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Enrique Fernández Arbós and the Madrid Symphony
Orchestra, in one of its first concerts (ca. 1905)

Fantasía sobre doce notas / Fantasy on twelve notes

For Orchestra

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The kind invitation from the Madrid Symphony Orchestra to compose a short orchestral page with which to contribute to the concert to commemorate its 90th anniversary has had, in my particular case, the ironic wink of coincidence with the fact that in the homage that this same orchestra dedicated in March 1934 to its for so many years principal conductor, Enrique Fernández Arbós, as a celebration of the seventieth anniversary of his birth, with a concert made up of fourteen short pieces by as many Spanish composers, my illustrious ancestor, the composer Joaquín Turina, contributed with the work entitled Preludio, which was nothing more than the orchestration of the first number of a Fantasia on five notes (those with the name of Arbós: A, D, B C and G), written initially for the piano.

First page of the Fantasía sobre cinco notas op. 83 by Joaquín Turina

Taking such a happy coincidence as a starting point, my modest contribution to the homage that concerns us today is also a Fantasía, in whose title the five notes of the name of Arbós are added to the remaining seven of the chromatic total of western music, in clear allusion to a more current use of sound material, but without the twelve-tone allusion implying, much less, the use of conscientious serial procedures. Quite the contrary, this Fantasy ob twelve notes wants to be somewhat carefree -not for that inconsequential-, for whose first section (a crescendo held for almost two minutes) minimal procedures are more appropriate. A second, last, and equally short section (the four minutes of its duration do not allow for more sections, or longer) closes the work, in which two melodic cells coexist, and even overlap, based respectively on the five notes of the name of Arbós, with the same thematic idea used by Joaquín Turina, and in the remaining seven notes. The work, composed between the months of February and April 1994 and dedicated, naturally, to the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, closes with the gradual dissolution of both melodic ideas, with the progressive elimination of their corresponding sounds.

Cover and inner page of the program of the conmemorative
concert of the 90th anniversary of the Madrid Symphony Orchestra

Together with the other eight works commissioned by the Orchestra and seven of those that formed part of the tribute to Arbós in 1934 (that of Joaquín Turina among them), the Fantasy on twelve notes was premiered at the National Music Auditorium in Madrid on November 9th, 1994, within the commemorative concert of the 90th anniversary of the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, conducted on this occasion by José Ramón Encinar. A few weeks later it was included on the CD "Homenajes", in a recording made by the same performers of all the commissioned works.
In 2006 it was included, along with four other symphonic works and under the direction of José Luis Temes, in the monographic CD dedicated to me by the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its 12th Cycle of Contemporary Music.

Cover of the CD Homenajes of the Madrid Symphony Orchestra (1994)

Cover of the monographic CD of the Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra (2006)


Recording: Madrid Symphony Orchestra (Cond.: José Ramón Encinar)

Firs page of the Fantasía sobre doce notas

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