Beigbeder’s chamber music constitutes a repertoire that is representative of his artistic production, since it lasts for nearly twenty years, culminating in his period of maximum musical creativity, the 1920s. Therefore, such recording permits us to study this vital time of the compo- ser, from his years of uncertainty in the beginning of the Century (in which he was still not devoted to music), until 1922, when he achieves a position as a military musician in San Fernando and finally links his life to his homeland.
Germán Álvarez Beigbeder: Piezas íntimas (Vals)
The Sonata en Do menor (1922), in honour of his homeland, Jerez, was performed for the first time on the 2nd of may 1922 at the dis- appeared Ateneo Jerezano. over an accompaniment full of arpeggios and piano repetitions, the violin plays the magic central theme of the Allegro with brief notes that, along with a more lyrical secondary theme, articulates a sonata form that ends with a coda “presto, no mucho”. The second movement, Adagio, starts and finishes majestically, in contrast to a more dynamic central section. The final Allegro has a rhythmic begin- ning with lively piano harmonious and violin pizzicatti. There are also some brief stylized traditional themes (the first one reminds of “El Vito”) and a second theme more lyrical that changes continuously. in a sonata form, the recapitulation changes the harmony of the initial theme, that is this time presented by the piano whilst the second theme reaches a climax that culminates in the final coda taking the initial chords up again, to finish with some chords repetitions of great dynamic effect.
The work was very welcome when it was performed by the first time. Ramón Sobrino notices the influence of Schubert and Brahms, and highlights the opposition between the initial Allegro, completely full of romanticism, with the solemn and intimate character of the Adagio, to finish with the stylization of traditional themes: the final Allegro. The Gramophone Company of Barcelona, in 1936, decides to record it with the per- formers José Cubiles and Enrique iniesta, but the project does not become a reality due to the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. in 1938 Luis Lerate performs it at the Conservatoire of Seville, were it was declared as a piece of binding study under the professorship of Mr. Pedro Gámez de Laserna.
The Cuarteto en sol menor (1922) is an unfinished work. Nowadays, the score consists of one movement only: Moderato –only modera- to- as it appears in the list of the SGAE. However, this work went through different stages throughout its existence. Its composition was simultaneous to that one of the Sinfonía no 1 in the same key, and the central movements (aria, scherzo) of this symphon- ic piece originally belonged to the quartet. Nevertheless, the work is performed for the first time at the disappeared “Eslava” Theatre by the “Calvet” quartet of Budapest with just one movement: aria.
The Moderato is a movement of great dimensions, which is characterised by the strength of its melodic material, articulating a piece of high coherence and which also includes moments of intense lyricism. At the beginning of the piece a rhythmic theme and a more lyric one are juxtaposed and they undergo an intense melodic, harmonic and tonal transformation throughout the whole movement that allows the composer to show his remarkable knowledge of compositions for string (he even creates a fugatto central passage). His return to the initial material is never monotonous and he progressively looks for a tempo “a bit more lively” to finish with a great coda that synthesizes all the elements that had appe- ared previously. This great structure with a complex conception, full of development and close to the most important sonatas, seems to re-assu- re the conception of first movement of a quartet that the composer had of this moderato.
The Aria has an indication of tempo lento (larghetto). Nevertheless, it is not only a slow movement with a simple vocal melody, as we could guess from its title. After a brief introduction we are presented with one lyrical main theme that alternates with different instruments. in fact, rather than being an easy lyricism, the Aria provides a rich combination of voices, long lasting notes and motifs that come and go, with an ending that has a maintained sonority, almost religious, that recalls the composer ́s intense spirituality.
Beigbeder ́s chamber music is a creative synthesis with an intense lyricism that does not avoid the composing techniques or the great forms, that comes from a great musician who is linked to the Romanticism and folk music, and who is also aware of the transformation that music experiences during the first few decades of the 20th Century. (Francisco J. Giménez Rodríguez)
As a trio, they have been adviced by Axel Wilzcok (Staatskapelle Berlin), Wolfgang Boettcher (University of fine Arts, Berlin), Ralph Gotoni (Reina Sofia, Madrid) and Yaron Traub (Conductor of Valencia Simphony orchestra). They have an intense concert activity. Some examples are the concerts offered in “la casa de la Provincia” or their perfomance of Beethoven Triple Concerto with the orchestra of Granada Superior Conservatory.
in 2006 and 2007 they have been invited by Barenboim-Said Foundation to make tours around the Middle East (more information in www.barenboim-said.org, “sala de prensa” section) and in December 2007 they performed in NY at the UN Headquarters, celebrating the inter- national day of Human Rights. Some of their next concerts include perfomances at the “international Music and Dance Festival of Granada”, the “Andalusian Music Tour” and “international Music Festival of Santander”.Trio Garnati has been recently awarded with the first prize in “Lucena Chamber Music Competition”.