In the fifty songs we find in Carneriana, so carefully interpreted, David Alegret invites us dive into a poetic and musical universe that reveres life, that celebrates existence, and that expresses the beauty in the world look for sonorities, contrasts, and harmonies that can be reflected in song. What better answer than Carner’s poetry, Alegret’s placid, rigorous singing, and Fernández Aguirre’s wise pianism. And yet, the tenor and pianist did not settle for the more or less typical and predictable formulas, such as the Carnerian songs by Toldrà (which already play their own integral part), but also with living authors, to whom ad hoc compositions were requested for the production of this record. The music gathered in this album, which sings Carner’s poetry, allows us to be free and to be masters of ourselves and our time.
David Alegret´s career is developing well as he has debuted in several of Europe´s most emblematic scenarios, such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Teatro Real de Madrid, the Opera de Zurich, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper or the Hamburgische Staatsoper, among others. He was born in Barcelona and studied Medicine at the Universidad de Barcelona before dedicating his time to music. He studied at the Conservatori Superior de Musica in Barcelona with the countertenor Xavier Torra, and then at the Musik Akademie in Basel with the baritone Kurt Widmer. Among other masters, David Alegret has worked with Lawrence Foster, Renato Palumbo, Fabio Luisi, Christoph Spering, Sebastian Weigle, Josep Pons, Jordi Savall, Alberto Zedda, Victor Pablo Perez, Paolo Olmi, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Pablo Heras Casado, Carlo Rizzi, David Parry, Bruno Campanella, Fabio Biondi, Ricardo Muti, Giugliano Carella and Mark Minkowski. He specialises in the Rossini and Mozart repertoires, and has sung Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, La Cenerentola, Il Turco in Italia, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’Italiana in Algeri, Semiramide, Mose in Egitto, Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra or Il signor Bruschino in Vienna, Helsinki, Rome, Sassari, Palermo, Trieste, Brussels, Zurich, Hamburg, Klagenfurt, Lisbon, Turin, Paris, Metz, Toulon, Luxemburg, Munich, Teatro Real de Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Welch National Opera in Cardiff, Montpellier and the Festivals in Garsington, Pesaro (ROF) and the Festival Pergolesi-Spontini de Jesi (Lo frate ‘nnamorato de Pergolesi, with the Europa Galante orchestra and Fabio Biondi). David Alegret also has put his talent to work in the recital vein in many occasions as this format is perfectly adapted to his vocal faculties and his personal tastes. He has taken on a wide repertoire which spans more than two centuries of the history of music with composers as Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven or Strauss. He has thus given recitals all over Spain, Europe and Switzerland specially. In his recitals, due to his roots and his identification with the genre, Catalan song has a large role. Alegret performs works by composers such as Toldrà, Mompou, Joan and Ricard Lamote de Grignon among others, and he capture it in his solo CD “Impressions de Natura”, beside the pianist Daniel Blanch, awarded with several prizes and considering the catalan tenor by the public and the critic, one of the best specialist in this repertoire among his generation.
Rubén Fernández Aguirre
Born in Barakaldo, in the province of Vizcaya, Spain, Rubén Fernández-Aguirre completed his solo piano studies in Vitoria with Albert Nieto before specialising in opera coaching and piano accompaniment in Vienna with David Lutz and in München with Donald Sulzen. He has also received the guidance of Félix Lavilla, Miguel Zanetti and Wolfram Rieger. A much sought-after recital accompanist, he regularly collaborates with Carlos Álvarez, Ainhoa Arteta, María Bayo, Gabriel Bermúdez, Mariola Cantarero, Elena de la Merced, Andeka Gorrotxategi, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Ismael Jordi, José Antonio López, David Menéndez, María José Montiel, Carmen Romeu, José Luis Sola and Carmen Solís, and he has also worked alongside Celso Albelo, Yolanda Auyanet, Josep Bros, Measha Brueggergosman, Mariella Devia, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Carol García, Eglise Gutiérrez, Montserrat Martí, Isabel Rey, Christopher Robertson, Ofelia Sala, Ana María Sánchez, Leontina Vaduva and José Manuel Zapata. In these partnerships, he has performed at most of the Spanish festivals and theatres, as well as the major music centres around the world, including Vienna’s Musikverein, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, Montevideo’s Teatro Solís, and concert halls in Paris, Lyon, Bremen, Graz, Budapest, Damasco, Argel, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Rubén has accompanied Masterclasses given by Teresa Berganza, Renata Scotto, Jaume Aragall, Ileana Cotrubas, Simon Estes, Bruno de Simone, Emilio Sagi and Ana Luisa Chova, and was an official pianist at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2006. He has worked as a repetiteur at Valencia’s Palau de la Música, Madrid’s Teatro Real and Sevilla’s Teatro de la Maestranza and as a vocal coach, he runs his own Masterclasses hosted by Cursos de Verano Isaac Albéniz (Girona), Festival Manuel de Falla (Granada), Quincena Musical Donostiarra (San Sebastián) and the University of the Basque Country. His discography most notably includes the complete songs of Antón García Abril (Bolamar Music), Canciones en la Alhambra with soprano Mariola Cantarero and Carlos Álvarez Live in La Monnaiae (Ibs Classical Gold) and Ensueños with mezzo Nancy Fabiola Herrera (AIM Records). In 2010 he receivedthe Ópera Actual award for his dedication to and the rising recognition of his accomplishment in thefield of the lyric art.
About lyrics translations
In regard to the Spanish and English translations of the poems CARNERIANA
Josep Carner is one of the great poets of Catalan and European literature of the 20th century. An example of this is the international campaign that was carried out in 1962, with the participation of prestigious authors and professors, to nominate him for the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, two of the characteristics that make Josep Carner’s poetry so unique, also make it difficult to translate: a) the fundamental importance of the internal musicality of the text, with the construction of contrasts and harmonies of sounds that are extraordinarily difficult to preserve in a foreign language; b) the linguistic creativity that Josep Carner possessed, which led him to create new words which can only be interpreted properly from his own language. This is why translations of Josep Carner’s poetry are scarce, and often unsatisfactory, because for many of his works, they are only able to convey the literal meaning of his verses, but never the true score that Josep Carner created for each one of his poems, which would often evolve throughout the successive editions the author would make. Currently, from the Càtedra Carner at the Universitat de Barcelona, with professor Jaume Coll, executor for the Carner family at the front, they are carrying out, together with specialists, philologists, and linguists, and with the Carner fonds from the Biblioteca de Catalunya, the task of translating Carner’s works of poetry into different languages, including Spanish and English. But, for the reasons mentioned previously and the magnitude of Carner’s work, this is going to be a difficult task that could years to accomplish.
All these circumstances explain why it has not been possible to include both the Spanish and English translations of the 50 original poems by Josep Carner in CARNERIANA.