As with Coll's Vestiges for piano, canonic thinking also underpins the exhilarating concert-opener Hidd’n Blue, which received two performances in February by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Gimeno. They are the sixth orchestra to perform this 5-minute work since its premiere by the London Symphony Orchestra and Francois-Xavier Roth back in 2009. Colourful, rhythmically charged and filled with startling harmonies, it builds to a truly vertiginous climax. Coll describes ‘a bass note of deep, mysterious blue that has been overlaid with swirling, lighter colours’.
Quickly becoming one of Coll’s strongest advocates, Gimeno will also premiere Mural, a new 25-minute work for large orchestra in the opening concert of the Luxembourg Philharmonic’s 16/17 season. The catalyst for the piece was hearing Claudio Abbado conducting Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony in Lucerne back in 2013.
‘This provided the shock that I need always to start a work,’ says Coll. ‘Right after, I hurried home and wrote the harmonies which begin the piece. Usually I never start a piece from the beginning, however the first bars of Mural are the bars that I wrote that day.’ Composition of the mammoth work (co-commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain) took a further two years and it will be fascinating to hear Coll’s electrifying musical personality unleashed on such a vast orchestral canvas.