The style he cultivated can be compared to contemporaries such as Mompou, Toldrà and Joaquim Serra in that he chose to use the texts of poets such as Carner, Garcés and Papasseit.
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|Subheading / Parts||18 Songs for voice and piano|
|Instruments||Voice and piano|
The thirty-five years of life of this Tarragona-born composer determined a very short compositional trajectory which reached a real creative crescendo that was cruelly cut short by his death.
The songs in this compilation, all of which appear in his catalogue, are presented in chronological order of composition. The collection is opened by Canticel, Hebe, un matí... and Fred – both written in 1922 – which were among the first creative experiences of Gols in every genre.
The style he cultivated can be compared to contemporaries such as Mompou, Toldrà and Joaquim Serra in that he chose to use the texts of poets such as Carner, Garcés and Papasseit. With regard to the music, it is similar to the approach of the French impressionists he admired so much, especially Ravel. Despite his youth, Gols was an outstanding pianist, the result of his lessons in Barcelona with the acclaimed teacher Blanca Selva. His experience as a performer led him to embellish the songs he composed with elaborate piano parts with unquestionable depth and richness of sound. Canticel was dedicated to Mercè Plantada and Si jo fos pescador to Conxita Badia, two singers who performed Xavier Gols’ songs on numerous occasions.
During the last years of his life, having developed his own personal style, his music was filled with references to the traditional songs from the Tarragona region which he brought to life in his more mature works, such as the Quintet in D minor* (1934) for string and piano quartet, the suite for piano De les terres altes* (1936) four impressions for piano, and Tres preludis rurals* (1937) for string and piano orchestra. This development was the result of his direct research into the Tarragona region, at the request of the Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya. A notable feature of this task were his harmonies for vocals and piano in the popular songs that he himself recovered: Els Dos Brillaires, Don Joan i Don Ramon, Ara ve el Mes de Març, A La Febró... and La filla del Rei de França, which are the songs that conclude the published compilation.
For further information on the composer and his work, see the book Xavier Gols, written by Josep Soler i Sardà and Raül Benavides i Oller, published by Arola Editors in 2004.