On 16 July Byol Kang and Nuno Coelho give the Portuguese premiere of Francisco Coll’s Four Iberian Miniatures for violin and chamber orchestra, with the Ensemble Contemporâneo da Póvoa de Varzim at the Teatro Garrett, as part of the 45th FIMPV.
The 12-minute piece opens with a frenzied evocation of the fandango¸ with the distant echoes of heels and palms. The second miniature’s slow introduction gives way to a tortured tango, coarse and expressionist in character. Its third movement, steeped in Andalusian flamenco traditions, begins with soft flourishes in the piano before the violin joins with a lament, then torn up by vigorous pizzicato and glissandi. The frantic finale sees brief repeated cells of material appearing “like movie frames stuck in a deranged projector” (Ramón Sánchez Ochoa).
In June Coelho gave the Spanish premiere of Hímnica with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, where he is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director; in November 2022 he conducted Coll’s Aqua Cinerea with them. He has also performed Aqua Cinerea with the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid, as well as conducting them in Coll’s Hidd’n Blue in 2022. Coll is Artistic Partner with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias for the next three seasons, where he will programme and conduct several concerts.
Four Iberian Miniatures was premiered by Pekka Kuusisto and Thomas Adès with the Britten Sinfonia at Saffron Hall in 2014. It was recorded by regular collaborator Patricia Kopatchinskaja alongside Coll’s Violin Concerto on an award-winning Pentatone orchestral portrait disc from 2021, with Gustavo Gimeno conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; she has also performed the piece with Camerata Bern. It has been performed by Augustin Hadelich (at the BBC Proms), Chloë Hanslip, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra (with Noa Wildschut and James Gaffigan), and the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra. Adès joined forces with Kuusisto again in April 2022 to perform the piece with the LA Philharmonic.
Coll’s orchestration of Manuel de Falla’s Fantasia Baetica, another piece bearing the stamp of flamenco, premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival on 11 June. The 12-minute piece is an earthy realisation of a piano showpiece written for Arthur Rubinstein. Hear the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds perform the work in a BBC Radio Broadcast from Snape Maltings here.