Francisco Coll's Turia, a new guitar concertino in five movements commissioned by Christian Karlsen and the ensemble Norrbotten NEO, will be premiered in December with Jacob Kellermann as soloist. The work takes its name from the dried-up river in Valencia which now hosts gardens, fountains, cafés, and even an opera house by architect Santiago Calatrava.
‘As a child,’ Coll explains, ‘I used to walk in this unusual river, full of light, flowers and people. I always thought that one day I would write the music of this river. When Christian Karlsen contacted me, I immediately knew that this was my opportunity to write a piece for guitar and ensemble with Spanish luminosity. This soundscape evokes the light and the respective shadows of my country.’ Flamenco is very much in the surface of this work, although it is always filtered through Coll’s distinctive sonorous imagination.
Speaking to Valencia’s Levante, Karlsen said: ‘We are very proud that Coll has written this work for us. It is one of the most important masterpieces of the last century of Spanish music… It has a very Spanish flavour without falling into clichés and its use of flamenco is very personal. It is definitely one of the most important concertos for guitar, and a great addition to the existing pieces by Rodrigo and Villalobos. I hope I can give the Spanish premiere of this mystical, expressive and exciting work soon’.