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Luis de PABLO
Une couleur…
Daniel Kientzy (saxophones)
Orchestre National de Roumania/Remus Georescu
Nova Musica NMCD 5108
NMCD, Nova Musica, Reina Portuondo, 9, Boulevard Mortier, 75020 PARIS, France,
tel: +33-1-43615591, fax: +33-1-43619500,

Une couleur…
for contrabass, baritone, tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones with large orchestra was composed for Daniel Kientzy and first performed in 1989 under Arturo Tamayo. It is a tour de force for this famous exponent of contemporary music for the saxophone family of instruments. He is seen with the composer and his contrabass saxophone. The orchestra includes harp, piano and celesta with 'an ample percussion section'. This most literary of composers took lines from a poem by Larrea as his inspiration for the five linked movements, which might be paraphrased:

  1. a night sadder than blotting paper

  2. silence imperceptibly turns into birdsong
  3. ants carry our tears from East to West
  4. he disappeared through invisibility
  5. - - his sadness perched on the edge of the sky like a fat angel

The music is bold and lyrical by turns and characteristic of Pablo's orchestral writing of the period - an exciting score that makes a powerful and immediate impression. The saxophone is one of the best solo instruments for displaying its expressive range in an orchestral setting, and this work should be taken up by some of the growing number of virtuoso saxophonists of the younger generation (John Harle, too, please note!). The recording is fine, though I would have preferred the soloist just a shade less forward.

It is good to have this important work of a decade ago at the time when Luis de Pablo is being celebrated after his 70th birthday and celebrating by continuing to compose prolifically. He appears to be at the height of his powers and with undiminished energy. (Unfortunately he has been far too busy to organise a website!) His fourth opera La Señorita Cristina is to be premiered in Madrid on 10 February.

(See also a report on de Pablo's 70th Birthday celebrations in Spain and a selected discography.)

Peter Grahame Woolf

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