Francisco Coll makes a dazzling Proms debut

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Coll’s Four Iberian Minatures for violin and chamber orchestra received their London premiere at the BBC Proms in August, with violinist Augustin Hadelich and Britten Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Adès.

Astoundingly fresh, assured, and displaying a remarkable ear for detail the pieces were originally premiered by Pekka Kuusisto. Their vibrancy is brilliantly captured in this note by musicologist Ramon Sanchez Ochoa:

‘The first miniature opens with wild, frenzied chords whilst the frenetic movements of fandango evoke the distant echoes of heels and palms... While the violin clutches at a few ethereal pizzicati, the melodic line undoes itself through an elusive hocketting, a flickering between the eerie and the dreamlike, which ends in utter silence, met with knowing (and characteristically Hispanic) winks... The Four [Iberian] Miniatures run like lightning. After the final notes we are left perplexed and fascinated by the distance between lyricism and harshness, between the fog and the foreground, poised on that thin, flinty edge that separates the serious from the comic.’

In March 2017, James Gaffigan will conduct the 12-minute work with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Noa Wildschut, a protégé of Anne-Sophie Mutter.

REVIEWS

‘Hadelich brought bravura technique and personality to his sometimes soulful, sometimes flamboyant solo line as it filtered through the score’s lucid textures… Coll was making his debut as a Proms composer with this witty and attractive piece, whose heritage in the idioms of flamenco and tango was brazenly flaunted.’

The Guardian (George Hall), 16 August 2016

 

‘Like images of Spain seen through an insect’s eye. Spanish elements such as tango and flamenco become flickers of light, colour and rhythm.’

The Finanical Times (Richard Fairman), 16 August 2016

 

‘Glittering with sharp, Andalusian light.’

The Observer (Fiona Maddocks), 21 August 2016