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Lux et Umbra Sheet Music
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Lux et Umbra
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  Genres: Classical
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Lux et Umbra by Jordi Cervello. For String orchestra. Instrumental Sets. Duration 17:35. Published by Editorial de Musica Boileau (BO.B.3292).
English comments: This is the definitive version of Biogenesis, a piece that Cervello had written in 1976, together with his friend Jorge Wagensberg, and which was awarded the First Prize at the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science's Permanent Composition and Musical Research Competition. The new version was made at 1984-85 Lux et umbra is written for a string group consisting of four first and four second violins, three violas, three cellos and a double bass. The conceptual battle between darkness and light is represented by the instability between the notes B and C, and by the compartmentation of the group of fifteen strings into divisi that provide an independent arrangement for each instrument, thus bestowing great substance upon the texture of the music. A cello cadence emerges from a slow and straightforward beginning. A process of contrasts then begins, culminating in a molto vivace passage of a scherzando nature, which alludes to the Baroque concerti grossi. The music once again plays with chiaroscuro until reaching its climax, from which point the conclusion slowly begins, establishing itself in the high register until fading away. The work was first performed at Barcelona's Palau de la Musica by the English Chamber Orchestra, directed by Enrique Garcia Asensio, in 1987. That same year, in the newspaper El Pais, the observations of the composer and critic Francesc Taverna-Bech paid tribute to the work's "intelligence as regards the use of and search for instrumental resources (in this case, string instruments, about which Cervello knows a great deal), the skill involved in endowing the lyrical line with tension, and a singular touch that confers formal essence upon the musical discourse". In La Vanguardia, Jordi Llovet wrote that this is a work in which, "as is the case with most of Cervello's compositions, the listener finds something covertly religious, a mysterious secret, a transcendence linked to the origins of communication requiring more than a single being, which provides excitement". In 1990, when the Orquesta de Granada (Orchestra of Granada) performed the work at Barcelona's Grec festival, the critic Cesar Calmell opined, in the same newspaper, that "inch by inch, surely and imperturbably, Cervello built up a perfect world that reflects the image of the craftsman who, so astonished at the delights of his trade, is unable to do anything but turn the very backdrop of tragedy into something pleasant". Lux et umbra was recorded by the Orchestra Estatal of the Hermitage, conducted by Alexis Soriano (CD SA01210 Fundacion Autor). --Xavier Casanoves Danes Music criticComentarios del Espanol:Se trata de la version definitiva de Biogenesis, obra que habia escrito en 1976 en colaboracion con su amigo Jorge Wagensberg y que obtuvo el Primer Premio, en el ano de su creacion, en el Concurso Permanente de Composicion e Investigacion Musical del Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia. La nueva version fue realizada en 1984-85. Lux et umbra esta escrita para un grupo de cuerda integrado por cuatro primeros violines, cuatro segundos, tres violas, tres violoncelos y un contrabajo. El combate filosofico entre la oscuridad y la luz lo lleva a cabo la inestabilidad entre las notas si y do y la compartimentacion del grupo de quince cuerdas en unos divisi que llegan a una escritura independiente para cada instrumento, otorgando una gran importancia a la textura sonora. De un principio lento y descarnado emerge una cadencia del violonchelo. A continuacion da comienzo un proceso de contrastes que culmina en un pasaje molto vivace de caracter scherzando que alude a los concerti grossi del barroco. La musica juega de nuevo con el claroscuro hasta llegar a la cumbre sonora iniciando el final lentamente que se instala en el registro agudo hasta desvanecerse. La estreno en el Palau de la Musica de Barcelona la English Chamber Orchestra en el ano 1987 bajo la direccion de Enrique Garcia Asensio. Ese mismo ano, en el periodico El Pais, el compositor y critico Francesc Taverna-Bech reconocia en sus comentarios "la inteligencia en el uso y la busqueda de los recursos instrumentales -en este caso la cuerda, de la que Cervello es profundo conocedor-, la destreza para revestir de tension la linea lirica y un tacto particular para conferir entidad formal al discurso sonoro". Jordi Llovet, en La Vanguardia, escribia que en esta obra, "se encuentra, como en la mayor parte de la produccion de Cervello, algo secretamente religioso, un arcano misterioso, una trascendencia vinculada a los origenes de la comunicacion impracticable con el ser unico que resulta apasionante". En el ano 1990, cuando la Orquesta de Granada la toco en el Grec de Barcelona, era el critico Cesar Calmell quien, en el mismo periodico consideraba que "Cervello construyo palmo a palmo, segura e imperturbablemente, un mundo perfecto que refleja la imagen del artesano que, de tan admirado con las delicias de su oficio, no puede hacer otra cosa que convertir en agradable el fondo mismo de la tragedia". Lux et umbra esta grabada por la Orquesta Estatal del Hermitage, dirigida por Alexis Soriano (CD SA01210 Fundacion Autor). --Xavier Casanoves Danes Critico musical.
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