On 31 October the Kuss Quartet premiere Francisco Coll’s String Quartet – Códices at Stadtcasino Basel. The quartet will then give the German premiere of the four-movement work on 5 November at Kloster Wennigsen. It will make further national debuts in spring 2024 at the Concertgebouw (28 February) and Berlin Konzerthaus (14 May). The 20-minute piece was commissioned for the Kuss Quartet by Kammermusik Basel, Konzerthaus Berlin, Wigmore Hall, Het Concertgebouw, and Musik 21 Niedersachsen.

The subtitle reflects the way Coll’s quartet compiles pre-existing music – some ancient and some more recent – albeit transforming it at the same time. The quartet opens with ‘Hutsulka Ksenia (Гуцулка Ксеня)’, based on a Ukrainian folk song. The second movement, ‘Cantos I’, reworks music from Cantos (2017), Coll’s only other composition in the medium to date, premiered by Cuarteto Casals and given numerous international performances at venues including the Wiener Konzerthaus, Fundación Juan March, Australian National Academy of Music, as well touring South Korea and Japan. Cantos was itself derived from the solo violin work Hyperlude V (2015). This reimagination of the material zooms in on the original, the four players disclosing different aspects of the solo line.

‘Quejío’ recalls the way Coll’s music is steeped in flamenco traditions. The title has various translations, but evokes the grief-stricken cry or lament exclaimed during flamenco performances. Here folk-like ornamentation is passed between the various dance partners of the quartet, in a shifting set of solos, duets, and trios. Archaic music completes the work. ‘Cantos II’ draws on the Ugarit Hurrian Cult Hymn (circa 1400 B.C.) - the oldest song recorded in writing. The violin presents the melody in its uppermost register as the movement draws to its mysterious close, sinking into shadowy, primeval depths with a detuned cello C-string and whispered bowing on the instrument’s tailpiece.

Other premieres from Coll in the 2023/24 season include the fantasia for piano and orchestra Ciudad sin Sueño from Javier Perianes, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno in February 2024. The piece, whose title is taken from Lorca’s Poet in New York, receives its North American premiere from conductor and pianist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra the same month, alongside Coll’s orchestration of Manuel de Falla’s Fantasia Baetica, which premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2023.

In October and November Chistopher Bouwman, Tito Muñoz, and the New European Ensemble present a world premiere tour of Taleas Oblicuas for oboe and chamber ensemble. Their programme, which also includes Coll’s Piedras (2010), Liquid Symmetries (2013), and Thomas Adès’ Chamber Symphony (1990), appears at Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía, Valencia’s Palau de la Música, and the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague.