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Galicia Symphony Orchestra at La Coruña Opera Palace

Dos danzas sinfónicas / Two symphonic dances

Orchestral version of Two dances (6th and 18th scenes) of The stripe on the water

Description and recording of each movement
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Dedicated to Elisa Roche and initially written for a chamber group, the origin of these Two Symphonic Dances dates back to the period between 1994 and 1996, when they were composed together with 17 other pieces of a very diverse nature -music, dance, theater and poetry- for actors, soloists, choir and chamber group, all brought together through light, color and the magical invocation of the stage, as part of a show entitled The Stripe on the Water, integrated by music and the performing arts without thereby constituting an opera, or a zarzuela, or anything to which the usual names can be given.
The Stripe on the Water was commissioned by the Circle of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Community of Madrid, for the reopening of the "Fernando de Rojas" Hall of the Circle of Fine Arts in Madrid, taking place its premiere on September 29, 1996.

Cover of the premiere program


The fact that the 19 numbers that made up the show were totally independent has allowed some -the most autonomous ones- to have had a life of their own beyond the premiere, as is the case of the two pieces included in the Two symphonic dances, in which scenes VI and XVIII of the original show take place -respectively titled Klangfarbenpas de deux and Pas de deux (Waltz) -, whose orchestral version was released at the end of 1996 as a result of a commission by the Galician Symphony Orchestra, which premiered it on March 26, 1998 at the Palacio de la Ópera in La Coruña, under the direction of Gilbert Varga.

Conductor Gilbert Varga

In 2005 they were recorded by the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by José Luis Temes, and included, along with four other orchestral works, on a monographic CD in the "Contemporary Composers" collection.

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

Description and recording of each movement

I. Klangfarbenpas de deux

The title alludes to the "Klangfarbenmelodie", a characteristic procedure of the Second Viennese School based on a timbre concept of melody: each note or groups of notes in the series is entrusted to a different instrument, thereby producing a single melodic sensation realized through an ever-changing timbre.
In this piece, the music, based on a continuous melody without harmonizing, only interrupted in the clauses -each time in a different note until totaling twelve sounds, completing the twelve-tone series of Waltz op. 23 by Schoenberg-, in which the long note on which it stops is superimposed by a very rapid succession, each time wider, of notes in the remaining instruments. The melody is divided into small gestures entrusted to different instruments, whose timbres merge with the instrument that precedes them and with the one that follows them.
The A of the oboe marks the beginning of this first dance. In its choreography, the dancers must appear one by one, and the dance, always very contained and conceptual, must meet the following criteria, in relation to the music:
- The dancers must be grouped in male/female pairs, systematically alternating to perform the different movements, and without movements in two or more pairs at any time. Therefore, it must be a collective dance and, at the same time, individual.
- In the melodic fragments, each gesture must be danced alternately by each of the members of the couple to which the fragment corresponds, ensuring absolute continuity from one to the other.
- In the cadential fragments (long notes on very fast notes), the dancers completely stop the movement, which must be resumed with the next melodic fragment.

Premiere recording (with noises): Galicia Symphonic Orchestra. Dir.: Gilbert Varga (La Coruña, March 26, 1998)

First page of Klangfarben Pas de deux, of Two symphonic dances

II. Pas de deux (Vals)

This second piece of the Two Symphonic Dances aims to recreate an exchange of aesthetic language -classical and contemporary- between two ideas that intersect, with a waltz as the central point of confluence. The music -and the choreography to which, in its case, it would serve as support- is adjusted to the following plot approach:
The ballerina (musically personified by the flute and the violin) begins her dance alone, in a fully academic style. Her movements are followed by a very concentrated light. As the other instruments enter, another light claims interest on a body, covered with a black cloth. Freeing himself from it, the dancer appears, who dances together with the ballerina, but in a fully contemporary style that makes a full encounter between the two impossible. As the music begins to evolve into the central waltz of the piece, the dancer's movements become progressively more academic. The arrival of the waltz marks the only point where the movements of both come together in a common aesthetic idea.
At the end of the waltz there is an acceleration in the music. The ballerina goes into a frenzy that the dancer can not follow, dragged by the inertia of the waltz. Her movements are increasingly contemporary, while his are already, until their end, fully classic.
The dancer ceases (dies) at the same time as the orchestral music does, the light that illuminates him disappearing and the ballerina remaining alone on stage until the end -always in a very contemporary style-, to similarly extinguish her movements, along with music and light.

Premiere recording (with noises): Galicia Symphonic Orchestra. Dir.: Gilbert Varga (La Coruña, March 26, 1998)

First page of Pas de deux (Vals), of Two symphonic dances


Spanish Radio Television Orchestra (Dir.: Aziz Shokhakimov)

Madrid, Monumental Theater, February 1, 2013

I. Klangfarben pas de deux

II. Pas de deux (Vals)

Download pdfs

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

Score of Two symphonic dances (orchestral version)

Score of Two dances (from "The stripe on the water") (version for chamber ensemble)