Queen Sofia

Monday 19 October at 19.30 hours, he National Dissemination Center Musical (CNDM) opens the season of its Series cycle 20/21, music focused on today, in the auditory 400 of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Nnchhahris) from Madrid. The inauguration focuses on a monographic program dedicated to the composer Cristobal Halffter, key figure in contemporary Spanish music of the 20th and 21st centuries, from the hand of the chamber group Bambú Ensemble, together with the polyphonic ensemble Musica Ficta. Both groups will perform three works signed by the Madrid composer: he String Quartet No. 7 ‘Space of silence’ (2007), Lays for a queen of Spain (1994) Y Kyrie (2018). In this way the new season of Series opens 20/21, in which the National Center for Musical Diffusion pays tribute, plus Cristóbal Halffter, to another pillar of contemporary Spanish music since its dawn, also in his 90 anniversary: Luis de Pablo. The Basque musician will be the protagonist of the next concert of the cycle, he 26 October, in which Taller Sonoro will offer a monograph by this author covering forty years of his long career. These concerts, like the rest of the cycle programmed in the Auditorium 400, They will be free access until the capacity of the room is complete, reduced due to restrictions imposed by the current health situation.

Cristóbal Halffter or contemporary Spanish music

In the words of the musicologist Antonio Gómez Schneekloth: Despite his cosmopolitan spirit and his German ancestry, Cristóbal Halffter has always felt committed to Spain and its history. Born in the capital, was part of the generation of 51, whose mission was to define the term of modernity in the field of music. His first twelve-tone work, Five microforms (Five microforms), produced in 1960 a scandal in Madrid, but the path of opening towards new artistic and musical trends had already started and was unstoppable, despite the many pitfalls that still remain to be overcome. Halffter never allowed himself to be subdued or intimidated by the reactionary forces that threatened to halt the advance.. His unwavering will and his determined commitment to avant-garde musical trends (when it was time to be avant-garde), today place him among the most prominent personalities within the panorama of Spanish music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He String Quartet No. 7 ‘Space of silence’ was premiered at the Santander Festival on 30 August 2008. The subtitle alludes to the moments when music gives prominence to the word through the Coplas to the death of his father, by Jorge Manrique. The verses, that should be read and not recited, here they act as islands that allow us to reflect on what was heard in an exercise of introspection. This is manifested in the four odd movements. The pairs, but nevertheless, require great concentration and technical skill from musicians, as can be seen in the delirious and tormented passages of the second movement, in the outbursts of the sixth, unleashing a storm of furious attacks and waterfalls of pinched, and even in the constant coming and going between romantic sounds, manners and contemporaries of the room. Composed in 1994 Commissioned by the State Society for the celebration of the V centenary of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Lays for a queen of Spain describe in sounds the figure of Juana I de Castilla la Loca, specifically, his confinement in the monastery of Santa Clara and his consequent mental deterioration. This painful process is evoked by the random passages found in each of the three Lays, subtitled The dream of reason, The darkness of consciousness Y The emptiness of the mind. To close this heartfelt tribute, it remains to mention the Kyrie, for string quartet and choir, with which Halffter joins the long tradition of composers who have kept him alive since the days of Monteverdi. Along with other more recent works, he Kyrie becomes one more example of the imperative need to write Halffter's music, which today has no shortage of projects to carry out. "

Enigma group

Next Monday 18 February, the National Broadcasting Music Center (CNDM) It presented in the Auditorium 400 the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in its cycle Series 20/21, the premiere of Rise of the echoes, double string quintet commissioned by the center Cristobal Halffter teacher. The premiere will be performed by the iconic Enigma Group, Chamber Orchestra Auditorio de Zaragoza, directed by Nacho de Paz, replacing Juan José Olives, died last December and to whom the concert is dedicated in memoriam. This work is the second commission that the CNDM makes to the Madrid composer, behind the Quartet No. 8 “Absences”, premiered by the Leipzig Quartet in 2013. Along with this score there will be works by Jesús Rueda (Quartet No. 3 ‘Islands‘) y Dimitri Shostakóvich (Chamber Symphony in C minor ‘In memory of the victims of the fascism and war ’). Complementing, the same Monday 18, to 18 hours, Halffter will participate in a talk about his work at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, activity included in the Seminar "The creation and interpretation of current music". Both the previous talk and the concert will be free admission until the capacity of the rooms is complete.

Society, individual and independence

According to Antonio Gómez Sneekloth: “In Rise of the echoes, Cristóbal Halffter implicitly approaches programmatic music. But beware! His literary idea is not the object of a direct translation to the sound universe, rather, it manifests itself through echoes that are established between the two quintets located on either side of the director. The symmetry thus obtained between the two sets, which may well be increased to obtain orchestral dimensions, it is the base on which echoes are built that are not mere imitative calls, but they structurally unite the part. Halffter's idea of ​​operating below the grades is that of a society in which certain individuals aspire to be independent, needy, but nevertheless, of preparation and the guts to create something that leaves an echo behind. Original-eco / eco-original: the dialogue established between the two quintets is made of interwoven scraps, captured on the fly both to the left and right of the director”.

Cristobal Halffter (Madrid, 1930) is one of the most outstanding composers of the known as “Generation of '51”, of which Luis de Pablo is also part, Carmelo Bernaola, Joan Guinjoan or Ramón Barce. Indispensable name of the national music scene of the last half century, He was a student of Conrado del Campo and Alexander Tansman, and obtained the Chair in Composition at the Superior Conservatory of his hometown, body of which he would be director of 1964 a 1966. Later, he expanded his musical studies with scholarships in Paris, Rome and Milan, relating to Albert Blancafort, Luigi Dallapiccola, Luciano Berio and Bruno Maderna. His successful career as a composer has been joined by his extensive career as a conductor., work that has led him to work with the main international groups in the most important spaces in Europe and America. Among his many recognitions is his membership as a member of the European Academy of Sciences, of the Arts and Letters of Paris, Berlin Arts, of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Femando, Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of León, the Goethe Medal, the Montaigne Prize from the Friedrich von Schiller Foundation in Hamburg, the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts and the National Music Award received in 1989.