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Francisco Calés Otero (1925-1985)
(Photo taken in Toronto, 1975)


Cuarteto en Sol / Quartet in G

For String Quartet


Commentary
Recording
Reviews
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Commentary


The Quartet in G, for two violins, viola and cello, responds to a formal plan structured in three sections. In the first, and starting from an obsessive G, a game is proposed based on the progressive growth of a series of twelve sounds and its retrogradation (the G note being its first and, therefore, last sound), through procedures that are strictly contrapuntal. The central section takes the form of a rondo very freely treated. The third becomes a recapitulation of the first section, proceeding by eliminating sounds and extinguishing the piece with the initial G, thus seeking a certain symmetry.
But leaving aside considerations of a formal, aesthetic or stylistic nature, if there is something that must be highlighted about the Quartet in G above anything else, it is that the beginning of its gestation coincides with the news of the death of Francisco Calés. And that the one who began as simply my teacher of Counterpoint and Fugue, ended up becoming one of the strongest pillars of my musical training, as well as one of the figures I loved and admired the most during my time, as a student, at the Madrid Conservatory, and whose virtues as a teacher I have tried to assimilate for my own teaching activity.
Hence the eminently contrapuntal treatment, as a tribute, which in principle this quartet was not going to have. Hence, also, the title, borrowed from the wonderful quartet of the same name by Francisco Calés. Do not look behind it for evocations of a possible tonality, not even a possible twelve-tone treatment, which could be inferred from reading the first paragraph of this commentary.
The Quartet in G was composed entirely in Puerto of Mazarrón, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture in commemoration of the European Year of Music, during the month of August 1985, and was premiered in Santiago de Compostela by the Arcana String Quartet (Francisco Romo, Jesús Ángel León, Pablo Riviere and Salvador Escrig) in March 1987. Naturally, it is dedicated to the memory of Francisco Calés.


Recording



Recording: Arcana String Quartet


First page of the Quartet in G



Reviews


The Arcana String Quartet, with a Spanish program
By Leopoldo Hontañón
(Review published in the newspaper ABC. Madrid, April 28, 1988)

[...]
On the other hand, the "Quartet in G", composed by José Luis Turina in August 1985, and dedicated to his teacher Francisco Calés, is yet another example of the author's formidable clarity of ideas and of the intelligence and logic with which that succeeds in arranging and articulating them in time.
[...]


Spanish chamber music
By Enrique Franco
(Review published in the newspaper El País. Madrid, April 28, 1988)

[...]
In addition to the works by Arriaga and Guridi, the quartet in memory of Calés Otero, by José Luis Turina (Madrid, 1952), was played in the first program. It dates from 1985 and its staves show the firm outlines of a desire for modernity allied with authentic contrapuntal knowledge; As always in the work of the young Turina, two driving concepts dominate: beauty and communicativeness.
[...]



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