Le jour de l’an
Moonwinds – Joan Enric Lluna
Cristina Montes, harp
Jesús Bal y Gay (Lugo 1905 – Madrid 1993) and Salvador Bacarisse (Madrid 1898 – Paris 1963) were two musicians and intellectuals who belonged to the group known as the Generation of ‘27. Having received their education in Spain, they went into exile as a consequence of the atrocities of the Civil War that Spain suffered between 1936 and 1939.
JESUS BAL Y GAY
Written in 1942 and performed for the first time in 1946, the Divertimento for Woodwind Quartet is structured in 4 movements. Some aspects attest to the clear influence of Falla, and the use of rhythmic and harmonic pedal notes owes an obvious debt to Stravinsky, charting an aesthetic line close to Neoclassicism. The four movements demonstrate careful, unfussy composition, with few rhythmic complexities, a clear texture that is almost classic in style, melodically avoiding the excessive leaps of the dissonant harmonies of the new melodic concepts of the 20th century, with a counterpoint inherited from Classicism and an entirely traditional instrumental syntax. It is also possible to hear echoes of traditional Galician music, such as the constant purring of the last movement evocative of the drone of the gaita, the typical instrument of Bal y Gay’s native province of Galicia.
Is thought to have been composed in 1955 for clarinet and piano. Bacarisse went on to produce two new versions of the work for violin and piano, and for cello and piano, respectively. In both cases the title was changed to -Introduction, Variations and Coda-. The manuscript of the first version has been lost, so Joan Enric Lluna took on the challenge of trying to reconstruct the work for clarinet, tailoring the music to the instrument’s particular idiosyncrasies while adhering as closely as possible to the composer’s other versions for violin and cello. Knowing the capabilities of the Valencian clarinettist and conductor, and hearing the resulting sound, we must applaud this work for its fidelity to the style and aesthetic of the Madrid composer. Of a similar aesthetic are the two pieces for solo harp, and harp and wind instruments. The Concert pour le jour de l’an, Concert for the Day of the Year, for Harp and Woodwind is an expanded version of the Concerto in E flat that Bacarisse wrote in 1954 for the same combination of instruments which was subsequently reorchestrated in 1961 under the same title Concert pour le jour de l’an but in this case with the orchestration increased to for Harp and Orchestra. There is no record of the first version having ever been performed.
Moonwinds was born of an artistic initiative by Joan Enric Lluna who aimed to bring together outstanding woodwind players to form a fixed chamber music group. The group members have all had stellar careers in the major orchestras and teaching centres of Europe. The permanent members of the group are: Cristina Gómez and J. Antonio Ferriol (oboes), Joan E. Lluna and M. Ángeles Galán (clarinets), David Tomás and Higinio Arrue (bassoons), David Fernández Alonso and José M. Lluna (French horns), Toni García (double bass). Other members collaborate with MW when the repertoire so requires. Moonwinds first performed in public in Spring 2006, and by the end of that year had released their first CD with Harmonia Mundi featuring Mozart (Gran Partita) and Martín y Soler, works that they brought to public attention with a tour of the Valencian and Catalan regions. The second CD, likewise with Harmonia Mundi, was a transcription of the opera Una cosa rara by Martín y Soler, together with other works by the same composer, performed at Cadogan Hall in London. The third CD, W.A. Mozart’s Serenades was released with Temps Record, and distributed by HM Ibérica. Moonwinds appeared at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to mark the start of the Spanish presidency of the European Union in January 2010, as guests of the Spanish Embassy in the British capital. Other memorable events include their performances at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona and the Palau de la Música in Valencia. Future commitments will see MW performing throughout Spain and other European countries. Moonwinds was the resident ensemble at the Auditori de Barcelona in the 2012-2013 season.»
CRISTINA MONTES: Winner of the unanimously First Prize at the “Torneo Internazionale di Musica” (Rome) and the International Harp Competition “V. Bucchi”, as well as four more international prizes (Paris -Lily Laskine and Sacem-, Madrid and Tokyo), and numerous national awards (Jeunesses Musicales, V. Salvi, Andalusian of the Future), she is recognized as one of the leading harpists of her generation throughout the world. A regular soloist in Festivals around the world, and with orchestras like the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestra of the Theatre-für-Niedersachsen-Hannover, or Santiago de Chile Orchestra, she has also played a recital for the King of Spain and the President of the United Nations, being broadcasted live internationally. She was selected by Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta as Principal Harp of the Valencia Opera Orchestra (Spain), and she usually plays with the Munich Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic, too. She has been the professor of harp at the Conservatorio Superior ‘J.Rodrigo’ of Valencia, and has also given Masterclasses at Berklee College of Music, Köln Musikhochschule and Birmingham Conservatoire. With already four solo albums on the market, she records harp soundtracks in Hollywood.
Joan Enric Lluna
Joan Enric Lluna divides his time between his work as a clarinettist and as an orchestral conductor. As a conductor and soloist-conductor, Lluna has led orchestras such as the Lucerne Festival Strings, Manchester Camerata, Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana of the Palau de les Arts, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, Kensington Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta de Valencia, Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga. He has also conducted the woodwind section of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra among other European orchestras. He is shortly to conduct the concerts marking the 30th anniversary of the Orquesta de Cadaqués. As a soloist he has performed on all the major European stages, under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Juanjo Mena and Neville Marriner; in chamber groups such as the Brodsky, Tokio and Alexander string quartets; and with soloists such as Lluís Claret, Tasmin Little and Josep Colom. He is the principal clarinet with the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana – the flagship orchestra of the Palau de las Artes Reina Sofía – from which he was selected by Lorin Maazel to assume this responsibility. He is also the principal clarinet of the Orquesta de Cadaqués, which he co-founded. He was principal clarinet with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta from 1996 to 1999, and has played as principal guest clarinet with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Lluna is both the conductor of, and the driving force behind, the Moonwinds chamber group, made up of woodwind players representing some of the world’s top musicians. Since 2009 he has directed the international “Residencias de Música de Cámara” chamber-music festival in Godella, Valencia. Lluna has performed much of the repertoire for solo clarinet and premièred concertos by composers such as Sir John Tavener, J. Guinjoan, César Cano, Jesús Torres, Paul Barker and Sánchez Verdú. In the course of his career he has performed numerous chamber-music works by composers including J. Torres, I. Zebeljan, P. Barker, D. Del Puerto and H. Khoury. He has recently premièred concertos by Isidora Zebeljan and Jesús Torres written to be led by a conductor-soloist. Future projects include the forthcoming release of the CD dedicated to Salvador Bacarisse by Moonwinds, the recording of “Jazz Impact” dedicated to Leonard Bernstein and Benny Goodman, and the first recording of the chamber-music works of Benet Casablancas on the Naxos label with the Moonwinds Ensemble. Highlights of his discography include two recordings of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K622, conducted respectively by Sir Neville Marriner (Tritó) and Anthony Pay (Cala Records). He has also recorded with the Brodsky, Tokio and Alexander string quartets, and has five CDs of Spanish music to his name, published by Harmonía Mundi and Clarinet Classics. The last of these is dedicated to the musicians exiled during the Spanish Civil War (Tritó, 2015). With Moonwinds he has recorded Mozart’s Gran Partita and woodwind Serenades, as well as Una cosa rara, a CD of Martín y Soler’s previously unrecorded divertimenti.