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Cover of the program-book of the
16th Canarias Music Festival (2000)

Concierto para piano y orquesta / Concerto for piano and orchestra

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The Concerto for piano and orchestra is situated within a block of works for soloist and ensemble (the Concerto for violin and orchestra, the concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra entitled Variations and variances on themes by Boccherini, and the Concerto da Chiesa, for violoncello and strings, to which could be added Ocnos (Music for orchestra based on poems by Luis Cernuda), for the prominent role that the solo cello plays in that work, together with a reciter, and the Four Sonnets by Shakespeare, for sopranist -or soprano- and orchestra) that, although not too big, is acquiring more and more importance within my creative obsessions.
There is nothing strange about this, or at least it seems so to me, if the peculiarities of the concertante form are taken into account, especially the one that opposes one or more soloists to a more or less large orchestral ensemble, in the sense of conditioning a type of discourse that requires, both that the approach to the structural problems raised, and that the solutions adopted for them, be of a very different nature from the usual ones in those forms and genres in which all the instruments participate equally. All of this is especially seductive, in that it allows the composer to bring into play procedures and resources that, under normal conditions, would be out of place, as well as to exploit to the maximum the texture density contrasts that alternating soloist/orchestra allow.
To all this must be added, in the case of the Piano concerto, that of the unresolvable timbre disparity, derived from the symphonic impossibility of the piano (which does not occur in concerts for symphonic instruments, in which the timbre of the soloist can be confused with that of the group, and thus integrate and detach from it at convenience), which provides an inevitable leading role for the soloist in each and every one of his interventions, regardless of their relevance, which can be as effective as it is dangerous.
In any case, in this Concerto for piano and orchestra that leading role is unavoidable, as the soloist is subjected to a tour de force that derives equally from his almost constant presence and from the enormous difficulty on his part, which, although conceived for its interpretation within the most strictly classical piano technique, poses in some passages problems of realization that force the search for new solutions.
The Concerto is divided into three clearly differentiated movements that follow one another without interruption, and throughout its approximate half-hour length, the concept of variation is present, in one way or another: from the approach of the extreme sections, in which a same succession of contrasting materials adopts different physiognomies when assumed, either by the soloist or by the orchestra, up to the practical integrity of the central section, in which the piano acts as a varied consequent of a series of canons whose antecedents are the different instruments of the orchestra, grouped by homogeneous timbral sections, and which is resolved in a frenetic and very difficult stretta, organized from the progressive accumulation of different materials whose initially light character gradually evolves towards a forceful solidity. And among all this, as could not be less, there is a succession of cadenzas whose mission is both to link some sections with others and to unite them, since they are responsible for the presentation, sometimes, and the elaboration, others, of the material put into play.

Program of the premiere

The Piano concerto was composed between December 1996 and July 1997 at the request of the Canary Islands Music Festival, where it was premiered with great success in January 2000 by its dedicatee, the pianist from Tenerife, Guillermo González, with whom I am equally united by an immense affection and a boundless admiration for his exemplary dedication to the contemporary Spanish piano repertoire.

Víctor Pablo Pérez

Guillermo González

The recording of the premiere was included, together with the Concerto for violin and orchestra, on a monographic CD released by the Canarias Music Festival and published in 2005 on the Col Legno label.

Cover of the CD of the Col Legno label (2005)
(See review below and clicking this link)


Premiere recording: Guillermo González and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. Cond.: Víctor Pablo Pérez

First page of the Piano concerto

Last page of the Piano concerto


JL TURINA. Piano Concerto; Violin Concerto
By Erik Levi
(Review published in the BBC Music Magazine, in January 2006)

Turina says that improvisation was crucial when composing her new concert
By C.P.P.
(Review published in the newspaper La Opinión. Tenerife, January 11, 2000)

The Madrid composer José Luis Turina, whose Concerto for piano and orchestra, world premiere and commissioned by the organization of the Canary Islands Music Festival, gave an illustrative conference on said work at the Santa Cruz Superior Conservatory of Music in which he stated that he had been carried away by improvisation.
The composer illustrated the genesis of the composition itself, the stylistic aspects to conclude with the technical aspects and a live demonstration thanks to the presence of the Canarian pianist Guillermo González, in charge of the performance at the Guimerá Theater tonight.

Turina explained how, unlike the common work of composition, in which structural passages of each section of a work are started, and then fused together with other transitional passages, in this concert "I have been carried away by a kind of improvisation from the beginning to the end", which gives the concerto "a much more spontaneous air and a more improvised character than other previous compositions".

The first premiere
By Álvaro Guibert
(Review published in the newspaper La Razón. Madrid, January 12, 2000)

The first of the many absolute premieres that the Festival de Canarias is showing off this year ended with great success. The composer, José Luis Turina, the soloist, Guillermo González, and the conductor, Víctor Pablo, entered and left the stage more than five times required by a resounding ovation that saturated the Guimerá for long minutes. The Concerto for piano and orchestra is a magnificent composition. Turina, once again, appears to us as a timeless composer: his thought is new, of today, but his musicality is old, with a long tradition and preterit ancestry.
See if not his counterpoint: like that of the great masters of the past, Turina's imitative counterpoint is not a resource, but a means of exploration. From Crucifixus, the first work that I remember, to the last, this Canarian Concerto, Turina spends whole minutes investigating the nature of music on board canons, fugues and fugues.
Guillermo González, the great pianist from Tenerife, shone before his countrymen with a superb interpretation of this difficult premiere.

"What an artist does are variations of a single work all his life"
By Eduardo García Rojas
(Interview published in the Culture & Shows section of the newspaper Diario de Avisos. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 13, 2000)

José Luis Turina has lived in a kind of "balloon" or "honeymoon" these last three years. "It's been a good time," admits the National Music Prize winner, who, in addition to composing the Piano Concerto for the XVI Canary Islands Music Festival, among his projects is the production of an opera entitled D. Q.

José Luis Turina does not respond to the cliché that is usually held about the contemporary composer. Affable, didactic, you can tell right away that his thing, apart from writing music, is teaching. A job that he performs with the same enthusiasm as when he embarks on a symphony or an opera.
Turina is current in the Islands because the direction of the XVI Canary Islands Music Festival commissioned one of the four world premieres that this year can be heard on the stage of the Guimerá Theater in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and in the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The work, entitled Concerto for piano and orchestra, was performed last Monday in the capital of Tenerife by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST), under the direction of Víctor Pablo and the pianist Guillermo González, tonight it can also be heard , in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Why “Concerto for piano and orchestra”?
"When the Festival management proposed the commission to me, they did not impose me any type of condition, except that it be symphonic and that it had a duration that covered a part of the concert. That is, that I did not compose an overture or a long work that would eat up the rest of the audition. I began to think about this idea, so it occurred to me, perhaps because I had assumed it as a pending subject, to write a piano concerto. Curiously, I already had one for violin, which, precisely, premiered and performed the OST with Víctor Pablo at the Alicante Festival in 1988".

On a creative level, what kind of problems did this concert raise for you?
"On the one hand, there is the fact that composers, artists in general, what we like about creation is the risk of the unknown. In other words, we don't like doing what is already known, because it doesn't pose any complications. Also, for those of us who don't make utilitarian music, since we don't make a living from it -I earn my "lentils" as a teacher-, composing is a luxury because you can create to your liking".

Earlier I was talking about certain complications in the composition of a piano concerto...
"A piano concerto always poses, not only for me, but also for a romantic and classical composer, a problem of balance: the impossible reconciliation between the timbre of the piano and that of the orchestra, since when they compose for a symphonic and orchestral instrument, such as the violin or the flute, it is already integrated into the orchestral sonority itself and can be immersed in or out of it at will, but not with the piano, because it is always present, which requires a type of different speech.

Did you think of the Tenerife pianist Guillermo González when you composed the work?
"The truth is that I didn't write it with anyone in mind, I limited myself to composing the work I wanted, while disregarding the technical possibilities it might have. When Rafael Nebot, director of the Festival, asked me who I wanted to perform it I did not want to take sides, I left the decision in his hands. Now, I warned him that it was a very difficult work, both for the orchestra and for the soloist. I was very happy when I found out that Guillermo had agreed to perform it".

La Fura dels Baus has also commissioned you to compose an opera. In that sense, what genre do you stay with?
"I really like the symphonic world, but an opera... is the genre par excellence, it brings it all together. Also, today, with new technologies, its possibilities are immense. In any case, I am one of those who think that what the artist does in reality is a single work in his whole life, even if it takes different forms".

Why does the public that does not understand contemporary music identify it with a difficult genre?
"What I think is that there is a lack of interest in this type of creation. In addition, contemporary composers have a difficult time because we have chosen a type of language that is not the reference language for society, which is still tonal."

But it is not strange to you that the classics and romantics are closer to the amateur than contemporary composers...
"I can only tell you that you are very right, but today's world is so complicated... The classical, romantic repertoire is closer to today's man than the contemporary one. That does not happen in cinema, painting, literature... Although perhaps the culprits of this situation are the musicians themselves, many of whom have radicalized their positions and have become elitist by renouncing the past and tradition, in addition, the contemporary composer is facing a very deep dilemma, because he has not found the language of the future. In the specific case of my music, I do not agree with this current of deconstruction, my position is to include, through sound suggestions, a series of elements that help the listener from start to end".

Great new Spanish premiere of the Festival
By Lourdes Bonnet
(Review published in the newspaper La Opinóon. Tenerife, January 12, 2000)

The Tenerife audience really liked the first commissioned work of the present edition of the Music Festival. The Concerto for piano and orchestra, by José Luis Turina, with great technical difficulties both for the soloist, Guillermo González, and for the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, was very well received at the Guimerá. The work, articulated in three movements without a break in continuity, is based, according to the author himself, on the concept of variation. This idea is easily verifiable on numerous occasions thanks to certain interval sequences. Despite its pantonal harmony, the tonal reminiscences appear on many occasions with great clarity, either through a pedal note, or thanks to a melodic design that appears again and again in the different sections. It is here where the concept of "variation" is most clearly appreciated, the author adapting it to the different instruments, highlighting the work of the orchestrator, especially in the wind section. In this way, the rhythmic or ornamental variation of the melodic designs exemplify different historical concepts of the individual treatment of the instrument, as is the case of the trumpets, which, provided with a mute, approached an almost jazzistic conception, compared to other instruments, whose treatment was somewhat more traditional. For its part, the solo piano with great technical difficulties, which was played brilliantly by Guillermo González, provided impressionist evocations on numerous occasions, together with expressive resources finely intertwined in the orchestral fabric.
It is a work full of timbral effects, such as those used in the strings, when in pizzicato an effect similar to parlato is produced, on which a pleasant conversation takes place between the woodwinds. The great variety and diversity of effects, exploring the extreme tessituras of the different instruments, intermingled with these recurring motifs, require continuous attention from the listener, an objective set by the author and which we believe he fully achieved.

Premiere of Turina’s Piano concerto
By Alfonso de Terán
(Review published in the newspaper Diario de Avisos. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 13, 2000)

The first of the participations of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in this edition of the Festival brought us the novelty of the premiere of the Concerto for piano and orchestra by José Luis Turina. It is not the first time, and we hope it is not the last, that this grandson of the already historic Joaquín Turina appears with one of his works in our orchestra; the first time was 14 years ago with the Concerto for viola and strings and since then we have had him in our repertoire three more times. All this, together with the choice of its performer Guillermo González, gave the premiere some special characteristics.
According to what its author said, who with good judgment summoned us in the morning to explain his objective, the commission was made in October 96 and since then he got down to work; this delay in time has made it a well matured work, with a study on the differences in timbre between the piano and the orchestra to give the most appropriate conjunction between the two. This concerto must be included in its harmonic aspect as atonal, "pantonal" would be classified by the author himself, although sometimes it touches the tonality; Regarding its technical aspect, the basic constructive procedure is "variation", since, according to its author again: "This allows redundancy, but without falling into repetition, thus facilitating the listener's perception"; Regarding its form, it is structured in three sections performed without interruption, the 1st and 3rd being related, but not in such a way that it can be classified as cyclical. The introduction is of the piano alone, after it the exposition of the themes by the orchestra, although with contrasting elements, in this part a basic melodic support is appreciated, after an orchestral intervention of about three minutes the piano is integrated, which will be practically present throughout the entire work, a dialogue is established between the two that develops the thematic cells with a variety of timbre and rhythm, after which a very difficult piano cadenza ends this first section. The second part is made up of a series of "canons" of the different families of wood or metal answered by the piano, followed by a set of pronounced timbre disparities: a sub-bass of the strings and winds is accompanied by the piano in its most acute zone, some notes in the most serious zone of the keyboard correspond to some high-pitched glissandi of the violins or flutes, which prepare a cumulative passage in prestísimo, of enormous difficulty for piano and orchestra, which after a few minutes "in crescendo" ends off this second section; Without interruption, the third begins, which, although it recapitulates the initial elements, are sufficiently altered, even in their protagonism.
A new work in which a careful study to compose it is noted and that you may or may not like it, you may or may not agree with its aesthetic model, but what is certain is that it never leaves you indifferent, the listener is attentive to what throughout its listening. The piano takes on a fundamental value as a soloist, its presence is deliberate throughout almost the entire concert, except in the initial exposition, it is always heard, with some really difficult passages, since to the virtuosity required in many of them, there is little or almost no harmonic support, I think that if Guillermo González had not been on the keyboard I doubt its possible execution with the result heard. The work reached us, the listener was satisfied, I think it has been one of the happiest premieres we have had throughout the 16 years of life of this Festival.

Today, premiere of the "Piano Concerto" by Madrid composer José Luis Turina
By Guillermo García-Alcalde
(Preliminary reading of the first commission of the 16th Canary Islands Festival, published in the newspaper La Provincia. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 13, 2000)

A score of impressive virtuosity, by Guillermo González, its dedicatee, and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Víctor P. Pérez

Today, Thursday, the first of the world premieres of works commissioned by the Canarias Festival for this edition will be heard at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is the Concerto for piano and orchestra by José Luis Turina, whose first reading, by the great pianist Guillermo González and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Víctor Pablo Pérez, took place last Monday at the Guimerá Theater in the capital of Tenerife.
Strictly speaking, it is not Turina's first premiere at the Festival. In 1990 we met the Fantasy on a Fantasy by Alonso Mudarra, perhaps the most popular of his symphonic scores, born from the joint commission of the Festival and the Tenerife Orchestra. The same, with its owner and Víctor Martín, premiered in Alicante (1988) the Concerto for violin and orchestra composed a year earlier; the concerto for viola and orchestra Homenaje a Óscar Domínguez, now out of catalogue, also had Humberto Orán from the Canary Islands as its premiere soloist. The work that premieres today in Las Palmas is dedicated to its first performer, Guillermo González, and there are other data in the composer's professional and human career that complete the numerous links to the Canary Islands noted here on a creative level.
José Luis Turina (Madrid, 1952) received the National Music Prize in 1996 and, at the same time, a commission for a work for the 2000 Canary Islands Festival. He began writing it in December of that year and finished it in July 1997. The composer places it in the whole of his concertante production, which adds to the titles already mentioned the concerto for harpsichord and orchestra Variations and variances on themes by Boccherini, the Concerto da Chiesa for cello and strings and even Ocnos for the relevant role of the cello next to the reciter.
The orchestral staff is extensive: 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets and bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets and 3 trombones, tuba, 14 first violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 8 cellos, 6 double basses, 5 timpani and a rich percussion battery divided into two groups. In the first, xylophone, 2 tom-toms, triangle, pitched cymbals, suspended cymbal, cymbals, cowbells, snare drum and low tam-tam; in the second, bass drum, glockenspiel, marimba, 2 tumbas, snare drum, 4 temple-blocks, suspended cymbal, tam-tam, cymbals, triangle and whip).

An exceptional orchestrator
Lasting approximately half an hour (580 bars), it is structured in three movements without pauses between them (just like the magnificent Violin Concerto). Reading the score reveals the obsessive scriptural precision characteristic of Turina, an exceptional orchestrator and artist who is extremely rigorous in displaying a deep compositional culture. Each movement of the Concerto presents incessant alternations of tempo, although the basis of the first one is the allegro moderato, the second a meno mosso (with a eigth-note metronome at 80) and the last a molto allegro. This mobility of the times corresponds to metric series that are also very changing and a careful planning of the very wide dynamic proposal. They are not elements that cause instability but rather bring imagination and vitality to an enormously free music.
The orchestra rarely sounds in massive tutti, but his writing has all the richness of Turina's timbre, his perfect intuition of space and his generous conception of color in the invention of mixes and effects. It can concentrate on instrumental sections or extend to all of them without the accumulation of graphics meaning saturation. On the contrary, the acoustic space is always clean in its backgrounds and planes, coherent and perceptible in the details by excluding the brush stroke. Even the cumulative moments respond to a certain "pointillist" will more akin to micropolyphonic designs than to the stain technique. This does not prevent a certain passage from disintegrating the bow section into 25 different patterns (one for every two music stands) or that at certain times the brass section appears as a constellation of small staccato impulses. These are, along with many others, details of the composer's creative palette, inventions that personalize his voice in a new concertante adventure.

invention of the piano
That orchestra is, therefore, a permanent incitement for the listener. We are used to this and will not disappoint the expectation of the premiere. What is new is that Turina also invents a language for the piano, an instrument that until now has not played a major role in his catalogue. The solos of the work, devilishly difficult for the performer, promise an opulent brilliance, a very generous thought of the percussive and harmonic options of the grand concert piano. The manual play at the ends of the keyboard, the great motifs of percussive chords, the extremely varied trace of the scales and arpeggios, the long superimposed trills and, in general, the lavish ornamental sense of this writing evoke, of course, the luxuries and greatness of the great late-romantic form, but they constitute their own diction in the differentiated tracery of their lines of force. Along with unlimited virtuosity, Turina rehearses phrasing and articulations of great poetic intensity, all of this in an aesthetic field with no other limitation than the composer's taste, his fantasy and his ideas; that is to say, without self-censorship, without previous prohibitions, taking from the "cosmic octopus" of the sounds that historical music has been making what the artist's imagination demands at every moment to create innovation.
The apparent result - tonight we will verify it with live listening- is an impressive text (perhaps a masterpiece in the Spanish concertante scene at the turn of the century), whose generous symphonic textures and complex piano graphics leave behind the rigidity of the prescriptions formal to get the image of improvisation and freedom in a structure of progressive variations worked to the last impulse. Like other colleagues, Spanish or not, José Luis Turina wanted to respond to the Canary Islands commission with an "big work", something very special in his catalogue. He has maybe got it. Judging by the clamorous ovations at the premiere in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, last Monday, these preliminary reading impressions can become a fairly general opinion.

Great new music
By Carlos Gómez Amat
(Review published in the newspaper El Mundo. Madrid, January 15, 2000)

The second concert of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, in harmony with its director, Víctor Pablo, has had an interesting character.
First for the successful premiere of the work by José Luis Turina, commissioned by the Festival. Second, for the inclusion of the extensive Symphony 13, by Shostakovich. And finally, as a valuable example of how great new music can be made as convincingly as the most hackneyed repertoire. Technique is important, but without enthusiasm it's a hanger without clothes.
José Luis Turina's Piano Concerto seems to me to be a product of splendid maturity. Its beginning makes indifference impossible. Then, the mixed measure of lyricism and agitation marks the dialectic between the soloist and the ensemble in a wisely treated speech. There are like echoes of romantic virtuosity, in a current language without concessions, and in a continuous renewal full of true ideas, not mere occurrences. If one can speak of inspiration -one must, of course-, Guillermo González, the new Ricardo Viñes, played committed and confident, with great enthusiasm. Víctor Pablo revealed the richness of the orchestra, from the magical percussion to the lines of the wind or the strings. José Luis Turina was widely awarded.

A concert is born
By Juan Jesús Doreste Aguilar
(Review published in the newspaper La Tribuna. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 15, 2000)

The evening was opened by the first of the four world premieres commissioned by the Festival. José Luis Turina is one of the brightest names in Spanish musical creation in recent decades. His technical training is one of the most solid of his generation and, unlike others, he usually takes into account the factor of communication with the listener in his works. It is curious that the Piano Concerto has been an almost non-existent genre in the second half of our century. In the first half we have the outstanding cases of Rachmaninov, Bartók, Ravel or Prokofiev, and then practically nothing. These have been the decades in which composers were no longer pianists (all those mentioned above were, and very good ones) nor were pianists composers. Decades in which the role of the illustrative composer has prevailed, often oblivious to the mass provided by the high-level interpretive exercise and where, it must also be said, some genres have been frowned upon.
Not many years ago Ligety, with his studies for piano, once again indicated that a way back was possible that would take into account tradition, the ways they have made this instrument what they have done and, at the same time, make things sound new. This magnificent new work by Turina has caused me a similar impression: he has been able to take the legacy of a tradition, a way in which a type of work has been written for two centuries, he has given it its personal language and has dressed it well. instrumental. Turina shamelessly uses resources that arise from the mere timbre opposition of the piano against the orchestra. There is a good part of the central section, where various instruments make brief interventions loaded with fine musical humor interspersed between the soloist's perorations, followed by another contrasting section between the low brass and the high pitched area of the piano. The solo part has quite a bit of substance. The author, in my opinion, within using a current language makes clear references to a type of impressionist writing, understanding by this the resources found and exploited by authors such as Debussy, Ravel or Falla and with certain more classical elements typical of Beethoven; perhaps it is the type of romantic writing allá Chopin or Liszt, the least present; but it is a matter of choices, and there is much to do.
Guillermo González has done a great job in approaching this premiere, dedicated to him, because he managed to go beyond an already arduous, complex and not always grateful execution (sometimes, what he played was more difficult than what sounded like). In the orchestral part there was a lot of imagination and wisdom of a good orchestrator, accepting the traditional use of the instruments, which deep down is more meritorious. In short, a great work by an important author, exhibited with conviction and leaving you wanting to be able to listen to it more often given the density and interest of the elements on display.

Triumphant "tour de force"
By Leopoldo Rojas-O'Donnell
(Review published in the newspaper La Provincia. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 15, 2000)

Hard was the work that the director and soloists had to fight in this second program of the Tenerife Symphony in the current edition of the festival: a premiere of great difficulty and a symphony of tremendous density for all the participants. Two authentic main courses that were approached with absolute confidence in achieving the goal and in faith that they did not disappoint expectations in any way.
The premiere in Las Palmas of the Piano Concerto by José Luis Turina (the absolute premiere had taken place in Tenerife three days before) was offered to us in a splendid version by the soloist, Guillermo González, who did full justice to a work full of difficulties. In an absolutely virtuosic writing, sometimes not far from the great post-romantic concerts, the pianist has to play practically without respite, in passages of great technical demand. But, in addition to overcoming difficulties of this nature, Guillermo González showed careful exquisite sound and a singular concern for dynamics, in a game of great sensitivity and intelligence. The structure of the work was very well presented by Víctor Pablo in his meticulous reading of a score that was also full of difficulties for the orchestra, which responded admirably: excellent woodwinds, muted trumpet, percussion, in their alternate appearances in front of the omnipresent piano, the true protagonist of this interesting work, admirably well structured.

An old-style concerto
By M.R. Sánchez M.
(Review published in the newspaper Canarias7. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 15, 2000)

The first world premiere, commissioned by the Festival, cme from the hands of José Luis Turina who presented us with his Piano Concerto, performed by Guillermo González from Tenerife, to whom it is dedicated, whose world premiere took place in Santa Cruz de Tenerife a few days ago. Listening to this work it seems as if we were returning to the romantic approach to the concerto, where the soloist is the absolute protagonist of everything that happens while the orchestra limits itself to accompanying, underlining and colouring. Saving the aesthetic distances, this is what could be summarized in this work, not very difficult to listen to, where each element contributes to emphasizing the lyrical aspects that are in the subsoil of the score. We are not facing an avant-garde work, nor do I believe that at any time its author intended it, but it is before a work that takes up the musical value of the piano in the face of any type of sound experiment. Guillermo González's interpretation was up to the task, supported by the baton that at all times knew how to get the precise color out of a score that has it in great quantity.

"Concerto for piano and orchestra" by Joaquín Turina (sic)
By José Luis García del Busto
(Review published in the newspaper ABC. Madrid, January 20, 2000)

The profusion of musical activity, which forces an intense day to day, does not prevent us from taking a break to remember what will remain one of the main days (always double, in Santa Cruz and in Las Palmas) of the Canary Islands Festival of the year 2000, now in full swing. This is the absolute premiere of one of the works that the Festival has commissioned this year, the Concerto for piano and orchestra by José Luis Turina, who was acclaimed by the public along with the performers: the great pianist Guillermo González (dedicatee to the score), the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Víctor Pablo.
This Concerto is probably Turina's best work, which is to say that it is one of the most important scores on the current panorama of Spanish musical creation. Structured in three sections that are performed without interruption, all of it adheres to the spirit and technique of the variation. The beautiful material exposed at the beginning is immediately subject to deep variations throughout the first section, while the third one takes up the material and even the variational games, but with the peculiarity of exchanging the roles previously played by the piano and the orchestra. For its part, the central section is autonomous, but also participates in the procedures of variation, art and technique in which José Luis Turina is an admirable master craftsman.
The sense of unity and discursive logic helps to follow "without getting lost" the dense flow of music, while the richness of sound events that characterizes the tour makes it a real pleasure for the attentive listener. The piano writing is of high virtuosity, but the orchestral part is no less so: it is a fruitful dialogue between equals. Pure and deep music, without concessions. Complex and dense music but with a sound surface so bright and imaginative that it is received with both joy and admiration. The Festival made the best possible appreciation of the superb page: entrusting it to performers of exceptional level. Guillermo González and Víctor Pablo put as much faith and feeling into their work as they would have dedicated to "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" and, of course, many more hours of work. They were luxury interpreters for an occasion that well deserved it. The value of the contribution of the Canarian Festival is completed with the publication of an extensive -and from now on essential- study of Turina's work signed by Tomás Marco.

"Contemporary music has not responded to what was expected of it"
By José Andrés Dulce
(Interview published in the newspaper El Día. Tenerife, January 20, 2000)

The ability to openly discuss contemporary music without hesitation or dogmatism is one of the characteristics that define José Luis Turina, a composer from Madrid whose work in the field of concertos is closely linked to the recent history of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. Precisely the insular ensemble, and Guillermo González as soloist, have just premiered his Piano Concerto within the framework of the 16th Canarias Festival.

- You dedicated his last concerto to the pianist from Tenerife, Guillermo González. Is there some kind of artistic affinity that justifies such a dedication?
- When the work was entrusted to me I didn't have any pianist in mind; What's more, I left this decision to the discretion of the Festival organizers, to whom I only warned that the piece would entail a supreme technical difficulty. Later I met Guillermo González in Madrid, who had already performed my Piano Sonata at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts. I saw that he didn't hold a grudge against me for the interpretive complexity of the sonata, so I suggested that he play this concerto. While we were working on it, our relationship was so fruitful that I decided to dedicate the work to him, partly out of gratitude, and partly because of the artistic risk he takes by fleeing from conventional repertoires.

- It is striking that you have has called the work "concerto", which together with "symphony" is a taboo word for the musical avant-garde.
- Contemporary composers have abused poetic titles or names linked to notions, which, in my opinion, creates false images associated with music in the listener. I prefer the traditional terms: sonata, concerto, symphony, because they are pure abstractions that prevent that type of mental association.

- By the way, in your catalog there is a Viola concerto dedicated to Óscar Domínguez.
- My relationship with Tenerife is curious, because it is linked to my concert production. I came to the Island in 1986 to premiere this piece, which had Humberto Orán, brother of María Orán, as soloist. Then the Tenerife orchestra was going through a period of transition, so much so that the string section had to be reinforced. In any case, I was never satisfied with the work; I refused to integrate it into my catalogue. My next visit was in 1988, to premiere the Violin Concerto, already with the restructured orchestra and with Víctor Pablo on the podium; and now, twelve years later, I return to Tenerife to present the Piano Concerto. The only thing missing is the cello one, which by the way I'm preparing.

- Theatrical music is one of your warhorses. What has been your evolution in this field?
- Opera is my great passion, but when I began to take the first steps in this direction I realized that I was not quite prepared. Although I was fascinated by the relationship between musical and verbal languages, I had to mature as a dramatic composer. For this reason, Ligazón, based on a text by Valle-Inclán, was a musical staging, while La Raya en el Agua, organized as a succession of numbers, was linked to the variety show rather than to the cult drama. My formal debut in opera will be D. Q. (Don Quijote en Barcelona), a commission by La Fura dels Baus that will be performed at the Liceo of Barcelona.

- Don't you think that contemporary music is becoming somewhat endogamic in its proposal and that it has given up establishing emotional and intellectual contact with the public?
- For various reasons, contemporary music has not responded to what was expected of it. There is a manifest divorce between modern creators and their audience. While composers apply themselves to creating atonal works, the public continues to have tonal music in mind. From there an impossible dialogue begins between people who speak different languages. When we hear that García Márquez's latest novel is going to hit the bookstores or that Woody Allen's latest movie is going to be released, great anticipation is aroused; on the contrary, the premiere of a work of contemporary music is received with absolute indifference.

- Does the solution lie in returning to tonality?
- It's already becoming... For years, the problem that has been posed to us is that the existing repertoire is already so generous and beautiful that, perhaps, it makes its expansion unnecessary. It is almost impossible to break through at this point. Let us think that, in its time, the great repertoire was formed to fill a void. When Bach composed cantatas for the church of Saint Thomas in Leipzig, he did so due to the inherent needs of a liturgy that required musical sections; but, now, what would be the point of commissioning cantatas when this great legacy already exists? Consequently, it is not contemporary music, but the repertoire that is endogamic; it is the instituted repertoire that does not admit the entry of more works and that pushes contemporary music to consider whether it is really on the right path.

- Also to put it in the dilemma of adapting or dying?
- In my opinion trying to swell the repertoire is as wrong as wanting to elevate the musical work to an object of contemplation and worship. Personally, I sympathize with the proposal of conceptual art. The creator, and by extension the musician, must conceive the work of art as an entity in which the object and the reflection it provokes are the same thing.

THE PROFILE. From an illustrious saga
A faithful continuator of his saga, José Luis Turina does not blink at the repeated allusions to his surname and the frequent confusion with his grandfather, the famous Sevillian musician Joaquín Turina, whose fiftieth anniversary of his death was celebrated last year and who now returns to foreground of current affairs thanks to the "Notes for a Composer" exhibition, inaugurated this week at the Casa de Murillo in Seville. "My father -explains José Luis- is the fourth of Joaquín Turina's children. Confusion with my grandfather is common, in fact a few days ago a national newspaper attributed my Concerto for piano and orchestra to him when precisely he has a piece entitled Concerto without orchestra, for piano.

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(Complete score and parts without watermarks available at www.asesores-musicales.com )

Orchestral score of the Concerto for piano and orchestra

Solo part and reduction of the Concerto for piano and orchestra