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Benet Casablancas: Seven Scenes from Hamlet; New Epigrams; In Modo di Passacaglia

Album Summary

>Casablancas, Benet : Siete escenas de Hamlet, for narrator & ensemble
>Casablancas, Benet : New Epigrams, for ensemble
>Casablancas, Benet : In modo di Passacaglia, for ensemble
>Casablancas, Benet : Epigrams, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Casablancas, Benet : Petita música nocturna, for ensemble
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Now in his creative maturity, the Catalan composer Benet Casablancas has a growing interest in the sensuality of sound. 'Seven Scenes from Hamlet', one of his best-known works, is a theatrical mosaic of images inspired by Shakespeare's play. The 'Epigrams' and 'New Epigrams' present a fertile whirlwind of sensations, references and surprises. 'In modo di Passacaglia' unfolds as a cycle of forty variations on a twelve-note melodic theme, which fluctuate between agitated virtuosity and tranquility. The acclaimed Spanish chamber ensemble BCN 216, comprising piano, celesta, five strings, seven wind instruments, harp and percussion, specializes in the performance of contemporary chamber music.

American Record Guide - Barry Kilpatrick
Given skillful, animated accounts by the chamber orchestra Barcelona 216, all are fascinating.

David's Review Corner- David Denton
Born in Spain in 1956, but having studied composition in Vienna, Benet Casablancas has written, 'it may be a vain hope, but my principal aim is to move people'.
That he is composing in the world of atonality and is seeking out new sounds, often created by unconventional methods, does demand receptive ears. The seven scenes from Shakespeare's Hamlet are preceded by words from the play, the following music being the composer's reaction, the most extended section coming with the mixed emotions of Ophelia's response to Hamlet's rejection. The easy point of contact with the work comes in the sixth section where words are spoken over atmospheric music. We move forward a year, to 1990, for the three Epigrams where Casablancas generates sound idioms by short bursts of music. A further two years and we come to the Petita musica nocturna, abstract to my ears, though the writer of the accompanying notes sees a mysterious dreamlike atmosphere between feverish activity. In modo di Passacaglia is the most extended single-movement work. A twelve-note theme followed by forty variations makes a challenging score for the five instruments. Finally the 1997 New Epigrams, far more explosive than the earlier work, the added complexity offering more textures in which we may discover the entry key to Casablancas. Barcelona 216 is a group that can appear in different size and permutations as the music demands, and is dedicated to propagating the contemporary scene. It will be for our children's children to decide which of today's composers will reach posterity.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007).



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Works Details

>Casablancas, Benet : Siete escenas de Hamlet, for narrator & ensemble
  • Conductor: Manel Valdivieso
  • Ensemble: Barcelona 216
  • Notes: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989

>Casablancas, Benet : New Epigrams, for ensemble
  • Conductor: Manel Valdivieso
  • Ensemble: Barcelona 216
  • Notes: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Casablancas, Benet : In modo di Passacaglia, for ensemble
  • Conductor: Manel Valdivieso
  • Ensemble: Barcelona 216
  • Notes: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Casablancas, Benet : Epigrams, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Conductor: Manel Valdivieso
  • Ensemble: Barcelona 216
  • Notes: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1990

>Casablancas, Benet : Petita música nocturna, for ensemble
  • Conductor: Manel Valdivieso
  • Ensemble: Barcelona 216
  • Notes: Barcelona, Spain (09/14/2007-09/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992