becomes a dominant trend in the final four works from the later 1980s through 2001. The vigorous introduction to Oda II, a setting of Antonio Machado's poem 'Death', has an almost Romantic feeling of emotional drive and narrative drama. The Orbe-Variations consists of four sections in which slow-moving timbral-harmonic chords and scintillant surface activity obscure the theme, while moving inexorably toward its revelation at the end. Tránsito - the title suggests a movement between points - takes this method of harmonic momentum to its logical conclusion, in 13 minutes of intensely concentrated polyphony and static block chords, suspended in time. 2001's Concertante-Divides, written when the composer's health had started to fail, is a profoundly autumnal work, in which it is impossible not to hear echoes of a Das Lied von der Erde-farewell, a persistent yet failing heartbeat, and - finally - a tinge of nostalgic Spanish coloration to the orchestration and melodic contour in the setting of a poem of love and death by the composer, prophetically written in 1977. 3 CDs. Carole Sidney Louis (soprano), Magdalena Llamas (mezzo), José Manuel Montero (tenor), Richard Rittelmann (baritone), RTVE Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo.