This summer a newly-expanded version of Francisco Coll’s trio …de voz aceitunada received its first performances in Sweden and the UK. Coll has added a new third movement to the (now) 10-minute piece for flute, viola, and guitar, giving it four in total. On 13 July it was performed by Sophie Berggren (flute), Albin Uusijärvi (viola) and Jacob Kellermann (guitar) at the Vattnäs Chamber Music Festival. On 27 August it will be performed at the Britten Studio, Snape Maltings by Sean Shibe, Timothy Ridout, and Adam Walker.
…de voz aceitunada draws some of its material from traditional Sephardic music. The new movement forms a lyrical interlude before the spiky, percussive finale, with guitar and flute casting light and shadow on a passionate song without words for viola, then picked up by guitar; it ends in a soft haze of tremolando, flutter-tonguing, and harmonics.
Music of blackness and light… a work with steep rhythmic shifts and a feverish, sparkling expression…
Dagens Nyheter (Martin Nyström), 17 January 2022
It is one of several works that crystallises Coll’s interest in modernist painting. …de voz acietunada takes its title from a line in Lorca’s Ode to Salvador Dalí – the man “of the olive voice”. His award-winning double concerto for Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta Les Plaisirs Illuminés is named for a painting by Dalí; Coll alludes to another European surrealist in the Magritte-inspired Ceci n'est pas un Concerto for soprano and ensemble.
An artist himself, Coll has commented on the proximity between his work as a painter and as a composer. Madre, written for the 2023 Iturbi International Piano Festival, was inspired by the work of Joaquín Sorolla, and is the first in a series of pieces inspired by paintings.
Shibe and Kellermann are both keen exponents of Coll’s work. Kellermann previously commissioned and premiered Coll’s Turia¸ a 2017 concerto for guitar and ensemble, with Christian Karlsen, subsequently recording the work on BIS in 2020 with Norrbotten NEO. Shibe gave the UK premiere of Turia with Thomas Adès and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the East Neuk Festival in May 2021; on 28 March 2024 Shibe gives the UK premiere of Coll’s version of Turia for guitar and chamber orchestra with Delyana Lazarova and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.