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Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), photographed by
Gaspard Felix Tournachon in 1856

Música fugitiva (Dos estudios sinfónicos) / Fugitive music (Two symphonic studies)

For Orchestra

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Música fugitiva was composed by commission of the Fundación Caja de Madrid, destined to be premiered throughout the 1992-93 season by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. It is a work structured in two clearly differentiated movements, each of which presents such difficulties that they become "studies" for orchestra. The difficulties are not always of a technical nature, referring to the individual instrumental treatment, although they abound, but for the most part they are centered on aspects that further test the capacity of the symphonic ensemble to emerge gracefully from the most disparate situations: from the homogeneity in blendings, in the most traditional sense of the term, to heterogeneity in contrasts, in the most advanced sense, as well as the conductor's ability to control the continually changing situations of the first movement, or to achieve fluidity from density, in relation to the texture of the second.
All of the above can serve as a clue to the listener regarding a first hearing. But perhaps it is even more eloquent and illuminating to refer to the aspect, anecdotal if you will, that serves as the starting point for Música fugitiva. Composed throughout 1992, its gestation coincides with the commemorative acts of the bicentenary of the birth of Gioacchino Rossini; and, as an intimate tribute, it is based on the conceptual in the very well-known overture of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Each of the movements of Música fugitiva bears as its title, as the only direct reference, a quote from the libretto of Il barbiere: thus, the first movement is entitled Barbara Armonia ("barbarous harmony"), and the second A mezza notte in punto ("At midnight precisely". The first recreates, very freely, the wide slow introduction of the Rossinian overture: each of the surprising timbral and dynamic contrasts, which follow each other with dizzying speed (sometimes, a single chord), serve here as a point of reference for a complete section, more or less extensive. For its part, the second movement refers to the second part of the overture: in it the quotation is even reached, but in such a covert way that its appreciation in the audition will have to go practically unnoticed.

Cover of one of the first editions of
Il barbiere di Siviglia, composed in 1815

The general scheme of this last movement can be summarized as follows: four sections, of which the first and third are carried out by the string, widely divided. A stubborn pedal note runs through both sections: an E in the first, and a G in the second, respective tonics of the two main themes of Rossini's overture allegro. The second and fourth sections are based, almost exclusively, on the development of a crescendo, through the usual Rossinian procedure: repetition of cells, and accumulation of instruments. The title of the work is taken from the sonnet A Roberto Schumann, by Gerardo Diego, and more specifically from the second verse of the first tercet:

Compadéceme, pues, ahora que alcanzas
tu fugitiva música, y contigo
la ocultas, y tus brazos -ya- la gozan.
Pity me, then, now that you reach
your fugitive music, and with you
you hide it, and your arms -already- enjoy it.

Fugitive Music was composed between Madrid and El Puerto de Mazarrón between the months of June and December 1992, and was premiered in April 29, 1993 at the Auditorium of the University of La Laguna by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gilbert Varga. The score is dedicated to my son Luis.
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 monographic CD of the Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra (2006)


Recording: Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra (Cond.: José Luis Temes)

I. Barbara armonia (fragment)
II. A mezza notte in punto (fragment)

First page of the first movement of Música fugitiva

First page of the first movement of Música fugitiva


Fifty years without Joaquín Turina
By Leopoldo Hontañón
(Review published in the newspaper ABC. Madrid, January 15, 1999)

Yesterday, the 14th, it was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Joaquín Turina, that very Spaniard Parisian from Seville born in 1882. With very correct criteria, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra did not want to ignore the anniversary and, the previous afternoon, dedicated to his memory in the National Auditorium one of the concerts of the cycle that preludes the celebration of the centenary of the Orchestra itself. The success of the call was rounded, in addition, in a double sense. To Turina "senior", that composer who little by little is getting to know better and being recognized properly, his grandson José Luis, already recognized in turn, with rare unanimity in that complicated world of creation, as one of the most outstanding representatives of our young generations. [...]
There is hardly any room left for the Madrid premiere of Música fugitiva (two symphonic studies), by José Luis Turina. Yes enough to say that this diptych, of twenty minutes in all, is a new and double demonstration of his perfect and complete mastery of orchestration, as well as the intelligent use, for tasks of formal structuring, of his personal «crescendi»: simultaneous progressive increases not only in dynamics, but also in densities.

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