picc.2.2.ca.ebcl.1.bcl.2.cbsn - 4.ptpt.2.3.1 - timp - perc(4): glsp/anvil/xyl/t.bells/splash.cym/clash.cym/3 susp.cym/china.cym/ride.cym/tam-t/2 tgl/sleigh bells/3 c.bells/frying pan/tin box/metal oil drum (approx. 200 ltr.)/cabasa/2 hardback books/plastic bag full of scrap paper/tamb/bongos/cajon/4 tom-t/SD/BD - harp - pno - strings
Score and parts for hire
For the 19-year-old composer Francisco Coll, studying in his hometown of Valencia in 2005, his first orchestral work Aqua Cinerea became something of an artistic mission statement, a brave assertion of all that he held important as a musician. Aqua Cinerea: the work’s ambiguously poetic title, evoking ash-grey water or perhaps even the image of ash falling as rain, is the composer’s own creation.
That Coll’s op.1 should be scored for orchestra, his most-beloved medium, seems fitting. Indeed, many of the characteristics that we now associate with this composer’s mature voice – a tendency to extremes, a fluidity of formal thinking, sudden moments of rhythmic excitement, and a brooding sensuality – are all to be found within its concentrated 10-minute span. Coll’s work is unconventional in a formal sense, felt intuitively rather than planned-out in advance, and its treatment of musical line reflects a strong preoccupation (which continues to this day) with the great polyphonic composers of the renaissance.
Aqua Cinerea was premiered in 2007 by Cristóbal Soler and Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universitat de València, and was pivotal to Coll achieving his first recognition as an artist, recognition which in time would trigger his relocation to London. When an opportunity to revisit the work presented itself in 2019, Coll realised that all its transitional material was superfluous. He decisively cut these out of the score, preserving the rest very much as he first heard it, with all its colour, mystery, and rawness.